Why Is This?

It’s a fairly robust observation that developing countries have more restrictions on travel than developed countries. The reason for this is that the developed countries (usually of the West) are reluctant to become havens for economic migrants, who see greater opportunities abroad than in their domestic country.

Money and Trade Plays a Role

The emergence of the trade zones around the world such as the EU, NAFTA, ASEAN et al has come to play a more balanced role in the movement of people around the world, but it can still be hard for those nations whose gross domestic product (GNP), is significantly less than the destination countries of Thais who wish to travel internationally.

ASEAN – The Asian Economic Trade Zone

ASEAN stands for Association of South East Asian Nations. Unlike APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) it doesn’t include the United States. ASEAN is about to form a free trade area in 2015 and this will have a huge impact on the mobility of peoples within the region, although it will also mean greater pressure for Thais, with legal migrants, seeking work, coming into the Kingdom from neighboring countries.

ASEAN Visa Destinations for Thais

The most notable ASEAN destination to NOT provide visas for Thais is Burma or Myanmar. The rehabilitation of Myanmar into the international community is slowly opening up trade and currency flows but Visas for all people coming and going are still an issue.

Destinations Not Requiring Visas

If you’re thinking of a relaxing break or quick trip out of town with your Thai partner that doesn’t need a visa you can do no worse than consider the following:
Hong Kong

Thais love Hong Kong, for its shopping and cultural influence around the region. The excitement and energy of a visit will make a long lasting impression on any Thai and is a mark of international cosmopolitan credentials for any Thai to share with their social set upon their return.


The other close favorite to visit is Singapore. While not regarded by Thais, as exciting as Hong Kong prior to a visit, most Thais have an exceptional attraction towards Singapore, on their return. This is because of its world class standards in cleanliness, orderliness and living and working development index. Thais take great pride in a trip to Singapore as an icon of Asian progressiveness.


Thais are allowed to travel to the Philippines without a visa. For most, this can be a fun destination with a partner, on holiday in a resort or hotel, but most Thais are not overly impressed with a rural or down to earth vacation in the Philippines, because it’s not so different from home.

South Africa

Thais can visit South Africa without a visa. This is one of the furthest destinations from Thailand, possible to achieve this. The excitement of travelling to another continent is a double bonus for Thai travellers but the cost of getting there is not insignificant. There’s lots of things to do and see if you do make it there.

Anywhere Else?

Indeed there are quite a few more destinations. Peru, Vietnam and Russia are all places that have required no visas in the past, but it is best to do a check with your travel agent before commencing a trip or buying a ticket. The rules are always changing, so keep an eye out for new obstacles or opening possibilities of travel.