I was in Langkawi, looking at all the signs for bus trips up the mainland to various places in Thailand, when I started chatting to my German neighbor regarding his trip. I’d found out he’d been to Penang for one reason, and one reason only – to sort out a Thai Visa.
From my reading I’d been under the impression that I was entitled to an Automatic 30 day visa on arrival, which – was “sort of” correct, but not quite. It all depends on the method and point of entry.
By land/sea: 15 Days, Visa on Arrival
By air: 30 Days, Visa on Arrival
So if I’d have gone via bus from Langkawi I’d be stuck trying to do a visa run 15 days later or risk a fine of 500 Thai Baht per day of overstaying.
The best option is the 2 month (60 Day) visa arranged via a Thai Embassy or consulate in a neighboring country. For me – its Penang, other options include Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia, Ban Laem – Cambodia, Kota Bharu – Malaysia, Laos, Burma, Hanoi – Vietnam etc..
You can either go to the Thai consulate and sort it all out yourself, or if you are lazy like me, pay your hotel/hostel to do it for you.
You will need:
- Passport Photos (2, don’t leave home without them!)
- Visa Fee (110 MYR)
- Admin fee for the agent (Optional, if you use agent 30 MYR)
I dropped mine all off on a Sunday morning (the consulate is closed on Sundays) so I didn’t need to worry about getting up in the morning to do the paperwork. My fresh Thai visa was available at the agents desk by 6PM Monday afternoon, allowing me 60 days worth of travel within the country (but only one entry). Simple and painless!