Buddhist monks have always been accorded great respect for renouncing worldly pleasures and seriously undertaking study of the Buddha's teaching to attain 'perfect manhood'.

Thai Buddhist monk hood differs from that of other religions in several ways. In Thailand's tropical climate, the monk's austere life is never unduly severe. Though a monk is celibate and may not be touched by a woman, even his mother, his life is not totally cloistered. Meditating monks excepted, daily contact with the laity is commonplace, mostly during morning collections of alms beyond the monastery precincts, and at various ceremonies and festivals.

Monks abide by strict monastic discipline, observing 227 rules governing their behavior. The breaking of the four principal rules - theft, homicide of inciting another to suicide, sexual relations or claiming magical powers - will result in immediate expulsion from the monastic order.