BANGKOK – The new Cambodian and Thai visa arrangement is a PR stunt to conceal the fact that seven years of negotiations over common Asean visas have yielded nothing except petty squabbles and internal fighting in Thailand about who gets to siphon off visa fees.
Virtually all of the nationalities listed can get a visa on arrival, free in Thailand and at a price in Cambodia, without the hassle of going to an embassy beforehand.
The visa is only of slight use to Chinese tourists who will still have to queue up and pay again at the second country they visit.
In any case, China is negotiating hard to get visa-free travel to Asean countries.
Even for the bulk of Chinese who enter via Bangkok, the visa is useless because it is only single entry. So they fly into Bangkok, fly to Siem Reap, and the visa is used up already. They now need another visa to go back to Bangkok to catch the flight home.
For western visitors who want a 90-day tourist visa, rather than 30 days free on arrival, it is also going to be useless for the same reason that it is only single entry.
Most will be better off with two 90-day visas (or a 90-day multiple entry Thai visa). – CARL CARTHY
Single-entry visa for Thailand, Cambodia
Tourists from 35 countries need only apply for one visa to visit both Thailand and Cambodia. This is part of Acmecs Single Visa – the first step toward an Asean version of the European Union’s Schengen Visa scheme.
Visitors who want to visit both countries can apply for a visa at either country’s embassy.
The Acmecs Single Visa should boost tourism in both countries as well as fulfill Thailand’s objective to become a regional hub for tourism, said Foreign Minister Surapong Towichuk-chaikul, who jointly chaired a joint commission on bilateral cooperation with his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong yesterday. Read More….