Poor planning and now visa trouble!!!
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Aug 26, 2012 3:46 AM Last Post By: thaibeachlovers
Aug 25, 2012 8:37 AM
Poor planning and now visa trouble!!!I came for 2 months travelling around Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. I'm 4 weeks into my trip and I've realised I planned it really badly. More to the truth I let a backpackers travel company here plan my trip badly. My first day in Bangkok I wasn't sure what I wanted to do so I went to a company called the Backpackers Travel Company. A guy in there helped me plan my trip.
For most of the first month I did a big circuit heading up north through Thailand, entering Laos, travelling south through Laos and then going through Cambodia back to Bangkok. Today I re-entered Thailand and was given a visa that will run out on the 8th of September. My flight out is not util the 30th. The guy at the border back into Thailand told me I can get my visa extended at the Immigration Office in Bangkok but I am only here until 5:30 pm tomorrow when I'm catching a bus then boat to Ko Samui. Unfortunately with tomorrow being a Sunday the immigration office won't be open.
That leaves me with a problem, I have a hotel booked on Ko Samui until the 1st of September and then a boat ticket to get to Ko Phangan and accommodation there until the 6th of September. On the 6th I will need to head for a border to cross or head back to Bangkok to try and get my visa extended. What would be the best thing to do, cross a border or attempt to get my visa extended?
If crossing a border is my best option, can anyone suggest where I should head for from Ko Phangan? I will have t stay out of the country until 15th so that the visa I'm given on my return will last me until my flight back to Frankfurt on the 30th. I need somewhere that will be reasonably cheap as I'm half way through my trip and trying to stretch my budget as I hadn't planned on the extra travelling.
Aug 25, 2012 9:03 AM
The 15-day visa exempt land entry you were given is standard practice for most nationalities if you don't have a tourist visa in advance. You could have obtained a visa in Vientiane but now it's a bit late.
The 15-day visa exemption can be extended not just in Bangkok but at any immigration office in Thailand, but it can only be extended by 7 days.
Since you're ok until the 8th and flying out on the 30th you need 22 more days. Here are your choices:
1. Leave Thailand for a week (Malaysia?) and re-enter by land to get another 15 days.
2. Leave Thailand and fly back in to get 30 days visa exempt (by air).
3. Go to a Thai consulate (Penang?) and get a tourist visa then re-enter to get 60 days.
Aug 25, 2012 9:17 AM
2Oh no, you have to spend two weeks on a different tropical beach than you planned! Worst travel disaster evah!
The three obvious choices for border crossings are Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
Malaysia is very close to Ko Pha Ngan, of course, close enough that you just go there on the 7th, come right back into Thailand if you're enjoying yourself there, and do the same thing again on the 20th or so.
Cambodia would be a long trek by surface transportation: the train back to BKK, a bus to the border, and then a cab or motorbike to SR or Battambang. The Angkor Wat area can be a little spendy, but it's definitely worth seeing.
Vietnam you would have fly to, and that would be at least €140 r/t (plus another €30 for the visa paperwork), but once you're there, it would probably be cheaper -- and more interesting, imo -- than Cambodia or Malaysia. And, since you're flying, you get a 30-day visa on your return, so you can come back whenever you want.
If you really like travel, you can combine the last two: train to BKK, bus to Cambodia, scooter to Seim Reap, mini-bus to Phnom Penh, boat to Vietnam, bus to HCMC, and then fly back to BKK.
You'd still end about spending €200 or more all in, and clock a lot of road-miles, but you'd see a lot.
Aug 25, 2012 3:16 PM
Aug 25, 2012 3:31 PM
4No good crying over spilt milk - but at least you admit you stuffed up. That's half the battle, and you've hopefully learned that the FIRST and most important part of planning trips in Asia is visas and how long you can stay in any given country on the visa options available.
Do as Captain_Bob suggests. If you're running short of cash and you're already in Surat Thani you could head south and spend a week kicking your heels around northern Malaysia, Kota Bharu - or head the other side to Penang. Pro- no cost to enter Con - approx 20% dearer than Thailand, but still lots of cheap beds and food. There are worse places.
Or, you head back to BKK and then choose between a trip to Sihanoukville or PP via HatLek/KohKong or to Siem Reap via Aranyaprathet/Poipet - either way it's a lot of miles but transport and lodging cheap. Or do the circle - in at one out at the other. You'll need to buy your visa for Cambo at the border.
If it were my choice, I'd head on the train from ST to Butterworth (departs around 0120, so take last ferry to ST) then ferry across to George Town and then fly back to BKK on AirAsia for around Baht 2,500 - on selected dates between 8th and 16th September. The flight would give you 30 days back in Thailand, so you then have the option of hanging around Penang for a few days or arriving and heading out on the same day.
Aug 25, 2012 4:18 PM
Aug 25, 2012 4:25 PM
6There are much worse places to hang around than George town in penang lots of cheap rooms great food and no hassle travel wise, just jump on the train.
another option is take the train to Hat Yai then a cheap bus to satun and a boat over to lankawi in Malaysia seems like a long haul but its not really. rooms on chenteng beach can be had cheapish however the booze is much cheaper than penang
Air Asia quoting £50 for a flight out of Surat to KL on the 8th returning on the 11th which will give you your 30 days or £31 one way and head back as fast or so as you like.
Ranong is around 3 or 4 hours away from surat thani via mini bus, costs less than 300 bht, u can cross over to Victoria point in burma from Sapon pla in Ranong on the 8th ( need a brand new $10 US or 500 bht for Entry)
either stay a night so in burma which is certainly an experiance or go and visit either koh phayam or Koh Chang on the andaman sea. It is very low season at this time so you will have the island pretty much to yourself accomadtion is very cheap on both islands and in Ranong.
If the weather is not to your liking on the andaman side get the visa as above and take one of the hourly mini buses from ranong to chumphon 2 hours (170 bht) spend a few days exploring the beaches around there before heading back to ranong getting a second 15 days. if the weather is on form koh phayam would be my bet cheap huts and cheap beer with really relaxed vibe at this time of year. But when it rains in ranong lol
however you go its a problem i would like to have at the moment given the rain here in the UK
Aug 25, 2012 6:59 PM
7Thanks for all the great advice. To be honest I think I will take Captain Bob's advice. I just came from Siem Reap and three days touring the temples was great but more than enough. Last thing I want is to face another kid trying to sell me some cheap touristy crap for a dollar. Besides, my bus trip from Siem Reap was hell due to a cock up on the part of the hotel receptionist there but that is another story.
Aug 25, 2012 7:28 PM
8+1 for Penang. A week in Georgetown eating curries. Can even take the ferry to Langkawi for a couple days on the beach there.
Aug 26, 2012 3:46 AM
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