Thais 'dress improperly' in Laos
Misbehaviour and "inappropropriate dress standards" by Thai officials during a visit to Laos have prompted a stern order from Education Minister Narong Pipatanasai.
Adm Narong has ordered all ministry staff and students to dress and behave properly when making official visits to the country.
The Thai embassy in Vientiane was informed that several Thai delegates dressed and behaved improperly when visiting government agencies there. The embassy wrote to the Foreign Ministry, which passed on the news.
A source at the embassy said complaints arose about Thai delegations wearing attire regarded as improper for visiting government buildings or educational institutions.
"The casual dress problem has come up several times in Laos," the source said.
"Sometimes we received phone calls telling us politely that wearing shorts, sandals or skinny jeans in official buildings is not proper."
Some female delegates wore skinny jeans to parliament and students wore mini-skirts to universities, the source said.
Adm Narong said Wednesday the ministry received a letter from the Foreign Ministry asking for cooperation over dress and manners when visiting Laos since the number of Thai delegations to Laos has been increasing.
Several needed advice on how to dress and behave properly, he said.
"The ministry aims to avoid misunderstandings and prevent problems that could affect our relations. We [the Education Ministry] will strictly follow the practice,'' Adm Narong said.
The minister said similar incidents had been reported in visits to other countries including Europe and Australia.
He said the ministry set standards for education ministry officials who make business trips overseas to protect the image of the country.