For Philippine passport holder who wants to extend their 30-day visa on arrival in Thailand, here is a detailed guide on how to extend your visa! You can extend your visa for 7 up to 30 days for 1900 THB.
What you’ll need:
Your Departure Card
One passport photo
Copies of your passport’s front page/copies of declaration page, the page with your entrance stamp, and your departure card.
You can photocopy your documents inside the immigration office. Just follow the signs, it’s easy to spot. As a matter of fact, you can also eat, shop, and drink some coffee while inside the immigration office. There are ATM machines too, just in case you forgot to get some cash.
How to go to Thai Immigration Office
The Thai immigration office is located on Chaengwattana road. You can always take the taxi but here is the cheapest option:
Take the BTS and get down at MO CHIT station. Exit at the Chatuchak market. Get on Bus #29 (8 THB) and ask the conductor to let you off on IT SQUARE. This is a big mall. There’s a free van going to the immigration office in front of IT SQUARE. They’re always there during office hours and you don’t even have to wait for passengers. Once we went in, they drove to the Immigration Office. (Tip: You can also ride this van back so watch out where they park)
From Chatuchak, you can also get on bus #52 (8 THB) and go down at CAT TELECOM. From there, ride the motorcycle to the entrance of the immigration building (15-20 THB).
Address: No. 120 Mu 3 Chaeng Wattana Soi 7 Thung Song Hong, Laksi Bangkok 10210
Hours: Monday – Friday from 8:30 AM– 4:30 PM. Closed for lunchbreak from 12 NOON – 1 PM. Office closed on weekends and holidays
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AT THE IMMIGRATION
Go to the Immigration Division 1 room. Tell the counter that you want to extend your visa. They will give you the necessary forms to fill in.
Then completing the form, go back to the counter and show them your documents. They’ll check it and they will give you a queue number. You can now proceed to the next room.
Wait for your number, it will show on a big screen. Then proceed to your counter number. They will ask some questions then take your photocopies, passport and 1900 THB.
Then you have to wait again for your name or number to be called and they’ll give you your passport with an additional 30-day tourist visa.
The whole process usually takes an hour unless you are cut off at lunch time. The process is very efficient and the officers are nice and helpful.
For other nationalities, you can also extend your THAI tourist visa if you are one of the nationalities who can get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival in Thailand.
Perm Poon Sub is probably the cheapest and most famous company that runs the 5 island tour in Koh Chang. We paid 600 THB plus 200 THB for the national park. It’s a protected area and the entrance fee is for the protection of marine life.
They picked us up from our hotel at 8AM.
Then they took us to Bang Bao Pier where we had some free tea, coffee or biscuits.
We rode a traditional Thai boat with a capacity of maybe 200-300 people.
There are chairs on the upper deck where you can sunbathing while the boat is speeding away.
Snorkeling Equipment was included in the package but wash it first as it looks like it has been worn by different people a few times. If you have your own gear, it’s best to bring it. Fins can be rented for 100 THB.
The guide said that the coral formation in Koh Chang is one of the best in Asia. We saw colorful fishes and beautiful coral formation. And we definitely enjoyed the scenery.
Lunch was provided. It’s a Thai style buffet but it’s very limited. If you have a big appetite then you should bring some extra snacks. Luckily there was free water on board all the time.
This whole day trip was not just about snorkeling. We also enjoyed swimming, kayaking and just taking breathtaking sceneries.
The boat had about 4 kayaks. Grab it before others outrun you 😀
And here are some of the very relaxing sceneries
Don’t forget to try the grilled squid locals are selling in one of the islands. It’s 50 THB and it’s very delicious.
And be careful crossing some wooden bridge as my foot got stuck in one of those. Ouch!
It’s a cheap way to visit the islands, snorkel, kayak, and swim. There will be a lot of tourist with you so if you can afford a private boat, then go for it. It will bring you to some remote islands far away from the tourist boat .
The lively party scene, cold beers and beautiful beaches just like in Koh Larn make it so hard to leave Pattaya but we have to move on. Our next destination is Koh Chang.
How to go from Pattaya to Koh Chang?
