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Thailand forum

Thailand Options

Posted by jcs92 on 30/5/2013 at 12:04

Hi,
I will be travelling around SE Asia and wasting my 30 day Thai exemption visa (UK) by going straight to Cambodia after a few days in Bangkok before heading further on the loop through Vietnam and Laos.
As I am not exploring Thailand before leaving for Cambodia, I will want to do that at the end for 3 weeks. 2 weeks in the south: beaches, islands etc... and 1 week in Chang Mai before back to Bangkok for flight home.
The problem is the visa as coming from Laos by land gives you only 15 days and I would need to try and get a 7 day extension from an immigration office(?) or pay a lot more to fly from Vientiane or where ever to Bangkok/Phuket to get a 30 day visa again.
What is the cheapest or best option? Or are there any other solutions to my predicament?

#1 jcs92 has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 9

Posted by exacto on 30/5/2013 at 18:28

Hi jcs,

I can think of several options. First, adjust your itinerary to take full advantage of the initial 30-day visa exemption. If that doesn't work for you, fly from Laos back into Thailand. Besides the Vientiane to Bangkok route, you could also fly from Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai . As you know, you should get another 30-day exemption arriving by air. Given your plans, maybe the Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai flight will be your best option, and just do your week in Chiang Mai before heading south to the Thai beaches. You could also always apply for a 60-day tourist visa at any Thai Embassy or Consulate along your route.

Getting an extension isn't as much work as you might think, and is pretty easy to do at most immigration offices. The cost used to be something like 1,900 baht for the additional 7 days, but I don't know if that is available for the 15-day exemption. Finally, you could always just overstay your visa and pay the fine as you depart, but I wouldn't recommend that, since there is a risk of being discovered during those seven days. I hope that helps. Regards.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,631
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Posted by jcs92 on 31/5/2013 at 03:30

Thanks.

I also saw getting a Thai visa in Laos for fairly cheap is also an option for the 2nd visit?

#3 jcs92 has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 9

Posted by SBE on 31/5/2013 at 03:36

You could also buy a proper Thai tourist visa before leaving home.

If you don't have a flight out of Thailand within 30 days (are you planning on flying to Cambodia from Bangkok?) or a visa in your passport, your airline from your home country could refuse to let you board the plane.

A Thai tourist visa can be used any time within 90 days. Just ask Thai immigration not to stamp it when you arrive in Bangkok and explain you're leaving for Cambodia in a few days and want to use it afterwards.

#4 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,003
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Posted by jcs92 on 31/5/2013 at 04:11

I am doing a tour of cambodia, is a booked tour proof?

#5 jcs92 has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 9

Posted by SBE on 31/5/2013 at 04:20

I doubt it, but ask the airline.

#6 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,003
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Posted by jcs92 on 31/5/2013 at 06:52

And with a visa you don't need proof?

#7 jcs92 has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 9

Posted by Xircal on 31/5/2013 at 08:17

Get a Thai tourist visa with two entries. You'll use the first one when you arrive in BKK regardless of how long you stay initially. There's no avoiding that, but the second entry will remain valid regardless of whether you re-enter Thailand via a land border or by air.

You can download the application form from here: http://www.thailand-visa.com/ModShow/ShowPage/30763

#8 Xircal has been a member since 24/12/2012. Posts: 95

Posted by SBE on 31/5/2013 at 11:27

And with a visa you don't need proof?

A visa in your passport is proof that you won't be refused entry into Thailand. That's all the air companies care about. From what I understand it's just a question of money as far as they're concerned. They don't want to have to repatriate you at their expense and/or pay a fine. Some airlines I've used aren't too keen on accepting an onward flight ticket as proof you'll be leaving Thailand within 30 days (especially if it's an Air Asia ticket and your destination is Phnom Penh) but with a proper tourist visa stuck in your passport it's always just fine.


