The Thai Embassy in Laos is no longer allowing express visas or visa agencies after February 1st, 2019.
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After February 1st, 2019, the Thai Embassy in Vientiane, Laos will no longer be allowing express visa or visa agencies and you will need to schedule an online appointment for non-immigrant, tourist, and transit type visas at thaivisavientiane.com.
You can schedule an online appointment up to one month in advance.
It is also a good idea to schedule your appointment at least one day before you are planning to arrive at the Thai Embassy because you are unable to schedule same day appointments. The cutoff time for same day appointments is at 12am.
If you're not able to make your appointment, make sure to cancel at least 24 hours in advance as you will not be able to cancel after that point and a no-show will prevent you from scheduling an appointment for one month.
Get to Nongkhai first. You can take a bus to get to Nong Khai.
I left the Mekong Guesthouse in Nong Khai at 5:45 and a Thai who was just going to work took me to the Thai border checkpoint for 30 Baht. It's maybe a 15 minute ride.
If you decide to take your own vehicle.
I would suggest parking your car in Nong Khai. There is a car park that is on the left side of the intersection just before the friendship bridge. If you punch in AA Intertour into your GPS you will be able to find it and they charge 100 Baht per day.
There is also another car park just after AA Intertour for most likely a similar rate.
Before you reach the border make sure you have everything you need.
It is a good idea to come well prepared. You can download the visa application below. Fill out the application, glue 2 photos on, and sign. You will need an additional photo when you enter Laos at the checkpoint.
What You Need for your Pattaya Laos Visa Run.
Once at the border you will leave Thailand. You just walk through immigration and they check your passport. Hopefully you didn't overstay since you will have to pay 500 baht for each day overstayed or 20,000 baht maximum.
You then pay 20 Baht for a bus that will take you to the Laotian border. I also bought a map of Vientiane at the counter for 25 baht.
At the border you will have to fill out the visa application and pay for the Laos visa. It can cost between $30-$42 and is $35 for an American citizen.
You have to pay $1 overtime if you arrive between 6-8 am in the morning.
Overtime charge applies for Saturdays and Sundays from 4 - 10 pm, and Mondays through Fridays from 6-8 am
Make sure you have exact change because they probably won't give you any change back and I wouldn't want to argue with those guys over a few baht.
You also will need 1 passport photo to submit with the Laos visa application. At 6:30 they gave me my passport and you pretty much just walk through the Laotian border checkpoint.
I hired one of those guys at the Laotian border before you enter Laos. Those guys will approach you there and I am glad I hired him.
He charged me 200 baht for taking me to the Thai embassy, he waited at the embassy for me and then took me to my Guesthouse in Vientiane. All that in an air-con car, not a Tuk Tuk.
It's a good idea to have the same driver pick you up the next day to take you to the embassy and back to the border.
A Tuk Tuk (jumbo) will charge you at least 100 Baht to take you to the embassy only.
You should arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time at the embassy with everything listed above for your visa run.
They will start letting people inside in numerical order. Make sure you have your visa form filled out before you have to go inside, optimally before you arrive at the embassy.
When you are inside they will start calling numbers and once they call your number, you will go up to the counter and show them your application confirmation copy or screenshot and then give them your passport and filled out visa application with two passport photos.
After you give them those things you're all done for the day and can go explore the city as you won't be able to pick up your visa until the next day anyway.
I was fortunate enough to get number 6 and had a couple of minutes to fill out my visa application and glue my pretty photos on the application and submit the paperwork.
I submitted an application for a tourist visa and wrote x 2 (double entry) next to the check box. Also where it asks how long you are going to stay in Thailand, I wrote 2x60 days / 120 days.
If you didn't bring Kip (Laotian money) you may want to exchange some in Vientiane. There are banks and money changers. If you decide to pay with Thai Baht they will use a very poor exchange rate compared to the banks.
You can also rent a motorbike for around $10 or 350 Baht and explore Vientiane. Bicycles are for rent too at some places. You will find them when you walk around in the heat.
The driver picked me up at noon and I arrived at the embassy at 12:15 p.m. Embassy opens at 1 pm.
Once they let everyone inside, everyone makes a mad dash to try to be at the counter first, but just relax and take a seat underneath one of the ceiling fans while everyone tries to line up first, they call numbers in numerical order starting from 1 so there is no point in rushing.
When they call your number, you will just need to go up to the counter, show them your appointment confirmation number again and then pay 1,000 per entry depending on what you decided to choose. They will give you your passport with your new tourist visa and a receipt.
Be sure to check your visa to make sure everything is in order as they can make mistakes and it can cause problems for you if they get dates wrong or give you the wrong stamp.
Driver took me back to the border and I paid him 200 Baht. At the border fill out the arrival card and proceed to enter Thailand. 5 minutes.
Pay for a bus ticket to Nong Khai (20 Baht). The bus will take you to Nong Khai and drop you off at the bridge. Take a Tuk Tuk for 40 Baht or so to the Bus station or to the car park where you parked your car. The car parks I mentioned above are actually within walking distance from the bus drop off, maybe 5-10 minutes walk.
I bought a ticket for the 3:30 pm bus which gave me enough time to eat lunch. Outside the bus station is a 407 office which is selling the tickets.
The bus arrives at 5 pm in Udon Thani and 8:30 in Khon Kaen. The bus arrived in Pattaya at 4:30 in the morning and your Pattaya Laos Visa Run is over.
I'm sure you'll enjoy your own Pattaya Laos Visa run! ;-)