Thailand Visa Visa Run Services

In the not so good old days, a visa run referred to making a long, overland journey to the nearest friendly Thai embassy or consulate, applying for a visa, staying a night or two waiting for your visa to be processed and then making the long, tedious journey back to Bangkok, or wherever it was in Thailand you lived.  It was 3 or 4 days out of your life and a good few thousand baht or more.  It got you out of the country for a few days and was a chance to see and experience a new country and culture but people quickly tired of visa runs.

These days visa runs are a little different.  Several companies offer a visa run service whereby you are picked up at the crack of dawn from a central location and are driven to the nearest border in a minibus, or perhaps even a full sized bus.  These visa runs usually take half a day or more, i.e. you leave Bangkok at around 5 AM, are taken to the Thai / Cambodian border.  You would pass through Immigration control, enter Cambodia where you would get a lunch put on by the company, often in one of the casinos, you’d have a chance to buy some duty free and then you’d exit Cambodia, return to Thailand and be brought back to Bangkok, getting back into town around 2 or 3 PM.

The better visa run companies run companies handle all the paperwork including the visa required to enter Cambodia, notwithstanding that you are barely an hour on Cambodian soil.  All you have to do is provide a photo and fill out the visa application form for entering Cambodia and the visa run company does the rest.  The total cost of these services runs around 2,000 baht.

Such services also operate out of Pattaya as well as Phuket, although in the case of Phuket they do not run to Cambodia but rather to Myanmar.

* It should be noted that it is not at all uncommon for the police to pull over these visa run buses and check the visas of all on board.  If you were on overstay, notwithstanding that you are on your way to the border to get it sorted out, you’re in trouble.  Anyone in this situation is hauled off the bus, arrested and sent to Bangkok for processing which would be followed by deportation.  It really does re-iterate the need to be the need to be legal at all times!