You'll use the first one when you arrive in BKK regardless of how long you stay initially. There's no avoiding that

But you can avoid it! Just ask the immigration person not to stamp the tourist visa and to give you a 30 day stamp instead. It might be slightly unusual but it's perfectly legal. I've done it loads of times and they hardly bat an eyelid, especially if you've got some proof you'll really be leaving the country within 30 days. The OP has this "proof" in the form of a prebooked tour in Cambodia so I don't think there'll be any problem ...as long as you remember to speak up before the immigration officer automatically stamps your visa Jcs!

#9 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,003
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Posted by Xircal on 31/5/2013 at 15:07

@ SBE,

You're quibbling about 25 Quid.

Up the the OP of course, but it's a bit risky as to what happens when you go through Thai immigration if you've only got a single entry visa. Not all officers are quite as accommodating as you might think and you only need to get a surly type and that's your visa gone up the spout.

For the amount of money involved, I wouldn't risk it personally.

#10 Xircal has been a member since 24/12/2012. Posts: 95

Posted by exacto on 31/5/2013 at 16:47

As long as we all agree there is no milk at all in Thailand, jcs will be just fine... (smile)

If the visa is gone up the spout, then you just get a new one in Phnom Penh or Vientiane. It is not expensive, and after all, who wants to quibble about 25 quid?

#11 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,631
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Posted by SBE on 1/6/2013 at 04:29

@Xircal.


Do you always accuse people of "quibbling" if they dare to disagree with what you say?

Jcs has mentioned costs several times and specifically asked what the cheapest option was. Throwing away 25 quid when it's totally unnecessary may not matter to you but it does matter to some people. And as exacto pointed out, there is no extra "risk"!

#12 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,003
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Posted by DLuek on 1/6/2013 at 05:52 TF writer

And with a visa you don't need proof?

A visa in your passport is proof that you won't be refused entry into Thailand. That's all the air companies care about.

I actually have been asked to show proof of onward travel even with a visa. That was with a one-way ticket. In the three times I've flown with a roundtrip ticket I've never been asked to show proof of onward travel, even if the return date was several months after the 30 day limit. But the last time I flew roundtrip was a few years ago so maybe things have changed, or maybe I was just lucky back then.

Unless I lived close to a Thai embassy in my home country and could pick up a visa easily before leaving, I'd probably just deal with it later... I'd do as SBE says and ask immigration officer to stamp in for 30 days to save the visa, and if that didn't work, just pick up a single entry down the road in PP or Vientiane. But it's up to you... You've got a few options.

#13 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by Xircal on 1/6/2013 at 06:09

@ exacto,

Yes, I suppose the OP could get another visa in either of the two places you mentioned albeit with all the rigmarole of having to submit the requisite documentation, passport photos etc., and then having to wait a couple more days before he gets his passport back.

@ jcs92,

If you re-enter Thailand via a land border and without valid (tourist) visa, you get 15 days exemption instead of the normal 30 days. This was a measure introduced about five years ago by Thai immigration to curb the number of long term expats using the option to hop over a land border in order to get another 30 days stay in Thailand without the need to obtain a non-immigrant O-A visa.

It should be made clear to you though that because it's an exemption and not a visa, you can't obtain another 7 days grace by going to an immigration office.

#14 Xircal has been a member since 24/12/2012. Posts: 95

Posted by DLuek on 1/6/2013 at 08:47 TF writer

I suppose the OP could get another visa

OP doesn't need 2 visas or 1 double entry visa. Unless it's easy to get a visa beforehand in home country, I'd just enter on the 30 day exempt stay then pick up a tourist visa in Vientiane.

It should be made clear to you though that because it's an exemption and not a visa, you can't obtain another 7 days grace by going to an immigration office.

Not sure exactly what you mean by "grace", but visa exempt stays, whether 15 or 30 days, can be extended by 7 days at immigration. It costs 1,900 baht.

#15 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by exacto on 1/6/2013 at 13:33

I'm certain that 30-day visa exemptions can be extended for 7 days. My friends (Kiwis) did this on our last visit to Chiang Mai. Easy. I wasn't sure about the 15-day exemption, but if DLuek says the 15-day exemption can also be extended, then I'd bet the cost of airfare that he's right. Cheers.

