Every country has a list of prohibited items for inbound travellers. Besides the obvious items like dangerous drugs, weapons, and anti-terrorism gadgets, there are items that are lesser known but worth taking note of.
Printed matter, films, photographs, loaded recording tapes and video tapes, compact discs (video and audio), storage media for computers and other articles which are detrimental to the political, economic, cultural and moral interests of China.
Books, newspapers, cinematic films, video-films, and audio-visual materials like cultural publications are prohibited from being disseminated or circulated in Vietnam.
Avoid fresh products like fresh fruit, vegetable or meat products.
Products from origin of animals such as birds of prey and reptiles, especially those in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) list.
Animal-based traditional medicine, including bear gall bladders and musk.
Articles which infringe intellectual property rights. Chewing gum and carry-on cigarette packs cannot contain more than 19 sticks.
It is highly illegal to take out or bring into the country pictures or ornaments with the image of Buddha, unless special permission has been granted. Many shop owners will still try to sell you pictures, but they will not tell you about the regulations of taking them home. Also, standing on a Buddha statue to have your photograph taken is one of the most disrespectful things that you can do in Thailand, because you are placing the lowest (the feet) upon the highest (Buddha).
Words by YY Chen