There’s a lot of tour companies offering service from Pattaya to Koh Chang, the price is around 500-1000 THB. We thought it’s expensive so we opted for the cheapest way to go to Koh Chang.
There’s a Van waiting in front of Tesco Lotus. Click this map.
The schedule of the bus is from 7:30 AM, 10 AM and 1 PM. We took the 10 AM bus and arrived in Koh Chang at 7 PM. I suggest you go early as the seats are limited. We wanted to take the 7:30 van, so we went there around 7:20, but the van was already full so we don’t have any choice but to pay for the 10 AM van.
If I remember correctly, we paid 100 THB per person. Then you have to pay for your own ticket for the ferry which is 90 THB for one way.
Arrival at Koh Chang
Upon arrival, you have different options to reach your hotel:
Big Tuktuk (songthaews) – these are a very expensive option but apparently, the only means of transportation in Koh Chang. They asked us 250 THB to bring us to our hotel, which can be lower down to 150 THB depending on the number of people who’ll ride with you and will also depend on how long your patience is.
Rent a motorcycle – If you plan on roaming the island, then renting a motorcycle is a good option. You will see a lot of motorbike rentals near the pier when you go down. We paid for 200 THB for 24 hrs. They’ll give you a helmet and some gas. Also, you have to deposit $100 which they will refund in full if you did not damage the motorcycle.
Tip: Take a picture of your motorcycle. There are reports that some motorcycle rentals blame you for some damage even if it was already there before you rent it.
Hitchhike – many locals are willing to give you a ride. Communication might be a little difficult but you can give it a try. There are no reported dangers but it’s best to be careful.
Walk – it’s safe to walk in Koh Chang. If you are up for the challenge, then go for it. There are many bars on the way to clench your thirst.
Van to Koh Chang – 100 THB
Boat (1 way) – 90 THB
Total Cost: 190 THB
It’s cheaper this way, but if you find a tour company offering 500 THB that will send you at your hotel’s door, then go for it.
It’s 11 PM. We just finished exploring Koh Chang. We’ve been here for two days and we enjoyed the long white sandy beaches, snorkeled the most beautiful coral formations in Thailand, kayaked from one island to another and ate a sumptuous seafood and barbecue buffet. We are now prepared to go back to Bangkok but plans were changed when we saw an advertisement of a van going to SIEM REAP with a picture of the iconic Angkor Wat. They will leave tomorrow at 6 AM.
We can’t miss this. So we packed our still wet swimsuits and went our merry way to Cambodia unprepared.
We now call it SCAMbodia and you’ll know why.
Departure from Koh Chang
Koh Chang to Poipet, Cambodia (The border) should only take 2 hours. From Poipet, you have to go to Thai Immigration and Cambodian Immigration which both have long queues. And then from Poipet to Siem Reap, it should take you about 3 hours. So our expected time of Arrival as per the driver is at 3 PM. Cool right? Yeah, if everything runs smoothly but you have to expect the unexpected.
The van will pick you up at your hotel at the agreed time, which is 6 AM for us but they were 15 minutes late. Bummer! And we have to pick up other passengers who I think forgot that they have to leave today, so another 15 minutes of waiting.
And at last, we are back on track. I have little sleep because of the BIG gecko inside our cabin last night, and that’s another story. As I’m about to dozed off, we stopped by the tour office. I didn’t realize what was happening until I saw 2 Korean girls having a catfight with a woman in charge of the tour.
Turns out, there’s a problem with the payment. It’s the “You-told-us-this-but-why-it-became-this story.” My poor Whai who is the only person who can speak fluent Thai and English in our group became their translator. His face expressed a “don’t-be-angry-at-me-I’m-just-translating” emotion. Ending: There’s threat here and there and the Korean girls were forced to pay the agreed amount, of which they threw at the lady’s face. So another round 2 of catfight being Whai as the referee and we’re off to go.
This time, I can’t sleep. Everyone’s talking about how much they paid and it turned out that all of us paid a different amount. We paid 550 THB per person, others paid 600, and some paid 650 THB.
