I am currently getting mixed messages about not needing a Thai Tourist Visa if I am planning on staying in the country for less than 30 days, and wondered if somebody in the know could help?
I arrive in Thailand on Aug 21st 2011 and plan to move on to Laos after 3 weeks via the overland crossing at Vientianne. I am yet to book any transportation so have no confirmed outward travel dates. Do I need to present documentation to show I intend to leave the country within 30 days in order to gain entry in the first place?
I have been told that customs on arrival are quite lenient with this from some sources, but I have also been told from others that they will only accept confirmation of an outbound flight as proof of my intentions to leave and that I should pay for a full visa?
Thanks in advance - really not got a clue and don't want to pay £28 for Visa if it's not necessary! If anyone also has links of somewhere online to book transport out of Thailand to Laos (in english!) that would be immense.
#1 gingersmith869 has been a member since 13/6/2011. Posts: 4
Don't worry, no need for a visa, you won't need to show proof of onward travel. (At least I never have in 5 entries to Thailand and I've yet to know of anyone who has).
As far as booking transport from Thailand to Laos, you'll want to wait until you're in the country for that unless you're planning to fly. Busses run across the main border crossings like Nong Khai to Vientiane. Just go to the Thai side of the border, find the bus station and book a ticket then. You can do that the morning of the day you want to go. Otherwise you can book a more expensive ride from a travel agent/tour operator, which you'll see plenty of once in Thailand. These could range from a regular bus to a mini bus to a private car, depending on what you want to pay.
For more specific visa and border crossing info, check out the main "visas and border crossings" forum here on travelfish.
As is commonly mistaken you're problem won't be with Thai Immigration (not letting you in) - more likely it'll be the airline not letting you board the flight to Thailand in the first place. That's the way the books read anyway and it's increasingly being enforced. Must show either a valid visa or proof of online air travel within 30 days. You can risk it or you can comply. Loads of first-hand accounts on travel forums like this testifying both ways. Personally I've been blocked from boarding flights out of Australia and the US based on this policy, until finally after a lot of pleading and explaining (and in one case signing a legal waiver to get the airline off the hook) was allowed to board, but it was a hassle.
Unfortunately there are no cheap flights from Bangkok to Laos.
See http://www.laoairlines.com or
http://www.bangkokair.com (to Luang Prabang) or
http://www.thaiairways.com (to Vientiane)
I would recommend a visa as the easier option. Consider it a £28 convenience fee. The consulate in Hull, UK can issue one by mail very easily http://www.thaiconsul-uk.com/
Thanks guys, really helpful information - though I'm still in two minds! Would be interesting to hear if it is particular airlines? I plan on flying into Bangkok from Delhi with Kingfisher so if you've travelled into Thailand with them, it would be helpful to hear your experiences.
#5 gingersmith869 has been a member since 13/6/2011. Posts: 4