Visa Run to Cambodia with Bangkok Buddy
I am taking a visa run due to my tourist visa expiring soon. Now I need to leave Thailand and come back in to activate the 2nd entry on my Tourist Visa. Today is the 21st October 2015.
It has been a while since I have taken a visa run to Cambodia due to having an Education visa for the last 2 years, which I only have to extend every 90 days at immigration in Bangkok. However now I am on a Tourist visa it becomes less fun as I have to leave the country as my stamp is about to expire. This encounters me having to leave the country.
In Thailand you can stay for a maximum of 6 months on 1 double entry tourist visa. This is done by apply for your Double entry Tourist visa in a country outside of Thailand. Majority of people apply for this in Vientiane, lao or Savanahket, Lao. These are the 2 most popular destinations with Vientiane being the more popular. However you can apply at any country of your choosing.
I first applied for a Tourist Visa in Savanahket on 23rd July, with that visa I entered Thailand on the 24th July. That gave me 60 days on arrival. On the 21st September I went to Immigration in Bangkok to extend the visa by 30 days. Now it is the 21st October, I need to activate my 2nd entry stamp which will give me an extra 60 days.
Ride From Nonthaburi to Soi 12
I left my apartment at around 3:30am, giving myself more than enough time to travel to Sukhumvit Soi 12. Normally this route would have been crazy! On a normal day it feels like every Thai driver on the road is out there to kill you, they just don’t have the safety view of people in the west. I have been driving in Thailand for over 7 years and I have only had two accidents. 1) I fell asleep on my motorbike causing the bike to fall over while travelling and then slide along the floor, luckily there were no cars were around. 2) Someone pulled out of a Soi (side road) without looking and I hit him straight on, hitting the side of his motorbike, his bike was KO’d. This made me go flying through the air and landing on the other side of the road, luckily there was no vehicles coming in the opposite direction otherwise that could have been bad.
I feel I have passed some sort of test driving in Thailand considering it was awarded last week, the 2nd most dangerous roads in the world. I think I and everyone else who drives here and survives should receive an award, haha.
As I left at 3:30am, aiming to arrive at 4:30am this was pretty easy as the roads were traffic free except for a few cars. This made the ride pretty chill as i wasn’t worried about been knocked off my bike, the weather was also cool compared to the blazing sun that normally shines down everyday.
Bangkok Buddy Visa
I arrived around 4:20am, this was more than enough time. I parked my motorbike in the underground parking in Korea Town as I have done this before and it is very safe. There is a fee of 20 Baht for cars and free parking for motorbikes.
7/11 is right on the corner of Suhumvit Soi 12 so you can grab all the snacks and drinks you need.
The staff from Bangkok Buddy arrive around 4:30am, they will ask for your passport and one photo. All they need for you to do is sign certain parts of the forms for Cambodia and Thailand and they will do the rest.
The van is quite big, and can easily fit a big man, I am short at 5’7 and I comfortably fit into the van. The van departed at 5:05am
We arrived at the border around 9am, I had been sleeping all the way there, so it was literally waking me up and a walk to immigration at the border.
I flew through the departure Thai Immigration, no queues, Immigration Officer just looked at my passport, looked at me and stamped, and I walked through. I was having a good feeling about today as I have heard of all the big changes at the land borders in Thailand.
Out of immigration, you walk straight, waiting there is representative from Bangkok Buddy ready to take your passport and have you stamped in and out of Cambodia. After I passed the rep it was a straight walk to the Poipet Resort Casino.
With Bangkok Buddy Visa Run company there is a free breakfast included in the price, the breakfast at this Casino was sub par. Everything was cold except for the omelette which was cooked fresh. The omelette you can select which ingrediants you would like to put into it and the chef will cook it for you there and then.
After a disappointing breakfast it was time to go, I was given my passport back by the rep who had my passport stamped in and out of Cambodia. I left the Casino and headed back toward the Thai Immigration. Again this is a straight walk, keep to the left as this is the arrival side for Thailand.
