The thought of Thailand conjures images of pristine palm-fringed beaches, jazzy nightlife, lapping ocean waves and high-end shopping centres. However, tourists visiting the tropical paradise need to fulfil certain visa and other travel requirements. Similarly, Thai passport holders can visit some of the most gorgeous countries across the globe, but with little paperwork. By Trinetra Paul
According to Henley Passport Index 2022, the Thai passport ranks 70th in the world. This allows Thai citizens to enjoy an array of benefits like visa-free travel, easy transit visa and electronic visas. The rank gives the South East Asian nation a medium mobility score with visa-free travel to 79 countries.
The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs also mentions that Malaysia, The Philippines (visa-fee exemption for a stay of not exceeding 59 days), Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Tunisia have concluded bilateral agreements on visa-fee exemption with Thailand. However, if you wish to stay longer in a visa-free country, you will have to apply for a tourist visa, which usually has a period of 30 to 90 days.
Are you a Thai passport holder? Travel to these beautiful countries with little paperwork
Planning for a South Pacific beach holiday? Well, things are rather easy for Thai passport holders.
Fiji is one of the countries in which Thai nationals, with a valid passport and other relevant travel documents, can enter without having a visa and stay for a maximum of four months, in case of multiple entry tourists.
With a cluster of 300 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, Fiji is home to beaches laced with palm trees and pristine beaches. It also has tropical resorts that offer a lavish view of the region. A flight from Thailand to Fiji’s capital city Suva will take you to this paradise to create a memorable holiday filled with activities like surfing, snorkelling and trekking.
One of the choicest places to travel from Thailand is India. Though you may not be able to visit visa-free, one doesn’t have to go through a tedious visa application process involving a lot of paperwork. Thai passport holders can enter the subcontinent with an electronic visa.
If you are visiting the country for business purposes, then you can obtain a business electronic visa or e-business visa for a stay period of not more than 180 days. Meanwhile, Thai citizens travelling to India for tourism purposes can obtain a tourist e-visa and can stay in the country for up to 90 days. The application process can be completed online via the government portal.
The subcontinent has a lot to offer. Whether visiting the monuments built by the Mughals in Delhi, the Ayurvedic retreats and backwaters in Kerala, the rolling hills of the Northeast or the salt plains of Rann of Kutch, there is no dearth of adventure and holiday options in India.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Marshall Islands, is one country where Thai passport holders can apply for a visa on arrival. They don’t need to go through a truckload of paperwork to obtain a visa into the island nation in the central Pacific Ocean.
The visa on arrival allows a stay period of three months for Thai nationals and can be availed from the immigration counter at the international airport upon arriving in the country. One needs to produce the relevant travel documents and COVID-19 vaccine certificates along with a valid passport for at least six months.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is an archipelago of a chain of volcanic islands and coral atolls which create an idyllic environment for a tropical holiday. Stunning sunsets, turquoise waters and virgin beaches make the country one of the choicest destinations. While here, unwind amidst nature and the beaches at Bikini Atoll. You can also go diving at the Kalalin Pass, bask in the tropical sun at Arno Atoll and go scuba diving and snorkelling at Bokolap Island.
Think of a relaxing beach holiday with alluring nightlife, exotic food and warm hospitable locals. One of the names that might come to your mind is Mauritius. Laced with palm-fringed beaches that are washed by the azure waters, the country is a haven for honeymoon couples and an equally wonderful place for a group of friends or a family.
Thai nationals intending to visit Mauritius can get their visas on arrival for 60 days. After arriving on the island, Thai visitors can head to the immigration counter with the necessary travel documents and obtain a visa.
Located in eastern Africa, Mauritius is a well-known tourism destination that offers amazing snorkelling, scuba diving and surfing opportunities along with trekking and bird-watching spots.
South Africa is another visa-free country where Thai citizens can stay for a maximum of 30 days without a visa. This kind of travel becomes extremely helpful, especially for tourists who want to cut down on visa application fees and spend it on travelling instead.
However, Thai citizens who hold diplomatic or official visas can stay for up to 90 days in the country. Certain passport requirements, a yellow fever vaccine certificate, an itinerary and other travel documents can make a Thai passport holder eligible to travel to South Africa. For more information, you can visit the country’s Ministry of Home Affairs portal.
While here, you must visit the capital city of Cape Town, the Table Mountains and witness wildlife up close by staying at one of the game reserves. You can also drive down the 200-km-long Garden Route and visit the picturesque town of Knysna, Stellenbosch vineyards and the Garden Route National Park for a feel of the countryside.
