Thailand visa requirements  |  Bulgaria

Изисквания за виза за Тайланд за български граждани.

Updated 22 days ago at Sat, Jun 01, 2024
Visas  |  Requirements  |  Demographics  |  Crime  |  Food  |  Culture  |  Fundamentals  |  Relationships  |  Visa Extension

VISAS FOR BULGARIAN CITIZENS

  Visa Duration

60 Day Visa Exemption is available for Bulgarian citizens

60
30 days Extension

15 Day Visa on Arrival is available for Bulgarian citizens

15 days
no Extension

Tourist Visa is Available for Bulgaria

60 days
30 days Extension

Destination Thailand Visa is Available for Bulgaria

6 months
6 months Extension

Retirement Visa is Available for Bulgaria

1 year
1 year Extension

Retirement Visa 10 Year is Available for Bulgaria

5 year
5 year Extension

Education Visa is Available for Bulgaria

varied
varied Extension

Business/Work Visa is Available for Bulgaria

1 year
1 year Extension

Marriage Visa is Available for Bulgaria

1 year
1 year Extension

Family Visa is Available for Bulgaria

3 Months - 1 Year
varied Extension

Privilege/Elite Visa is Available for Bulgaria

5/10/20 years
varied Extension

LTR Visa is Available for Bulgaria

5 years
5 years Extension

VISAS REQUIREMENTS FOR BULGARIAN CITIZENS

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BULGARIA AND THAILAND

Population and Size of Country: Thailand has a significantly larger population than Bulgaria, with approximately 70 million people compared to Bulgaria’s 7 million. In terms of land area, Thailand covers about 513,120 square kilometers, making it roughly four times larger than Bulgaria, which spans around 110,994 square kilometers.

Ethnicity: Thailand is predominantly ethnically Thai, with over 90% of the population identifying as such. Other ethnic groups include Chinese, Malay, and various hill tribes such as the Karen and Hmong. Bulgaria, on the other hand, is primarily composed of ethnic Bulgarians (about 84%), with minorities including Turks (around 9%) and Roma (around 5%).

Religion: The dominant religion in Thailand is Theravada Buddhism, practiced by about 95% of the population. In contrast, Bulgaria is mainly Eastern Orthodox Christian, with approximately 76% adherence. Islam is the second-largest religion in Bulgaria, followed by around 10% of the population, primarily among the Turkish minority.

GDP: Thailand has a higher GDP compared to Bulgaria. As of recent data, Thailand’s GDP is around $500 billion USD, while Bulgaria’s GDP is approximately $70 billion USD. This difference reflects Thailand’s larger economy and more diverse industrial base.

Population Age Brackets: Thailand has a relatively younger population compared to Bulgaria. Approximately 25% of Thailand’s population is under the age of 15, while about 12% are over 65. In Bulgaria, only about 14% are under 15, but a significant 21% are over 65, indicating an aging population.

Men vs Women: In terms of gender distribution, both countries have a fairly balanced male-to-female ratio. In Thailand, the ratio is approximately 0.97 males per female. Bulgaria has a slightly higher female population with a ratio of about 0.94 males per female.

Source of Popular Types of Income: Thailand’s economy is diverse, with significant income from tourism, agriculture (notably rice and rubber), manufacturing (especially electronics and automobiles), and services. Tourism alone contributes a substantial portion to the GDP. Bulgaria’s economy relies heavily on sectors like services (including IT and outsourcing), industry (notably machinery and equipment), and agriculture (such as tobacco and wine). The service sector is the largest contributor to Bulgaria’s GDP.

SAFETY IN THAILAND FOR BULGARIAN CITIZENS

Violent Crime

Thailand is generally considered safer than many Western countries when it comes to violent crime. Incidents such as armed robbery, assault, and murder are relatively rare, especially in tourist areas. However, it’s always wise to exercise caution and avoid risky areas, particularly at night.

