A trip to the remarkably efficient Thai immigration office
I must say, I'm highly impressed with the efficiency of the whole process. It's not something I would expect from a Thai government office, and the process is far more efficient than getting a passport or similar document in the States!
The dreaded Thai visa procedure
You go to the Thai Embassy in aforementioned UN least-developed-nation-status state and submit your paperwork. The immigration officer then asks you if the school that you’re going to work for is on ‘the list’. Then you say, ‘What list?’ and he says, ‘The list’, then you shrug and he tells you that it isn’t, then you say ‘So why did you ask,’ and he says nothing, and you say ‘What should I do?’ and he says ‘Damned if I care, but you ain’t gettin’ no stinkin’ visa unless your school is on “the list”.
One man and his trip to Penang
Going to Laos or Cambodia by bus might have been a bit cheaper, but unfortunately one needs a visa to enter those countries. Not so for Malaysia. Anyway, I heard from a few colleagues that the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane is staffed by frequently obnoxious personnel (however another colleague told me he didn’t have any problem at all there).