I'm off for a short trip to Thailand and Cambodia and I don't want to waste too much time on transport and/or VISA applications.
The trip is about three weeks in total (24 days i think). I arrive by plane in BKK Dec 17, and have a ticket out on Jan 9, also from BKK. Now when I realised (thanks to this awesome forum) that the new Visa-on-arrival rules just gave you 15 days when arriving overland my plan was sort of messed up.
The original plan was to fly from BKK to Cambodia (PP or Siem Reap ) the same evening we land in BKK and spend a few days in Cambodia before heading overland into Thailand for some serious beach chill on and around Koh Chang.
Problem is, that we'd probably be something like 17-18 days in Thailand. It seems a bit ridiculous to get into much trouble for just a few days...
As I understand, Getting a 7-day extension would be 1900 THB, while paying the fine at the airport would be 1500 THB for three days?
Now, has anybody had to pay a fine for overstay when leaving Thailand? What was that experience like? Big problem, or just a quick pay and be done with it?
Any other suggestions regarding our trip is very, very welcome.
(I've got very mixed feelings over Sihanoukville. Should we plan a stop there? Would it be a good place to chill out for a few days? Or should we place all our beach cards in Koh Chang & Ko Mak?)
#1 kristoffer_zaar has been a member since 12/11/2010. Posts: 12
you could always adjust your plans a bit to accommodate the 15-day overland arrival visa exemption silliness. for example, hang out in bangkok or ayutthaya or something for a day or two before heading to cambodia. ayutthaya is a good warm up for angkor wat. or you could reverse your means of travel by going overland to cambodia and then flying back to thailand. that way you'd get another 30 days on arrival and not have to worry about visa stuff at all. or you could make that few days detour to snookyville on your way to ko chang/ko maak and reduce your overstay that way.
anyway, to answer your question, i overstayed one time by one day and just paid the fine at the airport no questions asked and thanks for the cash. i've never heard of anyone having a problem simply paying the fine at the airport with just a few days overstay and it shouldn't be a problem for you either. good luck.
Yup, I've had to pay it :)
Several years back while leaving Thailand into Cambodia I was two days over-stayed.
I recall the Thai immigration official asking why I over-stayed, and me saying something like, "I don't really know, sorry about that", and then he told me to pay 1000 baht, which I did, and then left the country. Wasn't a big deal.
I would adjust your itinerary slightly so that you will only be back in Thailand 15 days. Sure it's no biggie overstaying when you finally depart, get an overstay stamp and pay the 500/day fine (incidentally, overstay only one day the fine is waived if departing by air). But if for any reason authorities should check your passport those last few days you risk being sent to a detention center (jail) and forced to pay a heavy fine, which would kind of suck. It's a low-chance yet high-consequence risk better to avoid.
Thanks for the replies.
Captain_Bob is right. There's a big unncessesary risk.
I also realised that my insurance wouldn't cover me during the days i'm in the country illegally.
So I'll be sure to do this in a perfectly safe and legal way.
Anybody knows if it's possible to get a 7 day extension in Trat? Or could you pay for it directly at the immigration by the border?
#5 kristoffer_zaar has been a member since 12/11/2010. Posts: 12
Another question, while I'm at it :)
Does anybody see any problem at all with applying for a visa in Phnom Penh? The only thing I won't be able to provide is the exact date I will be travelling into Thailand.
#6 kristoffer_zaar has been a member since 12/11/2010. Posts: 12
I don't see a problem with that. The visa would be 3-months anyway (unless things have changed in the last year or so), so given your time schedule doesn't sound like the start date will matter all that much.
Yes, getting a proper Thai tourist visa would be the other valid solution. Takes two days at the Thai embassy and is valid for up to 3 months so you don't need to know exactly which day you'll be using it, although the application form requires a date (the next day will do). Just bureaucratic fluf. Gets you a 60-day entry too (call the boss back home and say "I quit") hehe
Captain_Bob: Thanks! Does it take two full days (pick up the third day), or is it possible to apply in the morning and pick it up the next afternoon?
#9 kristoffer_zaar has been a member since 12/11/2010. Posts: 12
Excellent, thank you :)
#11 kristoffer_zaar has been a member since 12/11/2010. Posts: 12
Thought I'd just add to this thread rather than starting a new one ... I've just heard that the irresponsible brother of a friend is staying in Thailand without a visa (as in, it ran out a while ago). Does anyone know if there's anything he can do to get back on track i.e. go to the Embassy and pay a fine? Or are the chances of jail high?
I'm no expert on this but as was said earlier in the thread if he's stopped and asked for his passport he WILL be taken to a very uncomfortable detention centre and the bureaucracy means he could be stuck there for days or weeks.I know a few people living in Thailand and Cambodia without visas and even one without a passport and they have been there for years.What I'm trying to say is the chances of being stopped are small.Nevertheless, at some time he has to get out. If he makes it to the airport he'll have to pay the fine but I think there's a maximum on this.Perhaps someone can help on this. Just make sure he has the money to pay then he should have no problem.That's my take on it but hopefully someone who has been through this process can help further.It might also be worth consulting a Thai lawyer for advise.
I say just reverse your plans. What i would do is spend longer in Cambodia as the beaches cant be kinda dull and expensive after a while. Cambodia, is fun, dirty and exhausting :)
However, i understand people don't want the same as me, so would suggest Cambodia towards the end of your trip or stay in Thailand a few more days and check out Kanchanaburi and/or something else. But, most importantly, don't panic :)