Note: The period for obtaining a free 60-day tourist visa for Thailand ended on February 28th, 2017. As of March 1st, 2017, fees for 60-day tourist visas for Thailand are in effect at all Thai embassies and consulates worldwide.
April 2018 Update: After 3 consecutive in-and-out border runs in Thailand, I went to the Hong Kong Thai embassy to apply for a proper 60 day Tourist Visa – and was interrogated heavily. I was asked what I was doing in Thailand for so long (I work online), and was asked to show a bank statement, or they would not process my visa application. It seems Thai immigration is getting tougher these days for those of us doing non-stop tourist visas. However, for those of you applying for your first, second, or even third Tourist Visa, Non-B (work visa) or Non-O (marriage or retirement visa), you should still have no problem applying in Hong Kong and I continue to recommend it.
If you are in Hong Kong ahead of traveling to Thailand, or you’re a long-term expat looking for an alternative visa run location, I highly recommend applying for your 60 day tourist visa in Hong Kong. I have done the Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Vientiane visa runs several times and the Hong Kong Consulate is by far the quickest, most convenient, and least crowded location of them all. Although the flight may be slightly more expensive, if you have exhausted the prior three locations, make a mini vacation out of it and head to Hong Kong!
The Thai Consulate in Hong Kong is located at the Fairmont House on Hong Kong Island. They are open weekdays from 9:30am – 12:30pm and the current tourist visa fee is 300 HK dollars. Before deciding on this consulate, be 100% sure that they are not closed due to a Thai or Hong Kong public holiday. You can check the consulate’s holidays for 2018 here.
Documents Required for 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa
- 1.5 x 2 inch passport photo
- 1 copy of your passport (black and white is fine), signed at the bottom of the page in BLUE ink
- 1 copy of your Hong Kong entry slip from airport immigration (you’ll get this when entering Hong Kong at the airport), signed at the bottom in BLUE ink. (I don’t know why but ALL official docs in Thailand / Thai embassies are super anal about this. Bring a blue pen!)
- Depending on the officer you get (or your country of citizenship), a copy of your flight itinerary in/out of Thailand may be requested, as well as a copy of your hotel accommodation for your first port of call, and even your most recent bank statement. Although these documents are normally only requested for visa runners (like myself!), I doubt you will be asked to show these documents, though it of course would not hurt to have them on hand, just in case.
Need to book a room for Hong Kong? I always use Agoda. They are by far the cheapest to book through for hotels in Asia. You can check out rooms in Hong Kong here.
To start with, you’ll need to take the MTR to the Admiralty station on Hong Kong island.
Take Exit B. It is the absolute closest exit regardless of what any subway attendant might tell you. Walk up the stairs and immediately turn left. In a few meters you’ll see as in the photo above these steps which lead to the main entrance of the Lippo Centre Shopping Mall. Go to the far right entrance and walk through the doors.
You’ll immediately see this escalator straight ahead and the copy shop on your right. The copy shop is super convenient if you still need to make copies of your passport or other supporting documents for your visa. If not, proceed straight up the escalator and immediately turn to your right.
You will see a 7-11 and glass double doors directly ahead of you. Walk through the doors and follow the footpath until you see this coffee/gelato shop and turn left.
Cross this walking bridge and turn left at the end to reach the Fairmont House.
Walk inside and you will see the main directory of the building. The Thai Consulate is on Floor 8F. The elevator you’ll need to take is on the left side.
Once inside, visit the receptionist and take a number on the inside of the main room on your left.
I arrived at about 10:30 on a Thursday morning. There was only 1 other person applying for a tourist visa and I was called up within 3 minutes! After paying, I was given my receipt and all was done. I spent an entire 5 minutes at the consulate. The next day, Friday, was no different. I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. For those who have done visa runs elsewhere, I’m sure you can relate to my utter disbelief!
To conclude, if you want a totally painless Thai tourist visa, Hong Kong is the place to rest easy!
VD’s Hostel Recommendations for Hong Kong
Trouble viewing on mobile? Turn your phone to the side 😉
If you’d rather book a normal hotel room, you can check out hotels here.
Heading to Thailand right after you get your visa? Check out all my articles about the Land of Smiles for some great tips and recommendations 🙂
Exploring Southeast Asia beyond Thailand? Check out fellow travel blogger A Mary Road and her incredibly extensive guide to Southeast Asia!
Travel Gear for Life on the Road
I religiously use my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card when traveling and I 100% endorse it for those who want to get into the frequent-flier-miles-game. You can get 50,000 miles after using the card for 3 months and spending $4000 on it and the card is free for the 1st year. That’s enough miles for 1-2 round trip tickets in the US or a 1 way international ticket. I recently used only 40,000 miles to fly 1 way from Orlando – Frankfurt – Bangkok – Phuket, and only paid airport fees! There’s also no foreign transaction fees whatsoever so you can use it anywhere abroad. Check out more about the card here.
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