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1. ENTERING A THAI MONASTERY: NO SHOES ALLOWED
You can wear shoes while strolling around the Thai temple premise, in other words, outdoor areas. Once you have to enter the indoor area like the monastery where the Buddha is located, you have to remove your shoes. This is a sensitive issue for Buddhist Thais so pay careful attention. You see, Thais classify the feet as the lowest part of the body (versus the head as the highest.) Shoes belong to the feet and thus being classified as the lowest personal wear. Anything classified as low should not be placed near any classified as high. (e.g. shoes should not be stored in a hat.)
That said, shoes are prohibited to be placed near the Buddha which is classified as the highest.
So take off your shoes before entering a Thai monastery. Also, removing your shoes keeps the monastery clean from dirt and dust. Note that you have to leave your shoes outside and there’s no one to look after them. If you love your Nike, Camper, CK…don’t wear them on that day.
2. INSIDE A THAI MONASTERY: BEHAVE YOURSELF
The only time you would see a Thai temple becoming an unbelievably noisy place is during certain festivals and ceremonies. Beyond that, the Thai temples become a place of peace and tranquility. You can talk and phone but no shouting and do so in the temple outdoor premise. Once you’re in the monastery, you should remain calm and quiet. It’s a place where people pray and meditate and your noisy behavior can be viewed as an act of disturbance and disrespect.