Need to renew your Thai visa? This month we had a very smooth experience getting a Thai visa in Penang, Malaysia. Here’s everything you need to know about making a visa run to Penang, including what documents to take, how much it costs and how to find the embassy.
Our Penang visa run experience
If you plan to stay in Thailand for more than 30 days, you’ll need to make regular visa runs out of the country. We arrived in Thailand with 60-day tourist visas and were able to painlessly extend these for a further 30 days at the Chiang Mai visa office. After three months, we knew we’d have to leave the country to get fresh 60-day visas, so we researched the best countries for visa runs. Malaysia emerged as a good option because it’s easy to fly to from Chiang Mai and we don’t need a visa to enter the country.
Kuala Lumpur is usually the cheapest place to fly to from Chiang Mai, but since we’ve visited before we decided to head to the island of Penang instead, to combine our visa run with some sightseeing. We stayed in historic Georgetown, which is about a 15 minute Uber ride from the Thai consulate in Penang. We made sure to dress smartly and arrive at the office at opening time, which is 9am. The building is set in peaceful gardens and we found the staff were all really helpful and friendly.
There were only a couple of other visa applicants at the embassy when we arrived, so we signed straight in at the entrance booth and made our way to the office. At the ‘visa’ window, we were given application forms to fill in, which we submitted with our passports, fee and photos. We then received a receipt slip telling us to come back on Monday (the next business day) to pick up our visas. The whole process took around 10 minutes and then we were free to explore Penang over the weekend. It took us just five minutes to pick up our new visas on Monday.
Details for the Thai consulate in Penang
The Thai embassy Penang provides single and multiple entry tourist, business, education, volunteer and retirement visas. The office is open Monday to Friday but is closed on Thai and Malaysian national holidays, so check the embassy website to make sure your visit doesn’t coincide with one. You can drop off your visa application between 9am and 11.30am and pick it up the next business day between 2pm and 4pm. Here are the address and contact details of the Thai embassy in Penang:
Address: 1 Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 10350, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang.
Phone numbers: (03) 226-8029 / (04) 226 9484
What documents do you need to get a Thai visa in Penang?
Here are the documents you need to apply for a 60-day tourist visa in Penang:
- Passport with at least six months validity.
- Visa application form, which you can pick up at the embassy.
- A photocopy of the photo page of your passport. If you haven’t prepared this in advance, there’s a truck parked opposite the embassy entrance where you can make copies.
- Two passport photos.
- A fee of 150 Malaysian Ringgit (£27.80), in cash.
- Pens for filling in the forms.
To fill in the visa form you’ll need to have your Thai address on hand, as well as your flight number and the address of your hotel in Penang. Remember to dress smartly when visiting any embassy and check that the office is open before you book flights. Our Penang visa run is one of the easiest we’ve ever taken and we had a great time exploring the island in the process.
Do you have any questions about making a Thailand visa run to Penang? Ask away in the comments below.