I am travelling with a friend. We crossed the border from Loas into Thailand overland, and we noticed that we only have a visa for 15 days until the end of November. We are not flying out of Bangkok until 15 December, and therefore need to extend the visa somehow. We have been told that we cannot get a visa in Thailand, and that the Immigration office will only extend it by 7 days. Our hotel has told us that since we will be in Ko Tao/Ko Phangan when our visa expires, we can take a day trip to Victory Point in Burma and back, get a Visa stamp which will extend our visa for 15 days, and return to the island. Does anyone know anything about this? Is there an easier way to do this from Chiang Mai?
#1 spudman has been a member since 16/11/2011. Posts: 3
From Chiang Mai, it's very easy to do a visa run to Burma. 8 AM you leave CM in a minivan, noon you arrive at the border, get a quick stamp and perhaps do some cheap shopping on the Burma side, 1 PM back on the van, and 5 PM arrive back in Chiang Mai. That is for a 15 day tourist visa. Total cost: Less than 1000 baht. The van is 500-550 depending on whether you buy it direct from AYA transport service or through a guesthouse which collects a commission. I would not recommend the visa extension as it is more expensive(1900 for 7 days) and most likely you will hit a huge queue at immigration.
Your other option is to ignore the visa date and pay 500 baht per day to overstay. If you're short on time but long on money, you won't get thrown in the Bangkok Hilton for it and it will allow you to avoid spending an entire day of your vacation in a minivan.
#2 whardy has been a member since 14/11/2011. Posts: 66
Whardy thanks very much for your very helpful reply. Have got until 15th December but not so long on money unfortunately. The trip to Burma sounds like just what I need but in that case I can't go until the end of November as this will give me 15 more days to my flight home. I plan to be in Ko Tao around this time so do you know if the Burma run is possible from here? Thanks again
#3 spudman has been a member since 16/11/2011. Posts: 3
The visa run from Ko Tao to Ranong is a real pain in the arse, long day and complicated exit/re-entry procedure (much easier from Chiang Mai). However if you're going to be on Ko Tao around Dec-1 that's your only choice in the area exept to overstay and risk detention. You should have grabbed a real tourist visa at the Thai consulate in Vientiane but now you know it's otherwise only 15 days visa exemption by land entry (30 by air) and that can only be extended by 7 days.
Cheers for that CB. I had no idea that the overland visa was only for 15 days. Oh well, I guess the visa run is the only option. Live and learn.
Thanks for the help!
#5 spudman has been a member since 16/11/2011. Posts: 3
I'm always baffled by people's lack of visa knowledge when visiting multiple countries in SEA... This also applies to insurance and medical advice? - "What I didn't know I needed insurance" etc... with all the guidebooks & travel websites around... it's amazing really.