“Visa on arrival is more like visa 2 hours after arrival”
Here’s some important info I wish someone told me before my trip. Visa on arrival sounds easy peasy but this was not at all that. I stood in a queue for 30 mins then realized everyone had a form I didnt. Asked some nice people and they guided me; even told me i needed a photo and 1000 baht cash. Woah! I panicked. So anyway after running all over the place to first get the application form, convert cash, then click a decent photograph, I got back in line for an hour which felt like an eternity. Excitement that was brimming in me had fallen asleep, it was 3 in the morning. Finally it was my turn, he asked for my hotel reservations, i didnt have it so he told me to get it next time… in my head i was rolling my eyes-like there’s gonna be a next time. He handed me a coupon and asked me to go sit down… more on that later. Nevertheless, I happened to love the place and will definitely go back but I love to help more so here goes…
First, a list of things you’ll need for visa on arrival:
Passport (in case you have a sucky memory)
Immigration card (you will get this in the airplane, ask for it incase you dozed off and don’t recall getting one)
Application form for visa on arrival… this one caused me a lot of time and money. After walking out of the plane into the terminal, make a pit stop to use the washroom if you may and continue on to the visa on arrival gate. Ask for directions instead of wasting time wandering. This is where you will realize the language barrier and/or accent woes; be kind, attentive and calm. Find the gate, ask for this form before entering any queue and make sure you have a pen and a 4*6cm size photograph of yourself or you’re gonna have to shell out 250 bht to get some clicked – such a waste.
Boarding pass + hotel booking Make sure you have this; however, some dont care too much. Be on the safe side. You will also need this info while filling the above form, along with a point of contact in the country. Luckily I had a tour guide coming to pick me.
Return ticket (within 15 days), why not?!
Fee of 1000 baht in thai currency so plan your money conversions; mine was a spontaneous, last minute trip so I ended up converting all my cash at their airport and later realized I got a terrible rate. Do some research, find the best place to convert. The city has a lot of centers, just convert enough to pay immigration beforehand and do the rest later for a better price.
Travel light to Shop to your heart’s content! I want to travel here at least once a year just to shop. It’s crazy cheap, pretty designs, very wearable styles be it for work , outdoors or party. In fact I’d recommend carrying only your basic necessities and fill you bags with great shopping bargains. You will get everything you ever wanted. Skin care and hair care products, Bohemian clothes, smart work casuals, swimwear, purses, footwear… you can turn into a lifestyle blogger overnight.
Now, I know spontaneity is great but read up and make a list of places to visit or you’ll regret it every time you hear of a place you ‘missed’; even the adventures of the vibrant naughty nightlife. Some of the best places I visited:
- Khao san road
- Soi Rambuttri
- Chatuchak market
- Ratchanda Train market
- Wat Pho
- Floating market
Cover up when Visiting temples, like any other place of respect.
Bargain for anything and everything. If you think its fine still bargain unless you wana make someone extra happy. In that case, spend your extra cash on them.
Off to Seychelles now, ciao!