Because of the chaos, we missed our schedule for the ferry and we have to wait an hour for the next schedule. Sigh. I’m now feeling dizzy. I have anemia and it’s triggered by lack of sleep and fatigue.
At the Cambodian Border
Before reaching the border, we waited at a restaurant where they asked us to fill in a form for immigration purposes. This was where they photocopy our passport and check the visa of countries who need it. I like this tour company because they really took care of us. They gave us ID’s and stickers as a sign that we are part of this tour. He spoke English and he gave us instructions. I’m from the Philippines and I don’t need a visa to Cambodia, but the immigration asked me for 200 BAHT, turned out this is a normal corrupt practice TSK TSK.
After filling out all the forms, we have to go to the Thailand Immigration first. We rode a big Tuktuk. They tried to fill in as many people as possible and boys ended up standing and almost hanging outside and girls are all cramped inside with everyone’s luggage. It’s a 5-minute ride to the Thai Immigration.
It’s a VERY long queue. It took me an hour to get that precious passport stamp. The guide will be waiting for you outside and unfortunately, we have to wait for the bus to be full and so we waited for the others. While waiting, we got our Cambodian Simcard for $5 and this Simcard saved our asses.
When the bus is ready to go, they brought us to CAMBODIAN IMMIGRATION of which is another hour of falling in line. And as we got out, we took this selfie as a reminder that we survived this journey.
The bus will then take you to the POIPET BUS STAND. This is farewell to the tour company. You are on your own now. Well, that’s what we thought the agreement was.
POIPET TO SIEM REAP
We planned to take the Government bus that will take us to Poipet for $3. It’s almost 5 PM now and we know we will arrive at night. The next bus to Poipet will arrive in the next 1 – 2 hours which worried us because we know the streets of Cambodia are not safe. While waiting, taxi drivers will try to sweet talk you with a promise of a fast and safe ride for $100. Uhm, no thanks.
At the Bus Station, the two Korean girls were waiting with us. There’s a guy who looked so angry and he told us that he is from the tour company that brought us here and we need to ride the van. He got our ID’s and angrily asked us to hurry. And so we did hurry.
Our driver was a young guy who speaks little English but pretended he doesn’t. The Korean girls were talking to him and the driver said that this van is free.
What? Free? This alarmed me and Whai as we know there’s no such agreement. So we asked again and he really said it’s free. At this point, I’m already imagining different scenarios that maybe we are being kidnapped or he is a thief.
Luckily, we bought a simcard. Unluckily, I dialed our hotel’s number multiple times but there were no answers. I just searched for police numbers etc and saved it, ready to dial it anytime. But so far so good. The ride had been smooth. We kept on checking our map afford use generators.
Atlas, we saw the sign board of our hotel. We can’t seem to find the entrance so we asked a nearby restaurant. And to our horror, he told us that this hotel was closed 3 months ago. It’s 9PM, we are very tired and obviously scammed by Agoda.
We booked Arboretum Guesthouse via Agoda. Apparently, they have two locations which were not cleared out by Agoda. Agoda refunded our money but the hassle we encountered was priceless.
Few minutes of walking and we found a decent looking hotel with swimming pool, and we liked it. We paid $14 including breakfast for a double room. They have a generator so you will be fine. The name is Tanei Guesthouse and I recommend this hotel.
And that’s how our day went, traveling from Koh Chang to Siem Reap by land was very exhausting considering what we’ve encountered.
It is no doubt that Thailand is the home of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And good news for everyone, you don’t need to spend a 14-hr ride or an expensive plane ticket from Bangkok to the famous beaches to have a glimpse of this beauty.
If you have been living in Bangkok for a while and you want to be freed from the hassles of the city but you only have a day or two off from your demanding work, or if you are a traveler who will just spend a few weeks in Bangkok and doesn’t have the time and money to fly to the famous beaches, then check out this paradise that is only a few hours away from Bangkok.
So grab your bathing suit and a few hundred bahts! Koh Larn is surely worth exploring.
How to get from Bangkok to Koh Larn?
