I have read through the faq section of the Thailand visa info but could not find the information I was looking for
I travel around south east asia for 4 month later this year and just wanted to know what would be my best option (travelling from UK)
I want to use Thailand as my base of travel to get to surrounding countries (Laos,Vietnam,Cambodia... Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and finally australia)
Now I understand the requirement is for you not exceed a 90day period in 6 months which is fine, but my plan is to use Bangkok to get around so will be in and out of Thailand at least 5 times in that period but will only be staying a maximum of 70days (none of which exceed 30days in any one stay). Is there a restriction on the number of the free 30day Visa you can get?? Will they count how long I have stayed or how many times I have entered the country?
I assume I will use as many 30 days visa as I can before committing to purchasing a tourist visa from an embassy? Was just a little unsure on if I am going to need to buy a visa later in my trip.
It is not a case of you cannot exceed 90 days in a 6 month period, it is more of a case of your tourist on arrival visa is only valid for 30 days and you can only enter the country on 3 visas in a 6 month period. Therefore even if you only stay in the country for 2 days and then leave this will count as one visa and one stay. Some may argue that you could leave the country for 2 days and if you still had "outstanding time" on your visa then you could re-enter the country with the same visa but you can't! It is a ONE STAY VISA ON ARRIVAL not a MULTI ENTRY VISA this is where some people get confused.
I would suggest phoning your local Thai Embassy and asking them.
I would disagree with the advice above. You are not allowed to stay for 30 days and just keep "bouncing" in and out of the country but this was done to stop long term stayers abusing the system then working (think divers etc). I have been in and out of Thailand at least 15 times in the past 12 months each time getting a 30 day stamp and have never had a problem, this included 4 times in the space of one month.
This rule was made not to stop your average tourist and backpacker using Thailand as a base but only to stop long stayers abusing the system and not getting a proper visa.
One of my Vegas friends used 4 free entry permits in a 6 month period. They added up the days and allowed him 22 days on his last entry. They actually add the days, so you can enter more than 3 times in a 6 month period using the free entry permit sysytem. You just cannot stay more than 90 days in a 6 month period without buying a visa outside of Thailand.
Oh thanks guys! The first reply got me thinking I needed to change my itinerary, but it reassuring to hear those of you who have been in out of thailand with no issues.
I really wanted to use Bangkok as my central hub as it seems cheapest to fly to other Asian countries from there (including India)
Thank you ever so much for your help and making it more clear for me