My last Thai visa is in my passport

in #travel10 months ago

It's hard for me to believe that this time has come. It has been nearly 16 years that I have lived in this fine country and most of my experiences have been good ones.

I have been a dive instructor, a math, English, and Science teacher whose elementary school students are now in college or beyond (one of them ended up being Miss Thailand - totally because of my Math teaching.) I've owned a restaurant that was briefly rated as one of the top 5 places to eat in Krabi and I've owned 2 guestshouses, who in their prime were some of the most popular places in the region.

I've managed a series of villas that which was the only soul-crushing job I ever had and then I found myself unemployed for a while. I've had a few crazy relationships all of which ended, and I have seen a plethora of friends come and go. Now it is going to be me, one of the longest-running members of the expat community that I am aware of, that is departing.

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I wish I could say that I was ending on a high note, but unfortunately that is not the case. Due to constant changes in immigration law, I am no longer willing to jump through the ever-increasing number of hoops that the government has set up for us to face. I am no longer willing to deal with the unhelpful and downright mean attitude of immigration officials. I am no longer willing to pay the various bribes so that someone will do what is already their job.

But I am not going to badmouth the Immigration people any more because that horse is well and truly dead. They suck and they are meanies and their actions are going to have long-standing detrimental effects on the Thai economy and unfortunately this is going to impact the common man as well.

Moving on...

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My new home of Da Nang appealed to me immensely upon visiting for just a week and I am enthusiastic about what this city and this country has to offer. As I have already written the visa was exceptionally easy to obtain and the government officials, even though they were all wearing scary almost Soviet-looking uniforms were friendly and efficient. Thailand has trained me to believe that all of these people are meant to be sadists, but thankfully that is not the case.

If you look at my first picture above of my visa you will see that Thailand has given me one final F.U. It is meant to be a 30-day stamp but they have only stamped me in for 29 days. This means that my flight, which I scheduled to occur EXACTLY 30 days after my arrival in Thailand on this last trip, is going to take place a day after my visa expires.

So now I gotta either change my flight or overstay my visa by a day... and I will do whichever one costs less.

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I've had 4 passports with Thailand stamps, that's how long I have been here. It is a bit sad to close this chapter on my life. Who knows, maybe one day I will return but in the meantime, i am kind of looking forward to the new adventure, and putting the foul attitude of the government officials in my rearview.

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Good luck! All the best!

I hope you will be very happy and successful in your new home!

Have a good journey!

Thanks pal, I'll likely come back to visit from time-to-time so that I can keep my Thai language skills sharp. I'm not really looking forward to learning another "impossible" language :)

Happy that you have made up your and and no regrets even though it was forced on you really. Did you manage to find accommodation whilst you were there?

yes buddy, I found a condo that I am very happy with on the 3rd day i was there. I am excited about living 200 meters from the beach on a quiet-ish street!

4 passports, is that almost 40 years? and no way to become a permanent citizen? wow

Lol, no that was not the case. During my early years I had to get a new visa every 30 days so the book filled up quick, the second one was damaged because i'm an idiot and i accidentally washed it in my shorts, the 3rd one expired, and the last one I changed to a new one because TH wouldn't allow me any more visas because i "had too many visas." So I changed to a new passport and as far as they knew I had never been to Thailand before since the USA always issues a new passport number. :)

"and as far as they knew I had never been to Thailand before since the USA always issues a new passport number. :)"
the good old paperwork where no one knew nothing as no one was connected :D

Wishing you the best buddy. I laughed at that final FU comment. That’s the truth though isn’t it? No regrets it sounds like. Good out weighs the bad maybe. Like I said before, I am looking forward to hearing about your newest adventure!

Pepper and Molly say hello Nadi!!

yeah, i just can't catch a break it seems! Fortunately, I expected complications as Thailand has trained me to prepare for the worst... therefore i paid $10 extra to be able to change my flight without a surcharge. However, it gets more complicated because not every flight has a pressure controlled doggy area.... The adventure (annoyance?) continues!

I think what really is annoying you is the delay to get to those fresh roll subs. haha. Gotta look out for Nadi.. That's a must.

