South East Asia is one of the hottest destinations for backpackers, it is cheap and full of great experiences. A questions that crosses most travellers minds is how should I dress. SEA is quite conservative as a whole and is Buddhist with very strong cultural beliefs. And this SHOULD be considered.
Buddhist women dress quite conservatively and don’t often show their knees or shoulders, this is relaxed in more developed areas but still thought should be taken when choosing your clothing.
Some travellers believe it is alright to get around in their tiny shorts and crop tops or topless if you’re a guy. Whenever I travel I like to try to be respectful to the locals culture and customs as I am in their country.
When in SEA I personally do prefer to wear clothing that covers a bit more skin than not. More often than not in the major cities and destinations you can wear anything you like without getting frowned upon, but do still take their culture into consideration. It’s up to you, but do your research before you go on the customs of your destination and make your decision from that. A good tip is bring clothing that is versatile. Wear a tshirt and shorts on your first day then take notice of what everyone else is wearing and make your decision of what you will feel comfortable wearing from there!
Insider tip: I’ve often found locals to be more friendly and helpful if I am dressed respectively. Might help you get that extra discount off the hotel and save a few $$$!!