Border Frustrations!

Trip Start Aug 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 17, 2009

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Flag of Malaysia  , Kelantan,
Monday, April 20, 2009

We arrived in Kota Bharu late in the afternoon and picked out the cheapest hotel in town. We intended only to stay one night and then cross the border into Thailand the next day. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the border station after a 50 minute bus ride, we found that they would not issue a visa upon arrival. In fact, they were the one border crossing with Malaysia that does not issue them--besides the rail station crossing on the far side of the country.

We returned to Kota Bharu to attempt to get a visa from the Thai consulate only to arrive too late to submit our application. It being a Muslim town, the office would be closed on Friday and the earliest we could submit our paperwork would be Thursday. With a 1 day processing time, that meant that the visa would not be ready until Sunday at the earliest.

Instead of cooling our heels any longer in Kota Bharu, we purchased bus tickets to Alor Setar where we would catch a ride to the border station of Sadao, which is equipped to deliver visa-on-arrival services. Unfortunately, this meant a two-day delay in our travel plans while we crossed to Malaysia's west coast in search of a way into Thailand.
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