Casual Crime

Petty crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching can occur, especially in crowded places such as markets, tourist attractions, and public transportation. Always keep an eye on your belongings and be mindful of your surroundings.

Crimes of Passion

Crimes of passion do occur in Thailand but are usually personal matters and rarely involve tourists. These incidents are often driven by domestic disputes or relationship issues and are not a significant concern for travelers.

Safety for Solo Women Travellers

Thailand is generally safe for solo women travelers. However, it’s important to take standard precautions such as avoiding poorly lit areas at night, not accepting drinks from strangers, and being cautious when interacting with new people. Many women travel alone in Thailand without any issues, but staying vigilant is key.

Walking Around at Night

Walking around at night in well-populated and well-lit areas is generally safe in Thailand. However, it’s advisable to avoid walking alone in secluded or poorly lit areas, especially if you are unfamiliar with the neighborhood. Stick to main streets and tourist zones for added safety.

Scamming

Scams targeting tourists are somewhat common in Thailand. Common scams include tuk-tuk drivers overcharging, gem scams, and fake travel agencies. Always verify the credibility of services and be cautious of overly friendly strangers offering unsolicited help or deals that seem too good to be true. Using reputable companies and booking services through your hotel can help mitigate these risks.

By staying aware and taking standard safety precautions, travelers from Bulgaria can enjoy a safe and memorable trip to Thailand.

FOOD CHOICES IN THAILAND FOR BULGARIAN CITIZENS

Thai and Bulgarian cuisines, while distinct, share some similarities that can make Bulgarian travelers feel at ease when exploring Thai food. Both culinary traditions emphasize fresh ingredients, balanced flavors, and a mix of textures. Here are some points of interest and recommendations:

Similarities in Ingredients and Flavors

  • Fresh Vegetables and Herbs: Both Thai and Bulgarian cuisines use a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs. In Thailand, you’ll find dishes rich with basil, cilantro, and lemongrass, similar to how Bulgarian dishes incorporate parsley, dill, and mint.

  • Rice and Noodles: Just as rice is a staple in Thai cuisine, it holds a significant place in Bulgarian meals as well. In Thailand, you can try different rice dishes like “Khao Pad” (fried rice) or “Khao Niew” (sticky rice). Noodles also play a crucial role, akin to Bulgarian pasta dishes.

  • Grilled Meats: Grilled meats are popular in both cuisines. Thai street food offers a variety of grilled skewers like “Moo Ping” (grilled pork skewers), which can remind Bulgarian travelers of their own “shishcheta” (meat skewers).

Must-Try Thai Dishes

  • Tom Yum Goong: This hot and sour shrimp soup is a must-try. Its complex flavors come from ingredients like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and chili peppers. The mix of spicy, sour, and savory notes might remind you of the tangy Bulgarian soups.

  • Pad Thai: A beloved stir-fried noodle dish made with rice noodles, shrimp or chicken, tofu, peanuts, bean sprouts, and eggs. The balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors is sure to be a hit.

  • Som Tum: A spicy green papaya salad that combines shredded papaya with tomatoes, green beans, peanuts, and a tangy dressing. The fresh and vibrant flavors are somewhat akin to the freshness found in Bulgarian salads like “Shopska.”

  • Green Curry (Gaeng Keow Wan): This dish features a rich coconut milk base with green curry paste, chicken or beef, eggplant, and basil. Its creamy texture and aromatic spices are sure to intrigue those familiar with hearty Bulgarian stews.

  • Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Mamuang): For dessert, this dish combines sweet mango slices with sticky rice cooked in coconut milk. The combination of sweet fruit and creamy rice might remind you of Bulgarian desserts that pair fruit with dairy.

Street Food Culture

Thailand’s vibrant street food culture is an experience in itself. Markets and street vendors offer a plethora of options that are both affordable and delicious. From grilled meats to fresh fruits and exotic snacks, the bustling atmosphere is somewhat reminiscent of Bulgarian markets where local produce and street foods are abundant.

