One of the things most expats have to do if they live in Thailand for any length of time is a ‘visa run’. A visa run is a quick trip outside Thailand, usually to Cambodia, Malaysia or Laos, where you can renew the visa allowing you to remain in Thailand for another month. Some farangs (Westerners) do this by themselves but, honestly, it’s such a hassle, using one of the visa run services is usually easier and better. Jack Golf is probably the best known visa run service in Bangok. Before I got my work permit, I probably did visa runs with Jack Golf at least 10 times, so I know how they work. As a visa run service, you really can’t beat Jack Golf and here’s why.
Jack Golf Runs Two Visa Runs Almost Every Day
Jack Golf do mainly visa runs from Bangkok to the border of Cambodia, and these are the visa runs I’m familiar with. They have visa runs almost every day of the week and usually run two runs a day. One visa run starts at 5am in Bangkok, but will get you back into Bangkok by 1pm at the latest the same day (sometimes it’s even earlier!). The second visa run service Jack Golf runs starts at 9am and gets you back into Bangkok at 6pm (more likely 7pm to 8pm because of traffic). These runs go to different Cambodian borders, the 5am one going to a closer border, the 9am one going to a border slightly further away. So, if you’re an early bird, I recommend the 5am visa run. It’s closer and doesn’t take as long, and the place where you eat lunch is better too.
How the Jack Golf Visa Run Works
You will need to bring your passport, 2,000 baht and a recent passport sized photograph.
If you need to do a visa run, call Jack Golf the day before to reserve a place on the trip. You will then meet Jack Golf at Sukhumvit Soi 12 in Bangkok, just outside the 7-11 on the corner. The van (or bus, depending on how many people on each trip) leaves at 5am or 9am sharp, so make sure you are on time. At the beginning of the trip, Jack Golf will collect the cost of the visa run (2,200 baht) and they will also ask you to give them your passport. (Don’t worry, they are completely reliable and you will get it back in time to go across the border to Cambodia). Once the trip begins, Jack Golf will drive for about an hour and a half outside Bangkok then they will stop at a gas station where you will be able to get snacks, drinks, coffee and go to the bathroom if necessary. Then, back on the bus and another hour or so to the Cambodian border.
At the Cambodian border, you will walk into the border office yourself and the border official will check your passport and stamp you out of Thailand. This is the time where, if you have overstayed your visa, you will also be able to pay any overstay fines, which currently run at 500 baht per day that you have overstayed. Once you have been stamped out of Thailand, continue out through the office and into Cambodia. Here another Jack Golf official will meet you, take your passport again so they can get all the Cambodian passport stamps for you (the price of which is included in the 2,200 baht fee you’ve already paid Jack Golf) and you will then be put into a mini van or taxi with other people from your trip and driven to a local casino. The casino is actually within walking distance, but they just drive you so you won’t get lost.
At the casino, you get a buffet breakfast (all included in the price of the trip) and you can go to the bathroom, relax and even gamble if you want. Depending on how long it takes the Cambodian officials to stamp everyone’s passports, you’re not usually in the casino for longer than an hour and a half. At this point, a Jack Golf official will come and get you and the rest of the people from your trip and drive you back to the Cambodian-Thai border. Here, they will return your passport to you, you will get stamped out of Cambodia, then walk into Thai immigration and get stamped back into Thailand. This takes 5-10 minutes maximum.
Then, walk back on to the bus or mini van and, once everyone is on the bus, Jack Golf will set off back to Bangkok. They stop again at another gas station about an hour and a half down the road and you can get snacks, food, drinks and go to the bathroom. (At this stop, there are many Thai stalls with specialty Thai desserts and many of them are cheaper than in Bangkok, so stock up if you like Thai desserts or fresh fruit).
You will eventually arrive back in Bangkok at 1pm if you took the 5am trip, or between 6pm and 8pm if you took the later trip. Jack Golf will either drop you off back at Sukhumvit Soi 12, or at any of the sky train or underground stations they pass along the way.
Jack Golf is reliable and trustworthy. On their visa runs, they take care of everything and all border fees plus lunch are included in the price of the trip. If you were to do the trip yourself on a local bus, you would only save about 300 baht, but would have a lot more problems so I recommend taking a Jack Golf visa run every time.
Jack Golf are also knowledgeable about possible passport or visa problems, so you can call them before you take the trip if you have any worries and they will give you advice.
You can contact Jack Golf in Bangkok at 02-251-1950, or check out their website at Jack Golf, Bangkok.