Please sir, let me stay in Thailand….

by Poi on May 23, 2011

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With Kirtys job secure, she is set for her year in Thailand with a work visa (well, in theory anyway – more on that later) However, me being the jobless bum I am, I still have to stay on a tourist visa. Which means I am lucky enough to take part in the famous visa runs to Laos.

Calling it a Visa run makes it sounds so terrible, I’m sorry to report there is no running through fields in the middle of the night avoiding security lights, although, that would be a lot more fun than the reality.

The aim is to get the longest amount of time in Thailand without having to keep leaving every 30 days. From our time in Chiang Mai we knew that Laos is the best place to go to get a double entry visa. This gives me two sixty days entries which can both be extended by a further thrity, thus giving me 6 months in total. The only thing I have to do is cross the border briefly at the three month mark.

The capital of Laos

Vientiane – not my favourite place in the world…

I booked a bus to Vientiane that set off around 7pm from Bangkok and arrived at the border around 6am, my Laos visa cost 1,500 Baht and had it not been for 1 person and their expired Thai visa we could have been all through within half an hour.

Vientiane is only half an hour from the border and I was offered the option of being dropped off directly at the Thai Embassy. On arrival a man began to fill out my form for me which I thought was a bit odd and it was, he ended up charging me 100 baht, lesson learnt, but he did however make sure it was clear I wanted a double entry.

At the embassy you grab a number outside, wait for it to be called and handover your passport and form, they will confirm what type of visa you are applying before sending you inside to pay. 1000 Baht per entry, I’ll leave the maths up to you…

You now have the rest of the day and the following morning to yourself. Vientiane is by no means my favourite place in the world, in fact it’s about the only place in Laos I’m not desperate to go back to, despite being very tempted to run off and go Tubing or head to the 4,000 islands, I stuck it out and caught up with my old friend Beer Lao.

The collection time for visa’s is between 1 – 3pm the following day, all the paperwork and payment complete, it’s just a case of picking your passport up. In the same way as the day before you just grab a number from outside and head inside until it’s called. Even if it looks like you are 500th in line, don’t worry too much as it soon goes down. I was 75th in the queue and spent no more than 20 minutes in the embassy.

Bus to Laos

800 Baht

Bus to Bangkok

800 Baht

Laos Visa

1500 Baht

Thai Visa

2000 Baht

Transport to/from Thai Embassy

200 Baht

hostel stay (per night)

600 Baht

Food/beer

700 Baht

I booked a bus back to Bangkok with my hostel the night before so spent a few hours hanging round before heading back, this time on a much much busier bus, luckily I ended up being one of the few people with two seats to myself… Sleep.

My Laos visa run was not the most fun I’ve ever had but not half the pain in the arse (thanks Beer Lao) I was expecting and now I have six months in Thailand so how could I complain? I can’t.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Leanne May 23, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Oh wow, that is a bit of a pain in the ass.

I wish getting a Russian visa was that easy though. Haha, I always wondered why I don’t see many travel bloggers in Russia… maybe because it’s so damn tedious to get a visa?

But anyway, I’m glad you got it and you can finally stay with your lady 🙂
Leanne´s last blog post ..Backpacking- Clothing &amp Storage

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Poi May 24, 2011 at 9:45 am

Thanks Leanne, might have something to do with the weather as well? we don’t like to be cold….

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Anthony May 24, 2011 at 3:46 am

Gypo 😛
Anthony´s last blog post ..I’m Becoming What I Hate

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Poi May 24, 2011 at 9:46 am

Haha Cheers mate

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Giulia May 24, 2011 at 7:33 am

Congratulations on the visa and enjoy the stay… And good luck if you’re looking for a job too:)
Giulia´s last blog post ..Introducing “Egypt Life” blog- Egyptian everyday life in photos

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Poi May 24, 2011 at 9:46 am

Not sure they whole working thing is up my street but we’ll see how it goes?

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Jaime May 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

LMFAO… i cant believe you fell for the trick of letting them fill it out for you. You should know they will charge you something… I love that that happens everywhere. It sure does here in Central America. Sucks you have to go back so often for a VISA, I hope you get your work VISA soon.

BTW how many baht = $1… have no clue what the exchange rate is. Im dealing with tons of latin currency…lol!
Jaime´s last blog post ..Music Monday – Born This Way!!!

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Poi May 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

It’s about 30 Baht to the Dollar.

Jamie – It’s me Poi who is getting the tourist visa and who went to Laos. Kirsty is the one getting the job and she should be able to get her work visa by staying in the country haha

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ayngelina May 25, 2011 at 6:50 am

A trip to Laos every 6 months, I wouldn’t complain either!
ayngelina´s last blog post ..Craving routine on the road

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Poi May 26, 2011 at 10:29 am

It’s a hard life isn’t it?

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Heather May 28, 2011 at 3:34 am

I’ve never had to do a visa run before, but I guess the little bit of pain that goes into it is certainly worth the benefits 🙂 It’ll be fun to read about how life treats you guys as you once again settle in one place for a while and explore your local communities!
Heather´s last blog post ..Australia Roadtrip- Victoria

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Kirsty May 31, 2011 at 4:36 pm

yeah – bangkok is such a massive city it should keep us entertained for a while!!! 🙂

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Sasha June 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Visa runs are a bitch but on the plus side it’s an excuse to do even just a little bit of travel! I’ve done 4 visa runs to Hong Kong in the last 9 months and each time I took the opportunity to discover something completely different about HK. I wish I could change HK to Laos once in a while!
Sasha´s last blog post ..Inroducing Travel Blog Chronicle

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Kirsty June 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm

They are! I hate them, Poi didn’t mind this one so much! We only got to spend a couple of days in HK when we were travelling through China, love to go back and explore some more!

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Neil (wanderingminds) March 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

Cheers Poi, this info should come in useful later this month 🙂

100 baht to have the form filled in eh? Now if I could get him to stand in line for me as well …

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