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Vietnamese Tourists Furious About Thai Customs Procedures

At the border gate between Cambodia and Thailand, Vietnamese nationals are required to take photos holding at least $700 in cash. Many Vietnamese said that the procedure made them feel like criminals.

Tuoi Tre reports that the issue is compounded by a sign board warning that they might be questioned by officers. The other countries on the list? Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, the Republic of Korea, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Algeria, not a crowd that Vietnamese are happy to grouped with.

Thai authorities said the proof of funds policy is intended to limit the number of Vietnamese entering the country after a number of cases visitors illegally overstaying their tourist visas to stay and work.

Chutathip Chareonlar, director of the HCMC Office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, told the newspaper that providing proof of funds “is obligatory at the Poipet border gate” and “denied allegations that Vietnamese tourists are discriminated by the rule…”

Chareonlar’s Vietnamese counterpart, Vu The Binh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, disagreed saying that the regulation was offensive and unreasonable.

“If Thailand does not cancel this irrational regulation, I will call for a boycott on Thai tours,” he told Thanh Nien.

Current regulations stipulate that “Vietnamese citizens can travel to Thailand without visas and remain there for 30 days when entering by air and 15 days by land.”

A Vietnamese tourism boycott of Thailand would likely result in little leverage as only 500,000 of the country’s 26 million annual visitors are Vietnamese nationals.

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