Visa runs Penang

Most farangs enter Thailand with a multiple-entry visa. Life is good. Only having to leave the Kingdom once every three months. Time goes quick when you’re having fun or doing nothing more than drinking beer, but suddenly you are faced with having to get a new visa or else submit to the monthly trip to the Cambodian border.


Every farang in Pattaya hates these visa runs. Wake at 6am, get in a bus, ride 3 hours to a dusty border town, get a pack of fake Viagra, and bottle of wine, and a visa stamp good for 30 days. Then back to Pattaya our home away from home.

These trips get old after a few months and the only options are to leave the country for good, head back to your native land for another multiple entry visa or else go to the Thai consulate in Penang.  

Penang offers few amusements for the beer-guzzling farang. The beer is expensive, the girls ugly, and the city shuts down real tight early in the night, so little sadness was generated by the news that the Penang consulate will no longer be issuing multiple entry visas.

The local travel agents have verified this change and are closing their shops to become rickshaw drivers. Serves them right.

Hello Europe or the USA. Which is more expensive, but friends in those countries will be happy to see returnees, especially if you owe them any money.

Not that this closing on the loophole is a good thing, just neither was staying in Penang 2-3 days, especially since the Mullahs have closed the seedy bars on Jhulia Street. Still architecturally the city is a treasure trove of biritish colonial buildings and Chinese mansions. Nothing like staying at the New China Inn with its ‘massage parlor’ in the rear for lonesome men seEking female company.


You can almost imagine yourself doing a remake of THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG.

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