There are a lot of ways to go to Koh Larn, but the details that you will read here is what my boyfriend and I tried. We always try to find the cheapest yet convenient ways!
You can ride a minivan at Victory Monument. It will take a maximum of 3hrs, sometimes faster depending on the traffic. It will cost you 99 baht to go to Pattaya (Tip: Get their number or ask where they park so you can avail the same service when you head back to Bangkok). Tell them that you want to go down at Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier.
From the pier, you can ride the public ferry. The fare is 30 baht each way. You pay just as you board the boat, there will be someone collecting the money. It will take 50 minutes to reach Koh Larn.
There are two arrival ports, the Naban port and the Tawean port. It doesn’t matter where you go down because you can still roam the island by tuk-tuk or motorcycle. If you don’t want to roam, both ports have beaches. Just find a spot on the sand and enjoy the sun.
Getting around Koh Larn
There are many kinds of transportation waiting for you at the pier.
1) Motorcycle – Tell them what beach you want to go and they will bring you there. Thay have a map with them with written prices for each destination. They ask for about 50 – 80 baht each person.
2) Rent a motorcycle – It costs 200 baht to rent a motorcycle for a whole day. Be careful because the roads are really steep, if you are not well versed to drive a motorcycle, then please don’t even try this one.
My boyfriend drives like a maniac and he almost gave me a heart attack when we drove on a small road to reach the highest viewpoint. It’s very steep and bumpy, a very bad combination. There’s a point where in the road has a gap and we have to go down and carry the motorcycle to reach the concrete.
But this view from the top took my breath away (literally).
3) Big Tuktuk – They usually park near the pier waiting to be filled by passengers. I remember they asked us 30 baht to go to the next beach (prices might vary per destination).
What we did is once we arrived at the pier, a motorcycle made a deal to look for the cheapest guesthouse. We paid him 80 baht per person.
Accommodation in Koh Larn are quite expensive compared to other places in Thailand. The lowest that we found is 1000 baht and we did not like it so we ended up renting a 1200 baht guest house for the night. This guesthouse has free wifi, free breakfast and free use of a motorcycle.
The guesthouse name is Sabaydee Koh Larn http://sabaideekohlarn.com/
I don’t recommend this guesthouse because it is not clean. We even found a cockroach! Yikes!
Their free breakfast is just boiled rice. I slept till noon and it’s a good thing that my boyfriend didn’t bother to wake me just to eat boiled rice!
Tip: Since guest house is quite expensive here, I recommend the following:
1) Make this your day trip and head back to Bangkok. The last trip for the ferry is at 6pm and the last trip for mini van heading back to Bangkok is at 8pm.
2) Rent a place at Pattaya. In Pattaya, you can find standard double room for 500 baht (maybe even lower). And some backpacker’s guesthouse for 200-300 baht. And when you are at Pattaya, never miss the nightlife (There is no nightlife in Koh larn). I’ve been to almost all the nightlife in Bangkok, and in my opinion, Pattaya is the wildest.
What to eat in Koh Larn
Food stalls and restaurants are all around the corner and you won’t have any problem satisfying your tummy. Price is also reasonable.
But if you love fresh seafood, then I highly recommend that you try this!
You need to look for seafood stalls that look like this:
There are a lot around the island, we just chose the one with a few customers because we are starving.
All you need to do is choose what seafood you like and they will cook it for you. You can wait for it or they will deliver it to your guest house.
It’s totally delicious that I am still remembering it’s taste while I’m writing this paragraph. Ohlalala.
Beaches in Koh Larn
There are six main beaches in Koh Larn. They have different qualities but all of them are equally beautiful. The white sand and clear water will sure take all your stress away.
It’s free to swim and camp on the sand. Beach chairs cost around 100 baht and there are shower rooms in every beach.
Also, if you are the adventurous type, you can try parasailing, banana boat, jet ski and shooting range. Just ask around, you will see a lot of advertisements.
We just made a mistake in spending the night at Koh Larn. We can find cheaper accommodation in Pattaya.
Nonetheless, We will definitely go back to escape the heat of the city once in a while. It’s totally a place for relaxing since the beaches are not crowded. And oh, that seafood, I will definitely go back for that one.
