Thai goverment and Thai laws are trying to protect the “Tiger Kingdom” from denationalisation and culture tarnish. In my opinion they are doing a really good job and this is the reason why Thai culture is still present for people who would like to blend into Asian cultures.
In order to enter Thailand as a Tourist, you need to first obtain a Tourist Visa from your country’s Thai Embassy. Thai Tourist Visa gives you a timeframe of 60 days max, to remain in Thailand as a tourist. Anyone can also obtain 30 day visa, from any Thai boarder just by presenting the legal documents.
If it is required you can get another 30 day extension to the local Immigration Office paying some fees (1000 – 2000bht depending on the number of days and your nationality).
But what if you want to remain more days?
In that case things are different and depends on your nationality, age, money and purpose of remaining more days in Thailand. Officialy a “Visa Run” is forbidden! However there is a whole industry running…based on people who want to extend their Visa.
Why, Going For a Thai Visa Run in Penang?
First of all…Why Not?
Nahhh…I’m just joking, but you should visit Malaysia when you have time. I’ve heard the best, it has one of the best F1 Grand Prix Circuits of the world, I’ve seen many pictures and I’m planning to spend a whole month exploring this country… 🙂 (but this is me)
Anyway, back to our subject. By going outside of Thai boarders you can obtain a new, fresh tourist visa counting again to 60 days (or 90 if you get another extension as I mentioned earlier) safe residence in Thailand.
At the time I’m writing this post, Penang can give you 60 fresh days (+ 30…) , but be sure to double check before you decide where to go for your Thai Visa Run, cause things always change.
What Else There Is To Know About Thai Visa Run in Penang?
Most people that choose Penang to do their Thai Visa Run, live in Phuket or in South Thailand in general. You will have to choose wisely your transportation mean. There are choices like:
- Public Bus (highly suggested, safe, budget friendly)
- Private Mini Bus (depends on how adventurous you are…)
- Car Sharing (if you are a group)
- Airplane (check the dates first!!!)
I’m going to do my Thai Visa Run in Penang tonight and I’ve chosen the Public Bus. It will cost me around 2000bht to go in Penang, stay there 1 night and return back. The reason you need to stay there, 1 night minimum, is that the local immigration office has a lot of workload, so you better find a local guesthouse to pass your night.
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Hope I’ve managed to clear this out for you…and be sure to check my other posts to find my Thai Visa Run in Penang review that I’m going to write about once I return from Penang.