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I am planning a trip to Cambodia next month. Ticket prices from Bombay (which is the nearest international airport) to Phnom Penh is more expensive than if I broke my journey in between (in Bangkok).

As an Indian citizen, I can get a visa on arrival in both places.

My question:
1. Will I need to get a Thai visa on arrival given that I want to board another flight?
2. How do you transit in Thailand where the connections have been booked separately?

  • 1
    How long will you be staying in Thailand? You'll want to make sure it's long enough to cover possible delays, since you won't be rebooked for your second flight if you miss it; instead you'll have to buy a new ticket. If the connection is tight and the cost savings are small, it's not worth the risk. – phoog Mar 6 '17 at 15:49
  • @phoog: Thanks for replying. I won't be staying in Thailand at all. I just want to use it as a transit stop and board my next flight. – Sriram Mar 7 '17 at 4:18
  • You will be staying in Thailand for the duration of your stop. Is that 20 minutes, or 8 hours, or something else? – phoog Mar 7 '17 at 7:02
  • @phoog: I would like to keep a gap of at least 4 hours and not greater than 8 hours between flights. – Sriram Mar 7 '17 at 9:49
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If you don't want to, or don't have enough time to, leave the airport at Bangkok, you can just stay air-side and never go through Immigration and Customs, but there are some issues to keep in mind, if you book separately:

  1. The Thai government charges a (IIRC) 500-baht exit fee, which is simply tacked on to your airfare when you buy a ticket for a journey apparently terminating in Thailand.
  2. If you have have two separate tickets, the airlines will typically not "interline" your checked baggage. You will have to go through Immigration, get your bags, go through Customs, and check in to the Cambodian flight. Issues like that are why I tend not to check baggage at all.
  3. There are two international airports in Bangkok. You will certainly fly into Suvarnabhumi (BKK), but the flight to Cambodia might very well originate from Don Muang (DMK). Check carefully. It's reasonably easy to get between the two, but you have to actually do it.
  4. If you buy two tickets, and the first flight is so delayed that you miss the second, you are majorly buggered. You might have to buy whole new tickets.
  5. BOM is the closest international airport to you, I take it, since there are dozens of international airports closer to Phnom Penh. You might find it more economical to take an Indigo or SpiceJet flight to New Dehli and fly to Phnom Penh from there.
  6. On the other hand, Bangkok is an interesting and exciting city, especially compared to dour, hard-scrabble Phnom Penh, and I advise everyone to see it. It's also barely more expensive than Phnom Penh (and cheaper than Mumbai) If I were you, I would allow a day or two on each end of the Cambodia trip.

Edit: your profile suggests you are in Sri Lanka. Are you leaving from Colombo originally? Thai Airways and Sri Lankan Air both offer direct flights from Bandaranaike International to Suvarnabhumi at very reasonable prices.

  • If you have to switch airports, that requires entry to Thailand (passing through immigration), which may require a VoA or visa; not sure if there is a transit visa. So picking the correct airport may be important. – Jon Grah Mar 8 '17 at 3:25
  • @Malvolio: Thank you for your reply. I think it might have been too much of a risk and ended up taking a single flight straight to Siem Reap. I am based out of India. – Sriram Mar 29 '17 at 8:46
  • @Sriram -- Siem Reap is lovely. Don't miss the Butterfly Zoo or the War Museum. Consider visiting Thailand. Koh Chang is quite close and more beautiful than any Cambodian beach. – Malvolio Mar 29 '17 at 19:34
  • @Malvolio: Ok. Thanks for the suggestions! I have about 5 days in Siem Reap and 3 days in Phnom Penh. Thailand might have to wait... – Sriram Apr 4 '17 at 5:43

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