Arrive: Bangkok 2/11/09 (arrive 19:40)
Depart: 5/11/09 night train Chiang Mai
Arrive: Chiang Mai 6/11/09
Depart: 13/11/09 (Heading for Laos Border)
Arrive: 13/11/09 Huray Xai (Laos)
Depart 14/11/09 (Boat Trip, 2 days on slow boat)
Arrive: Luang Prabang 16/11/09 (Arrive at night)
Depart: 18/11/09 (Heading for Vientiane )
Arrive: 18/11/09 Vientiane
Depart: Vientiane 21/11/09 (Heading for Savannakhet )
Arrive: Savannakhet 21/11/09
Depart: Savannakhet 23/11/09 (Heading for Pakse )(Coach cost £3- 5.5 hours journey)
Arrive Pakse 23/11/09 (Arrive early to arrange coach ticket)
Depart Pakse 24/11/09 (Heading for 4000 Islands, Don Dhet goes via Nakasang, takes 3.00 hours and costs £7.00)
Arrive: Don Dhet 24/11/09
Depart: Don Dhet 03/12/09 (Heading for Phnom Penh Cambodia)(Cost $26 - unknown journey time)
Arrive: Phnom Penh 04/12/09
Depart: Phnom Penh 07/12/09 (Heading for Sihanoukville ) (Coach £4 takes 4 hours)
Arrive: Sihanoukville 07/12/09
Depart: Sihanoukville 16/12/09 (Heading for Bangkok Thailand)(cost $30 – journey time 16 hours)
Arrive: Bangkok 17/12/09
Depart: Bangkok 18/12/09 (Heading for Christmas on Phi Phi)( 750 Bhat – 15 hour journey time)
Arrive: Koh Phi Phi 20/12/09 (have to make this trip have reservation booked)
Depart: Koh Phi Phi 28/12/09 (Heading for the new years eve full moon party on Ko Phan Ngan)
Arrive: Ko Phan Ngan 29/12/09
Depart: Ko Phan Ngan 07/01/10
We still have 20 days left before flying out of Bangkok to Perth any recommendations on what we can do?
#1 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
if you aren't already locked into particular flights or train reservations, then i'd take the 20 days you mention and just stretch out the itinerary you already have in place. you've packed in quite a bit, and will be spending a fair amount of time just getting from place to place. if you can stretch the itinerary for those additional three weeks, i think you'll be much happier and have time to really enjoy the places you plan to visit.
a few specific ideas might be to spend an extra few days in the chiang mai area. you could add an overnight trip to chiang dao or a day trip to lamphun, for example.
i would also add a few extra days in luang prabang. very worth the time. most folks really like it there.
since you'll be so close anyway, perhaps you'd also like to detour to siem reap and visit angkor wat. it's awesome!
you might also consider a day trip through ayutthaya on your way to chiang mai via the night train, and also a side trip to kanchanaburi on one of your swings through bangkok.
others will no doubt have additional suggestions, but my main comment to you is to slow it down and enjoy more of what you came to see.
hope that helps. cheers.
Hi and thanks for the feedback,
I have slowed things down, Id like to take in as much as possible, the only restitutions I have is to be in phi phi by the 19th/ 20th December as we have a reservation booked, we have 30 days in Laos and therefore what we add on comes off Cambodia time,
you mention Angkor Wat, but what is the attraction? I would love to see the old temples and what not, but it costs a lot and were on a tight schedule, threes always next time, this wont be the last trip to the area only the first, maybe we will go there but it depends on money right now and the people im traveling with are on a tight budget, id love to spend 6 months in each country, but its a descion we need to make,
maybe you could send us some links and I could encourage them to visit and spend more time?
Thanks for your input.
#3 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
I would really like to thank you though for you time to reply, no disrespect intended. And I will research toughs places you mentioned.
#4 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
"you mention Angkor Wat, but what is the attraction?"
Angkor Wat is, arguably, the most important archeological/historical/architectural/religious site in all of Southeast Asia (maybe alongside Bagan in Burma) and perhaps the world. If, like you say, you like to see old temples, then you will not find a better bunch of old temples to check out. Most definitely worth shaving a day off of PP and a few days from Sihanoukville to see.
If you don't want to see Angkhor Wat, how about skipping Cambodia altogether then? What is it that attracts you particularly to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville?
By not going to Cambodia at all this time you'd avoid the visa fees and it would free up time for elsewhere.
You could head across the Chong Mek/Vang Tao border to Thailand instead.
Just a thought.
no worries at all. it is your trip and your money. glad to offer suggestions in case they are useful.