Damn, man. You've gotta a lot of interesting life experience from your time there it sounds like. At least you've got a shit load of fond memories from your time there, dood. I'll be hoping your move to Vietnam goes smoothly beyond Thailand making sure to spit in your eye and pee on your shoes on the way out.

Looking forward to seeing what you share from good old Vietnam, baby boi.

Leaving Thai? What a journey! Thank you for sharing your experiences. They've helped those of us interested in visiting Thailand though a recent thread on twitter by a fellow countryman has made me sceptical of staying. Apparently they don't treat us (Africans) as equals and being that I ain't crazy about racists beings, I am opting just to visit.

Enjoy your new adventure ♡

From what I've been hearing online by others as well, it appears that Thailand will be loosing a lot of revenue from Ex-pats who are choosing to relocate to Viet Nam.

I've not heard a bad review yet of Da Nang.

Best wishes to you. I can sympathize and relate to the frustrations mentioned.

In a couple of hours I can go to the immigration with my passport and a couple of days of overstay...really looking forward to this. I have a doctors note like a school boy as I had food poison but I assume that will not matter at all...

I am looking forward to your experiences

Welcome to Vietnam! I have heard whispers of visa changes coming in July 2020 though so keep an eye open for that. If you're on Facebook, I can recommend a few great community groups in Da Nang.

yeah, i've heard of those changes too where they are going to limit stamps to 30 days, even if you have a 1 year visa or longer. While this will definitely be an inconvenience, it doesn't appear as though there will be any limits on how many visas you can have and I will just have to go on a government enforced vacation every 30 days or so. :P

You can't really argue with that view! I think you are going to be really happy in Vietnam. From what I have heard, it is a really great place. I'd like to visit there someday. Chances are I will never make it though. My wife has some places out of the country she wants to visit that take precedence over my wishlist. To be fair most of the stuff on her wishlist is on mine as well, so it really isn't a win/lose situation. Good luck getting your final VISA sorted out. I'd probably just switch my flight, even if it cost more. Just to avoid having to deal with them one last time!

Good luck in Vietnam. Da Nang is great, I liked it a lot.

Howdy sir gooddream! What a time you had there, they were lucky to have you but it sounds like the don't care anymore. But best of luck in Vietnam!

Da Nang is a great city. I lived there for six months and want to do some traveling around Vietnam before I return. And I know exactly where you are coming from with your feelings on Thai immigration.

I have heard multiple stories down the years from people who have lost their homes and possessions because Thai immigration wanted to refuse them entry.

In contrast, I met someone in Malaysia a few weeks ago who had done one to many (Malaysia) visa runs. Malaysian immigration gave them a two-week entry stamp and told them to fetch their belongings and leave for 12 months. That system is fair; the Thai system is disgusting.

I was chatting to a guy last week who has a 30-year history in Thailand. He said the country is on its knees financially, and the military government has a desire to keep Thailand pure. This sounds about right; the military dictatorship of smiles isn't what it used to be.

After giving up on the Thai visa running and those light interrogations for a 30-day extension, I have to say I am happier. In the grand scheme of things, Thailand isn't all that great. For me, Vietnam is a much better environment, and I guarantee you will not hear the word Farang and the negative connotations that go with it.

what a fantastic response and this is very inspiring to hear. In the past 5 or so months I have spoken to many people who reside in Vietnam and I am yet to hear any horror stories about immigration or other than the odd shakedown for a bit of money, the police either.

Let's hope it stays that way!

Thanks, when I entered at Da Nang airport in June, the immigration guy looked up and gave a small smile, I nearly fell over. The last time an immigration officer smiled at me he had just received a $20 tip for his excellent work and dedication to the job.

So you didn't have any trouble getting the 30 day tourist stamp on the way back in? I'm a little worried about that but many times i think these horror stories of people being asked to show 20,000 B in cash or a round trip ticket as proof of leaving are just "a friend of a friend." I dunno but I plan to do kind of like you did, leave on my expired 1 year visa and then come back in for 30 days.

I don't know what i would do if i got denied bcause all my stuff would still be in Thailand at that point.

 10 months ago Reveal Comment