How To Get Your Thailand Visa in Kuala Lumpur

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You’ve been having the best damn time in Thailand. The nightlife in Bangkok blew your mind, Chiang Mai taught you how to eat, and Pai charmed your pants right off your ass with it’s smooth vibe. Now you’ve only got two weeks left to explore the south before your Thailand visa expires…sounds like it’s time for a visa run.

 

We had a lot of questions we needed to answer before we could start planning our Thailand visa run. (spoiler alert: We’re going to answer all of them.)

  • Do I even need a visa?

  • Where do we go?

  • How do we get there?

  • What documents do we need?

  • What’s the cheapest route?

 

There are a few key facts we should probably lay out.

 

  • You can only get a 60 day tourist visa by applying for one at a Royal Thai Embassy. Here’s a list.

  • Passport holders of many countries can get a 30 day visa exemption at an international airport. (this means that if your country is on the list, you can stay for 30 days without getting a visa in advance.

  • Every Thai embassy is different, and they all have their own set of advantages and disadvantages.

  • In MOST CASES you can extend your Thailand visa once, for an extra 30 days (even if you have visa exemption).

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What do you do in the airport at 3 am?

Where’s the best place to go?

As I said before, every embassy is different and comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The best place for you to get your Thailand visa depends largely on where in Thailand you’re going to be traveling from, as well as your budget. If you’re in the north, you can fly out of Chiang Mai or Bangkok. In the south, your best bets for cheap flights are either Krabi or Phuket. The cheapest flight we found was from Krabi to Kuala Lumpur for about $80 round trip. ✈️

Helpful Link: Here’s a great blog post from Live Less Ordinary which outlines many of the advantages and disadvantages for several Thai embassies. Be aware that this article is from 2013 and some details may be out of date.

Also: We found Skyscanner.com to be the easiest way to compare prices. The trick is to view the whole month in order to get the best price.

 

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No Sleep till KL! KL or BUST!

After reading many-a-blog-post on this subject, here’s how we ended up narrowing down our options and eventually selecting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as our embassy of choice for a visa run.

  • Most countries require visas to enter, they can be expensive. This ruled out Vietnam 😭, Laos, and Myanmar…

  • Flights to Phenom Penh, Cambodia were more expensive than to Kuala Lumpur

  • Although some blogs said Penang, Malaysia was the easiest, flights to Kuala Lumpur were MUCH cheaper than to Penang. 😎

Note: Should you happen to decide Penang, Malaysia is the best option for you, here’s a very thorough blog post from Tieland to Thailand about how it’s done.

 

 

What documents do I need?

Write this list down. You’ll need each and every one of these documents. If you’re missing even just one you’re gonna have a bad time. Even still, I’d plan for an extra day just in case. (We were lucky we did.)

The Embassy is open for visa applications Mon-Fri from 9:30 to 11:30. Best to get there around 8:30 to avoid waiting in a long line for processing. The line stacks up pretty quickly. You can pick up your visa on the next working day between 2:30 and 4:30. Make sure you come with paper copies, not electronic documents. (If you come unprepared you can print copies in the lobby of the hotel across the street for 1 Ringgit per page. )

  • Visa application form (download and complete beforehand)

  • Your passport

  • One signed copy of your passport photo page

  • Two passport sized photos taken within the last 6 months

  • Printed, confirmed flight into Thailand

  • Printed, confirmed flight out of Thailand

  • Printed confirmation of accommodation in Thailand (supposed to be for your entire stay, but we were approved with 15 days accommodation)

  • 150MYR exactly. (about $35) No Dollars, No Baht, No change. (and no refunds)

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The view from our AirBnB balcony

Note: We were turned away on our first attempt because we didn’t take this list seriously. We thought we could get away with not booking our accommodations and our flights out of Thailand until later. Don’t make the same mistakes we did.

🤔Should you decide to book something with the intention of cancelling later, like a hotel stay, for instance, we promise not to judge…

The good news is that even if you blow it, and you aren’t approved for your visa, you can still go back to Thailand and get your 30 day exemption at the airport. Which, you can later extend for an additional 30 days. No big deal.

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TLDR: If you’re in Thailand and you want to stick around for another 60-90 days, you can do a cheap visa run to Kuala Lumpur. Write down the list of documents you need. The visa costs about $35. Plan an extra day in case of fuck ups.

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Obligatory photo of the Petronas Towers

 

Bonus: Here’s the link to the AirBnB apartment we stayed at in KL. It wasn’t the cheapest option for sure, but it was within a 10 minute walk from the Thai Embassy. In our down time we were able to take advantage of the pool and gym, relax in the spacious apartment, and even take a bubble bath. If you don’t have an AirBnB account, feel free to click here for a $35 discount.

 

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26 Responses

  1. Faith Coates
    | Reply

    A really good informative post so refreshing to hear swear words…LOL…I for one appreciate the levity. The document list will come in very handy as well.

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      Haha! I’m glad you enjoyed my natural language. It’s not like i’m writing in the NY Times. haha. Obviously not everyone will appreciate the use of colorful language, but I think it’s just how real people talk 😉

  2. Rebecca
    | Reply

    Useful to know should I ever go to Thailand from Malaysia. Bureaucracy can be a pain, but worth it!

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      Malaysia makes it pretty easy to get your visa. That 90 days visa exemption is clutch.

  3. Ugo Cei
    | Reply

    You got some great info here and Kuala Lumpur is a great place to visit on its own.

  4. katie
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing this, it is so hard to find information like this on the internet! Thai Visa rules are so complicated but this has been a massive help!

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      I’m so glad this helped you! When we started looking into our visa options we realized the same thing, so we decided to put this post together so we could consolidate the information into one place. Thats why I included so many links 🙂

  5. Michael
    | Reply

    Last week, I went to KL and got a six month multi entry visa for Thailand. As long as you have all the paperwork for the application, it should work. I see a lot of posts saying this couldn’t be done anymore. Its just not true. It is possible

    • Glene
      | Reply

      Please can you tell me how much the muiti entry was for Thailand ? I do have a ticket for going and leaving but I may want to go sooner leave and go back again ..
      Do you think this will be a problem ?
      Thanks Glene

      • LocalNomads
        | Reply

        Hi Glene! Thanks for reaching out. We’ve never done a multi entry visa for Thailand. This blog might be useful though!

  6. Rochelle
    | Reply

    Hello! Thanks for the great post. With the flight out of Thailand, does it have to be within a certain time frame? I’m not sure on when I’m going to leave. Also, is this in reguards to a 30 or 60 day visa? Thanks heaps 🙂

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      Hi Rochelle, I hope the article was useful for you! This article specifically refers to the 60 day Thailand visa. You can extend that visa for an additional 30 days within Thailand for a total of 90 days. If you only need to spend less than 30 days in Thailand, then you can just go for the visa exempt stamp at that airport. No visa needed. Your flight out of Thailand must be booked before you can get your visa. All you need is a flight out of Thailand to another country. You can usually buy flights for around $30 to neighboring countries. Then you can either take that flight or just skip it and book a different one later.

  7. Ben
    | Reply

    Hi guys, thanks for this article, the info be very helpful for my trip next month. I have a quick question regarding evidence of accommodation booked in Thailand: do you know whether the Thai embassy in KL will accept an AirBnb reservation, or do they insist on hotel/hostel reservations? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      We had an airbnb reservation so you’ll be just fine. In fact we booked one with a flexible cancellation then cancelled it after we got our visa. Hope this helps!

  8. Lynden
    | Reply

    Hi.When i get my 60 day thai visa can i use it to cross the border overland at say Langkawi

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      Hey Lynden! I’m pretty sure you have to fly in. But double check that. I know that they require to see your entrance ticket and your exit ticket when applying at the embassy. But I’m not sure if it has to be a flight in both directions.

  9. Lynden
    | Reply

    Thanks for the speedy reply,we have our tickets and all paper work sorted we are wanting to cross overland and not use the plane tickets and leave through another country but can’t find info if the 60 day visa will be valid on land border crossings into Thailand.

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      Hmmm that is a tough one. I couldn’t find anything saying one way or the other… if you figure it out would you mind posting your answer here? I’m so curious myself. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help.

  10. Ed Zein
    | Reply

    Hey there 🙂
    planning to visit KL on November. and I am applying for thai visa in KL. just two questions;

    1) do I need to get a bank account statement to apply in KL for thai visa?
    2) do I have to present confirmed and paid return tickets and accommodation?
    regards,
    Ed

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      Hey Ed!!
      1) nope, no bank account statements needed
      2) yep, you need the confirmation pages for both flights and 1 accommodation. We booked a flexible Airbnb and then cancelled it once we got out visas.

  11. Yanee
    | Reply

    One more thing that we have to download application form and check list from the website at http://www.thaiembassy.org/kualalumpur/ because they are planning to not provide visa application and check list at the Embassy,its mean we have to download from their website

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      Thanks so much for the info! I will edit the post to include your link!

  12. Michael
    | Reply

    Great informative post! I will be going to Penang soon for my visa run but I was also considering Kuala Lumpur as a destination. I think there are a lot of different countries where one can do visa run cheaply. I found of destination for visa run here http://onwardtravel.io/thai-visa. Love your blog! Michael

  13. Lynden
    | Reply

    Hi,
    In reply to entering Thailand from Langkawi Island at Saturn using a single entry 60 day visa. It was easy, short ferry ride customs no problem, we had organised transport before we left Langkawi the driver made contact with us before we cleared customs now in Ko Samui and loving it. A port of entry is a port of entry as long as you have the correct prearranged visa in your passport. Thanks Lynden.

  14. Amir
    | Reply

    Great article. Is Airbnb reservation accepted by the embassy?

    • LocalNomads
      | Reply

      As long as you’re booked for enough days you’re fine. There’s always the option of booking a room with flexible cancellation. 🙂

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