If you’re headed to Thailand after Cambodia, you won’t necessarily need to get a visa in advance. Thailand offers a 30-day visa-free stay for 48 nationalities if you enter the country by plane (these can be extended once for an additional 30 days). However, if you’re traveling overland, unless you’re from one of the G7 countries, which includes the US, UK, and Canada, you’ll only get a 15-day exemption at any of the border crossings. So if you’d like to stay longer, you’ll need to get a visa for Thailand in Cambodia.
If you are planning to get a visa for Thailand while you’re in Cambodia, it might seem to make the most sense to go to the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh. However, the Phnom Penh Thai Embassy is known for being one of the strictest in the region, and the Internet is filled with complaints by travelers who have had a difficult time dealing with the Thai consulate there.
If you want to get your visa directly from the Thai Embassy, it’s possible to get a 60-day tourist visa for Thailand in Phnom Penh for most nationalities, including Americans, Irish, British and Australians. Generally the visas issued are single entry, but some have reported getting double entry visas (if you really need a double entry visa, you’re better off applying in Laos). Application forms are available at the embassy or online (PDF). You’ll need to have your passport, two photographs (here’s where you can get passport photographs in Phnom Penh) your proposed address in Thailand, your date of arrival, your means of arrival and proof of onward travel. The visa takes four days and costs $60. If you do not have the above information, particularly proof of onward travel, they will not issue you a visa.
If you don’t have your required documentation, you can pay the guard outside the Thai Embassy a $15 “fee” and he will get your visa for you. This is a popular option for many travelers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of the consular office. However, this option is more expensive than using a travel agent, takes four days to process, and still requires you to hoof it back and forth to the embassy.
It’s cheaper and easier to use a travel agent. Any travel agent in Phnom Penh (or anywhere in Cambodia) can get you a Thai visa for a couple of bucks extra. We did a price check with expat favorite for visa and license issues, Lucky! Lucky! Motorcycle Shop.
They quoted us:
Single entry 60-day tourist visa with 4-day processing: $43
Single entry 60-day tourist visa with 3-day processing: $47
Single entry 60-day tourist visa with 2-day processing: $58
If you’re using a travel agent in Siem Reap and beyond you’ll pay a few dollars more to cover the cost of sending your passport to the embassy in Phnom Penh.
It’s important to note that the current Thai government is cracking down on expats who are attempting to live in Thailand using successive tourist visas. If you have been living in Thailand on a tourist visa and are traveling there from Cambodia, you should probably secure a visa in advance rather than risk being denied entry at the border.
Royal Thai Embassy, Phnom Penh
Hours for visa applications: 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Hours for visa collection: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
196 Norodom Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 023 726 306
Lucky! Lucky! Motorcycle Shop
413Eo Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh
099 808 788; 012 279 990