SBE made an excellent suggestion on perhaps skipping Cambodia. maybe you could go directly from Laos back into Thailand. that way you can slow down the pace of the first leg of the trip and still make your reservations on Phi Phi by December 19th.
then, with those 20 days you have left at the end, you can pop back over to Cambodia and see Angkor Wat and the other places you mentioned. Tilapia is exactly correct that Angkor is a seriously significant site in southeast Asia and definitely worth the time, effort, and money. it may cost quite a few dollars compared to other places, but it is still excellent value for that money.
one other issue to play for is visas and how many days you'll get coming back into Thailand by land. unless it has changed again, it is down to 15 days now, which means you'll need to plan accordingly.
does any of that make sense or is it as clear as mud?
Ah, yes. I forgot about those stupid new overland visa regulations exacto!
Lozza, you detail transport costs but haven't mentioned visa fees so I'm not sure how up on the visa regulations you are. Basically if you fly into Thailand you get a free 30 day entry stamp. If you enter Thailand overland you only get 15 days and then you have to leave the country.
One way round that is to get a proper tourist visa which is valid 60 days. In normal times you have to pay for this but since Spring the Thai govt has been giving them out free because of the slump in tourism. AFAIK this is still the case now and will be when you are there but you should check this.
There's been a bit of debate how easy it is to get these free visas ...consulates closing because they aren't getting any $$ any more or something. There have been some posts on TF (and the Thorntree) about it if you do a search. There's also a forum called Thai Visa which usually has detailed info on this sort of thing.
I'm not very up on the latest situation in Vientiane but it might be worth trying to get a proper tourist visa (for free) from the Thai consulate there before you head south if you do decide to skip Cambodia. That would give you 60 days to play with in Thailand.
Just a couple of small points.
I also think a short side trip from Chiang Mai to somewhere like Chiang Dao may be good; though maybe your time in CM includes things like that.
Your slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang takes 2 days and one night. So, if you leave Huay Xai on 14th, you will arrive Luang Prabang on the 15th - not the 16th. Gives you an extra night in LP.
I actually find it rather refreshing that neither Vang Vieng nor Siem Reap are on your itinerary. Many itineraries seen recently include Angkor in a huge rush from either Thailand or Vietnam. I haven't been to Angkor yet (I do plan to get there in January) and I'm sure its a wonderful place..but, I at risk of sounding like a philistine, I doubt that for me it will be a highlight of the region. I have been to other great sites around the world and sometimes have found them underwhelming. The main reason for this is just the huge mass of tourists that descend on such places, plus perhaps the too high expectations. We will see when it comes to Angkor, as I do plan to go.....but, I confess, that if I was short of time, or had other interests, I'd be happy skipping it.
Thanks for all the feedback;
were in Thailand for a total of 87 days, could we get the free 60 day visa, enter the country with the 30 day visa you get at the airport?, total 90 days? or would they see the 60 day visa and stamp us in on that?, Im just wondering if there are other options rather than spending the £100 for a non-immigrant type O visa,
Skip Cambodia altogether?
Not an option, we have friends arriving in Sihanoukville from Vietnam and were planning to go down to the Thai Islands together.
What is it that attracts you particularly to Phnom Penh?
We have no attraction, However going from Don Dhet to Sihanoukville would be a long, long coach journey (not even sure if possible) so were splitting the trip with a few days in the capital?, soak up the atmosphere and relax with a few beers,
We have a couple of trips in mind, Natural Elephant Park and Tiger Kingdom, I will do some research on Chiang Dao and can add a day or 2 there taking away from Chiang Mai.
We were thinking of heading from Sihanoukville to trat spending a few days on ko Kut and ko Chang by reducing the time in Sihanoukville, however after reading the forum, I decided against it as the whole trip would turn into one long bus journey and IMO would ruin are trip.
I think ive answered all the questions put to me after I upset the majority of people here for not going to Angkor Wat, If Ive missed any questions please repost and I will reply.
#10 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
"Im just wondering if there are other options rather than spending the £100 for a non-immigrant type O visa,"
huh???? A non-immirant O visa for people staying long term. You also need to deposit a large sum of money in a Thai bank (800,000 baht) and I think you need someone in Thailand to vouch for you! Sorry, I thought you were just an ordinary tourist? Why is the concept of a tourist visa not appealing to you?
Hard to advise because I am not sure what you're interests are. If it were most of my friends they would want to hang out somewhere, get drunk and chase women. I don't get the feeling you want to do that, but I also don't understand what you do want to do.
i have the application for the type O, in the UK we just need to sign a declartion (Self-Certification Guarantee Form) confirming we have enough money to live on,
the form quotes;
"I herby confirm that I have sufficient funds to meet all reasonable expenses during my stay in Thailand including, if necessary, the cost of repatriation to the country of which I am a citizen"
I asked on the Thai visa forum and was advised to get the type O visa??
