Readers' Submissions

A Visa Run Option

  • Written by Anonymous
  • December 6th, 2005
  • 3 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

Visa run from BKK to Hat Yai, in total 8.5 hours from / to BKK airport at THB 3,800

As always, suddenly it is Christmas, same as with visas; suddenly you have to rush for a visa run, so did we.

There are always cheaper ways if you have time, but in this case we are working on a project and are not able to spend too much time on a pleasant run which gives us some extra days of vacation. So we had to find a way not spending too much time and money.

But what to do? We discussed several options, going to Cambodia is an option but it will cost you two days, one overnight stay visa fees of US$ 20, airport tax of US$ 25 all together at least THB 8,000.

Flying to KL / Singapore can be done in one day but air fare is really expensive approx. THB 9,000 to 12,000.

Flying to Penang is a two days exercise, there used to be a morning and evening flight which is cut to one flight a day. All the other options by bus are much longer than 16 hours and tiring as well.

So we came up with a more or less pleasant way to do it, go to Hat Yai. Yes you are right it is in the South, but if you are meant to die you will do so anyhow in the streets of Bangkok. But for sure it is nothing for sleepy head’s, only disadvantage was we had to get up early to be at the airport at 06:15, flight leaves at 06:55.

The good thing was we have been back to the office, (our office, not the bar named office) in BKK at 17:00 and could at least have a coffee before the beer after work.

We booked the morning flight with Air Asia to Hat Yai and the 16:50 flight back. Arriving there they offered us a taxi for THB 900 one way to the border until we found out that there is a minibus to Town and they told us that there will be another bus to the border. So we did that, ending up at a travel agent who offered us a taxi for the border run of THB 1,000, finally we got the guy for THB 800, but as always we forgot to ask to drop us at the airport and as agreed this was THB 800 for the round-trip from to town, which ended up we had to give another THB to the driver directly. So after paying the agent we had some time for a noodle soup.

Now we have learned how to do it and that will give you more convenience and will save you at least some extra travelling time and money, even when there is only a little money to save. To get the overall real cost you have to add the taxi costs in BKK to your calculation, for us it was THB 350 from / to domestic airport BKK.

Costs starting from BKK airport
Return ticket including all extras with Thai Air Asia THB 3.100
Minibus from Hat Yai airport to Hat Yai town THB 70
taxi to make the border run round trip THB 800
Extra tip for the taxi driver to drop us at the airport instead back to town THB 100
Total THB 4.070

Time we started in BKK, 06:55 total hours 8:30 back at 15:25 BKK airport

And here the tip to make it even more efficient:
Call the Hat Yai taxi driver in advance and save some money on transportation
I guess you are able to negotiate him down to THB 600, he told us it will be THB 700
from / to Hat Yai airport

Call: Wit (Prawit Sampanich) +66 99 77 11 68

You can do it for
Costs starting from BKK airport
Return ticket including all extras THB 3,100
taxi to make the border run round trip, from / to Hat Yai airport THB 700
Total THB 3.800

The actual time with the taxi will be approx 3.5 to 4 hours
Flight schedule 06:55 BKK arrive Hat Yai at 08:20
14:00 Hat Yai arrive at BKK 15:25
You have to kill about 1.5 to 2 hours at the airport, so bring a book or computer.

The driver used the Padang-Besar border crossing which is much faster than the other border to Malaysia.

Stickman's thoughts:

Visa runs, the biggest pain of not having legal employment!