Text page

Visas and border crossings

Visas and border crossings forum

Thailand Tourist Visa Exemption - Proof Of Onward Travel

Posted by ljp on 7/7/2014 at 15:10

Hi everyone - I'm going on a trip to SE Asia in a few weeks for 2 months, and am hoping to cover Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam/Laos/Burma (Probably in that order) and have a quick question on the Thailand Tourist Visa Exemption. I've been browsing the site and the forums for about a month now and have to say it's been incredibly useful so far and I haven't even asked anything!

So, onto my specific question. I land in Bangkok on 20/07/14 and intend to spend a week or so travelling East from Bangkok via Ayutthaya and Pak Chong /Khao Yai NP towards the Aranyaprathet / Poipet border crossing into Cambodia. I have been told by the Thailand embassy in the UK (by email) that to qualify for a tourist visa exemption I must:

'prove (confirmed air, bus, train ticket) at the airline counter in the UK and Immigration in Thailand that you will not be staying in Thailand more than 30 days before leaving for another country. This will allow you to get a 'exemption' when you land at Bangkok airport, which is valid for 30 days.'

So, as far as I can tell, to do this I need to buy, before I go to Thailand, a bus or train ticket which takes me to and across the border. Ideally this would be from Pak Chong to somewhere in Cambodia, which in reality probably means from/via Nakhon Ratchasima as this is more of a transport hub. So my question is, where//how can I buy such a bus/train ticket and is it really necessary? Can I pre-book such a bus ticket, which not only takes me to the border but also across the border? Has anyone else had a similar problem in the past? Or is it the case that this route just isn't going to work, as I won't be able to pre-book tickets, and as such I should rethink my route?

Thanks for any help

#1 ljp has been a member since 6/7/2014. Posts: 3

Posted by Captain_Bob on 7/7/2014 at 23:48

You will have no problem with Thai Immigration upon arrival, they generally don't care and will just stamp you in for the visa-exempt 30 days. Your potential obstacle is with the airline upon check-in for the flight ex-UK. Officially they require you to show proof of onward travel within 30 days, but it isn't always enforced, depends on who you get and what their computer tells them to do, etc. Everyone who has flown to Thailand can give their own story. Anyway if you need proof of onward travel it pretty much means buying an airline ticket out within 30 days - no way to pre-buy/obtain a bus/train ticket out of the country online. Check out AirAsia.com they have cheap flights to Phnom Penh, etc. Or like many people just wing it and hope they don't ask, maybe bring a printed itinerary that shows your plan to leave within the 30 days. I've talked my way through it many times. Or you can get a Thai tourist visa in advance which will clear the way. Several options.

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,955

Posted by marryb on 4/1/2015 at 08:29

I guess the title fits my question as well, so no need for another thread...

I just noticed that for getting my tourist visa I actually need to show up at the consulate in Frankfurt, which didn´t used to be the case. With traveling expenses there and back, now a more sensible idea would be to just book an onward flight.

But could I just book a ticket from say, Vientiane to Bangkok on the 28 of February if I originally arrived in Bangkok on the 28 of January? That should show that I won´t spend more than the 30 days in Thailand, shouldn´t it?

#3 marryb has been a member since 19/12/2014. Posts: 2

Please login to add your reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a post to the forum. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.