Thailand has recently closed the loophole for the Type O Visa. Where before just about any American or Canadian could get a one year visa to Thailand, now you have to be officially retired in Thailand or married to a Thai citizen.
Since neither apply to me, so I’m back to doing tourist visa runs every 3 months.
Singapore is not a cheap place to do a visa run. If you do it right, expect your entire visa run to cost around 1,000usd. However, Singapore does have distinct benefits:
Everyone speaks English
The women are very attractive with a Chinese mix look
Business capitol of Asia
Singapore is like a little America that is only two hours away from Thailand.
Here is the easiest way to get your Thailand Tourist Visa in Singapore:
1- Fly to Singapore
The cheapest flights are usually from Air Asia (www.airasia.com). On most days you can book a flight for around $150 one way from Bangkok.
2- Entering Singapore
The entry visa for Singapore is free. Just go through immigration and you are instantly given a 30 day visa. (You don’t even need to show proof of departure.)
I book all my hotels in Asia via www.Agoda.com (They tend to have the best savings.)
This trip I stayed in the Ibis Hotel on Bencoolen. 5 minutes walk to a subway station and a 25 minute walk to the Thai Embassy.
To get to your hotel from the airport, you can take the train, bus, or a taxi.
(Note, you can get anywhere in Singapore via the subway trains.)
4- Prepare for the Thai Embassy
The Singapore Thai Embassy website is: http://www.thaiembassy.sg/
Note: They are not flexible at the Thai embassy. You need to make sure you have all your paper work and everything needs to be filled out 100% or you’ll be rejected and told to come back the next day.
What You Need:
1. One completed and signed visa application form
2. One recent passport-sized photograph (3.5 x 4.5cm)
3. Passport (valid for no less than 6 months)
4. Airline ticket or confirmation slip with flight number and date of entry/exit. You need to show proof of entry to Thailand and exiting Thailand within 2 months.
5. Evidence of adequate finance ($1000 per person and $2000 per family)
6. Visa fee of $50 SGD
Turn in your visa application on Monday thru Friday between 9:15am and 11:30am. You will then receive your visa the next business day between 2:00pm and 3:00pm.
(Beware: The embassy will be closed for all Thai and Singaporean holidays. Check the Singapore Thai Embassy website before you book your flight.)
5- Go to the Thai Embassy
Depending on where your hotel is, you can walk, take the train, or taxi. I recommend if you’ve never been there before, take a taxi. It will remove any guesswork and guarantee that you arrive on time.
Both times I was at the Thai embassy, they were busy. Be prepared to wait in line for 30 minutes.
6- Receive Your Thai Tourist Visa
Come back the next business day between 2:00pm – 3:00pm and get your passport. Now you can enjoy Singapore.
A Few Notes About Singapore:
- Singapore is NOT cheap. In fact, it is one of the most expensive cities I have ever visited. Most meals are between 15 – 30usd. I had one drink at a bar that cost me 20usd (a Singaporean Sling in Clark Quay).
- Prostitution is legal in Singapore. Check out the world famous, “4 Floors of Whores.”
- The best bars and night clubs are at Clark Quay
- They say electronics are cheap in Singapore. Not true, you’ll be looking at American prices for most things.
- On Tuesday night, go to Comedy Masala (http://comedymasala.com/). Great place for a few good laughs and right next to Clark Quay.
- Sentosa is cool. Zip line to the beach!
- Marina Bay is overrated, but still worth seeing.
- Singapore has 6 red light districts. Great place to get some variety
- The workers in the Thai Embassy are “Soup Nazis” (Seinfeld reference.). If your paper work is not perfect, they’ll hand it back to you and dismiss you like a child with little to no explanation. I had to extend my stay in Singapore an extra day because my flight departing Thailand was 2 months and 1 day after my arrival. (Has to be 2 months or under.)
For a quick and cheap visa run, go to Malaysia or Laos. For a new experience where you are surrounded by hot women who all speak English, check out Singapore.