#16 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,631
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Posted by Arikara1985 on 1/6/2013 at 16:12

All this visa stuff I am reading is making me sorta worried now. I'm going for 35 days via West Jet and South Asia Air. 15 of those days in the middle of the trip will be spent in Cambodia. I plan on traveling via land so I'd get the 15 day exemption for the remainder of the trip. Am I really going to have to go apply for a 60 day visa instead now? Last thing I need is my trip being screwed up before I even leave...

#17 Arikara1985 has been a member since 14/2/2013. Posts: 32

Posted by jcs92 on 1/6/2013 at 18:29

Thanks for the advice everyone.

Will probably just get a single or double entry thai visa here in the UK to save time in Laos with queues...etc and costs will be similar.

#18 jcs92 has been a member since 30/5/2013. Posts: 9

Posted by SBE on 1/6/2013 at 19:20

@ Jcs
I think that's wise.

Much as I respect DLeuk's advice, what he suggested doesn't take into account the possibility that you won't be allowed to board the flight from your home country without a visa or an onward flight ticket.

Personally I wouldn't risk showing up at an airport in Europe with just a ticket to Thailand unless my return flight was within 30 days. Every airline I've used in the past few years has insisted on seeing a visa or an onward flight. Maybe it's different if you're flying from somewhere else like America or Australia? You don't mention what country you're flying from but if you did have problems you'd probably have to buy an air ticket out of Thailand at the airport, just before your flight to Bangkok leaves. It's almost certainly cheaper to buy a tourist visa than a last minute flight. Where I come from a single entry costs 30 euros, probably more than in Vientiane but still cheaper than a 1900B extension (48euros).

A tourist visa would kill 2 birds with one stone... hopefully no problem getting on the plane in your home country and no problem staying 3 weeks in Thailand at the end of your trip.

@Arikara

Different airlines have different rules. In my experience if you're flying to Thailand from Europe and not coming back within 30 days, airlines will almost certainly want to see visas or onward flights. However if you're flying into Thailand from another country in SE Asia they hardly ever do. I didn't need anything but my air ticket when I flew to Bangkok from Sri Lanka a few years ago either. (Air Asia).

I've never used the two companies you mention so I don't know. Best thing to do is contact them and ask what their rules are!






#19 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,003
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Posted by Arikara1985 on 1/6/2013 at 23:00

And I meant I'm taking China Southern Air for Vancouver to Bangkok. Don't know how I mixed that up. Just sent them an e-mail, hopefully get a reply soon.

#20 Arikara1985 has been a member since 14/2/2013. Posts: 32

Posted by Xircal on 2/6/2013 at 03:36

According to this post on Thaivisa.com, it would appear that DLeuk is correct regarding extending a 30 or 15 day exemption by another 7 days: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/523355-extending-a-30-day-stay-stamp-visa-exempt/ albeit at a cost of 1.900 Baht.

However, 1.900 Baht equates to £42 at current FX rates, which makes it £17 more expensive than a single entry tourist visa.

#21 Xircal has been a member since 24/12/2012. Posts: 95

Posted by exacto on 2/6/2013 at 07:32

I certainly hope we aren't quibbling about 17 quid here...

The OP asked for the cheapest, best, and any other options for his visa situation. It's not a competition to get the OP to select your suggestion. It's a forum to present as much information as we can to help them make the best solution. It really helps too when the information is accurate, such as that you can extend a visa-exemption by paying the 1,900 baht fee.

Also keep in mind that lots of folks in addition to the OP read and use these posts to help shape their plans. Everyone is in a different situation with different solutions that will best fit their needs.

#22 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,631
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Posted by DLuek on 2/6/2013 at 10:00 TF writer

However, 1.900 Baht equates to £42 at current FX rates, which makes it £17 more expensive than a single entry tourist visa.

No one suggested the OP use the extension option. I was just clarifying.

Much as I respect DLeuk's advice, what he suggested doesn't take into account the possibility that you won't be allowed to board the flight from your home country without a visa or an onward flight ticket.

