Hi, I did search around a bit first on this to no avail, so please be gentle.
It's substantially cheaper for me to book a flight home from Phuket to Sydney (by hundreds of buckaroos) if I go about a week after my current tourist visa is up.
So I'm thinking of buying the cheap ticket home that falls outside my visa date, then doing an overland run to Penang and back to get the extra time needed to make it.
Can I literally just cross the border and turn around and go back/get stamped in to Thailand for another 15 days without paperwork or payment?
If I'm going to do it this way I'll have my flight home booked prior to leaving, so proof of onward journey at least would be accounted for.
I haven't done an overland border run to Malaysia but I have done visa runs to Myanmar (quite a few times) and Cambodia (once). Unless things have changed quite recently, yes, you just turn round and go back into Thailand again.
I can't quite grasp why you need to go all the way to Penang for your visa run if you're going overland though? AFAIK you'd just need to cross the border at Hat Yai and turn round.
Even Hat Yai is quite a long trek for just an extra 7 days though, would take a couple of days to get there and back. It would be less hassle to get a visa extension in Thailand at an immigration office. There's an immigration office in Bangkok (Silom area) and probably one in Phuket too. I think they give you a month's extension if you already have a tourist visa and 15 days if you just have an entry stamp. The price is the same for both, 1900B.
Yeah I've racked up a few 30 day extensions that way. I was just thinking I'd save money and take a little trip/go see crazy old Jim in Penang, but I guess technically I could just stop at Hat Yai.
Did you have to pay anything to get the 14 days at the border crossings you mentioned, or is it totally free?
As I said I haven't done a visa run to Malaysia but in principle it should be totally free because you don't need a visa for Malaysia. Depends on the whether the people at the border control are scam artists or not. Border officials at the Cambodia border crossing did try to charge an extra 300B if I wasn't staying in the country for 48 hours. I said OK, I'll stay in Cambodia for a couple of days then. Then they wanted to see a yellow fever vaccination certificate (not required by law if you aren't coming from an endemic country) and not being able to produce one also meant a 300B "fee"!!
I did an overland crossing into Thailand from Malaysia once but I can't remember if they asked for tea money or not...I don't think so, but I'm not 100% sure.
A simple border hop into Malaysia and back is free of charge. No need to go all the way to Penang, just the Sadao or Pedang Besar border will do. Another option is the ferry from Satun to Langkawi. Big island worth exploring on a motorbike. Other option is Ranong north of Phuket, can do a border hop there by crossing the river mouth (huge). It's a bit of a hassle and costs 500b for the Myanmar permit plus about 300b for the boat ride, but might be closer than Malaysia depending on where you are now.
I'd be going from Phuket, so I think the quickest and easiest way would be to do a van run to Sadao.
I've been to Langkawi before, so no real interest in going again if it's more expensive, further and more difficult to get to.
I really just wanted to know if there was a charge for the 14 day land entry. Does anyone know if they want to see plane tickets out/onward journey stuff?
Hi Cranky, you've been in Thailand quite a while, which begs the question why haven't you made the effort to get a proper tourist visa? Maybe that's water under the bridge already if you're set to return home. Anyway there wil be no charge or onward travel proof for any visa-exempt re/entry to Thailand except for what neighbouring countries require to hop over and back (Malasia free, Myanmar 500b permit) plus transport costs.