Consulate and Embassy List
This section is about embassies and consulates other than those of the Thai government.
Embassies and consulates of various other countries are the place to go for a visa to travel to countries other than your own, to expeditiously report a death, for tax and voting documents, and certain other official procedures.
Below is our old list of embassies and consulates in Bangkok. The most current list should be at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at www.mfa.go.th where you'll find a subsection titled Foreign Missions in Thailand to click on. But before you travel to a particular consulate or embassy, you should call them first to verify their address. On more than one occasion, I've travelled all the way across town only to find that the place which issues visas or deals with other matters is located elsewhere. Nonetheless, you may be surprised by the amount of detail that the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has on your embassy or consulate.
However, before you go to your embassy for many other kinds of support, you'd better read this:
The embassies and consulates are of limited help, and should be consulted only if you exhaust your other options. For example, if you or an associate get into trouble locally, the embassy or consulate might be of assistance in referring you to a local lawyer or perhaps notifying your next of kin in another country. However, you will probably be much better off by establishing relationships with other reliable and trusted friends and associates in Bangkok instead, for most support matters.
Over the decades, the embassies and consulates have been reducing their roles in helping travellers and businessmen with information and other services, as other media sources and infrastructure have arisen. This is not rustic and remote Thailand any more. Since Bangkok and Thailand have very good media and infrastructure alternatives, you really can't expect much from your Bangkok embassy in these matters.
The main function of the consulates is simply to process visa requests. Bangkok is a good place to get visas to many countries.
Many accept visa applications only during morning hours, and give back passports in the afternoon. Some process your passport on the same day, others may require you leave your passport with them several days.
If you are new to Thailand and don't know anybody well, then you are advised to write down on a piece of paper and put in your wallet the phone number of your embassy, and also to memorize it. That's for you to use. You should also include on that piece of paper the phone numbers and contact info of emergency contacts in Thailand and in your home country. By law, you're supposed to carry your passport with you at all times, but if you cannot, then keep a photocopy with you, and another photocopy in a safe place.
Finally, there are countless stories of people who have not been helped by their embassy when it was the appropriate duty of their embassy. Some embassies are good at helping their citizens in situations where it's the embassy's duty, but some embassies are negligent, which has made its citizens question what more important things their highly paid foreign service people are doing with their time at taxpayer expense. Understandably, many cases are hard criminals looking for help while in trouble, and the embassy's disinterest is understandable. On the other hand, some are innocent people pursuing the proper channels.
I'm not going to name countries or discuss Thailand cases here, as I really can't get into the fray here.
So let me cite an example from India instead: Investigative journalism by Australian National TV reported the predicament of an old tourist who bought some coins from a street vendor out in the open, only to be immediately arrested by a policeman, thrown into jail for possessing ancient artifacts, and attempted extortion -- an apparently organized "tourist trap", like many known by locals but not tourists. He got practically no help from his embassy, and spent more than a year in jail (if I recall correctly) before finally linking up with and getting bailed out by relatives and friends. When Australian National TV formally asked the Australian embassy in India what happened, they got the usual rhetorical statement saying they had done everything in their power to assist the particular citizen, blah, blah, blah. When the embassy was then asked for SPECIFIC actions they took, and presented the evidence otherwise, there was no response and they were stonewalled by the embassy, so the TV show reported that!
The Australian embassy in Thailand, from what I've heard, has responded well to matters in Thailand, unlike the above case of the Australian embassy in India.
However, there are many cases in Thailand where the embassy people of other countries were negligent. Don't always interpret their public relations announcements as indicating that they are keenly interested in helping their citizens, as the motivation behind those announcements may be doing the minimum in their job for the maximum image benefits.
Thus, my advice is: "Don't be naive", to say the least. You should try your embassy when appropriate, but you had better rely on friends and associates, too, when you get into a situation where you need help. Don't rely 100% on your embassy, for goodness sake!
Better yet, avoid problems. Be aware of what's going on around you, and avoid questionable people, places and situations.
Notably, while Thailand is a relatively safe place compared to most countries, it also has a lot of scams and corruption by both Thais and foreigners preying on the naive. The worst scams and organized crime I've heard of here involve fellow foreigners who are longterm expats with no honorable employment and who misrepresent themselves. They often continue to exist due to pay-off protection to the local police.
Some expats who have little or no honorable employment but want to stay in Thailand get involved in shady businesses with crooks. If you think that most crooks don't routinely reneg on verbal agreements, then you're awfully naive. They will also prey upon the naive. If they don't pay in full, what's your recourse, and who cares? If you get a big problem and must choose between the two sides of the law, then keep in mind that it is usually better to go on the record with the tourist police and your embassy than to believe a crook who may try to scare you away from going to the police or your embassy with all kinds of bogus experience stories. Who would you trust more? An accountable government institution (accountable to some measure) or a private organized crime gang? Or is it better to take the next flight out?
You are currently on this page:
> Utilities, Govts, Money, Misc. > Foreign Embassies and Consulates
Additional, children pages of this current parent page:
Foreign Embassies and Consulates :
Copyright 1999-2010 by Mark Evan Prado, All Rights Reserved.
Menu: Site Map