Beverage Options

  • Thai Iced Tea: A sweet and creamy beverage made from strongly brewed tea mixed with condensed milk. It’s different but could be as refreshing as a glass of cold “Ayran” on a hot day.

  • Fresh Coconut Water: Widely available from street vendors, this natural drink is hydrating and refreshing, similar to enjoying fresh fruit juices in Bulgaria.

Exploring Thai cuisine can be an exciting adventure for Bulgarian travelers. The balance of flavors, the emphasis on fresh ingredients, and the variety of dishes offer a delightful culinary journey that resonates with familiar elements from back home while introducing new and exotic tastes.

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THAILAND AND BULGARIA

Cultural Differences

Travelers from Bulgaria will find distinct cultural differences in Thailand. Thai culture places a high emphasis on respect, politeness, and maintaining social harmony.

Making Friends

Thais are generally friendly and welcoming. When making friends, a smile goes a long way. Introductions are usually accompanied by a “wai” (a prayer-like gesture with hands together and a slight bow). Avoid overly direct or confrontational behavior, as it can be seen as rude.

What to Do

  • Be Respectful: Always show respect to elders and monks. Use polite language and avoid raising your voice.
  • Dress Modestly: Especially when visiting temples or religious sites. Shoulders and knees should be covered.
  • Gift Giving: Small gifts are appreciated, especially when visiting someone’s home. Avoid giving sharp objects or items in black wrapping.

What Not to Do

  • Touching Heads: The head is considered the most sacred part of the body, so avoid touching anyone’s head.
  • Pointing Feet: Feet are considered the lowest and dirtiest part of the body. Do not point your feet at people or religious objects.
  • Public Displays of Affection: These are generally frowned upon. Keep physical affection private.

Habits Not to Bring from Bulgaria

  • Directness: Thais value indirect communication. Being too direct can be seen as impolite.
  • Loudness: Speaking loudly or making a scene is considered disrespectful.
  • Public Criticism: Avoid criticizing others in public as it can cause loss of face.

Deportment and Respect

Maintaining a calm and composed demeanor is crucial. Show respect by using the “wai” appropriately and addressing people with their titles and first names. Avoid losing your temper or showing frustration.

Touching

Physical contact should be minimized, especially with the opposite sex. Handshakes are becoming more common but are still less preferred than the “wai.”

Religious Places

Always remove your shoes before entering temples. Dress modestly and behave respectfully. Do not climb on statues or take inappropriate photos.

Public Presentation of Oneself

Dress neatly and appropriately for the occasion. Cleanliness and grooming are important. Avoid wearing overly casual attire in formal settings.

Behavior on Public Transport

Be courteous and give up your seat to monks, elderly, or pregnant women. Keep conversations quiet and avoid disruptive behavior.

Losing and Gaining Face

“Losing face” refers to a loss of social standing or respect, often caused by public embarrassment or failure. Thais go to great lengths to avoid causing someone to lose face. Conversely, “gaining face” involves actions that increase one’s social standing, such as showing respect, achieving success, or displaying generosity. Always be mindful of how your actions might affect others’ perception of you and themselves.

By adhering to these cultural norms, Bulgarian travelers can enjoy a respectful and enriching experience in Thailand.

TECH, TRANSPORT AND MONEY FOR BULGARIAN PEOPLE IN THAILAND

Bringing Phone from Bulgaria

When bringing your phone from Bulgaria to Thailand, ensure it is unlocked and compatible with GSM networks. Most modern smartphones should work without issues. Check with your Bulgarian carrier to confirm international roaming rates and consider unlocking your phone if it isn’t already.

Internet Availability

Thailand has widespread internet availability, with 4G and 5G networks covering most urban and tourist areas. You can purchase a local SIM card upon arrival at the airport or from convenience stores like 7-Eleven. Major providers include AIS, TrueMove H, and DTAC, offering various data packages.

Dominant Messaging Apps

Line and WhatsApp are the most popular messaging apps in Thailand. Line is particularly dominant, used for both personal communication and business purposes. Download and set up these apps before your trip to stay connected.