True indeed. But you can't argue with my procrastination skills. :)

Anyway jcs already made the decision to get a visa beforehand - always a smart move if you can manage it.

#23 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by MADMAC on 2/6/2013 at 10:44

I think the Thai end isn't the problem either. I think the problem is the European end. Europe is a place where rules are rules and laws are laws.

#24 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by Xircal on 2/6/2013 at 12:49

@ exacto,

Now you're being childish.

I'm not looking for brownie points and whether anyone "chooses my post" is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. I'm just stating the facts, that is to say, a tourist visa works out cheaper than extending a 15 or 30 day exemption period.

Why you would find that statement excoriating is pedantic at best.

#25 Xircal has been a member since 24/12/2012. Posts: 95

Posted by exacto on 2/6/2013 at 17:30

Why you would find that statement excoriating is pedantic at best.

I have to admit, that's an impressive sentence for a non-native speaker of English!

You haven't been around Travelfish for all that long Xircal, but I've noticed that you tend to correct other posters even when they aren't wrong and I've noticed that on more than one occasion you've made statements that just aren't true. I'm also concerned that several of the characterizations you've given about Thailand were true in the past but are no longer the case.

More important, though, is that in this relatively short thread, three long-time posters (that's me, SBE, and DLeuk) felt the need to take issue with what you wrote. That doesn't happen all that often on this forum, so perhaps you want to consider why that is happening.

Having said that, I promise to be more understanding and gentle and friendly towards you in the future. Have a nice day.

#26 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,631
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Posted by SBE on 3/6/2013 at 08:52

God I couldn't promise to be understanding and gentle in the future like you exacto!

Pedantic. Where do I start?

1. I had to look up "excoriating" in a dictionary. I don't think it'll be easy to slip it into a normal conversation but it might come in handy next time I play scrabble.

2. I can't think of many circumstances where it's appropriate to begin sentences with "It should be made clear to you " especially when what follows is a load of BS. Do you always talk like that? I'm trying to imagine what it would be like trying to have a conversation with you over a beer.

3. According to this post on Thaivisa.com, it would appear that DLeuk is correct

Jesuschrist. Of COURSE he's right. Even I know you can get extensions on entry stamps. Getting you to admit you might be mistaken about anything is like pulling teeth isn't it.

4. I'm just stating the facts, that is to say, a tourist visa works out cheaper than extending a 15 or 30 day exemption period.

Why? I stated the exact same thing 2 posts earlier. It's a very minor piece of news, why did you feel it was necessary to reiterate? Maybe you felt nobody would understand unless you converted euros into pounds? Or do you think nothing anyone says is reliable until you (or thaivisa) have OKed it?

I get the impression you rely mostly on stuff you've read on the internet rather than personal experience. If you spout 2nd hand information you're bound to get tripped up by people who know what they're talking about. And on TF they usually aren't doing it because it's a pissing contest. They do it because it's in the best interests of the person asking the question. A newbie reading your pseudo-official-don't-question-what-I-say posts might think you're quoting from official sources.

#27 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,003
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Posted by DLuek on 3/6/2013 at 09:20 TF writer

I hate to quibble about pedantic excoriations, but it's DLuek not DLeuk. Thanks

#28 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 3/6/2013 at 10:48

"You haven't been around Travelfish for all that long Xircal, but I've noticed that you tend to correct other posters even when they aren't wrong and I've noticed that on more than one occasion you've made statements that just aren't true"

Yeah he did it with Nok Air. I had fully checked their website and he was still telling me things that weren't possible online. He's a stubborn creature.

#29 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148

Posted by SBE on 3/6/2013 at 10:53

Oops. I see I'm guilty of mispelling your name in #19 too D. Sorry! Does a foot scrape... sorry, e.x.c.o.r.i.a.t.i.o.n... count as a penance?

#30 SBE has been a member since 14/4/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 2,003
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Posted by MADMAC on 3/6/2013 at 12:02

He's stubborn on the milk too. But he's likeable enough. Let's not run him out of town.

#31 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957


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