Confusion over minimum cash on hand for entry into Thailand

GEORGE TOWN: Many Malaysians entering Thailand are puzzled over having to bring in a minimum of RM1,000 at the various entry and exit points between the two neighbouring countries.

That theSun spoke to were curious over such a ruling which had apparently taken place over a decade ago but not widely highlighted until recently when two Malaysians were denied entry due to the insufficient amount a few months ago.

One of them was Kang Poay Sim, 32, who related to theSun that she did not know anything about it although she frequently travels to southern Thailand's biggest city - Haadyai.

For Kang, it was ridiculous to have a certain amount of Baht or ringgit to enter the border point.

"We will only bringing in a few hundred for one or two days or just a day trip," she stressed.

Mirroring her was journalist Imran Ismail who pointed out that he was taken aback when he came to know of such a ruling despite frequently travelling over the border.

He described this ruling as something uncalled for but noted foreigners would still need to abide by such an order when they visit another country

Kenneth Lee, 33, a frequent traveller who drives back to Chumpon monthly, said it was the norm for foreigners entering into Thailand to have a certain amount of money when they were randomly checked.

He said many travellers do not know about this ruling, and start to panic when subjected to random checks by Immigration personnel.

It was reported in theSun that visitors must have a minimum cash amount when entering or risk being turned back.

Under the stipulated ruling, Malaysians need to have at least 10,000 Thai Baht (RM1,240) if they want to legally enter Thailand without any hitch.

Also, many travel agency vans plying the route from Penang to popular tourist areas in Haadyai, are aware of it but merely told theSun that everything went smoothly.

A local van driver said that normally everything was alright when fetching locals and Thai nationals from Malaysia to Thailand or vice-versa.

Bukit Kayu Hitam assemblyman Datuk Zaini Japar, when contacted, said he did not receive any grouses or complaints with regards to the ruling.