I have no problem with the free 60 day visa, I will do more research into this.
#13 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
Soory, hit the send button too soon.
If you want to get a Thai visa in your passport prior to leaving on your trip, this is also possible ...just go to the nearest Thai embassy in your home country. I haven't tried to get one of the free visas but usually you have to put your passport in in the morning,pay the fee and collect your passport w/visa the following afternoon. ie you need to go to the consulate twice....which costs me over 40 euros in transport costs, even before I've paid for the visa. I don't know where you live in the UK so I don't know how convenient that would be. Maybe they do a postal service too... phone and ask if necessary. It's usually easy and also cheaper to get a tourist visa in SE Asia because the visas cost less there and you're usually in a capital city for a couple of days at some point during your travels.
You can ask immigration to give you a free stamp and not to stamp your 2 month visa when you enter the country(I've done it a couple of times) but I don't know if they will comply at the moment, seeing as the visa is free at anyway.
Lol at getting drunk and chasing women, we can do that here in the UK :-),
The trip is to relax, get away from the UK its cold, dark and rainy winters,
Ive been working for the last 10 years and after a bitter break up with the Mrs I nearly married. the plan is just to experence a different kind of life, see how others live and gain a different perspective on life, get away and chill, eat differnt foods see some amazing sights, enjoy life.
#16 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
What are my options? I asked on the Thai Visa forum heres the link to my post
I was advised to get the type O visa - Ive printed the application form off,filled it out and is ready to send.
would I get refused entry if I were to enter thailand on a free 30 day airport visa, even though my outbound flight is not within the 30 days, we are staying for 87 days in total.
I would rather not pay the £100 for the type O visa, but if we have to then I will.
#17 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
I don't think there's a need to get a 60 days Thai tourist visa since you're not going to be in Thailand longer than any continuous 30 days period.
Why not just get the 30 day visa free exemption stamp and if you fly back into Thailand with Air Asia's cheap flights from Phnom Penh to BKK, you'll receive a new 30 day free visa exemption stamp. (Or flying back into Thailand on any flight.)
Looks like you've already set aside 6 days for Chiang Mai area.
But you could substitute trekking in the Vieng Poukha, L. Namtha, Maung Sing/Long areas instead of northern Thailand.
Since you've got an extra 20 days, why not head overland from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang instead of the 2 day slow-boat and spend a week or so en route to LP. There's some beautiful areas north of LP such as the more scenic boat journey along the Nam Ou River.
I know the new 'PC' is to bypass Vang Vieng but it too is a really beautiful area and you can stay at places north of the packer's zone for some peace and tranquility and still enjoy the area minus the token/toking crowd.
Also, since you're got extra time and for more appreciation of Lao countryside, visit Thong Lo Cave east of Vieng Kham in Khoummuane Province (between Vientiane and Savanakhet).
Other worthwhile destinations in southern Laos besides Don Khon/Det are the Bolavens and Champasak/Wat Phu before 4,000 Isles.
And you mentioned that you think Angkor is expensive but when you consider a 3 day pass is only U$40 it's really not bad at all. Would be a shame to be in Cambodia and not visit the premier archaeological site in SEA.
#18 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136
minus the token/toking crowd? seagypsy what do you mean by this?
#19 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
Sorry, it's a pun on smoking pot; to toke a joint. But that doesn't mean I'm advocating this; which I'm not. Nothing wrong with smoking at home to your heart's content but as a guest in another country, not such a wise thing to do since it'a a bad influence on Lao youth. Plus, you're open to being relieved in a nasty way of your financial reserves, ie, a nasty fine or go to jail card.
#20 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136
Thats definitely not my scene - seen too many of my friends go down that road and have seen where it leads.
Thanks for your post, very informative, will definitely check out the places you mentioned an were make some decisions,
#21 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
lozza--I only meant toking it as a joke and my post is not directed at you personally. It's just that Vang Vieng has had a reputation for drugs since even before I first visited back in 2001 and that's why it's become party central for the young packer crowd. Despite this, again, it is a very beautiful area so worth a visit and easy to avoid the scene by staying north of town.
#22 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136
I know you were not pointing at me but commenting in general, thought all that was dead in Lao because of the law and prison for just getting caught with it, interested in how can so many people get away with it,
Vang Vieng was on the itinerary to begin with for the tubing, after reading many blogs, it seems everyone who goes there is just going for the booze, and as you mentioned the smoke and most likely the opium, dont get me wrong, I don’t mind drinking a few but I don’t want to be influenced by the drugs and if I wanted the booze scene I could go to Spain,
Im worried about missing the reservation on Phi Phi for Christmas and sloasing 7200 for the 8 days.
