Brazilian passport: is it that bad? (arriving in Thailand)

After spending the night in the train, coming from Kuala Lumpur, we were woken up super early in Padang Besar, the last town at the north of Malaysia, bordering Thailand. The final destination of the train was Hat Yai, but we had already been warned that we’d have to stop at Padang Besar because of immigration. See where it is on the map.

It was all kind of sudden, they lit the lights saying we had to get off, bring our passports and leave all the luggage in the train, we could bring only one small handbag. To our surprise, as soon as all the passengers got off, the train left! What? Where is it going with our stuff in it? Ok, it was meant to be frisked by the police and was supposed to be back soon… though we still found that very strange.

Although they don’t ask for a visa in advance for most tourists, Thailand is full of rules for entering. The country is very religious and somewhat conservative and as we waited in the queue we read this notice on the wall which we found very funny (below, click to view larger image). In a hot day and being just awaken, none of us (me, Felipe, Pasqual and Ale) was very tidy.. We began to observe the other people in the queue, there was a Chilean guy who was the perfect hippie, so we didn’t feel so bad.

Alien with "hippy" caracteristic cannot enter the kingdom

The atmosphere was already a bit tense there in the queue when Pasqual, to get things worse, turns and says “hey everyone, problem, I left my yellow fever vaccine card in the train.” Nobody could believe it! If there was one place in this trip that we needed to be with the vaccination card in hands, it was Thailand. It had to be Pasqual… hehehe

We are super anxious when our turn came, each couple went to a different counter, the officer who received us was very nice, smiling and all, and did not try to charge us more than he was supposed to, as we saw him doing with some Europeans just in front of us, maybe because we were paying in Bahts and not in US Dollars. Nobody asked to see the vaccination cards, passports stamped and whew, now we can relax and breathe!

While the train wasn’t back we decided to look for something to eat at the station, we were there having a coffee when a policeman arrives at our table and says, “Brazilians? four passports? come with me.” Oh my God, they found out that Brazilians need the vaccine! We left nervous, walking after that grumpy man in uniform.
Back to the same counter, the officer that was nice before was now frowning. He picked up our four passports at the same time and started asking questions “are you all together? how long will you stay? what will you do here?“. Ah mr. officer, only 15 days, almost nothing! Meanwhile he scratched out our passports the dates that he himself had stamped before.

The train was back, ready to leave, we had to run. The officer starts to write something on the passports, he closes and handles them back to us saying “there were some Europeans in front of you, they all won 30-day visas and I got confused. Brazilians are entitled to 90-day visas, here it is, welcome to Thailand, have fun.
We thanked him and ran to catch the train that had just begun to move, with a smile on our faces and a huge pride of our green passports, which by the way, is very well accepted in almost the whole world, with very rare exceptions. :mrgreen:

Oh, and just to clear our doubts, the baggages were all right inside the train. 😉

17 comments

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    • Cris says:
    • 24 May, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    Maybe I should explain the title of this post to those who are not Brazilians…

    Happens that because of illegal immigration in the US and in Europe, a lot of Brazilians use to think they would be better off with an European passport (anyone) to travel the world.
    Well, here’s the proof that this is not always the truth. 😉

    Reply

    • Marcie says:
    • 24 May, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    When we went to Thailand, on our way back from the Sydney Olympic Games, in 2000, it never crossed our minds that we needed to have a vaccination card. At that point in time, we already lived abroad for almost 13 years, and completely forgot about this rule. Worst yet, when we got to the line, my husband went to the European passport line, and I stayed on the other one. He is very distracted sometimes, but this day he stated a new record: he was allowed in, walked past through me, and went for the luggage, never looking back. Of course, I was stopped, not very nicely, I must add, and taken to the “little room”, and left there for about 45 minutes, before someone came to talk to me. By then my husband had realized something was amiss, but they didn’t want to let him back out. After much talking and explaining, they finally did let me in, without the vaccine, but I was a nervous wreck. ( do I need to say I didn’t speak to my husband for the next 24hs?!?!?!?).

    Reply

    • Marcie says:
    • 24 May, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    haha…só agora percebi que seu blog é bilingue….. 😉

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 25 May, 2010 at 6:55 am

      hahahah é sim, Marcie… e já vou te adiantando que é bem melhor ler em português!! rs

      Reply

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    • Dulce says:
    • 25 May, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Adorei! Tudo tao explicadinho! Quero mais! Nao vejo a hora de “conhecer” a Tailandia com vcs e de chegar na India!! uhuuuu! bjsss pros dois

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 25 May, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      Ai, eu sei, eu sou super detalhista!! Sou capaz de escrever um post inteiro só contando sobre um almoço… rs
      Vamos ver se o blog chega na Índia antes de vocês!

      Reply

    • Dani says:
    • 27 May, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Oi Cris

    Obrigada pelo comentário no Entrevista Expatriados.. Não conhecia o seu Blog mas agora vou passar toda semana para saber se tem novidades :)

    Beijos,
    Dani
    Toronto, Canadá

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 27 May, 2010 at 11:56 am

      Oba, seja super bem vinda! Bem legal sua entrevista, parabéns.
      Vou aproveitar e dar um pulinho pra conhecer o seu blog também. 😉

      Reply

    • Lorraine says:
    • 27 May, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Cris e Felipe
    como eu pude descobrir o blog de vcs só agora?
    to achando tdo maravilhoso…as fotos,as histórias…
    tdo de bom pra vcs@bjs

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 27 May, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      Uau, obrigada!! Que bom que você tá gostando. 😀
      Beijos.

      Reply

    • Julian says:
    • 29 May, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Ahahahahah, esse cartaz entra com certeza para o topo da lista das surrealidades da semana.
    Também tranquiliza saber que o Pasqual continua com sua infalibilidade joselita; o cosmos continua no seu eixo normal.

    E o passaporte-bônus… é que no terceiro mundo nós estamos sempre em casa.

    Beijo pra vocês!

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 30 May, 2010 at 8:08 am

      Hahahaha, tudo verdade Julian!!
      Bom ver você por aqui, my friend.
      Beijos, saudades.

      Reply

    • Dina says:
    • 8 June, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    The notice board is priceless 😀

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 9 June, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      It truly is! We were even a bit concerned if they wouldn’t be upset if they saw us taking this photo, so we had to be very quick and then hide the camera! lol

      Reply

    • Matt says:
    • 8 June, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    What a story! I’d be terrified – I hate border crossing in general and this one sounds especially nerve racking!

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 9 June, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      Hi Matt, true.. border crossing is always a pain. I dream with a world without borders!
      What happens is that Brazilians tend to be terrified with all border crossings, no matter what. So this is a good example that sometimes we can relax.

      Reply

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