Van from Bangkok to Pattaya (2-way) – 99 THB each
Ferry from Pattaya Pier to Koh Larn (2-way) – 30 THB each
There is a great legend a thousand years ago when people in the neighboring city, Kampuchea, was struck by the chicken pox outbreak. They looked for a new shelter and walked several days until they came to a river where they built a kingdom on the opposite side of it, thus the Capital Ayutthaya.
It became one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world until Burmese won over the capital. It was very difficult to rebuild so people just abandoned the temples.
And now, everyone will have the privilege to observe and experience a site “of outstanding value to humanity”, as designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
If you are ready for some temples running and hopping escapade, I hope our experience will help you.
A day is enough to see temples and markets in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
How to get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok?
We tried the cheapest option which is by train. You can also reach Ayutthaya by bus, minivan or if you are feeling rich, try the cruise! Information about other options can be found here .
Feel free to leave a comment if you have questions. Whai is Thai and we will do our best to answer all your questions.
The train is located at the Hualampong Train Station which can be easily accessed by MRT. When you get there, be careful with people offering you help. Just don’t make eye contact and go straight to the ticket booth. I don’t want to generalize but since this is a busy tourist area, the majority of these people will try to scam you. Click here to find the train schedule.
Make sure to also check the trains from Ayutthaya to Bangkok so you know how late you can stay.
We boarded the train without buying tickets because our local tour guide Whai told us that it’s free but apparently, it’s only free for Thai. The staff thought I’m Thai because she just passed our seats but she asked our American friends for tickets but when they can’t provide any, the staff just asked for a 15 Baht payment.
The 3rd Class train doesn’t have seat numbers so when the train arrives, be fast to score a seat. We rode around 10 AM and there’s not a lot of people so there’s a lot of empty seats.
The ride to Ayutthaya is 2 hours long from Bangkok. You can observe locals with their bulky bags full of things they will sell in the province. You can also buy snacks, water, etc from people climbing in and out of the train. And don’t miss the scenery. Take a look outside while you play a dramatic Adelle song or any song for that matter. Just be careful with your belongings!
The problem with 3rd class trains is there is no one announcing your destination. So be alert when your arrival time is near (you can see it on the ticket), or look outside to read the name of the station.
Here is the Ayutthaya Station:
Getting Around Ayutthaya
The moment you arrived and got out of the train station, you will magically become a celebrity because you will be crowded with Tuktuk drivers offering you a tour. Just wear your celebrity shades and gracefully answer, “No comment.” Just kidding!
We arrived 12 noon when the sun is at its hottest. So our original plan of renting a bicycle didn’t sound fun anymore (I’m blaming our last night’s party at Khaosan Road).
With little sleep combined with the taunting sun, we opted out for a Tuktuk driver who offered us an unbelievable price of *drumroll please* 1500 Baht. Tip: Once you heard the price, prepare your face of disbelief. (I swear, this will work, just a bit of practice). If this doesn’t work, pretend to talk to other Tuktuk drivers. Once he saw prospected customers were turning away, he immediately lowered his price to 1000 Baht. And now we are talking! We tried our best puppy face until we agreed upon 750baht for 4 people. That’s not bad, I think.
If renting a bicycle is what you prefer, here’s what you can do:
You need to cross the river by boat, 10 Baht person.
Get down and you will see bike rentals for 30-40 Baht. You don’t need a passport but some might ask for a deposit.
They’ll give you a map and they’re kind enough to circle places you need to go. You can also check this map.
Temples in Ayutthaya
There is just too many breathtaking temples in Ayutthaya. If you have the whole day then there is no problem circling the whole town. If you have limited time, you can rent a Tuktuk just like what we did. Temples closed at 6PM.
All the most important temples have an entrance fee for foreigners, others are free with no gates. From what I can remember, we paid for 3-5 temples. Cost is 20-50 Baht.
Ayutthaya Floating Market
I love open markets in Thailand. Here in Ayutthaya, we’ve been to 3 markets. One is a street market we passed by and the other one is their local market.
