Nasty experience at immigration counter

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2001, 12:00am

A warning to those who require a visa to travel to Phuket, Thailand - beware of the immigration authorities at Phuket International Airport.

In December I went to Phuket for a holiday. Since I have an Indian passport, I needed to get a visa for Thailand. While we were in transit at Bangkok Airport, I decided to use the 'Visa on Arrival' facilities.

I paid 300 baht and got a visa for a single entry into Thailand thinking it would be quicker to clear immigration at Phuket. However, at Phuket the immigration officers refused to acknowledge that visa, providing no explanations for the refusal and harassed me into paying another 300 baht to get another visa to enter Phuket. The first visa had not been used since I had been in transit at Bangkok.

Upon returning to Hong Kong, I contacted the Thai Consulate for an explanation. They were helpful, asked me to send them the necessary papers and promised an inquiry. More than a month down the track I am still waiting for a response.