Its gonna be amazing, I cant wait to leave, working for one of the UK’S leading banks sucks, everyday my mind is drifting and can wait to experience Asia.
#23 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
Well it doesn't get any easier the closer you get to departure date! ;~))
BTW, I didn't quite understand:
"Im worried about missing the reservation on Phi Phi for Christmas and sloasing 7200 for the 8 days."
Anyways, gotta run but will check back laters.
#24 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136
BTW, I didn't quite understand:
"Im worried about missing the reservation on Phi Phi for Christmas and sloasing 7200 for the 8 days."
Ive reserved the booking on my credit card, if we dont arrive ill be charged 7200 Bht,
I have the money to pay, however the credit card is for emergencies and I so wanna me on that Island for Christmas,
#25 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
OK Lozza I read the thread on thai visa. I was unaware that the non-imm O visa was a way round doing a visa run but even if it is possible it is not an economic way to do it and you are on a budget. It would be more expensive than a tourist visa + 30 day extension in Thailand even if you had to pay for the tourist visa (which you don't)
Loong said this:
"Unless the OP is planning some excursions into neighbouring countries, a non immigrant "O" is easy to get and they will get 90 days in Thailand, enough for the length of their stay without the need to go to immigration for the 30 day extension with the tourist visa."
Read the first bit again....I thought you WERE planning some excursions? Aren't you going to Laos and Cambodia any more? Loong obviously thinks you want to spent 90 days in Thailand without leaving the country. And to add to the confusion you thanked them for helping you avoid doing a visa run.
I don't think you made it very clear at all that you were doing some travelling outside the country as well.
I may be wrong, but I get the impression that you don't realize that once you exit Thailand, your (single entry) O visa would be null and void. You can't go to Laos and Cambodia and then use it to get back in again and use up the rest of the 90 days.
I would tear up the 100 quid O visa application form.
A 60 day tourist visa costs nothing at the moment. Why not apply for that at the Hull consulate anyway? If you have a visa in your passport it will save any hassle with the airline not letting you board your flight in the UK.
When you get to BKK you can ask the immigration official not to stamp the 60 day tourist visa because you are leaving in a few days to go to Laos and Cambodia and coming back to Thailand later. Ask if they can give you the free 30 day stamp instead as you will only be in Thailand a few days now. As I said this usually works OK. If it doesn't then you haven't lost any money and you can always get another tourist visa in Vientiane or Phnom Pehn.
By my calculations you will be in Thailand more than 30 days at the end of your trip so you will need to have a 60 day visa.
That post was written in May 09 when the plan was to stay in Thailand for the whole trip, and the free visa was not available;
Since then the plans have changed and so has the leaving date, the flights are booked now, and were leaving Bangkok 25-01-10,
Im gonna have to call the consulate, which I didnt want to do, but things have changed and it looks like I have to now!
A; Worried about getting refused entry to Thailand with a 30 day visa. Due to not having a departing flight within 30 days.
B:if we enter with a 60 day visa, would they let us enter Thailand even though were staying for 87 days?
I just want a stress free time no visa issues, no worrying over visa runs, which looks like I have to do at cost!!
The O visa allows re-entries at no extra cost £100 for the complete 90 days with unlimited entries so I read, but I could be wrong,
I will call the Thai Embassy Monday , let them know my plans and get some advice on what to do,
Has anyone entered Thailand for more time that the visa allows? What did you have to do? Onward flight/ coach tickets confirming you were leaving?
Now you got me worried!!
#27 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
A. You problem is going to be with the airlines not Thai immigration who rarely (if ever) ask to see an onward flight ticket when you arrive.
Many airlines will not let you board a flight without showing them either a proper visa or an onward flight ticket out of Thailand within 30 days.
Step 1.You enter and get a free 30 day stamp. You don't touch the free 60 day visa yet.
Step 2.After a week you leave Thailand and go to Laos and Cambodia.
Step 3. You re-enter Thailand and get the 60 visa stamped on entry which activates it.
Sorry, I don't get where the problem is. What is it you don't understand?
easy as that?
apply for the 60 day here in the UK, arrive in Bangkok get a free 30 day, they stemp me in for 30 days? leave Thailand within those days, Laos and cambodia arrive back in thailand stamp my 60 day visa and get that extended for 30 day?
what about imaration on arrival? do I need to prove im leaving the country? do i need an onward ticket?
what about boarding the flight here in the UK?
if this is the case it saves me £100/5600 Baht
Ill call the thail embassy and confirm this on Monday, I dont want any problems.
does it not matter i will not have a flight out within 30 days?
