Buddhist monks in Thailand

Monks in Thailand.Bhuddist Monks in Thailand,Buddhism,Buddhist Monks,Colour of Monk Robe

It was my first encounter with Buddhist monks in Thailand. I arrived bright and bushy-tailed in Bangkok and wanted to see more of the city before I headed off to Chang Mai for my jungle adventure.

I was chatting to one of the guys working at the hotel where we I was staying and I casually asked him if he wanted to be my personal guide for the afternoon. First he didn`t want to but I said I would pay him off course. He reluctantly agreed. I could see it wasn`t about the money. He had no experience as a guide but that didn`t bother me at all. I love local guides. They know the city and the history. For me it was perfect.

Soon we encountered the monks. They fascinated me with their bright orange robes. A monk was sitting chatting to a friend and an empty chair was next to him. I wanted to grab the chair and have a chat to him. My guide nearly had a heart attack.

“No, you cannot do that!”, he exclaimed.

“Why?”, I asked.

“Women are not allowed to talk to them”, he explained.

“Oh”, I said.

Luckily he agreed to make things easier for me and he offered to ask the monk the question that I wanted to ask. I wanted to know why the monks wear orange robes. In the photo below you can actually see the man pointing to the robe of the monk.

Monks in Thailand,Buddhism,Buddhist Monks,Colour of Monk Robe
Why is your robe orange?

Saffron robes are meant to symbolize the humble clothing of the Buddha and are worn by the monks of the Theravada tradition of Sri Lanka, Cambodia, and Thailand. The monks of different traditions wear robes that range from simple to ornate.

I also learnt that back in the early days of the Buddhist movement, the robes were to be made from found cloth (rags) and dyed in the cheapest dye available. I knew so little about them and I wanted to learn more during my stay in Thailand.

Buddhist Monks praying,Buddhist Monks in Thailand
Buddhist Monks in Prayer

He thanked the monk on my behalf and we walked on. We found a group of monks in prayer and I took a quick photo. I had so many questions but didn`t have the time to because my guide had a lot of things to show me. We walked past a temple and saw the monks eating together. What a lovely sight!

The monks of Bangkok
Time to eat.

Foreigners can participate in giving offerings to the Monks at temples. Many shops sell orange buckets with daily necessities like food, soap and toothpaste which can be bought and offered to monks. What is the custom to offer a monk this bucket? Bow your head to the floor three times while holding the palms of your hands together.

Where: Bangkok,Thailand
When: 8 April 2006

If you want to read more about similar posts click here Thailand Travel Information

I have been fortunate to have done quite a bit of travelling over the last 10 years. By heart I am an adventurer and I love exploring new places, cultures and food. Travelling can become stressful and expensive. Over the years I have learnt to travel as cost effective as possible, simply by travelling more clever. Nelmitravel.com is a Adventure and Budget Travel site where I review Airlines, Accommodation, Transport, Restaurants and give helpful travel information.


    1. Hi Martha, I think they are fascinating mainly because we know so little about them. I know so little and I want to know more 😉 Thank you for stopping by and I am glad you enjoyed the photos 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  1. Nel, you were so closer to home. You could have come to India as well!

    I liked this personal rendition on the monks instead of guide-book entries. The best way to travel inside a place is to get hold of locals and you were wise in doing that.

    Best wishes.

    Joy always,

    1. Hi Susan, I really want to visit India one day but somehow it doesn`t seem possible unless we arrange it to have a stopover in India on our way to Russia. With our families and friends all over the globe it takes priority over leisure travel abroad if you know what I mean. So glad you liked it. I have always been a firm believer of local guides. They really know how to get around the city and they are such friendly people. Have a wonderful day and I promise to be over at your blog once I have a little bit of free time 🙂 Have a blessed week!

  2. Reblogged this on mostlysincere and commented:
    As a Buddhist and a big fan of Asian culture, this fascinates me. The descriptions and photos are all very interesting. I would love to be there at least once. I just had to reblog, excellent post!

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging this! The monks are fascinating people and if you have any information to share with us, please do! There is so much that I would like to learn. I wish I could sit down next to one and ask questions 🙂 Thank you again for visiting and for showing your appreciation of this post.

      1. You’re welcome! I do indeed appreciate this post – mainly because I’m clueless when it comes to the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk. There is quite a bit of info on Wikipedia, but first-hand traveller experience is always different. Luckily, I’ll be able to travel to the Himalayas someday as well. 🙂

  3. I didn’t know about the significance of the color, Nelieta and never thought to ask. How interesting. Offering them a bucket is new to me.

    1. Hi Corinne, it is quite interesting about the colour. Who would have thought that was the cheapest colour available? I know the bucket donations is available in Thailand but I am not sure in other countries. It will be interesting to find out 🙂 Thank you for the visit!

Thank you for visiting. Have a fabulous day!

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