This is a trip report from May 2016. I am not going to include details of visa requirements, visa types, or how many days you will be permitted to stay in Thailand. Visa rules and regulations change frequently in Thailand, I will only include details of my own visa situation.
For up to date information regarding your own visa requirements please refer to the Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or consult a local visa agency such as Five Star Visa in Pattaya.
It’s been 2 or 3 years since I embarked on the 1 day Pattaya to Cambodia visa run. Having a multi entry non-immigrant ‘o’ visa obtained in Savannakhet, and frequently leaving and re-entering Thailand for work purposes has fortunately made it unnecessary, until now.
The Pattaya to Cambodia Visa Run
I’ve used Five Star Visa several times previously so I visited their website to see their prices and schedule. The website quoted a price of 2,800 baht with incremental discounts for the number of days you book in advance. According to their website, the schedule was to meet at the Sportsman Pub on Soi 13, between Pattaya Beach Road and Second Road at 0600, have breakfast in the Sportsman, and then depart.
When I booked my trip I was informed that due to lack of customers this low season the price and schedule have been temporarily adjusted to keep the visa runs profitable. The temporary new schedule did not include breakfast, but rather than make your own way to the Sportsman you will be picked up and dropped off at home. The new price was 2,400 baht, so not a bad saving.
My Visa Run Schedule
- Depart from home at 0610.
- Stopped for toilets and refreshments at 0840.
- Arrived at Cambodian border, Ban Pakkad at 10:00.
- Left the border with new Thailand entry stamps at 11:10
- Stopped to eat at 1200.
- Arrived home at 1530.
At The Border
We never crossed the border into Cambodia: On arrival at the border, we were stamped out of Thailand and handed our passports to the driver. He then dealt with the agents/runners who took our passports to the Cambodian passport control and acquired Cambodia visas, entry and exit stamps.
In the meantime we simply waited at Thai passport control, it was hot, sticky, and uncomfortable. We waited well over an hour, which seems like a long time, certainly much longer than I can remember during previous visa runs. When our passports returned we simply re-entered Thailand with our appropriate entry stamps. For me, having a multi-entry non-immigrant ‘o’ visa for 90 days.
How Was The Driving ?
Most conversations, and probably the majority of Pattaya to Cambodia visa run recommendations will include the quality of the driving. Minivan and taxi drivers in Thailand generally have a reputation for recklessness, my own worst taxi ride from hell had me seriously considering making this visa run on my own by any other means than a minivan.
I remember the Five Star driver from my last visa run with them, he’s still alive, still working for them, and they’re still in business. I’m happy to say he does keep his speed down, most of the time. I’m also happy to say he doesn’t tailgate, at least not at speed. Generally, he was quite (comparatively) safe, and I felt at ease. My imaginary brake was barely used, and I even managed to nod off a couple of times.