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Visa Renewal in Thailand--Travel Thailand Series
QUICK THAI VISA RUN
EXPLAINING INITIAL PROCESS
I have obtained a non-immigrant "O" visa with multiple entries to Thailand from the Royal Thai Consulate General in my area two times. A non-immigrant "O" visa with multiple entries is good for one year, however, the visa must be renewed every 90 days. I have renewed my visa in Thailand tree times. In order to renew after the first 90 days, I need to leave Thailand and go to another country and then return. I choose to go to Cambodia because it is close to where I stay in Bangkok, Thailand when visiting. After researching the travel section of Bangkok Post the first time I needed to renew I decided to use the Quick Thai Visa Run for several reasons. I could get my visa renewed in one day, the departure time was not as early as some other services for the one day trip and the cost was 2000 baht ( about $65.34 US in January 20ll) for the round trip. The company would facilitate all the necessary paperwork. All I needed to do was bring my passport, a copy of my passport and two photos (2"x2"). It is important to call the number on card shown ahead of time to make arrangements.
LOCATION FOR PICK-UP AND PROCESS
PICK UP LOCATION
Pick up and meeting place was at Baanrai Coffee Shop on the corner of Sukhumvit 63 and BTS (Skytrain) Ekkamai Exit. The coffee shop is by the big Honda dealership and the courtyard can be seen from Skytrain Ekkamai exit.
MEETING TIME, DEPARTURE, AND INITIAL ACTIVITY
I had been instructed to arrive by 9:00 a.m. with departure on the bus at 9:30 a.m. sharp. I first filled out out departure/arrival cards, providing 2 photos, copy of passport and passport and 2,000 baht.
The assistant helped me with the paperwork and spoke a little English.
A gentlemen collected and checked all the paperwork.
THE COFFEE SHOP
I got an iced coffee mocha at the shop and enjoyed waiting in the courtyard.
WAITING IN THE COURTYARD
The scenes and setting of the courtyard were very inviting and music played quietly over a speaker.
When it was time we all walked down the sidewalk for perhaps five minutes and waited for the bus.
We boarded the 36 passenger bus. It has always been clean and comfortable. There has been a full load on all three of my visa renewal trips.
We were given a bottle of water after the trip began. A movie was turned on for those who preferred that over looking at scenery, reading, visiting, sleeping, etc. We were handed back the copy of our passport to carry with us when we crossed the border. We were shown a menu and the assistant wrote down what each person wanted for lunch. When we were close to the lunch break stop, the assistant went down the aisle with a roll of toilet tissue, pulling off generous sections and handing them to all the females.
We stopped around noon at a gas station that had a 7-11, local Thai food market stands, hong nam (Room Water) meaning a restroom, and an outdoor restaurant. The area had beautiful boganvilla flowers shubbery.
When we boarded the bus we found our lunch in a styrofoam cotainer setting on our seat.
We arrived at Baan Lem on the Thai/Camodian border around 1:30 p.m.
VISA RENEWAL PROCESS
DEPARTURE FROM THAILAND
We were given our passport by the assistant and waited in a line to have our visa stamped showing we were departing from Thailand.
ENTRY INTO CAMBODIA
We then walked thru that area and the assistant collected our passport again. She carried them to "somewhere" and they were all stamped showing our arrival in Cambodia.
We carried the copy of our passport over the bridge and spent a half hour or so in the small area of Cambodia that we were allowed to be in.
Many young children approached us as we walked across the bridge, asking us for money. After we boarded our bus about an hour later, there were no children to be seen and all the hustle and bustle of previous activity was gone.
We were able to use the hongnam again, buy duty free items or just look around, watch local people crossing thru the gateway across to a Cambodian town. A guard insured that we did not enter that area.
RE-ENTRY INTO THAILAND
In about a half hour we walked back to the same building we had given our passport to originally to show we had departed and stood in line to have our passport stamped for another 90 day visa.
We then spent a little more time on the Thailand side where there were many Thai shops with food, clothing, trinkets, souvenirs, perfume, watches, cameras, the whole gamut of merchandise.
RETURN TRIP TO BANGKOK
We boarded the bus and travelled the same route home. We stopped at the same gas station area for a break. We could watch a movie if we wished. i took a number of pictures of scenery.
Traffic was heavy in Bangkok and it seemed like forever getting back once in Bangkok. It was dark. We arrived at the coffee shop area and I quickly got off, with passport and visa in hand, and boarded the BTS Skytrain for "home" in Bangkok at least for another 90 days before needing to repeat the process of visa renewal.
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