Planning long ahead is something I like doing in my head occasionally. But to be honest, I can’t even book a flight three weeks prior departure. A few days is perfect. Enough time to pack everything but quick enough to follow the spontaneous impulse.
In May 2015 we lived in the Philippines. Our task, organising cleft operations for kids from Bohol was already accomplished when I found out about a great seminar in Thailand. Four days later we boarded a plane to Thailand. We ended up staying a total of six month in this beautiful country. Here I’d like to share with you how we managed our visa’s. Please be aware visa regulations may change, this is how we did it in 2015 with a German passport. We, that is myself and my then 3,5 year old daughter.
Permit on arrival: 30 day – free
We arrived by plane and received a 30 day permit at the airport. We didn’t need an onward travel ticket. We didn’t need to issue a visa.
Extension within Thailand: 30 day – 1.900 THB
Before our 30 days went by, we got a 30 day extension in Thailand. It cost 1.900THB (49 Euro) a person. We travelled from Koh Phangan to Sangkhlaburi and stopped on the way at the immigration office in Koh Samui. You need passport copy, passport sized photo and your passport. Note: You will be asked for an address near by. e.g. My address in Sangkhlaburi was not accepted, cause it was too far away from Koh Samui. But don’t worry, just write down an address from a nearby hotel, that’s fine.
Visa run to Laos: 3 month – 2.000 THB
To apply for a visa you have to leave the country. Depending where you stay check the most convenient country to travel to. Would you like to travel by land or air?
We stayed in Western central Thailand. The cheapest way for us was to do a visa run to Laos. We took a night train from Bangkok to Nong Khai, checked out from Thailand and crossed the border to Laos. We paid for an entry visa to Laos, went on to Vientiane where we applied for a 3 month volunteer visa. The Visa cost 2.000TBH (51 Euro), same price for my little daughter. Surely you have to consider travel expenses, depending from where you start, how you travel and where you’ll stay.
(coming soon: Visa run from Thailand to Laos).
This visa you can extend within Thailand for another 30 days. Since I already knew it would be another 1.900 THB a person, I searched for a cheaper option.
Visa run to Burma (Myanamar): 30 days extension – 700 THB
Instead of extending my existing volunteer visa for 30 days and 1.900 THB, I decided to leave the country and simply re-enter. I did a Visa run from Ranong to Burma. I stamped out in Thailand, took a long tail boat to Burma, paid 10 USD in Burma, went back to Thailand and received another 30 days. I paid a total of 700THB (18 Euro).
Be aware: Not all countries receive a 30day permit when entering on land. Even with my German passport I had to make sure that the immigration office did know about the exception we receive with our passport.
(comng soon: visa run Ranong to Burma).
Overstaying in Thailand
Overstaying in Thailand is quiet expensive. In 2015 they charged 500THB a day.
You usually do your visa run on the last day to get the most out of your stay. But things can happen. In our case it was dengue fever. I had stayed one week in hospital and our visa expired during this period. A Thai friend called the embassy and clarified that we would be ok when bringing a doctors certificate. I went out from hospital earlier and did an very exhausting visa run. And no, my certificate was not accepted at the border.
(Coming soon: Overstaying in Thailand and Dengue fever in Thailand – alone with my child)
I would like to show you, that everything is possible. You can stay in Thailand without organising everything month in advance. Life is teaching us, that there will be always situations that we can’t plan ahead. And still, we will be fine.
When you find these information helpful, please give me a like and leave a comment. What are your visa experiences in Thailand? What visa option do you prefer?