ED VISA RUN – SEPT 2014 TO LAOS IN PATTAYA

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GOT MY ED VISA, NO PROBLEMS, NO QUESTIONS, NO ISSUES!

THIS IS MY POST COUP, ED VISA RUN TO VIENTIANE, LAOS, SEPTEMBER 2014; I WRITE IT TO ENCORAGE YOU NOT TO WORRY DESPITE WHAT THE NAY-SAYERS TELL YOU.

 

So, last year, (2013), I got my first ED visa for Thailand and I was able to stay in and study in Pattaya for 15 months, and then came the Coup, then everything changed, all the bad stories started to circulate about how hard it will be to get visas again, and a lot of people were worried.

As my ED visa was about to expire, I to was a little worried because others had been trying to instil their fears into me and the future seemed a little uncertain, but I renewed my application for my 2nd ED visa with a positive attitude and knowing that if it all went bad, I had “Plan B” at the ready.

I kept in close contact with my school as to what the latest changes were to the rules regarding the “ED Visa” and they let me know that they were minimal at best, and they were –

Nobody could renew their ED Visa at immigration, Jomtien, and all new applications had to be done outside Thailand at an Embassy.

The Visa length had been shortened from 15 months to 12 months and that meant that the lessons had gone from 2 per week to 3 per week but the hrs remained the same.

They also wanted a photo of me outside my room showing my room number as well as a photo of the building I was staying at.

I also contacted my Tour organizer who is up to date with what is expected in regards to the paperwork, she came to the school and had the secretary make the appropriate changes to the letters that were to be handed to Immigration along with the applications, like-

Having the school cancel the old ED Visa

If you don’t have a letter from the school saying they have cancelled the old visa, for some reason you can’t be issued another and your application will be rejected until you get the letter. So make sure that has been done.

 

THE SCHOOL PACKAGE

The school fees are – 18,000 Baht for 200 hrs of lessons over 12 months, the school was very helpful and required –

  • 1,000 baht deposit, and balance due after re-entry into Thailand.
  • Copy of all passport pages.
  • 12 passport photos.
  • Copy of rent agreement.
  • Photo of room number and building.

All paperwork was filled in and sent to the Ministry Of Education For Approval by the school and took about 7 days to return approved.

 

THE VISA RUN PACKAGE

I paid my tour guide the agreed amount of 8,000 Baht.

The package included –

  • Being picked up from my room.
  • Payment of Lao Visa (1800 Baht) and processing at the border.
  • All transport to the Thai embassy in Vientiane.
  • All documentation done for you and double checked for submission at Embassy.
  • Payment of ED Visa (2000 Baht).
  • Hotel transfers from Thai Embassy to your room.
  • All meals are supplied by hotel while staying in Laos.
  • Buffet breakfast upon arrival at hotel.
  • 1 nights’ accommodation in A/C room (value = 800 Baht).
  • 1 evening meal and drink (Value = 200 Baht)
  • Buffet breakfast day 2.
  • Lunch meal and drink (value = 200 Baht).
  • Transport from the hotel to the border for visa collection.
  • Transport from Thai side of border back to your room.

SUMMARY

18,000 baht for lessons + 8,000 Baht for Visa Run

Total = 26,000 baht, 12 month stay, job done.

Extensions are required every 3 months at Immigration, Jomtien, at a cost of 1.900 Baht per extension.

 

THE TRIP

6 PM – was told I would be picked up by mini bus at agreed location

6:45 – mini bus arrived and picked me up,

Hand driver my passport

8 people including myself in the bus with one more passenger to pick up.

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7:15 – picked up last passenger, 9 people total with 1 spare seat and journey begins.

Make our way to highway 3 (Sukhumvit Rd)

Turn right onto highway 7

Turn right onto highway 36

7:35 – stop for fuel and snacks

7:45 – continue on,

Turn left onto highway 331

Turn right onto highway 304

9:30 PM stop for fuel, toilet and snacks

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9:45 PM continue on

11 PM cross the ranges step winding road

Bypass Korat and Merge onto highway 2

1 AM – fuel stop, toilet snacks, drivers sort passports and applications again

Address any problems

Visas are given back to check out of Thailand.

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1:40 AM continue on

3 AM arrive at Knong Khai border, snacks, toilet, wait on roadside until border opens

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6:20 AM – border opens

7 AM – pass through Immigration, check out of Thailand.

7:05 AM wait for bus to cross Friendship Bridge into Lao.

7:30 AM catch bus to Lao immigration check in and wait for guide with passports

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9:10 AM – my group is checked through customs into Lao

9:20 AM – put in taxi’s and taken to Thai embassy.

9:45 AM – receive passports and documents and wait in line for processing number

10:10 AM – receive processing number and sit and wait to be called.

11:45 AM – number called, documents checked, application taken, 5 minutes max, done.

12 PM – loaded into taxi and taken to Hotel

12:20 – arrive at hotel and am served breakfast

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1 PM check into room

6 – 7 PM – evening meal is served

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NEXT DAY

7 – 9 AM – breakfast buffet served

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11 – 11:40 AM – room check out

12 – 1 PM lunch is served

1 PM – loaded into taxis and driven to Lao border

1:30 PM – we are checked through Laos border even though our passports have not arrived.

1:45 PM – am given ticket to ride bus across Friendship Bridge

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2 PM – arrive Thai Border, entry forms are already filled in and handed out and then we wait for passports to arrive

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3:10 PM – passports arrive, check visa, attach prefilled entry card, wait in line for processing

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3:40 – Pass through customs, get entry stamps, enter Thailand, walk back to mini bus and wait for all passengers for trip back to Pattaya.

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4:30 – leave for Pattaya

6:30 – 1st stop south, fuel, toilet snacks

6:45 continue on

9:20 PM -2nd stop south, fuel, toilet snacks

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9:30 PM – continue on

12:30 AM – Arrive Pattaya and drop off passengers

1 AM – dropped off my Soi.

 

FOR BEST DETAILS VIEW IN LARGER MAP


View VISA RUN TO LAOS BY MINI BUS in a larger map

PROS AND CONS

What was good –

  • GOT ED VISA, NO PROBLEMS, NO QUESTIONS, NO ISSUES
  • Going by mini bus is a no brainer; everything is done for you every step of the way.
  • Fast trip to Thai Border
  • Basic support when needed.
  • The price of 8,000 baht for the round trip is worth it.

 

What was bad –

  • Lack of information about what was happening
  • Long, uncomfortable, hot, waiting periods, with no seating, between destination points, after the mini bus drive.
  • There was also an unusually large number of people applying for visas the day I was there at the embassy, cues were long.
  • Hotel breakfast buffet was very ordinary and the food was cold
  • Room was a little dirty smelly and A/C didn’t work, was upgraded to a better room after complaining.
  • The hotel we were to stay at (Dao Hotel, 3 star rating) was different than the one that we checked into (Hotel Lao, 1 star rating), it was ok because it was of its good location in the heart of Chinatown Vientiane.

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SUMMARY

If you like to play it safe, are clueless and need to be taken care of, then this is for you, a quick, hassle free, all expenses paid, overnight trip, you can’t go wrong with this tour.

Click this link below to Read about my first ED visa run with the same tour company in 2013.

VISA TRIP TO LAOS WITH TOUR COMPANY

 

If you like to be in control, like an adventure, sort your own problems out, find your own way, haggle every step of the way and test your survival skills then you might struggle with this tour, being herded from one check point to the other may not be your thing, you may save yourself 1000 Baht if you are good.

Click this link to find out how to do it

VISA RUN TO VIENTIANE LOAS

 

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