#30 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
if that is the case you just saved me £100 what a complete legend you are. ill call and confirm but if this is the case I owe you big time mate..
#31 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
PPS Re O visa...I just assumed it was a single entry. I've only had personal experience with tourist and non-immB visas. It may well be multiple entry at that price! But why are you even considering it when you can do the same thing for free? You're only re-entering Thailand once according to your itinerary.
Jeeze I wish Somtam would give us PMs... ;-)
Yes it is that easy. Thai immigration stamp everyone in for 30 days without blinking an eyelid or asking to see an onward flight. (Well, unless they change current procedures radically) Theoretically they can do this but they never bother.
Not quite sure why you need to extend the 60 day visa? I haven't counted all the days after Cambo but it doesn't look like over 60 to me?
If you do then you go to immigration, fill in a form, pay 1900B and that gives you a further 30 days on your tourist visa.
You can buy me a beer if I bump into you.... big chang, 37B at the nearest 7/11. ;-)
I have sent the Thail embassy an email and will follow it up with a call on Monday just to confirm details, if you've saved me £100 then a beer for 37B is not enough..ill buy you beers for the night :) hopefully your right and ill be laughing :)
P.S even an edit button would be good. love this site and the ppl on it, thanks so much.
#34 lozza1978 has been a member since 24/6/2009. Posts: 32
SBE's idea about getting a 60 day tourist visa prior to Thailand arrival is excellent since since it is currently free. And if Thai immigration grants you the standard free 30 day visa exemption stamp, then you should be all set. The main thing is to double check with your airlines as to whether they will deny you boarding IF you don't have a flight out-country within the first 30 days.
I've never encountered this problem in well over a decade and a half of flying into Thailand. And I've used multiple international airlines between California and Bangkok. Maybe Europe is tougher. In fact, it was only this last month that I learned about this 30 day forward flight restriction and can't believe that I've been ignoring the law all these years. I frequently enter Thailand with plans to stay in SEA for 6 months and haven't even been questioned once. But then again, I've never stayed in Thailand beyond the 30 day visa exemption rule either since I'm usually in neighboring countries.
So it's smart to check both with your airline carrier and with Thai immigration, but airline first since they're likely the ones deciding boarding procedures whereas Thai embassy/consulate will go by the book.
BTW, since you're pressed for time to meet your friends in Sihanoukville and also for your Phi Phi Island reservations, the instead of visiting Chiang Mai at the beginning then head to Laos first OR head to Chiang Mai but cut down the amount of days to spend more time in Laos first since you'll have left over days after Ko Phi Phi to spend your remaining days in Thailand. And if you've got an extra week at the end, you could even do an incredible trip into northern Myanmar via north of Chiang Mai area and you don't even need to get a Burmese visa in advance for this area. Just one week to execute this trip.
OR, save Laos until after you're done with your Ko Phi Phi /islands trip and with even 3 weeks, you'll still get a good taste of Laos. I know, I know, more options to drive you CRAZY!
PS--you could still visit the gulf islands/Phangan at the beginning of your trip since weather-wise, it'll be better in early Nov. than late Dec./early January.
#35 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136
When I fly to Thailand from Europe I usually have a one way ticket. Airlines always ask me to show them either a tourist visa in my passport (not yet stamped of course) or an onward ticket. They are quite strict about it.
Never had a problem with airlines flying from an ASEAN country into Thailand though.
Back to the itinerary.
"Skip Cambodia altogether?
Not an option, we have friends arriving in Sihanoukville from Vietnam and were planning to go down to the Thai Islands together."
You COULD hook up with them in the town of Trat instead you know, before you all head off to Ko Chang and the other Thai islands. It would save you having to rush through Cambo just to meet up with them.
It's amazing that I only learned about the 'flight forward' rule this past month. Someone who works in the airline industry on another forum indicated that I must have a pretty good profile since I've never been stopped at check-in and asked about a forward flight within 30 days of Thai arrival. Or is this a more recent restriction that's been imposed within the last several years.
And as you posted above, I also fly into Thailand from neighboring countries multiple times per year too and have never been asked.
#37 seagypsy has been a member since 5/2/2009. Posts: 136
Seagypsy... it could depend on the airlines. I've been using Etihad these last 2-3 years and they are strict. Prior to that I think I got on without being asked for anything on different airlines.
"Lol at getting drunk and chasing women, we can do that here in the UK :-)"
Trust me on this - chasing women in Thailand and chasing women in the UK isn't even similar. I am not talking leagues apart here, I mean it's not even the same sport.