Another country that offers visas on arrival to Thai nationals is Sierra Leone in western Africa.
A Thai passport holder can arrive in the country and obtain a temporary visa for 30 days. Such a visa is granted only to those persons arriving for tourism, business, visiting family, or academic or religious purposes. It is not extended to those seeking employment or diplomats.
Once you exit the country after your visit, you will have to apply for another visa on arrival to re-enter Sierra Leone.
Surrounded by hills and beaches, there is a lot that tourists can explore in Sierra Leone. One can visit the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary, ride on the Sea Coach Express and unwind at the capital of Freetown as well as Bure Town, among other things to do.
Türkiye, formerly Turkey, has something for all kinds of travellers. Rich cultural and historical sites that reflect the bygone era of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires, magnificent monuments, scrumptious local food, music and stunning locales make Türkiye one of the best travel destinations in the world.
Thai nationals can easily visit this country without the hassle of visa paperwork, because it offers electronic visas. While ordinary passport holders can stay for a maximum period of 30 days, Thai passport holders can spend 90 days. If you wish to extend your stay beyond that, a regular visa has to be obtained.
One can visit the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, fill in the relevant e-visa form, submit the relevant documents and pay the visa fee.
Visitors can enjoy hot-air balloon rides in Cappadocia, soak in the rich heritage in Istanbul or bask in the sunny beaches at Antalya or Bodrum.
For a Middle-Eastern extravaganza, Thai citizens can enjoy visa-free travel to Qatar. If you have a valid Thai passport for at least six months and a confirmed return or onward ticket, then you are eligible to stay in the country for 30 days.
One can spend these 30 days at a stretch or enter multiple times within the stipulated period in Qatar with this visa waiver from the date of its issuance. Upon arrival, head to the immigration counter, produce all relevant travel documents, the necessary COVID-19 vaccination certificates and enter the country hassle-free.
Qatar is a jewel of the Middle East. From skyscrapers, desert dune bashing and high-end shopping to immersing in Islamic culture at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha and exploring the Katara cultural village, there are many things to do in this country.
Chile is another picturesque nation on the list of visa-free countries for Thai citizens. The country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that people with a valid Thailand passport do not need to go through heaps of paperwork, as they are exempt from prior visa applications for a staying period of 90 days.
Upon entering without a visa, one can follow the standard procedures of producing relevant documents at immigration and enjoy their stay.
While in Chile, enjoy the adventures and scenic beauty of a lifetime. Go skiing in the Andes, visit the moai statues of Rapa Nui, climb a volcanic mountain, ride a funicular in Valparaiso, enjoy wine tasting in Central Valley and a lot more.
Thai citizens can travel visa-free to neighbouring country Malaysia. Fully vaccinated tourists can avail the vaccinated travel lane (VTL). All fully VTL travellers can enter Malaysia via non-stop flights with relevant stay and travel documents. Children below the age of 12 need not produce vaccination certificates. Depending on the prevalent ground situation, people might have to go through COVID-19 testing.
While in Malaysia, one can enjoy the scenic view of the skyline from the Petronas Twin Towers or visit the KLCC Mall where some of the globally renowned brands have their stores. Take a trip to one of the most prominent heritage sites of the country — Batu Caves — to witness the limestone formations and the statue of Hindu Lord Murugan or unwind at the picturesque Manukan Island.
Adding to the list of visa-free countries for Thailand passport holders, Barbados offers a quaint Caribbean holiday option.
Anyone with a valid Thai passport is not required to obtain a prior visa to enter the island nation and can spend a maximum of 90 days. To visit visa-free, one must meet the regular travel requirements, which include a relevant return or onward ticket, a confirmed place of stay and an itinerary. However, if you belong to a country with a visa exemption and wish to extend your stay in Barbados, you need to apply for the same. The process is fairly simple and requires a payment of visa extension fees.
While here, enjoy pristine beaches, snorkelling and catamaran cruises, unwind at Carlisle Bay or relax in the azure waters at Shark Hole.
Visa requirements in other countries for Thai passport holders
Besides the destinations mentioned above, several others allow visa-free entry for Thai nationals. These include Indonesia, Georgia, Myanmar, Laos, South Korea and Peru.
Those which grant visas on arrival include Bahrain, Papua New Guinea, Nepal and Tanzania, while other countries which grant electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to Thai citizens include Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
(Main and feature image credit: Alice/ @thewonderalice/ Unsplash )
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asis Bangkok