Many westerners traveling in Thailand for a while, will need to leave the country every three months to get a tourist visa from a place like Kuala Lumpur (KL) . The first time you have to do it, it seems quite scary but, honestly, it’s not. If you’re one of those people who are soon going to have to do a tourist visa run to Kuala Lumpur, just follow these quick steps and you’ll get one with no problem.
Should You Go To Penang Or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Avoid the Thai consulate in Penang like the plague. They are known to be rude, strict and often deny tourist visas to people who have more than one already on their passports.
Doing a visa run to Kuala Lumpur is much easier as the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur is professional, helpful and, if you complete the paperwork correctly, it’s relatively easy to get a tourist visa, even if you’ve had a couple of them back to back.
The Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur may stamp your visa with a red stamp saying you “might” not get another visa, if you already have too many, but they’re extremely unlikely to deny you one on that visit. They’re friendlier too!
Booking Your Airline Flight – Some people recommend taking a bus and then the boat to Penang, Malaysia to get a tourist visa for Thailand as they say it’s cheaper. With Air Asia flights now going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Bangkok as little as $110 round trip, it’s faster and sometimes cheaper to go to KL instead.
You need to book a flight that gets you into Kuala Lumpur one day and plan on getting to the Thai Embassy in KL the day after. You will not be able to go to the embassy the same day you arrive in KL as you need to be at the embassy before 9am, and no Air Asia flights can get you there in time. Book a flight that arrives one day, go to the embassy the following day to apply for your tourist visa, and pick up your passport the day after. Therefore, your time in KL should be two nights, and three days.
How to Apply For a Thailand Tourist Visa in Kuala Lumpur – Getting a tourist visa at the Thai Embassy in KL takes two days. Follow these steps and it’s easy:
1. Arrive at the Thai Embassy in KL before 9am. It’s first come first served so, even at 8:30am, you’ll see a ong line of people waiting. Gates open at
2. When the Thai Embassy gates open, you will have to sign in at a small kiosk opening in the wall and they’ll give you a number and an application form for a tourist visa. You will also need to let the guard see your passport, so he can enter information in his registration book.
3. Walk through the gate but, once in the waiting area, do NOT go and sit down. Instead, go straight to the door that goes into the visa application room and stand in line. Those doors will open in about 15 minutes and the ones in line will get the first numbers and be served first.
4. While you’re waiting, complete your visa application form and sign it.
5. Once the doors open, take a number from the guard, walk into the waiting area and sit down. Your number should be called soon.
Submit your paperwork, a photocopy of your passport, a photograph and your plane ticket in and out of Thailand, along with the fee for the tourist visa. It’s normally around 1,000 baht. The fee must be in Malaysian ringgit. They will not accept Thai baht.
6. The person at the counter will give you a receipt and tell you to come back the day after, after 2pm.
7. The following day, go back to the Thai Embassy at the time told, stand in line in the same room you were in the previous day and your passport will be returned to you with your tourist visa stamped inside. That’s it.
Where Is the Thai Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Unlike Immigration in Bangkok, which is an absolute nightmare to get to, the authorities in KL were a lot smarter and located the Thai Embassy near one of the train stations, so it’s easy to get to.
Just take the train to Ampang Park station, get off and walk the five to ten minute walk to the Thai Embassy. The first time I did this, I took a taxi but it’s honestly not necessary although it is cheap to do so.
The Thai Embassy is located at 206 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.
Photo – Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur – copyright andygeog, Creative Commons