Need to do a Pattaya visa run? Go to Cambodia!
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It's one of those things nobody likes to do...
...but for many this is the only way to extend their multiple entry visa.
A "Pattaya visa run" is most convenient and least expensive to the Cambodian border.
• how much would it cost
• how long would it take
• what would you need to bring with you
• what is Cambodia like?
Let's get into it and make sure you're all ready to quickly and comfortably come back into Thailand.
If you choose to do a visa run with one of the many visa run companies in Pattaya it will cost you around 2,000-2,500 Baht.
You'll be in a relatively modern minivan (like the one on the right.)
Prices vary depending on how many seats the mini bus has, whether you are being picked up from your
• or apartment
and how many meals are included.
It usually takes 8-10 hours depending on things like wheather conditions (rain), traffic, and on how many red bull energy drinks the driver has had.
I always use a visa run company since it is convenient and they know how to handle the paperwork at the Thai-Cambodian border.
You usually have 1 stop on your Pattaya visa run at a gas station or restaurant for 15 minutes each way to
• buy refreshments
• use the toilet
At the border is a Casino where you will have lunch. A nice break with a pretty decent buffet.
Make sure you bring
• a passport photo
• your passport
• your departure card
• onward travel documents if applicable
If you forget a photo on your Pattaya visa run they can take one of you at the border for 100 Baht. Actually you will get three but you will only need one. The staff of the company you are with will help you and they are around to make sure that everything goes smooth.
You basically just walk 50 meters across the border, stamp in and come back. If you were to do the visa run by yourself you would pay 1,200 Baht for the Cambodian Visa and a 300 Baht exit fee! I am not sure why people think this is all about money.
At the the border you can buy cigarettes and alcohol and make up for the cost of the visa run that way.... if you are a smoker and like to drink alcohol that is.
Many of the expats who live there told me that it's like going back to Thailand 20 years ago.
It's much poorer but cheaper than the Land of Smiles. That being said...
The people are also
• social in English
more so than Thais in my experience.
You don't have to worry much about scams but you might have to worry about theft.
That being said - is there anywhere else you can go instead?
Anybody living in Thailand for some time is familiar with Penang, Malaysia. The Thai Consulate in Penang, Malaysia is the closest Consulate in to Thailand where one can apply for multiple-entry and non-immigrant visas. Penang is easy to get to by air, bus, mini bus, and train.
If you are planning to do a visa run to Penang try to arrive in Penang in the morning since the Consulate only accept visa applications in the morning. If you have or want to spend one or more nights in Penang and you are on a low or limited budget you may want to stay somewhere in George Town. George Town offers low and medium priced accommodation in the vicinity of 250-2,500 Baht.
For more expensive accommodation try Batu Ferengi. Batu Ferengi offers nice resorts on the touristy part of the island of Penang. There you will also find a night market to visit and/or to go shopping while in Penang.
Other places are:
• Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
• Vientiane, Laos
• Kota Bharu, Malaysia