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    by ibobi Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 20, 17 at 01:24 PM
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Clearing immigration in Thailand -- snafus abound

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So need to lean on the experts here and those with experience transferring international to domestic at BKK.

Have a bit of a snafu for the beach leg of our upcoming trip where we fly from Yangon to Bangkok. We'd arrive on Thai Airways from Yangon at BKK at 11:45 and have to transfer to domestic flight to Phuket at 14:15 to catch our boat to Phi Phi that same day.

The issue at hand is that the bus to the boat to Phi Phi (all arranged by the hotel) leaves Phuket Airport at 16:00. The flight I'm looking at lands at 15:30. The hotel is saying that's enough time to get out and meet them. I'm saying it's not. And conveniently enough, the hotel has no responsibility if your flight is late and you don't make the bus. The biggest issue is that it's the holidays (New Years) and the hotel will have to be prepaid. So if we miss the bus, we lose a night in the hotel that's already paid for--plus we'd have to pay for a hotel in Phuket that night.

I don't want to pay top dollar for a private speedboat to the island and I *really* don't want to overnight in Phuket--would essentially be a lost day with not enough time to really do anything in Phuket. Would like to make this work, but to increase my chances of getting out in time, I cannot clear customs in Phuket. That would arguably add quite a bit of time to the 'getting out' process at the airport.

I've read that if we're flying on Thai Airways the whole way (which we will be) that they would check our bags through to Phuket and we would clear customs there. Given the time we'd have in BKK with our layover before catching the Phuket flight (over 2 hours in BKK) can we conceivably ask that our bags get checked only to BKK, pick them up, clear customs and check in again there?

I know this all sounds crazy and you all would probably say 'just spend a night in Bangkok' but we've spent so much time there already and would really like to maximize our time at the beach this trip. I know it makes most sense to chop a night off, but I want to exhaust this possibility before I give up completely.

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