My favorite is the Ayutthaya Floating Market. If you have some extra time, don’t miss it.
Lucky for us, they have a show when we were there. It’s a little presentation about the war between Thailand and Burma. They speak Thai but you will be entertained with the music and special effects. Don’t forget to laugh when everyone is laughing. 😛
What to Eat in Ayutthaya
Roti Hair! Sorry, I just call it Roti Hair. But look for something that looks like this.
They also call it Thai Cotton Candy. You can find it in Bangkok but it’s best in Ayutthaya. It’s one of my favorites Thai dessert. Yumyum!
Back to Bangkok
Heading back is easy, just go back to the train station and wait for the next train schedule to Bangkok. We head back around 9 PM. Unluckily, there are no available seats. Tired and sleepy, we just sat down on the floor until we reached Bangkok.
Bangkok is full of magnificent temples, but Ayutthaya is different so I would say you should never miss it if you happen to be in Thailand. The architecture is mesmerizing and the photo opportunities are just awesome.
Songkran is one of the most important holidays in the Buddhist Calendar. It marks the start of the year and Thailand celebrates it for one week.
Thai celebrates Songkran by splashing water on the streets and putting white talc powder on body parts.
If you plan to go to Thailand in April, then avoid arriving or departing on April 13th-19th as you will not be spared. No one cares if you are carrying your luggage. No one cares if you are carrying a laptop or a phone. No one cares if you showed them how angry you are, you will just become a favorite target.
What they have, are a very particular set of skills. Skills they’ve acquired over a very long career. Skills that make them a nightmare for people like you. They don’t know who you are, but they will look for you. They will find you and they will splash water on you.
So if you can’t beat them, just join them! And you will feel like a child again 😀
1)Choose your Weapon
It’s a war out there and you should be able to defend yourself. You will encounter water hose, big water guns, fire truck hose (yes, the government will fuck you too), and buckets of cold water.
The favorite choices are the water guns since you can load them with water and you can last for a couple of minutes before refilling it again. It’s portable and easy to use. You can strap it on your body with a beer on one hand and shoot someone on the other. Nowadays, Thai have this great idea of splashing freezing cold water because the usual tap water bored them. You can get it anywhere (sometimes it’s free, sometimes you have to pay) and it will surely make your enemies cringe.
Beware of White Talc powder, people will put in on your face and it will block your eyes. Also, Thai have this great idea again of putting something in it, sometimes it will be really cold on the skin or it feels hot. I don’t know what they’re putting in it. My guess is tiger balm or some chili.
If being soaked in cold water for a couple of hours makes you uneasy but you still want to experience the fun, then worry not. You can buy a raincoat anywhere and your face will just be the target, your back will be protected.
Buy a waterproof phone case to protect your phone and money. You can buy in anywhere before or during Songkran.
Wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes.
3)Prevention is better than Cure
Load up with vitamins. If your immune system is weak, then I do suggest to not join or go out.
Think about this, you will be soaked in water for hours. Not just water but cold water.
4)You can’t hide
The only way to hide is by staying in your hotel room. The minute you step out, you are a target.
Tuktuk, bus, taxi and other means of transportation is soaking wet too. We went home riding a bus and everyone is still splashing water on us, WHILE WE ARE INSIDE THE BUS.
If you lock the door on a taxi, you will be safe. But the roads are so crowded that your taxi won’t be able to move to go to the main event anyway, so you won’t see a lot. The moment you open your door or just a little crack in your window, say hi to the ice bucket challenge.
And if you are a foreigner, you are a favorite target.
You are in Khaosan road, freezing and soaking wet. If you want to home, you can just easily ride a taxi and go back home right? WRONG!
It’s the point of no return. The place is so crowded that it’s so difficult to go to the main road to get a bus or taxi.
You’ll spend another hour walking just getting to the main road. This means another hour of cold splashing water while you are worn out. So I suggest staying near the main road. This means that you should not be tempted by loud music in the heart of the street or line of people dancing encouraging you to go with them. Your choice 😛
It’s New Year and there’s party everywhere. It’s time to get wet and get wild!