How to Get a Thai Tourist Visa in Penang, Malaysia
You can get a 60-day tourist visa by applying at the Royal Thai Consulate General in Penang, Malaysia. The consulate is reasonably accessible by bus, taxi or Uber. The process is simple but be sure to follow the steps carefully to avoid any complications.
What You'll Need (according to http://www.consular.go.th):
- Passport or travel document with validity not less than 6 months
- Signed copy of main passport page
- Visa application form completely filled out (available at the consulate or link below)
- Two recent (4x6 cm.) photographs of the applicant (passport style)
- Evidence of travel from Thailand (confirmed air ticket paid in full)
- Evidence of flight itinerary to and from Thailand
- Evidence of adequate finance (20,000 Baht per person or 40,000 Baht per family)
- 150 Malaysian Ringgit (equivalent to 1208.84 Thai Baht as of 01/03/2018)
- NOTE: Consular officers reserve the rights to request additional documents as deemed necessary
Submitting the Application
In my case, I only needed my passport, a copy of my main passport page (signed as the Thai government offices often require a signature on all copies), 2 passport style photos, the completed application form (you can get this at the embassy), my flight itinerary out of Thailand (within 60 days of applying for the visa), and the 150 RM fee.
You should be to queue before they open if you would like to get your passport back the next day. On a normal business days, the hours are 9AM - 4PM. However, it would be a good idea to check the website for holidays.
The process of submitting your documents is easy. With all the documents prepared and the forms filled out, you just approach the counter when it's your turn and the officer will take a look. If everything is in order, you'll be asked to pay the 150 RM fee and get a receipt showing what time in the afternoon to pick up your passport the next day. If possible, it's best to give yourself an extra day in case there would be any complication.
Picking up Your Passport and Visa
When it's time, you return to the embassy, show your receipt, and pick up your passport. It's as easy as that.
If you still aren't confident in taking care of the visa application yourself, you could get assistance from a local agent. Jim at Jim's Place Cafe in Penang has a good reputation. His agency is very busy, so be sure to explain where you are at with every step and double-check to be sure where you should be and at what specific time. He can also help with arrangements for return travel to Thailand.
Once you have your visa and have returned to Thailand (Firefly flies a convenient route between Penang (PEN) and Phuket (HKT) that's about 1 hour in a propeller plane), you may be able to extend your tourist visa for another 30 days. However, since you had to show your itinerary for leaving Thailand within 60 days to get the visa, you'll need to have a flight that allows changes or cancellation. Also, keep in mind there may be limitations placed on how many tourist visas the Royal Thai Consulate will give you in a short period of time (if you keep traveling from Thailand to Penang for new visas, for example).
That's the process in a nutshell. Good luck and enjoy your travels!
Royal Thai Consulate
Address: 1, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Taman Barat, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Hours: 9AM - 4PM
Phone: +60 4-226 9484
Visa Application Form
Jim's Place Cafe
Address: 431, Chulia St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Phone: +60 4-261 8731
*Notes: be cautious using www.kiwi.com for booking flights as when I last used the site, it switched my intended point of departure from Phuket (HKT) to Langkawi (LGK)). Also be cautious when booking with Air Asia, make note of having to clear immigration and change terminals for connecting flights, and make sure you have a minimum of 3 hours time between flights. Even if your first flight is delayed, you aren't likely to get any assistance from these budget airlines as their customer service policies are brutal!