Where I’m At: Chiang Mai – An India visa run, in Thailand.

Greetings from Chiang Mai, Thailand. This was not the greetings I was expecting to do for the rest of the year, but Indian bureaucracy had other ideas.

I went to Penang with the intention of getting a visa for India while I was there. When I applied to the visa centre, the first item on the visa application was pointed out to me:

Visa application of NON-MALAYSIAN foreigner who is not resident of Malaysia is liable to be rejected

I found out foreigners can longer apply for a visa in Malaysia (or Singapore), but you still can (for now) in Thailand.

I left Chiang Mai at the start of February and had mentally signed off from Thailand. I was thinking that it might be some time before I return to this land. Adding in the back tracking factor, I was wondering if I should just ditch the India trip all together?

The desire to visit India again and the fact that there is a consulate in Chiang Mai made my decision a bit easier. having a bonus few more weeks with my friends in Chiang Mai sealed the deal.

Kuala Lumpur

To get to Chiang Mai meant going south to to KL to get a flight back north. Thanks to good old AirAsia, I’m becoming very familiar with Kuala Lumpur, and it grows on me just a little bit more each time.

When in KL I like to go to the Brickfields area, where you can find a good banana leaf set meal. This area is known as Little India and it has now been renovated with colourful archways, just incase you didn’t know you were in Little india with the blaring Bollywood songs everywhere.

Little India, Brickfields - Kuala Lumpur
[Little India, Brickfields – Kuala Lumpur]

KL Low Cost Carrier Terminal

As my flight was at 6.55am I opted to spend the night at the airport. I’m not good at getting up at 3.30am to get a flight, and the KL budget terminal is a great place to get some work done. There is a 24 hour food hall and Starbucks, and the Starbucks has free wifi (like most Starbucks in Malaysia). In fact the whole terminal has free wifi, so I spent the night as a work day. I wasn’t the only one with this idea. This is the food court at 2.15am.

Food court at KL LCCT
[Food court at night]

India Consulate in Chiang Mai

I went straight to the consulate as soon as I arrived in Chiang Mai. If there is going to be another visa debacle I wanted to give myself as many spare days as possible to sort it out. The office is located on Tung Hotel Rd, which is near the train station. The consulate is in an old house and when I went there was no one in the queue. I filled out the application in what looked like the old lounge room, and that was it. Very laid back, just like Chiang Mai. Happy to be back.


  1. Jai Yai says:

    Question. Why didn’t you go back to Songkhla India Consulate near Hat Yai just back across the border from Penang instead of going all the way up north?

    • Actually I didn’t know about the Songkhla consulate, but even if I did I would have still gone to Chiang Mai. Many of my good friends were living up there so I got to spend another month with them 🙂

    • leticia Estrada says:

      Hello, I am having a really hard time finding this consulate. Does it even exist? 

  2. Hi James, I need to get a 6 month (multiple entry if possible) visa for myself and husband. We are British and in Chiang Mai. Please could you give a little more information on your experience of going about getting it in Chiang Mai. Location I think I know, east near the station but don’t know the requirements, what’s needed from me etc. Thanks in advance!

  3. Hi Shelley, no problem. First off, make sure you go to Tung Hotel Rd, which is almost across the road from the train station. Many of the top ranking sites online still list the consulate at 344 Charoenrat Road, which is not there anymore.

    The office hours are 9-12 and you will need to bring:

    – Passport
    – Passport size photos (x2)
    – Flight details
    – Accommodation of your first night.
    – and of course, cash. I forget how much it was, but it was under 3000B all up.

    If you have been to India before you will need the dates that you travelled there last time as well.

    The whole process takes a week and both times I went to the consulate there was no queue!

    All the best.

    • Thanks James, I haven’t got flight details because on their website it says don’t confirm travel booking til you get a vida. Was this a requirement? I am going to go this morning so will ind out I guess. Thanks very much for your reply! Shelley

  4. Thanks for sharing this story. I was also rejected for a visa from the embassy in Laos. They said they needed to see proof of entry (a plane ticket). I think I’ll enter by train from Bangladesh. I’ll give the visa a try at the consulate in CM on Monday!

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