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I am planning on traveling to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. The idea is to fly to Bangkok, then go to Cambodia -> Vietnam -> Laos and finally go from Laos back into Thailand and fly home through Bangkok again. I will be gone for three months.

Normally i do not need a visa as a Swedish citizen to these countries as i can stay for up to 30 days without. But i am a bit worried about two things.

Will there be problem when i arrive in Bangkok as they see my return ticket is three months later? Or that i dont have one at all if i book it later.

Will there be problem to cross the border back into Thailand from Laos? I have heard that you usually get permission to stay 14 days when you reenter through a land border. But i am not sure if this is still the case?

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First issue, your POOT (proof of onward travel) will be checked by the airline when you check in in Europe and without it, they likely will not let you board. End of trip. You need to be able to show that you are leaving Thailand to fly there under Visa Exemption rules. And for most airlines the only acceptable POOT is an airline ticket (bus or train tickets do not count). You might explore options for a cheap air ticket somewhere out of Thailand as a throw away or actually use it to get somewhere you want to go. Or get a fully refundable ticket and cash it back in once you are in Thailand.

You also could look at a tourist visa, which gives you a sixty day stay and airlines usually don't check for POOT. Right now (until 28 Feb 2017) single entry tourist visas are free.

Overland entries under the Visa Exemption program are now back to 30 days for all countries that qualify for VE, but there is a new rule limiting you to two overland entries per year.

  • So if i understand you correctly. If i buy a cheap ticket to for example Cambodia, i will have no problems? – Henningsson Jan 19 '17 at 8:25
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    Yes, as long as you can show you are flying out of Thailand within 30 days of arrival, you will be OK under the Visa Exemption rules. Your return flight to Sweden will serve as POOT upon return to Thailand from Laos. – user13044 Jan 19 '17 at 8:47
  • Ok, that is great thanks. Will i need POOF on every land crossing? for example from Cambodia to Vietnam? I have never heard from people who have made a similar route that they need it, but now i'm starting to get worried. – Henningsson Jan 19 '17 at 8:55
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    Officially Cambodia has a requirement for a return ticket to obtain a VOA, Laos does not and I am not certain about Vietnam. Cambodia Immigration, in my experience, does not check for POOT. I think they use it and the "sufficient means of support" rule to weed out undesirable travelers. – user13044 Jan 19 '17 at 9:08
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@Tom is correct about the real possibility of being unable to board in your home country or EU area on Visa Exempt (VE) entry to Thailand without POOT. You could use FlyOnwards.com to book a real onward ticket for $10 USD.

You can theoretically have unlimited VE entries via air, but land borders you can only have 2 VE entries maximum per calendar year. With your current strategy, you will be using 1 out of 2 VE land entries. If you wish to save that for another time, you could opt to obtain a Single Entry Tourist Visas (SETV) in Laos.

The free SETV scheme has been extended until August, 2017. But recent trip reports are that the nearby Thai Embassies/official Consulates such as Penang (Malaysia), Vientiane, and Savannakhet (Laos) have begun requesting bank statement summary pages that show you have THB 20k equivalent (can be non-thai bank) and proof of onward travel from Thailand prior to accepting the application. I am unsure if these extra requirements will be permanent process, or just temporary crackdown.

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