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BANGKOK 17 November 2018 08:27

Scott3000

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  1. Scott3000

    Border Run Alternatives

    Hi! Your info is way out of date! There's been a coup d'état in Thailand, in May, 2014. New regime in place. There never was a Thai consulate in Luang Prabang, at least not in the 10 years I've been an occasional visitor there. I got an SETV when in Luang Prabang in January, 2013, thru an agent, which is what I believe you did. That all changed after the 2014 coup. I got 3 double entry tourist visas in Vientiane directly after that, 2014-15, until the tourist visa crackdown in 2015. The 3rd such DETV was branded with the infamous red writing, which meant that I could never again get a TV in that passport in VTE. Also on that 3rd VTE visa run, local agents were also no longer allowed to appear alone on behalf of applicants. As far as I know, visa agents are banned from the consulates in Laos... at least for tourist visas. I also suffered the miserable bus ride from Chiang Mai to Nong Khai, and all the other trip-related inconvenience you mention. But there is some good news for you: 1. Since 2012-13, both Thai and regional air travel is SUBSTANTIALLY IMPROVED and MUCH CHEAPER. Specific to your situation, in September, I got a round trip air fare from CNX to Udon Thani for about $20-25 USD each way... similar price as the old beat up bus called "VIP". The departure time of the flights from Chiang Mai to Udon was too late to get you to Vientiane's consulate on time for same day passport drop off, so you'll have to spend at least 2 nights in the area between your departure and return flights. (I heard talk of an additional flight being added, but I'm not sure if it's in time to get you to the consulate in VTE early enough for same day passport drop-off). At Udon airport, there's a limo service (minivan) that times its departures to coincide with flights arriving from Chiang Mai. The minivan will take you either to the friendship bridge (250THB), or to Udon bus station, if you prefer. There are also plenty of options to get you back to Udon airport in time for the evening flight back to CNX on your return. The earlier you get to the border after leaving the consulate with your new SETV in hand, the less you are likely to pay to get to the airport in time to catch your flight back. 2. You shouldn't need ANY supporting documents (hotel bookings, plane tickets, bank statements, etc.) at the Thai consulate in Vientiane. At least I did not need them in September... perhaps somebody with more recent info can confirm the present situation. 3. There's also a Thai consulate in Savannaket, Laos, which seems to have a good reputation among visa-seekers. I went there in June, but for a non-immigrant B. Still, the line was very small -- maybe 4-5 people there at morning drop-off, and about 15-20 people waiting when they opened for pick-up the next day. Both drop-off and pick-up took about 10-15 minutes -- almost as quick as the Thai consulate in Hong Kong. I also spent the first of my 2 nights on that trip in Mukdahan, on the Thai side, before getting my visa. I like Mukdahan, mostly because it has a wide riverfront walk, and it's not a tourist destination. So I actually enjoyed my Savanaket visa run. Perhaps not worth the substantial extra travel effort if you're going from Chiang Mai, but if you have any plans to check out Isan, you may want to plan such a trip to coincide with your visa run and go to Savanaket, since you don't like Vientiane. I hope the trip works out well for you!
  2. Scott3000

    'More than 7,000' still watching black and white TV across UK

    I watch very little TV, but I watch in black & white. I watch a lot of movies -- about 95% of them I watch in black and white. I only watch color where it's somehow appealing. Otherwise, I stick with the vibe, the aesthetics of b/w.
  3. I have avoided entering Thailand visa exempt at BKK and DMK airports since early 2017, when I was hassled at the former, then interrogated at the latter. Haven't tried those two airports since, and keeping up with the news on this forum. I did enter Chiang Mai airport visa exempt late last year, no problem, though I did have to spend extra, buying two airplane tickets from Bali, instead of just one. AirAsia automatically routs you thru DMK, so I spent about 50% more to buy a ticket to KUL, and then a second ticket departing a few hours later from KUL to CNX non-stop, therefore doing immigration in CNX airport, not Bangkok. Since that time, all of my entries have been land entries, including two visa exempts for CY 2018. Most recent entry is by land, with SETV from Vientiane in September. Seems as though VTE is still a good place to go for a tourist visa. I did NOT need to provide onward tickets or monetary documentation. Hope this helps!
  4. Scott3000

    Border Run Alternatives

    The situation is very, very different than it was in 2016. I had the same hassle you mention, some resistance at BKK in Jan, 2017, then interrogation at DMK two months later. The 2 land border visa exempt entries per calendar year policy was implemented in early 2017... it took a few months for extended stay folks to find out about it. I found out about it just after buying a one-way plane ticket to Bali that year. DMK and BKK airports can be difficult points of visa-exempt entry into Thailand.
  5. Haven't been to Vientiane since 2015. I didn't like it my first time there in 2009, but then it started to grow on me over the years. By now, I look forward to the trip! As for Bor Phen Yang, not sure if I've been there. I recall a place in a similar location, riverfront at the north end of the park, with two Lao men singing Lao, Thai, and country music covers. I think I've got about 1000 photos from VTE that I haven't even looked at yet!
  6. Thanks for the update. I do not have a red-stamp in my current passport, but I do have 2 visa exempt land border entries from earlier in 2018 (February & April). Will that be a problem in Vientiane? Thanks in advance!
  7. Thanks ubonjoe... time to buy my ticket. Have a nice weekend!
  8. At the moment Vientiane do not require any of those. Hi! Is the above still true regarding getting an SETV at Vientiane? i.e., Do they require hotel booking, proof of income, flight ticket out, etc? I am planning a trip there to get a tourist visa next week & wanted to verify here first. Thanks!
  9. Hi! I'm in Thailand on a single entry non-immigrant B visa, with enter before date in mid-September. Is it possible to buy another entry at Chiang Mai immigration and use it to do a visa run to Mae Sai before that date? Thanks in advance!
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