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Thai tourist rule offends visitors from Viet Nam

Update: May, 09/2014 - 08:52
According to the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand, Vietnamese tourists now have to display US$700 or 20,000 baht in cash and Thai Customs officers take photos of them holding the money next to their faces before they can pass through the border gate. — Photo tuoitre

HA NOI (VNS) — The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has presented a diplomatic note to the Thai Embassy in Ha Noi regarding "unfriendly" requirements for Vietnamese tourists entering Thailand.

According to the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand, Vietnamese tourists now have to display US$700 or 20,000 baht in cash and Thai Customs officers take photos of them holding the money next to their faces before they can pass through the border gate.

Chutathip Chareonlar, director of the HCM City office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper that providing proof of funds was obligatory at the Poipet border gate.

She said that the regulation applied to foreign tourist visa holders from certain countries because there were an increasing number using tourist visas to enter Thailand and illegally staying and working.

The ministry said Thailand did not inform Viet Nam of the new regulations. It also said that the imposition of such regulations on Viet Nam was inappropriate and ask the Thai Government to stop it.

Viet Nam's Department of Tourism also sent a letter to Thanitta Savetsila Maneechote, Thailand's Deputy Permanent Secretary of Tourism, asking for the removal of the regulation.

Ealier, Vu The Binh, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Tourism Association, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper the regulation was offensive.

He said not all tourists carried lots of cash with them because credit cards were safer and more convenient.

Moreover, those who bought tours from travel companies did not necessarily carry lots of cash because they had paid for most things in advance. — VNS

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