Immigration for foreigners is located on the 2nd floor. I walked up the steps and was greeted by a wave of people, the line was full. I had myself prepared for this, I brought my Playstation Vita with me, playing my favourite game Fifa 14.
It took 1 hour to get to the Immigration officer, I gave him my passport.
The Immigration Officer was taking longer than usual. After 2 minutes of looking at my passport, looking through his computer he asked what I was doing in Thailand. In the 8 years of living here this is the first time an Immigration Officer on the border has asked me this. I replied by telling him I train Muay Thai and fight. I told him ‘You can check my stamps and see I have been to China, Cambodia, Hong Kong to fight. I said I can show you pictures of me training. He said there is a problem, he went off from his booth to talk with a colleague, at this moment I was thinking I am not going to get into Thailand, a good day has turned bad, my passport only has 2 pages left and I would need to travel to back into Cambodia, find the nearest Airport and fly to Bangkok.
After 2-3 minutes away the Immigration officer came back and started asking me questions.
Immigration Officer: ‘What are you doing in Thailand?’
Me: ‘I am fighting and training Muay Thai, next month you should see me on Thai Fight or Max Muay Thai’
Immigration Officer: ‘Where do you live?’ (He showed me the address form for the Arrival slip, due to address being so long I could only put the first few lines)
Me: ‘Nonthaburi’ (I took out my phone and showed him the full address of my new place)
Immigration Officer: ‘My computer won’t let you enter as you have made several trips to the border in 90 days’ (what he means by this is you have been entering and exiting Thailand without a visa, just visa stamp on arrival)
Me: ‘I have a Tourist Visa, I am entering Thailand on my second stamp’
The Immigration Officer looked at my passport again and found the Tourist Visa, he stamped a date into my passport but I didn’t know what it was, this guy seemed pretty cool so I was hoping he did the correct 60 day stamp.
Me: ‘I want to stay in Thailand long term to keep on training Muay Thai, what would be your advice?’
Immigration Officer: ‘Do not use the in and out stamps as you will not be allowed back into Thailand, gain the correct visa and it will be no problem’
Me: ‘Will another Tourist Visa be OK?’
Immigration Officer: ‘Yes, that will be ok, just no in and out stamps’
Me: ‘Thank you’ I wai’d him and left
On exiting the Immigration area I stopped and checked my passport as I wanted to see if he has in fact given me the 60 day stamp which I should be getting. It came out with 60 days, this was a trip complete trip and I had got what I came for.
Don’t Carry Drugs or Anything Illegal Into Thailand
As I left immigration there is a one way path which half way down is an X-ray scanner, if you have a bag you can try to sneak past, I tried this and the man at the scanner asked me to put my bag through, so I did. Next down this path is men in army uniforms giving people pat downs and asking to see inside of bags. I just walked past these guys, however every person that looked Southeast Asian with dark skin was asked for a pat down and to check their bag.
Exiting the one way path there is a road going toward the border with many truck, wooden carts lined up to cross the border. Across the street was the visa run company waiting.
We had to wait around 40 minutes due to 2 people who had been in Cambodia for 2 days as they didn’t have a Thai visa and were trying to go in and out of the country and extend their stay without a visa. This is now not accepted at the Thai border and you have to stay out of Thailand for at least 1 day.
Once these 2 people had arrived the Bangkok Buddy representative took us to the van and we traveled back to Bangkok.
Going with Bangkok Buddy visa company was a breeze, they did everything for me and I didn’t have to worry about anything. I took my laptop and Playstation Vita with me, I slept all the way there and all the way back, I could do this safe in the knowledge nothing would be stolen. The van left at 5am and arrived back in Bangkok 2:30pm, so you still have time in the day to do some things. The only bad thing about this trip was the breakfast, if your going to supply a breakfast don’t give me something bad, provide something of value so this stays with me as a benefit of taking the visa run.
The costs involved in this trip
Visa run cost: 2500 Baht (This includes Van to and from the border, Free bottle of water, breakfast)
Over stay fee: 500 Baht per day
Extra: This can be anything, snacks, drinks, buying duty free items at the border.