Children of Laos, Burma & Thailand

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Thailand and Laos (and Myanmar if I can manage it)

Hello, Sawatdee kaa and Sabai dee,

My next trip will be Thailand and Laos, and this is all about the before, the trip and the after - similar to my Malaysia/Cambodia blog. I am putting together from start to finish - tickets, do's and don'ts, tours, where to stay, places to see, things to do, as well as useful extras like transport, good places to eat, what to wear, climate, tourist traps, tricks and tips and whatever else I can think of that will be useful.

If you have any tips or advice, please, feel free to leave a comment and add your bit - whatever you think may be helpful or interesting.

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Playlist - My Travel Videos


Although proof of onward travel may or may not be strictly enforced in Laos or Thailand, it is often a requirement of airline policy when you check in at departure that you have an onward/valid ticket (eg return) and without this the airline may refuse to board you.


All visitors entering Laos must possess a valid passport. Visas can be obtained from Lao Embassies and Consulates abroad and on arrival at International Checkpoints.

A 30 day visa is available in advance and can be done through tour companies recognised by the Lao PDR from Lao Embassies or Consulates in countries such as: Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Cambodia, Cuba, PR of China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, DPR of Korea, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, USA and Vietnam. The visa fee varies from between US$8- 42 depending on the agreement with the various governments.

It is possible to extend your visa at the Immigration Office in Vientiane, through travel agencies.

Visa on Arrival
You can obtain a Visa-on-Arrival (VOA) at the following international checkpoints:

China (Mohan) - Luang Namtha Province (Boten)
Thailand (Chiang Khong) - Bokeo Province (Houay Xay)
Thailand (Nong Khai) -Vientiane Capital (Friendship Bridge)
Thailand - Xayabouly Province (Nam Heuang Friendship Bridge)
Thailand (Nakhon Phanom) - Khammouane Province (Thakhaek)
Thailand (Moukdahan) - Savannakhet Province (Friendship Bridge II)
Thailand (Chong Mek) - Champasak Province (Vang Tao)
Vietnam (Nam Kanh) - Xieng Khouang Province (Nong Haet)
Vietnam (Kao Cheo) - Bolikhamxay (Nam Phao)
Vietnam (Lao Bao) - Savannakhet Province (Dene Savanh)
Wattay International Airport (Vientiane capital)
Pakse International Airport (Champasak Province)
Luang Prabang International Airport (Luang Prabang)

Laos border crossings tend to have varying hours and it would be wise to arrive earlier rather than later. At weekends, or a late hour you may be asked to pay a dollar or so for "overtime" - smile, and don't bother asking for a receipt.

ALL visas on arrival are now valid for 30 days. Be wary of being stamped in for 15 days on a 30 day visa.

Further information can be obtained from Lao National Tourism Administration

Lao Embassies Abroad
Laos Embassies can be found in many countries around the world. If your country does not have one, you can easily locate one in a nearby country. For example there is currently no Lao Embassy in the UK, therefore all immigration enquiries and visa should be directed to the Laos Embassy in France.

Below is a list of Lao Embassies abroad
Laotian Embassies and Consulates


Thai Tourist Visa
Many travellers wishing to enter Thailand may be required to obtain a Tourist Visa, which can be applied for at a Thai Embassy in their country of origin or from Thai Embassies in other locations. A tourist visa permits you a stay of either 30 days or 60 days (depending on nationality). You can extend your stay for 30 days by applying to the nearest Thai Immigration office. The fee is currently 1,900 Baht.

Tourist Visa Exemption
Passport holders from 48 countries and 1 special administrative region - Hong Kong SAR, are not required to obtain a visa when entering Thailand for tourism purposes and will be granted 30 days if arriving by air and 15 days if arriving overland.

Applicable countries are
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil,.Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco,
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar,
Singapore, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland,Turkey,
United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam, Czech Republic,
 Hungary, Liechtenstein, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia.

Visa on Arrival
# Passport holders from 28 countries and territories may apply for visas at the immigration checkpoints for the purpose of tourism for a period of 15 days. Visa on Arrival (VOA) is only available at certain checkpoints.

#You must possess means of living expenses at the amount of 10,000 Baht per person and 20,000 Baht per family accordingly.
#The applicant must possess a passport with at least six-month validity and must present full paid ticket which is usable within 15 days since the date of entry
#Visa on arrival is provided at 24 designated international checkpoints and applicants should submit the application form duly filled out and to which his/her recent photograph (4 x 6 cm) is attached. The application fee is 1,000 Baht.

#Visitors who enter the Kingdom with Visa on Arrival generally cannot file an application for extension of stay except in special cases such as illness which prevents them from travelling, etc. They can submit an application at the Office of Immigration Bureau , Immigration Division 1, Government Center B, Chaengwattana Soi 7, Laksi, Bangkok 10210. Tel 0-2141-9889 or at this website: Immigration Bureau.

Applicable countries and territories
Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Czech, Estonia, Hungary, India,
Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Maldives, Mauritius,
Oman, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,
Bulgaria, Andorra, Malta, Romania, San Marino.

Immigration Checkpoints for Visa on Arrival
1. Suvarnabhumi Airport
2. Don Muang International Airport , Bangkok
3. Chiangmai International Airport , Chiangmai
4. Phuket International Airport , Phuket
5. Hatyai International Airport , Songkhla
6. U Tapao Airport , Rayong
7. Mae Sai Immigration Checkpoint , Chiengrai
8. Chieng Saen Immigration Checkpoint , Chiengrai
9. Chieng Khong Immigration Checkpoint , Chiengrai
10. Betong Immigration Checkpoint , Yala
11. Sadoa Immigration Checkpoint , Songkhla
12. Samui Airport , Surat Thani
13. Sukhothai International Airport, Tak Immigration Checkpoint
14. Bangkok Harbour Immigration Checkpoint, Bangkok
15. Sri Racha Immigration Checkpoint , Chonburi
16. Mabtaput Immigration Checkpoint , Rayong
17. Nong Khai Immigration Checkpoint, Nong Khai
18. Samui Immigration Checkpoint , Surat Thani
19. Phuket Immigration Checkpoint , Phuket
20. Satun Immigration Checkpoint , Satun
21. Krabi Immigration Checkpoint , Krabi
22. Songkhla Harbour Immigraion Checkpoint , Songkhla
23. Chiangrai Airport Immigration Checkpoint, Chiangrai
24. Surat Thani Airport Immigration Checkpoint , Surat Thani

Further information about VOA can be found HERE.

Information from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Below is a list of Thai Embassies abroad
Thai Embassies and Consulates


If you are entering the Kingdom of Thailand without a valid visa there is a concession which allows you to do so providing that the following conditions are ALL fulfilled.

1. Your Passport is on a list of passports approved for this purpose. It is likely to be but please check if you are in doubt.

2. Your visit to the Kingdom of Thailand is for tourism purposes only.

3. You hold a confirmed air ticket to leave the Kingdom within 30 days direct from a Thai airport. Please note that you must travel by air and travel from an an airport outside of Thailand does not count.

This has been the rule for many years and nothing has changed in this regard. The only thing that has changed is that these rules are going to be applied more strictly than in the past.

Please also be aware that Airlines often check if passengers have either a valid visa or a return ticket within 30 days and will exclude you from boarding a flight to Thailand if you have neither. The Thai authorities have asked Airlines to be more vigilant in this respect.

This 30 days only applies if your total stay is up to 30 days. It is not a free 30 days which can be added to the length of your visa as some people seem to think.

The above information can be found here - THAILAND VISA

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