Must-Download Apps Before Arrival

  • Line: Essential for messaging in Thailand.
  • Grab: For booking taxis and food delivery.
  • Google Maps: For navigation.
  • Eatigo: For restaurant reservations and discounts.
  • Bangkok MRT/BTS: For navigating the public transit systems in Bangkok.

Currency

The official currency is the Thai Baht (THB). It’s advisable to exchange some money before departure or upon arrival at the airport. Currency exchange booths are widely available in tourist areas.

ATM Use

ATMs are plentiful throughout Thailand, but be aware of withdrawal fees, which can be around 200-220 THB per transaction. Notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage abroad.

Taxi Apps

Grab is the leading ride-hailing app in Thailand, similar to Uber. It offers various services, including GrabCar, GrabBike, and even GrabTaxi, which can be more reliable and safer than hailing street taxis.

Food Delivery

GrabFood and Foodpanda are the primary food delivery services. They offer a wide range of restaurant options, from street food to high-end dining.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, larger restaurants, and shopping malls. However, smaller establishments and street vendors typically prefer cash. Always carry some cash for minor purchases.

Shopping

Thailand offers diverse shopping experiences, from luxury malls like Siam Paragon in Bangkok to bustling markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market. Bargaining is common in markets but not in malls or supermarkets.

Trains

Thailand’s train network is extensive, connecting major cities and regions. The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) operates long-distance trains, while Bangkok has efficient BTS Skytrain and MRT subway systems for urban travel.

Local Buses

Local buses are an affordable way to travel but can be confusing for newcomers due to limited English signage. In Bangkok, the BMTA operates the bus network, while other cities have their own systems. Apps like ViaBus can help navigate local bus routes.

DATING, LOVE, RELATIONSHIPS FOR BULGARIAN MEN IN THAILAND

Acceptance of Men from Bulgaria

Thai people are generally welcoming and open-minded towards foreigners, including men from Bulgaria. As long as you show respect for Thai culture and traditions, you will likely be well-received. Learning a few basic Thai phrases can also go a long way in making a good impression.

Funny Ways to Tell Women You Are from Bulgaria

A humorous way to introduce your Bulgarian nationality could be by saying, “I’m from Bulgaria, the land of roses and yogurt!” This can serve as an icebreaker and make your conversation more memorable.

Which Dating Apps to Use

Popular dating apps in Thailand include Tinder, Badoo, and ThaiCupid. These platforms have a large user base and are commonly used by both locals and expats.

Good Opening Lines to Use with Thai Women on the Apps

  • “Sawadee krap! I’m [Your Name] from Bulgaria. How are you today?”
  • “Hi! I heard Thai food is amazing. Can you recommend a dish for me to try?”
  • “Hello! I’m new here and would love to learn more about Thailand. Any tips?”

Teaching Thai Women About Bulgarian Culture

Introduce them to Bulgarian traditions like Martenitsa, Bulgarian cuisine such as banitsa and lyutenitsa, and famous landmarks like Rila Monastery. Sharing YouTube videos or photos can make the learning experience more engaging.

Dressing and Personal Hygiene

Dress neatly and appropriately for the occasion. Casual but clean attire works well for most situations. Personal hygiene is crucial; ensure you are well-groomed, wear deodorant, and maintain fresh breath.

Examples of Red Flags You Should Watch For

  • Excessive requests for money or gifts early in the relationship.
  • Reluctance to meet in person or video chat.
  • Inconsistent stories or evasive answers about personal details.

Examples of Scams on Dating Apps

  • Fake profiles asking for money for emergencies.
  • Profiles that quickly declare love and ask for financial help.
  • Requests to move the conversation to another platform where scams are easier to execute.

Major Difference in Dating Between Bulgaria and Thailand

In Thailand, family plays a significant role in relationships, and gaining approval from family members is often important. Public displays of affection are generally more subdued compared to Bulgaria.

