|Thai embassy in Vientiane|
For those people traveling and wishing to stay in Thailand for a longer duration this can get costly and time consuming. Two weeks goes by pretty quickly!
There are many options for obtaining the single or double entry visa. We chose to head into Laos to apply and visit the country. You can also go to Cambodia, Malaysia, and really any country that has a Thai embassy. Since we were traveling overland, the capital of Laos was the closest. I have also heard that it is one of the easiest places to get a visa, especially the highly coveted double entry.
We spent 1 month in Laos exploring and really fell in love with the country. I chose to wait until the end of our stay to head to the embassy, but as it turns out, the visa doesn't start when you get the visa it starts when you actually enter Thailand again.
You will spend $30 for the Laos visa so it makes sense to make the most of it and stay for a bit. We found Laos to be a beautiful country with a laid back style. Not quite on the tourist radar yet so it still maintains a more authentic flair than in Thailand. At the Laos border also be sure you have a passport photo, although they were quite lax about the specifics of it.
The embassy in Vientiane is open for visa services from 8:30am to 11:30am. However, they did not turn anyone away that was still in process after 11:30. Take a tuk-tuk to the embassy, if you are in the center of town expect to pay about 70,000 kip ($8.50) for both ways. He will usually wait for you. It's a bargain, but know that the tuk tuks in Laos are more expensive than in Thailand. You can also try and bargain for a 2 day rate (you'll need to return the following day to pick up the visas) or even for tours around the city to see the sights. Pautuxy is a must see and Buddha park was a highlight for the kids.
|Waiting area - Click to enlarge|
What do you need to bring?
- money (only Thai Baht is accepted)
- passport photos (at least 2, can be done outside the embassy but seems best to already have them)
- photocopy of Laos visa in passport
- photocopy of picture page in passport
|Ticket machine - click to enlarge|
Your number will be called, in English, and proceed to hand in your form. The attendant will glance at it to be sure everything is filled out correctly. No questions were asked at all. It is important to note that I went to the office and did the entire process for all 5 family members. None of them were present and it seemed to be a non-issue. The attendant then motions you to go into the building (with your ticket that you used for the first line) and pay. I sat for about 15 minutes and then numbers were called all at once. Wait in that line for a couple minutes, pay that attendant (IN BAHT) and you are out the door.
Return the next day between 1pm and 4pm to pick up the passport with visa inside. Again go to the ticket machine, get the ticket and head in to the office where you paid the previous morning. Wait about 15 minutes, the numbers will be called, and you pick up the visa. Double check that everything looks right on the visa as far as dates before you leave.
It is that simple. Plenty of people spoke English, no security hoops to jump through, and the whole thing took about 2 hours.
** There are many companies offering assistance with obtaining visas. There are also many people outside the embassy offering to help and take photos, etc. It is really unnecessary and a waste of money if you're prepared. This was a very simple process.
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