Visa run from Pattaya Thailand to Ban Laem on the Cambodian border

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Published: 04th March 2011
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Visa run From Pattaya to Ban Laem Cambodia

For many who choose to live in Thailand and Pattaya and who are not over 50 nor have work permits the visa run is a necessary part of life, unless you want to run the risk of being caught by the immigration police for over stay.

From Pattaya the two most common border crossing points into Cambodia are Ban Laem and Ban Pakard. Both are only 20 KMS or so apart. Of course there is Aranyaprathet which is further up the Cambodian border. This article deals with Ban Laem and Ban Pakard. These are the Thai border crossing names. Most farang (Westerners) make the visa run to renew their Thai tourist visa, non immigrant "O" or "B" Visa and to extend their stay in Thailand legally by 15 days. Long gone are the days when you could get a 30 day visa from crossing the Cambodian border and returning the same day.

Itís and early start in Pattaya. Some visa companies tell you meet at a collection point while others will pick you up from where your staying. Either way itís an early start. You need to be ready by 6:00AM or before. Once youíve been collected by the visa company you will be asked for your passport, a copy of your passport, copy of your visa and entry card and finally two passport size photos. At this point some companies ask you for payment while others will take payment in advance. The cost of a visa run from Pattaya to Cambodia will vary from 2000 Baht with lunch to 2800 Baht. It all depends whom you book with. Donít think youíll get the best service from the more expensive company. As with everything in Pattaya itís hit and miss. You need to try a few companies before you find one that your happy with, unless your first time lucky of course.

The most common mini bus used for the border run is the Toyota Commuter, 11 seat. Comfortable, although not too roomy but normally with good air con. Most of these buses also have DVD players installed in them.

At 6 in the morning everyone is still a little sleepy so for the next two and half hours or so until the first stop everyone catching up on their sleep. Very quite and peaceful! There is normally one stop before reaching the border crossing at Ban Laem or Ban Pakard. Here you can get something to eat and drink and use the bathroom if needs be. Itís also good time to say hello to your fellow travelers. A point worth mentioning! Etiquette on the bus The trip is fairly relaxed and easy going but once you have chosen your seat in Pattaya then thatís where youíll stay until you return to Pattaya unless you agree with another passenger to swap. Ask first! The break lasts about 15 minutes and then after itís back on the bus to the Cambodian border. As the border gets closer there is a small chance of being stopped by the Thai Army and being searched but this is very rare. Most times the mini bus is waved through the Army check points.

Once you arrive at the border crossing at about 10:00 Youíll be directed by your visa guide leave the mini bus and head towards Thai customs control and immigration. Here as in an airport you hand over your passport to be checked and stamped. If all is OK youíll be waved through. However! If youíve over stayed and your visa is out of date youíll be asked to go to another counter to pay a fine. At the moment the cost per day for over staying your visa in Thailand is 500 Baht.

At Ban Laem you cross the newly built concrete bridge into Cambodia and make your way to a casino where you can have lunch. The cost of the lunch should be included in the visa run as is the cost of the 30 Day Cambodian visa. Now in Cambodia you are in a small town called Daun Lem. The lunch here is a buffet of Thai Khmer food. After lunch you can shop at the duty free where you can buy: Alcohol, cigarettes, perfume and male enhancement medication at prices much cheaper than Pattaya. After the shopping is finished you head back to the Cambodian border control to collect your passport ready to return to Thailand.

Lunch and shopping takes about 1 hour. During this time your visa guide will have filled in your passport details and all your immigration forms for Cambodia and Thailand. You have no forms at all to complete. All you will be asked to do is sign your name on various forms. Itís easy.

From meeting your mini bus in Pattaya to returning from Cambodia you are escorted the whole way by a guide who will complete your immigration forms and help you with any questions or problems you may have.

Once through Thai immigration at Ban Laem itís back on the bus to Pattaya. Again there is normally one stop. Itís a chance to have a break and use the bathroom, have something to drink and stretch the legs. After the stop itís straight back to Pattaya. The whole trip takes no more than 9 hours.

After your visa run, your left feeling quite relieved.

If youíd like more information about the Thai visa regulations and laws about living in Thailand then please email:

Look at our web site to see properties for rent and sale in Pattaya:

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