In June, I will be travelling to South East Asia. I land in Bangkok on the 6th of June, before beginning a tour of countries. My partner and I move across the border to Cambodia and circle east and upwards, before heading back west and crossing at the MeKong river on 02nd July. I leave Thailand again by train over the Malaysian border on the 6th or 7th(on a night train). My partner will be following the same route and dates, except for flying out of Bangkok on the 6th. We are both UK residents.

Will we have to apply for a full tourist visa, or if we are able to enter under the tourist visa exemption? Onwards travel has already been arranged in all circumstances, but we are unsure whether the border crossings by land transport will count for valid leaving, or if we must instead treat our visit as spending 31 days in Thailand.

1 Answer 1


For the 30 day visa exemption you need to document that you are leaving Thailand before the 30 days are up. And the only real proof is an airplane ticket out. A bus ticket to the border does not count.

You will need to prove this first the airline flying you to Bangkok as they have the legal responsibility to check before boarding you. Immigration rarely checks unless you look slovenly or broke when you arrive. Because your partner's flight and your train trip are 31 days, you are safest getting a tourist visa before going, then the 30 day exemption when you return from Cambodia (or re-reading perhaps you are turning via Laos, but either way the same advice).

  • The part of the tour that takes me into Cambodia and out through Laos (via Vietnam) has been booked through a tour company (G Adventures), and there is a flight involved that is out of the country. Would confirmation from the tour company count?
    – ajfstuart
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 16:54
  • As long as you can document the flight and tour (tour booking confirmation and printed itinerary showing flight), then you should be OK to enter under the visa waiver program.
    – user13044
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 2:21

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