Major Differences Between Thai Women and Bulgarian Women

Thai women often value traditional gender roles and family-centric relationships. They may be more reserved initially but warm up as trust is built. Bulgarian women might be more direct and independent in their approach to dating.

Popular First Date Activities

  • Visiting a local market or night bazaar.
  • Enjoying a meal at a Thai restaurant.
  • Exploring cultural sites like temples or museums.
  • Taking a walk in a park or along the beach.

Red Light Districts

Notable red light districts include Patpong in Bangkok, Walking Street in Pattaya, and Bangla Road in Phuket. These areas are known for nightlife and adult entertainment but should be approached with caution.

Prostitution on Dating Apps

Be aware that some profiles on dating apps may be involved in prostitution. Indicators include overly suggestive photos, immediate offers for “special services,” or profiles that seem too good to be true.

10 Places to Meet Thai Women Outside of Dating Apps

  1. Cafes and Coffee Shops: Popular hangouts for young professionals.
  2. Universities: Attend public lectures or cultural events.
  3. Shopping Malls: CentralWorld, Siam Paragon, and Terminal 21.
  4. Night Markets: Chatuchak Weekend Market or Rot Fai Market.
  5. Parks: Lumphini Park in Bangkok or Suan Buak Haad Park in Chiang Mai.
  6. Cultural Festivals: Loy Krathong, Songkran, or local temple fairs.
  7. Language Exchange Meetups: Great way to meet locals interested in learning about other cultures.
  8. Fitness Classes: Yoga, Muay Thai, or dance classes.
  9. Libraries and Bookstores: Common spaces for intellectual conversations.
  10. Volunteer Events: Join local charity events or community service projects.

By following these guidelines, Bulgarian men can navigate the dating scene in Thailand with greater ease and understanding.

EXTENDING VISA INSTRUCTIONS FOR BULGARIAN CITIZENS IN THAILAND

Extending a Thai Tourist Visa or Visa Exemption for Bulgarian Passport Holders

If you’re a Bulgarian passport holder looking to extend your stay in Thailand, you have two primary options: extending your Thai tourist visa or extending your visa exemption. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

1. Preparing Your Documents

Before heading to the immigration office, make sure you have the following documents ready:

  • Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months and has blank pages.
  • TM.7 Application Form: This is the official form for visa extensions. You can download it online or pick it up at the immigration office.
  • Passport-Sized Photos: Two recent photos (4x6 cm).
  • Photocopies of Passport Pages: Copies of the main page, current visa page, entry stamp, and TM.6 departure card.
  • Proof of Financial Means: Bank statements or cash equivalent to 20,000 THB for individuals or 40,000 THB for families.
  • Extension Fee: 1,900 THB (cash only).

2. Visiting the Immigration Office

Locate the nearest immigration office. Major offices are found in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Pattaya. Arrive early to avoid long queues.

3. Submitting Your Application

Once at the immigration office:

  • Fill out the TM.7 form if you haven’t already.
  • Submit your documents and completed form at the designated counter.
  • Pay the 1,900 THB extension fee.

4. Interview and Processing

An immigration officer may ask a few questions regarding your stay. Answer honestly and provide any additional documents if requested. Processing usually takes a few hours, but it can sometimes take longer.

5. Receiving Your Extension

Once approved, your passport will be stamped with the new extension date. Typically, you’ll be granted an additional 30 days.

Important Tips

  • Dress Appropriately: Wear respectful clothing when visiting the immigration office.
  • Language Barrier: While many officers speak English, having a Thai-speaking friend can be helpful.
  • Plan Ahead: Try to apply for an extension at least a week before your current visa or exemption expires to avoid any last-minute issues.
  • Re-entry Permit: If you plan to leave Thailand and return during your extended stay, apply for a re-entry permit to keep your extension valid.

By following these steps, you can smoothly extend your Thai tourist visa or visa exemption and enjoy a longer stay in Thailand.

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