Travelling with your Thai Girl

Travelling with your Thai Girl

If you are planning on travelling with your Thai girlfriend or taking her home to Australia for the first time, it can be a really interesting experience. (Not always a positive one!) Especially if she has never travelled outside of Thailand before!

See how I chose my words carefully there. She will, of course, see  everything through fresh eyes, and she will either love it or hate it. The whole experience  that is – being away from home, away from Thai culture, and all the things she knows – there will rarely be an in between!

One of the biggest hurdles to travelling with your Thai girlfriend is getting her a visa. You’ll almost always have to get her a passport too!

Most guys have no idea about how tricky the visa process can be, and that many visa applications for Thai girls fail. That being said, if you supply all the documents and cross your T’s and dot your I’s you will eventually get her a visa (whether you do it yourself or with the help of a migration agent is up to you).

Your girlfriend needs a passport

So first up, your Thai girlfriend is going to need a passport. Passports are generally not difficult to get for her, and can be obtained in a couple of days from Bangkok from the Passport Division, Department of Consular Affairs within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cost is around 1500 Thai Baht, and her ID card, as well as the usual passport photographs. She might also need to take with her her Tabiean Baan (house book) available from the Amphur office, but this may or may not be required depending on which office she attends.

The usual processing time is 2 days, but make sure you don’t try to apply for the passport around any public holidays, some of which are quite long in Thailand because the passport office can be closed for up to 10 consecutive days (during Songkran for example).

The application process is very simple and quite speedy, and your Thai girlfriend might well be out of the office within 15 minutes.

Some girls have had passports issued before, but because of overstays of visas, or visa rejections, they have thrown away their passports to try and hide their ‘crime’. if this has occured it will still be relatively straightforward to get her another passport, though getting another visa for foreign travel might pose some problems.

And a travel visa

Sometimes getting a visa for your Thai girlfriend can be difficult. Thailand is considered to be a ‘high-risk’ country, and as such many governments are cautious about letting Thai travellers in without a rigorous visa application process.

This means that you (she) will have to supply all the necessary documents and paperwork to satisfy a visa grant. Depending on where you want to go with her, this visa process can be long and complicated. You might need to show evidence that she won’t overstay, and that she has strong and compelling reasons to return to Thailand, you might have to show that you can support her financially during your time together, and that she is a genuine visitor.

Unfortunately it’s not as easy as simply getting an electronic travel authority (ETA) or visa on arrival for her, in many Western countries.

If she has had a visa refusal before (from any country) or has thrown away her passport (to hide a visa overstay or a deportation for working illegally) you are going to have a tough job applying for her visa yourself.(Even if the deportation was not from the country you intend to visit. Unfortunately, it still shows that she is a risk, and has a tendency to not meet the conditions of her visas).

We recommend in all these situations that you approach a qualified and experienced migration agent to help you. Please contact us if this is the case because we can help. Simply fill ou the form below with a few details and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. We have dealt with many cases of visa refusals, and even previous deportations.

Because of the lengthy paperwork involved in Thai visa applications, it’s always advisable to start doing the necessary paperwork a good while ( and by that I mean a few months) in advance of your planned departure date.

When she first travels

Remember, your Thai girl might find the culture shock quite overwhelming when you first arrive overseas.

Try to understand that this is all going to be new to her, and she will be struggling with a different language, different culture and possibly different (colder) weather.

Make sure she is prepared for the cold if you are taking her to a colder climate, as it’s likely she will feel the cold much more than you. Even summer time in the UK can feel cold to Thai people who are used to tropical Thailand’s balmy climate, with its heat and humidity. So taking her to a winter destination would definitely be a shock to her system. Though imagine how cute it would be to be with her the first time she experiences snow and ice!

Because of the Thai concept of face, it’s highly unlikely that she’ll want to travel anywhere ‘poorer’ than Thailand. She probably won’t enjoy India, or Africa, unless she’s a really adventurous Thai gal! (Which is unusual). Instead she is much more likely to enjoy visiting Japan, South Korea or Singapore, especially if she can spend most of the time shopping!

Travel & cultural differences

Most Thai people love to eat Thai food and ONLY Thai food.

They generally don’t like ‘faring’ food like pizza or burgers. So your Thai girl will generally be OK for food while travelling in Asian countries where the food tends to be spicy and contain fish or rice, but anywhere outside of Asia and your Thai girlfriend might struggle to find something she likes to eat. India is especially difficult!

If you are in a western country such as Australia or the UK, try to find an Asian supermarket or store that sells Thai  and Asian ingredients. Most cities have at least one area that contains Asian grocers and supermarket. As long as she can get a few familiar ingredients, such as lemon grass or Thai basil, she will no doubt be able to cook up food for herself that she likes to eat, and she;ll probably love cooking for you and your family too.

Above all else, enjoy travelling with your Thai girlfriend. It’s sure to be a memorable experience.

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On February 15, 2011, posted in: Marriage by
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