13

There are some other strange laws in Thailand but this seemed to be the most "interesting" one to me. How are they even going to find out? Are they going to observe your bulge?

There are a lot of sources you can find where this law is mentioned:

It’s against the law to leave your house in Thailand if you’re not wearing underwear.

Strange Thailand Law #1: The Underwear Law
Hey, who are we to judge, but technically it is illegal to leave your house in Thailand if you are not wearing underwear.

It’s illegal to leave the house without your underwear on.

It is even asked in Quora but there aren't any details about the official law in the answer given; on the other hand, the user talks about his experience: Is not wearing underwear illegal in Thailand?, Quora

(Maybe, the law pertains to the citizens only.)

Is this true? Is it possible to find the official law?

  • Wrongfully dressing like that of or using the symbols of Buddhist monks, holy men or clergymen of any religion and dressing in soldier or police uninform without being employed in that position is punishable by Thai law-unodc.org/tldb/pdf/Thailand/THA_Pena_CodeEN.pdf and thailandlawonline.com/laws-in-thailand/…. Couldn't find anything related to inner garments there! – pericles316 Jan 21 '16 at 12:27
  • 7
    Many of these 'silly law' lists are bending otherwise reasonable regulations in such a way, that they sound silly. The first list you're linking to is e.g. claiming it's illegal to step on Thai currency. There is actually no law directly forbidding someone to step on Thai currency. Thailand does however have very strict laws on insulting the monarch or the royal family. Since there is a portrait of the king on every Thai coin or bank note and stepping on a portrait of a the king may be considered an insult, you may therefore potentially be charged for the insult if you do so. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jan 21 '16 at 16:52
8

No, I've searched the English language translation of the Thai Penal Code.

The closest current law is:

Section 388 Whoever, doing any shameful act in public by indecently exposing oneself's person, or by committing the other indecent act, shall be fined not out of five hundred Baht.

In fact, two woman were recently fined the 500 Baht for being topless in public.


This idea may have derived from an older law, that banned only wearing underwear.

On 15 January 1941, it was decreed that "Thais should not appear in public, populous places, or municipal areas without proper clothing". See Thailand in the Cold War at pages 62-63.

See also Mandate 10 in the Wikipedia article Thai cultural mandates:

Thai people should not appear at public gatherings, in public places, or in city limits without being appropriately dressed. Inappropriate dress includes wearing only underpants, wearing no shirt, or wearing a wraparound cloth.

Appropriate dress for Thai people consists of:
1.Uniforms, as position and opportunity permits;
2.Polite international-style attire;
3.Polite traditional attire

Link to Thai source

Leaving the house in just underwear was specifically stated to be illegal.

enter image description here

(above, improper dress is depicted on the left, which shows two people without underwear, a topless woman and naked child, proper dress on the right)

However, "decrees regulating dress and behavior were repealed" according to Fall of the Phibun Government, 1944 at page 117

  • 3
    It wouldn't surprise me if this was the original source of the rumor, but it doesn't answer the question. – Oddthinking Jan 21 '16 at 22:36
  • 1
    @Oddthinking coupled with the statement at Lawguru.com, which lists the law, "Many of these laws are probably no longer in effect", and my edit adding a source to show that the decree regulating dress was repealed, I think it is a useful answer. lawguru.com/weird/part02.php – DavePhD Jan 22 '16 at 12:47
  • 5
    You show that underwear without clothes was banned. the question was about clothes without underwear. – Oddthinking Jan 22 '16 at 14:35
  • @Oddthinking I link to the full text of Thai criminal law and there is no such law. – DavePhD Jan 22 '16 at 14:38
  • 1
    Thanks for clarifying, @DavePhD. I've updated the answer based on that comment. (There is still a weakness that it depends on your skill as a Thai legal expert to be sure that you haven't missed it due to some odd wording of another law.) – Oddthinking Jan 23 '16 at 0:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .