This week I went on a visa run to Cambodia to activate the second part of my double entry Thai visa. I used a company called Bangkok Buddy that only charges about 60 EUR for the trip including everything. They arrange a luxury minivan to bring us to the border and back, take care of all the paperwork and a free all you can eat breakfast is included. Everything is very time efficient as we already leave at 5 o clock in the morning, to be ahead of the traffic jams.
It all went very smooth and there was almost no line at either sides of the border. After passing the border, we had the freedom to spend 2 hours in the casino where the breakfast could also be consumed. As gambling is illegal in Thailand, the casino at the Cambodian border is very popular. Surprising to see so many gambling people there, before the afternoon has even started.
The passport control had pictures of the Bangkok bombing suspects that they were comparing everybody to. Luckily I didn’t look like anyone of them so no problem there. It was a bit strange that they did this check only when going back into Thailand and not when leaving. It seems only logical that the bombers would want to leave the country.
An American in our group was a bit unlucky, as they didn’t let him get back into Thailand. He had been doing the same visa run for 2 years at this border and the officers saw this as an abuse of the system. I don’t hope to ever be in the same position.
On the way back we crossed many police checkpoints and we were even stopped at one point. Because of the bombings that went on, Thai police seemingly wants to give the impression that they are working hard to find the people responsible for it. The way they do it is a little strange though. They went in the van, looked around and asked if anyone of us was a Muslim. Then they randomly pulled out 2 people, took their pictures and checked their passports. After asking some basic questions, we were on our way again.
We came back into Bangkok before the afternoon traffic jam starts to occur, around 4 o clock. All in all, it was a very convenient way to extend my visa and I can now stay in the country for another 3 months. It’s too bad I didn’t actually see much of Cambodia itself while being so close to it but maybe I can go back another day to check it out.