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'Winging it' from Bangkok - how did you do it?

Travel Forums Asia 'Winging it' from Bangkok - how did you do it?

1. Posted by Clare_Ruth (Budding Member, 10 posts) 19 Dec '13 04:31

Clare_Ruth has indicated that this thread is about Bangkok

Hi all, I'm flying to Delhi at the beginning of next month, doing a guided tour of Northern India, before flying out to Bangkok on the 25th. My next flight is not until June, when I'll be flying from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney, Australia. My plan was to make my own way around SE Asia, starting off in Thailand, visiting Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and ending up in Malaysia in June, spending about a month in each of those countries.

Yesterday I posted in this forum asking for hostel recommendations for my first night in Bangkok and someone pointed out that I will be denied entry to Thailand if I do not have proof of an outward journey within 30 days and I might want to get a Tourist Visa in advance.

I want to hear from anyone who has done what I am planning to do (i.e. 'wing it' around SE Asia) and would like to know what you did with regard to a Thai tourist visa, i.e. did you get one or not? I know people use Thailand as a 'base', e.g. fly to Cambodia, fly back to Thailand, take a coach to Laos, etc etc, and this is what I want to be able to do as well. However I'm not sure what would be the best option for me visa-wise.

I have looked on the Thai Embassy website and it says the visas take 1 working day so I still have time to get one, but I wouldn't know whether to get a single or multiple entry one as I don't know how many times I will want to go back into Thailand (and it says you NEED to use all your entries!). I've also looked into booking an Air Asia flight out of Thailand to Cambodia before the 30 days is up, but I'm reluctant to arrange too much in advance because I might change my mind about where I want to go next when I'm out there (also they want the weight of your luggage - I don't know how much my luggage is going to weigh!)

Another thing - if I wanted to go to Thailand in order to get on a coach to Laos, for example, would they let me in if I hadn't booked the coach yet??

I hope I'm making sense, and apologies for the hugely rambling post, I just want to be able to bum around SE Asia for 5 months and don't intend to spend more than 30 days in Thailand at once but might want to pop back in for a few days at a time to arrange travel to other countries. I did try ringing my travel agency but they weren't very useful.

Clare xx

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Dec-2013, at 04:33 by Clare_Ruth ]

2. Posted by katzgar (Budding Member, 55 posts) 19 Dec '13 04:37

cannot answer your question cause then it would not be winging it.

3. Posted by RenaeLindsay (Budding Member, 15 posts) 19 Dec '13 04:55

I've done it, but I have a US passport. I don't know how it works for any other country. When you arrive at the airport, you get 30 days. You'll have to leave after that period. If you return by land you'll get 15 days, if by air, 30 days. You don't need proof of exiting the country after 30 days.

I spent 6 months in the area, left by land, came back by air, each time got 30 days. You can do that indefinitely. I had to go back home to get a new passport because I ran out of pages. It's totally doable.

Good luck.

4. Posted by Clare_Ruth (Budding Member, 10 posts) 19 Dec '13 04:58

Hi RenaeLindsay, did you have an onward journey from Thailand booked when you first came to Thailand?

5. Posted by RenaeLindsay (Budding Member, 15 posts) 19 Dec '13 05:36

No, I didn't. Just left every 30 days, visited Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia Hong Kong and Singapore. Each time I came back, I got 30 days. Piece if cake.

6. Posted by RenaeLindsay (Budding Member, 15 posts) 19 Dec '13 05:41

You do need inward journeys when you visit Vietnam, Cambodia (can't remember the others) but if you book a round trip ticket back to Bangkok, then you are covered.

7. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3523 posts) 19 Dec '13 20:24

Clare,
My friend Chris flew into BKK last month w/o an onward flight and got the free 30 day visa waiver like always. I would not stress over the onward flight requirement. Check the 'accommodation' button, top of this page for first night in BKK. Highest rated places list first. I don't think you need to book anything, but some like to know where they are staying that first night. KSR has so many places to stay that I seriously doubt you will not find something there or close by in your price range.

I have been to SEA over 10 times and always 'wing it'. I know I will find some place to stay in each city when I get there. With the Internet, it is easy to see what is out there. There are so many young people bumping around SEA that you are bound to hook up with others and travel with them for a few days or more. Just be flexible and enjoy the experience.

Good luck with your planning.