My Visa runs and visa extension experiences in and around Thailand. 

       Well, I have done a couple visa runs since I’ve been back in Thailand and two visa extensions as well.  I used the same visa run company for both visa runs. 

         The first extension I did was in June 2015 and was in Pathumthani. It was super easy and I was finished in about an hour. You just have to prove that you live in that providence with a rental lease which I did at the time, pay the 1900 baht, provide one visa photo, a copy of your passport and copy of visa. 

         After my first extension, a month later I did a visa run to Laos in July 2015. This was not a great trip but only because of the very long van rides each way. I believe it was around 10 hours each way. It’s a 3 day trip. I used a visa run service; Thai Visa Service. The total fees was 6,500. This includes the visa fees, the service, accomadation and food. We left at around 7:30 at night on the first day and arrived in the morning before the border opened and had to wait an hour for the border to open. I brought visa photos but the visa photo qualifications are different for Laos so they made me take new ones before we crossed the border ( after a full night in a van and I had just woken up),  so I would reccomend you bring some and make sure they are ones that they will accept. I believe you have to be wearing a white collared shirt. After we went through the border we went to the hotel and checked in, we then went back to border and got out passports stamps. Confusing process, I know. We were finished by late afternoon and went back to the hotel. The rest of the day I caught up on some sleep and hung out at the hotel pool with some people I met on the van. The next day we all checked out of the hotel around 11 and then headed back to the border where we got our passports back with our new visas. After that we headed back to Bangkok for another long ride. I arrived back in Bangkok around 11pm. The good part about this visa run was that I did meet a new friend who has become a part of my life here. 

        My second extension I’ve done here was in September 2015 at. The Bangkok immigration office. This time it wasn’t as easy or as fast. Getting there was pretty simple though. I took the BTS to Mo Chit and then a taxi from there which was about 130 baht. After I got my number I waited about an hour and a half. After I went into the office and sat down with the immigration officer things got complicated. Apparently the immigration officer in Laos put in my computer file notes that my passport might not be mine, that I might not be me. I have changed my hair several times so I guess they just couldn’t tell based on my pictures. The immigration officer was going through all on pictures in my file and looking at my passport over and over. He then called another person over and they were talking about it. I had no idea what was going on because of course everything was going on in Thai. Finally he told me and then said, don’t worry, I believe you are you and I’m correcting the notes. So scary! After that I waited another 20 minutes and then was called to pay and then I was finished.

        My visa run to Cambodia was my worst experience with it so far. After the four and a half van ride I went to the Thailand departure window. Everyone has in my group went pretty quick, that was not the case for me. The immigration officer was taking forever looking at my passport, looking at my computer file, talking to other employees and making phone calls. Finally the immigration officer told me what was going on. Apparently when I got my double entry visa in Laos they never entered my entry into Thailand into my computer file. The funny part is that last month when I did my extension they never said anything to me about this. So they weren’t going yo activate the second part of my double entry at first. They told me I had to go back to Laos, which would mean I would have to do that the very next day and pay all that extra money for it as well. Luckily in the end they just had me pay 500 baht extra and gave me my stamp. I was definitely panicking and upset whole all this was going on and so relieved when it finally worked out. I will be doing my visa runs on my own from now on so I can just do it myself and hope to have less of a chance for something like this to happen again. 

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