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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am preparing to move from the US to Thailand in April with my husband who will be on a work permit. I have never travelled internationally before. Can someone please tell me what happens when you exit the plane and enter the country at the airport. How does the immigration process or screening work? Does it take hours or just a few minutes? I have heard horror stories from friends who travelled to other countries and were treated horribly at the immigration stops and felt like they were being interegated as if they were criminals. Many of them had their luggage gone through. Should I be nervous? Also, I will have my cat with me. What extra steps will this create and how much longer will that process be. I am a patient person and willing to wait but would like an idea ahead of time as to what to expect and how long I'll be standing and waiting after an already long 24 hours flight.
Thanks in advance for your help.
 

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Don't be nervous, but keep a low profile

I’ve only flown a few times. My bags have never been searched, at least not in my presence, coming or going. If you have a stop-over, you will have to take any carry-on baggage through a security checkpoint and you may find your luggage has arrived hours ahead of you and has been sitting on the airport floor.

I don’t know anything about traveling with cats.

My only difficulty was in Phuket. I had purchased a computer printer and brought it with me in the original carton. That caught the attention of a customs inspector who insisted on looking in my camera bag and wanted to tax me on the value of my equipment. Basically, he threatened to confiscate my gear if I didn’t pay him a bribe. Initially he wanted THB 10,000, but eventually we settled on THB 4,000, which was nearly double what the printer had cost me. (This only a peek, not a search.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your help. I guess I'll just plan to go with the flow and hope for the best. As far as paying them for certain items (I have heard they may ask for money to bring the cat in), do I need to have some of my money already converted to bhat or will they be happy to take my US dollars?
 

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Not a good time to flash a bank roll

I paid in Bhat. For all I know, they take MasterCard, Visa and American Express.

This is probably not a time to negotiate for the best exchange rate or to ask for change.

They had a schedule of tariffs for various aggregate equipment values. We settled on THB 4,000 which would have been about $123 at the time. Dollars would have been more convenient, as I didn't have much in Bhat and had a long taxi ride ahead of me. But Bhat was neat. I might have had to give them $150 in U.S. currency. I don't think they expected me to pay in Bhat and were anticipating a little profit on the conversion, but I'm a cynic.
 
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