If you’re staying more than a few weeks on Koh Lanta, you may need to extend your visa validity, or get a new visa.
Extension within Thailand
If you need to extend for just a few more days on the beach on Koh Lanta, its quick and easy to go to Krabi immigration office. You’ll need passport sized photos to hand in with your application (no photo facilities nearby, so take them with you). Get there by bus from Koh Lanta to Krabi Town, then take a taxi to immigration, or rent a bike and drive there yourself. The office is about 4km from the town centre.
Extension outside Thailand
Leaving the country and coming back in again will give you a slightly longer extension – you can do this by crossing the land border and coming straight back in. It’s common practise to extend your stay like this, and several companies run one day visa run trips from Koh Lanta to the Thai/Malaysian border town of Satun and back again. Check with your resort or tour agent – they can book this for you – you’ll get picked up and dropped back to your resort.
During green season, however, not many trips are scheduled from Koh Lanta, so you may have to do the journey yourself:
1. Minibus from Koh Lanta to Trang bus station
2. Minibus from Trang to Hat Yai bus station
3. Minibus from Hat Yai to Sadao (ask to be dropped at the border).
4. Walk through Thai immigration – you’ll get a stamp out of Thailand
5. Walk over the bridge and through Malaysian immigration – you’ll get a stamp into Malaysia.
6. Turn back and walk through Malaysian immigration, over the bridge and back into Thailand.-
7. Outside 7 Eleven you can catch a minibus to Hat Yai where you’ll probably have to stay the night.
8. Return to Koh Lanta from Hat Yai (minibus via Trang).
Obtaining a new visa
If you’re staying even longer on Koh Lanta, you may need to get a new tourist visa, in which case you need to visit a Thai embassy outside Thailand.
By air: fly from Krabi airport to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. You’ll need to stay a couple of nights while your visa is processed, then fly back in to Thailand.
Total trip: approx 3 days
By road: cheaper than by air, but longer – you can buy a bus ticket from Koh Lanta to Penang (Malaysia). When you arrive there most of the guesthouses can arrange to get your tourist visa for you for a fee. Or you can visit the embassy yourself. You’ll need to spend a couple of nights while the visa is processed, then buy a bus ticket back to Koh Lanta.
Total trip: approx 5 days.
PLEASE NOTE: if you overstay your visa, you are required to pay a fine when you leave the country. The fine is per day overstayed and the immigration staff accept no excuses.
Visa & extension regulations change frequently. Check the following for up to date information: