Thai tourists warned of severe penalties for bringing forbidden medications to China

Thai nationals who plan to travel to China under the new visa-free agreement are advised to avoid bringing any medicines containing cannabis or kratom, as these substances are illegal and punishable by severe penalties in China.

The Thai embassy and consulates in China issued a travel advisory on Monday, stating that despite the legalization of cannabis and kratom for medical purposes in Thailand, these substances are still considered as narcotics in China and could result in imprisonment or even death penalty.

The advisory also reminds travelers of China’s strict customs regulations on fresh and frozen plant products, animals, and animal products, and outlines the specific allowances for cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, precious metals, and cash.

The new visa agreement, which took effect on March 1, allows 30-day stays for passport holders from both countries, with a cumulative limit of 90 days within a 180-day period.

The embassy and consulates also urge Thai tourists to ensure their passport validity extends six months beyond their travel dates and to secure travel insurance. They also advise travelers to prepare for China’s shift towards mobile banking, which means many outlets do not accept cash, and to use mobile roaming from Thai providers to access the internet, as China has restrictions on some websites and apps6. The use of VPNs is also cautioned against due to legal concerns.

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