Thai tourists told not to ‘try before buy’ when traveling abroad

A Thai tourist was detained in Tokyo for trying sweets before buying them. Pic: sekihan/flickr

AFTER an incident that had a Thai tourist “trying” an item before making the purchase when shopping abroad, the foreign ministry has released a warning against the habit.

The Bangkok Post reports that the ministry’s Protection of Thai Nationals Abroad Division posted on its Facebook page that while the habit was considered a norm in Thailand, it might not be acceptable in other cultures and societies.

As an example, the division said that the Thai embassy was informed last month about a tourist in Tokyo that had been arrested for theft in Tokyo Disneyland.

The Thai traveler had inadvertently broken the law by opening a pack of sweets at the theme park’s souvenir shop and eating some of them before making the purchase.

SEE ALSO: Chinese tourists face threat of travel ‘blacklist’ if fail to follow rules 

This led to him being apprehended by a security guard and handed over to the police. At the police station, the traveler had explained that the practice of trying items before purchasing them was acceptable in his homeland.

To complicate matters, a suspect brought in for an offence is required to be detained for 10 days, which may cause visa overstay. The consequence of overstaying in Japan is a year-long ban from entering the country.

Based on a separate report in The Bangkok Post, Tokyo is a firm favorite as a holiday destination for Thai tourists in 2015, followed closely by Osaka.

Japan has been more accessible to Thai tourists, and hence more popular, since the relaxing of visa restrictions in 2013.

Thai tourists have the advantage of staying the length of 15 days in Japan without a visa, further propelling an influx of Thai nationals into the country.

On the other hand, Thailand is the second-most preferred holiday destination for Japanese tourists.

SEE ALSO: Thailand to double visa-on-arrival fee for China, India and Taiwan tourists