Monday, June 16, 2008

The best made plans or something like that

I wanted to stay in Bangkok and recover till at least the end of June. I also did not want to change doctors at this point but the only problem was my visa for Thailand expired on the 19th of June. I planned on making a visa run which I had read about on the web and had seen signs for all over Thailand. By leaving and entering the country you get a new 30 day visa and I had already done this once to stay in Thailand for Songkran (Thai New Year).

I looked at flying somewhere but decided I would go by bus to the Cambodian border which I had crossed at to renew my visa for Songkran. This was the closest border to Bangkok and I figured my butt was doing good and could deal with a 5 hour bus trip at this point. I would go over the border and come back the same day and then spend the night in Thailand and if my butt was up to it would take the 5 hour bus trip back to Bangkok the following day if not I would stay longer.

On the 16th I got up early packed some clothes in my day bag and headed to the bus station. I caught a bus to reach the bus station and it worked out well except for Bangkok being a traffic nightmare at 8 in the morning. On arriving at the bus station I bought a ticket to Aranya Prathet the town on the Thai side of the border. The bus trip was not bad and my butt dealt with it really well but I was glad to reach Aranya Prathet and get my sore ass off the buss.

I haggled a bit with the tuk tuk driver and got a ride to the border. I had been reading about getting a Cambodia visa at this border and even though I dealt with the hustlers at the border I got a visa for $25 US instead of the 1000 Thai Bhat that they wanted. This is still over paying $5 US from what I have read but figured $5 is worth not having to go through the fight and it still saved me about 250 Thai Bhat.

I walked across the border with no problems other than the sky opening up and dropping as much water on me as possible. Once in Cambodia I thought maybe I would eat on this side of the border but on walking 10 meters or so in Poipet the Cambodian border town I figured I had enough of it. Poipet just has a dirt road and with all the rain I somehow managed to get covered in mud up my legs and covering the back of my shorts. I clear the Cambodia side of the border and on reaching the Thai arrival office I tried to clean up the mud as best as I could, filled out the Thai arrival form and was ready to be welcomed back into Thailand. This is where the plan sort of fell apart.

I had read somewhere that there was no limit to 30 day visa when arriving in Thailand. This may well be true but there is a limit on the number of days you can spend in Thailand with these types of visas in a 6 month period. I had been in Thailand for more than 90 days within the past 6 months and was told I needed to go back to Cambodia. I was told I could go to Phnom Penh and request a Thailand visa there. I knew it was long bus ride between Poipet and Siem Reap on some of the worse roads from talking to people. From Siem Reap it is another 6 hours on a bus to reach Phnom Penh. I was not sure how my butt could handle this and also I really dislike Poipet. I was also not sure I would be able to get a Thai visa on arriving in Phnom Penh and all my stuff was still in Bangkok. I was in a bit of a panic at this point.

I told the immigration officer I really did not want to go back to Cambodia and was there any way I get a visa for Thailand from here. I told him I had 3 days left on my visa from prior to going to Cambodia today. He consulted with one of the other officers and then said he could give me a one day visa but I would have to leave the country in one day. I said I don’t think I can not get back to Bangkok and fly out tonight. He answered me no that is not correct you have till tomorrow to leave and I just about kissed him. He stamped my passport, wrote something in it about being past 90 days and sent me on my way and after me saying thank you about 100 times.

I caught a tuk tuk back to the bus station, no haggling this time. I caught a bus to Bangkok and sat on my sore ass another 4 and ½ hours. I caught a taxi from the bus station back to my room where I got on the internet and booked a flight for the following day and started packing. At this point I breathed a big sigh of relive and was surprised I was so happy about having a day before being kicked out of a country.

2 comments:

  1. Holy shit Curly, you look like Fidel Castro with your long beard, it suits you!!! Hope you're doing great but awaiting your arrival in Oz...not right now since I'm in the Dam but will be back next week (-: XXX Nat

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  2. Hey Nat have a great time in the Dam and if you happen to read this while you are there buy Hoop a beer for me. I still really look forward to getting to Oz and it may be summer there before I make it.

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