I'm currently planning my first trip to South-East Asia in January 2013 with one other friend. The issues I'm currently having are to do with visa's and clearly up some confusion but as this is my first trip any sort of help at all is welcome.
I have been reading numerous message boards online about travel in the area so I hope the questions I ask aren't too ridiculous. We are currently looking at purchasing one way flights to Bangkok than travelling North in Thailand, crossing the border into Laos, down to Cambodia and back in to Thailand. Once back in Thailand we are looking at flying down to Bali (a whole different set of Visa issues?) but because we have no rigid plan or literary( we aim to travel for around six months) we aren't intending on purchasing return flights.
From what I have read so far online without proof of onward/return journey, vias issues can sometimes prove troublesome when flying to Thailand, to get round this I was looking at applying for a tourist visa at the Thai Consulate in Hull (As a I live in London is this the best place or can I just as easily do it online). I was hoping to get a 60 day tourist visa maybe double entry is possible which allow us to leave and return to Thailand, and to extend it if we wish to spend more time there before moving on. With this visa would I then avoid any trouble of being unable to provide any onward journey details.
If someone also had knowledge on Indonesian visas that would also be great. From reading online it looks as if you do need to prove you have an outward or return journey to get an Indonesian visa so I was thinking of booking flights from Bali to Australia at the same time as booking flights from Phuket to Bali, would this be my best bet?
Sorry the post contains so many questions in one go but as I said any information at all would be helpful at this points.
#1 1stTimeExplorer has been a member since 29/10/2012. Posts: 2
"With this visa would I then avoid any trouble of being unable to provide any onward journey details."
No, you can get a 60-day Thai tourist visa in London but that will not stop an airline from preventing you from boarding a flight (only long-term visas like business or education have that effect). Some airlines seem to ask for proof of onward travel at check-in while others do not, although it seems to be up to the mood of the airline check-in person more than anything. I've flown one-way into Thailand twice in the last two years and one airline (Cathay Pacific) made me produce proof of onward travel, the other (China Eastern) did not. If you want to be safe, buy a one-way from Bangkok to KL or HCMC from Air Asia, just to have the proof.
"can I just as easily do it online"
You can usually send your passport and the paperwork into the embassy with a return envelope if you don't want to go there in person. Online private visa services are also available but these are more expensive and you still have to send them your passport. If the embassy isn't far I'd go there myself.
"maybe double entry is possible which allow us to leave and return to Thailand, and to extend it if we wish to spend more time there before moving on."
You can get a double entry visa and can extend it for 30 days. You should read the rules related to this on any Thai embassy's website. It might not be the best way to go. Remember you get 30 days visa free if flying into Thailand or 15 days if coming in by land.
"it looks as if you do need to prove you have an outward or return journey to get an Indonesian visa"
As I recall, Indonesian immigration does ask for proof of onward travel when you arrive there. You get a 30-day visa on arrival when you land in Indonesia, costs US $25 as I recall. I assume you can arrange it at the Indonesian embassy before-hand. Not sure about longer visas.
I've never been asked for proof of onward travel, ever. But I've always had a return ticket anyway. Personally, I don't see the point of one way tickets - return tickets are usually a better deal. Do you have no idea when you're heading home? I'm not talking about internal flights within Asia, that's a different story... i.e Bangkok to KL for example.
Thanks for the useful replies! I have applied for a single entry visa now and plan on getting another one when I arrive back in Thailand later in my trip. The only reason we decided on outbound flights only is really because we are still unsure when and where we will be flying back to and didn't really want any time restraints at all.
#5 1stTimeExplorer has been a member since 29/10/2012. Posts: 2