Visa Run to Ranong

By Diana Campillo


Khao Lak is relatively close to the border with Myanmar (Burma) so it’s a convenient place to start your visa run. CJ, who is training at Rawai Muay Thai, did the trip this week and shared his experience with us. 

Q: How did you plan your trip?

A: The gym office staff was helpful in booking the bus to the border. I went with Rungkit Tour (076-421-805) and the cost was 275 Baht. I waited for the bus on the main road in Khao Lak. The bus picked me up at 7:30 AM (it was running late). It took around 4 ½ hours to reach the border as the driver stopped along the way many times. 

Q: Can you describe the border crossing?

A: When we arrived at Ranong I hopped on a motorbike taxi (100 Baht) and went to the Thai immigration office. I was quickly approached by a man who offered to help me for 2,500 Baht. I was unsure and worried he would scam me but the immigration officer said it was OK so I went ahead with it. He arranged the boat crossing and he paid 500 Baht at the Myanmar immigration bureau. Then we hopped on the longtail boat back to Thailand. 

Upon re-entry the Thai immigration officers stamped my passport for 30 days and I was off. It is worth noting that you might be asked to provide proof of 10,000 Baht in the bank and a return flight itinerary. 

Q: Did you return by bus the same day? 

A: The last bus back to Phuket was full so I spent the night in a delightful hostel called A Day Inn Ranong for 400 Baht. There are hot springs in Ranong you can visit. I took the morning bus back and got off at Khao Lak. 

Q: Any tips?

A: If it’s your first time doing a border run, I would recommend paying the 2,500 Baht to a local willing to help you. It relieved all the stress and made the whole process easygoing.

I would also recommend booking the bus there and back beforehand to have a guaranteed seat. The bus I went on had AC and a toilet. 

Q: What other Thai visa related activities have you done?

A: I flew into Thailand and got a visa exemption with a 30 day stamp. After that I went to the immigration office in Phang Nga to get an extension. Again the gym office staff was very helpful. Sunny’s husband drove me to Phang Nga and stopped along the way to get passport photos taken. He helped me with the whole process. They do not accept cash at the immigration office so you need to pay by card (credit or online banking). The driver can pay using his online banking app and then I paid him cash.