May 10 2012
Want to avoid the notoriously painful process of obtaining a Thai tourist visa in places like Vientiane, Penang, or Phnom Penh? If Bali is on your itinerary, obtaining the visa here is akin to gearing up for a long, dull day of school only to be let out of class after just 10 minutes of easy work. Fast, simple, painless — applying for a visa in Bali is a breeze.
The honorary Thai consulate is located in the heart of Denpasar on Jalan Puputan Niti Mandala Raya. You can go by taxi, but it’s fairly straightforward to find if you’ve got your own wheels. It’s located just east of the intersection where the road becomes one-way heading west, a short drive east of the Japanese consulate. If heading west the consulate will be on your left, and if you pass the Gerbang Utara Banjar Santy monument while going east you’ve gone about a kilometre too far. The US embassy is also just around the corner.
Visa applications are accepted from 09:00 to 12:00 Monday through Friday, except on Thai and Indonesian public holidays. Processing time is three business days including the days you apply and pick up, so if applying on Monday morning you should be able to pick up on Wednesday. Like other Thai consulates pick up is only possible between 13:30 and 16:00. The Bali consulate only processes single entry 60-day tourist visas, which may be extended by 30 days in Thailand.
The consulate itself feels like a regular house — there were a few empty wine bottles on the porch when we visited — and the only staff we saw was one lone guy wearing a T-shirt and jeans. No numbered tickets, no waiting areas, no glassed-in official booths, and most importantly, no queues whatsoever. After a polite greeting we were given a comfy seat at a desk in the “living room” area to fill out the visa application while our consulate “official” went about his business in another room.
Although the process is fast and painless, they are sticklers for the correct documentation in Bali. You’ll need a passport with at least six months’ validity, a photocopy of the passport, three four by six centimetre head shot photos, US$40 in cash (no Indonesian, Thai or any other currency is accepted and it must be in exact change), and proof of travel both in and out of Thailand (air itineraries are the standard). The last bit is important; a clearly marked sign outside the consulate says in bold letters that “it is not possible to grant visas if no proofs of travel are submitted”.
Bali is a fabulous place and should be near the top of your destination priority list no matter what your plans are, but if heading to Thailand at some point afterwards, you won’t find a better place to take care of that tourist visa than this.
Royal Thai Consulate
Jalan Puputan Niti Mandala Raya
T: (0361) 249461
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