Chinese tourists walk around Chiang Mai in traditional Thai clothes

Chinese tourists get dolled up in traditional Thai attire, photo by Nation Thailand.

Chinese tourists in Chiang Mai are walking around in traditional Thai clothes during their sightseeing tours. After three years of travel restrictions due to Covid-19, Chinese tourists have returned to Thailand with a thirst for authentic experiences. This has created a trend in which Chinese tourists stand out in their finery at historical temples and other attractions in the northern province.

Chinese tourists walk around Chiang Mai in traditional Thai clothes | News by Thaiger
Chinese tourists walk around Chiang Mai in traditional Thai clothes, photo by Nation Thailand.

Entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai have been quick to respond to this trend by offering Thai traditional costume packages for rent. Ban Or Chao, a costume rental shop in the Mueang district, reports that Chinese tourists are making online bookings for the Thai traditional costume package priced at 1,090 baht per person for four hours. The shop fits the customers with the costume of their choice and even provides a free hair and makeup session. Additionally, the shop offers photography and transportation services for an extra fee, Nation Thailand reported.

According to Ban Or Chao’s owner, the shop serves 40-50 foreign tourists per day, with most of them being Chinese, although others come from South Korea and Europe. The tourists enjoy wearing traditional costumes to visit attractions in the province and take selfies to flaunt their “authentic” Thai experience.

Wanlop Namwongphrom, vice president of the Chiang Mai Council of Cultural Affairs, said that this trend of posing in classical threads at the city’s attractions is helping showcase Thai tourism and culture to the world. The resulting photos are often posted on social media sites like Instagram, which helps to promote Thai tourism.

He said…

“This is a good opportunity to present Thai culture to a global audience and lure them to upcoming cultural festivals like Songkran next month. It could also encourage Thais to also wear a traditional costume to preserve our culture.”

However, the council is also monitoring for “inappropriate behaviours” while wearing Thai traditional costumes, such as drinking or visiting entertainment venues. They hope that the trend of wearing traditional Thai costumes will continue to grow while respecting Thai culture and traditions.

Recently, Chinese tourists have been quite enthusiastic about Thai clothes. Chinese tourists have been taking photos while wearing Thai school uniforms. However, a lawyer warned the tourists against doing this. The lawyer, Ratchapon Sirisakorn, warned that wearing a student uniform but not having a student status could result in a fine of 1,000 baht according to the Student Uniform Act.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.