Thai Visa Runs to Malaysia: Extending Your Time in Paradise

Thai Visa Runs to Malaysia – Because who wants to go home?!

Exploring Thailand can take up a whole lot of time, so much time that you’ll probably want to extend your stay. Thankfully you have some options. Jumping the border is one of your options, and is probably the most straight forward. Thai visa runs to Malaysia are painless, with embassies in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

The long and short of it is essentially that you leave the country, get your exit stamp, spend some time in another country, return to Thailand. Now the issue is that the restrictions do vary and change from time to time. Check on the official visa websites and also your own embassy sites. Funnily enough, Larry in the bar who has just sunk his 12th Leo of the morning isn’t always the font of knowledge that he thinks he is…

The following suggestion certainly works for American and UK passports, other countries should check. Most Europeans can follow the same system but those outside of these areas should spend more time researching the ins and outs of it.

PS: Keep in mind that on every Thai tourist visa, you’re able to extend your stay by 30 days for 1,900 baht at immigration. Read up on how to extend your Thai visa with our quick guide since it’s often a better call!

Where to Get a Thai Tourist Visa in Malaysia

It’s no surprise that you can extend your visa in Malaysia. After all this is one of Thailand’s closest neighbors. It is also the easiest country to enter on the above passports and has barely any visa restrictions itself. This means that you’re reducing the cost of your overall trip. Laos, for instance, demands an entry visa, so you’re paying twice the cost.

Thai visa runs to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Thai visa runs to Kuala Lumpur aren’t complete without a visit to the infamous Petronas Towers!

Thai Visa Run to Kuala Lumpur

There are a few clear-cut options for your Thai visa run into Malaysia. The first is Kuala Lumpur. It’s the nation’s capital and has one of the largest airports in SEA. This makes for cheap flights, plus there’s a Thai consulate in KL. The city itself is well worth a trip as well.

We recommend staying in the heart of Chinatown to fully capitalize on the incredible (almost authentic) Chinese food. For those who have spent time in China, this is as close to mainland Chinese food as you can get in Southeast Asia. It’s got a touch of Malay influence depending on where you chow down, but it’ll fill your craving regardless!

Kuala Lumpur can be an expensive visa run if you don’t watch your budget, so be sure to plan ahead. It isn’t a cheap place to drink, but the city easily makes up for it with its amazing art and music scene. Check out Club Kyo XL and Laundry Bar.

Thai Visa Run to Penang (Georgetown)

For those looking for a different trip, or those without the budget for a flight, Penang is your next best bet. Just over the Thai border, this island of Penang and the city of Georgetown are well worth a visit as well as being incredibly convenient. This place is the king of cheap drinks and cheap living! If you’re on a budget while traveling, Penang is your best bet. Go say hi to our good friend Shane at Tipsy Tiger Party Hostel!

Thai tourist visa run trip to Penang, Malaysia
It’s hard to tell from this photo, but this artwork in Penang is actually a wireframe that stands just next to the wall! During the day, it casts some badass shadows ?

For both the above you’ll need to make a trip to the Thai consulate. You won’t need to make an appointment, but we advise turning up as early as you can. You’ll also need to collect a pile of paperwork, see the following list!

Requirements for Thai Tourist Visas in Malaysia

  • Your passport – goes without saying…
  • Photocopy of passport ID page
  • A set of passport pictures – some agencies require 2, others 4, some even more. Take a good few to be sure.
  • Photocopy of your visa page
  • Your departure card – don’t forget this, no card, no visa.
  • 1900 baht in cash, some agencies might take card but the majority will not.

Don’t panic if you don’t have photocopies. There are almost always some legitimate and illegitimate services on offer around the consulate.

Hand in all of the documents and they’ll tell you when to return. Sometimes this can be later that day if it’s quiet, other times it’s the following day. If you’re particularly unfortunate then you might have to wait more than 1 day.

Tips for Your Thai Visa Runs to Malaysia

Be flexible. If you can spend take the time to make the visa run over a couple of days then you can save cash and inconvenience. Georgetown is a great city to explore whilst KL has all the bright lights of a major capital. Make your pick and enjoy! Soon you’ll be back in the land of Leo and enjoying Thailand all over again.

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