How to Travel with Thailand Pass (Manila to Bangkok)

It’s been two years since I last flew out of Manila (locally or internationally). I was looking at countries I could travel to without having to quarantine on arrival. Since Thailand reopened their Test and Go COVID-19 quarantine exemption protocol in February — they’d suspended it in December — I applied for and got my Thailand Pass to spend a few days in Bangkok.

Unlike the Philippines which allows fully vaccinated people into the country as long as they present a pre-departure negative RT-PCR test, Thailand requires you to test upon arrival and again on the fifth day. When I applied for my Thailand Pass, they still required a Day 5 RT-PCR test, but they recently updated the protocol to require only a self-tested antigen kit on the fifth day.

Applying for the Thailand Pass

You can apply for the Thailand Pass through the official web portal and upload your requirements through there, but you need to have the following scanned or in screenshots before starting your application:

  • passport
  • VaxCert digital vaccination certificate (OR Philippine Bureau of Immigration-issued ICV)
  • Roundtrip flight itinerary
  • Confirmed SHA Extra Plus or AQ hotel booking for Day 1 Test (includes airport transfer, 1-night hotel stay, RT-PCR test, and antigen self-test kit)
  • Travel insurance with minimum coverage of at least USD $20,000 (I used AXA Sawasdee)

Submit your application at least 3-7 days before your intended date of departure. Mine took about three days to come back.

I booked directly with the hotel, which is important because your Thailand Pass application needs the hotel to validate your booking with the Ministry of Health. While Agoda offers Test and Go packages as well, I was a little bit skittish about going through a third party (even if the deals are pretty good).

Pre-Departure from Manila

Thailand requires you to present a negative RT-PCR test upon entry. It can be a maximum of 72 hours old, so book your pre-departure test at most two days before your flight.

At the airport when checking in, have these documents on paper for presentation:

  • passport
  • Roundtrip flight itinerary
  • Thailand Pass
  • RT-PCR test result
  • Travel insurance certificate
  • Hotel booking

In my experience, the airline personnel, immigration officers, and secondary inspection asked for these documents so it’s much better to have them on hand.

The airline will give you a form to fill up with your details, which you will submit when you pass Immigration.

The immigration officers have a few more questions than I encountered in the past regarding work and travel history. My fellow passengers were quizzed about their reasons for travel (a few were held back for further questioning.)

Manila airport is also a good place to have some money changed into Thai Baht. I recommend to have at least 500-1000 THB on your person for miscellaneous expenses when you land in Bangkok airport.

On Arrival in Bangkok

As you leave the plane, you’ll be given a form to fill out; it basically asks for where your Day 1 hotel is and that you are willing to be quarantined there. You will submit this at the Thailand Pass checkpoint on the way to immigration.

At the Thailand Pass checkpoint and also at immigration, present the following:

  • passport
  • boarding pass
  • Thailand Pass
  • RT-PCR test result
  • Hotel booking

When you pick up your baggage you will also have opportunity to buy a SIM card before exiting through Customs. This is probably the best time to do so because when you exit through Customs, the hotel greeters will be waiting to take you to your hotel.

Day 1 Testing

Because it was early in the day, I was swabbed on arrival at my hotel before check-in. I then stayed in my room until my results were released around 7-8 hours later. The hotel rang my room to let me know I could pick up my test results at the front desk. After that, I was free to go!

(If I could do things differently, I would have packed some instant cup noodles so that I could eat that instead of ordering room service.)

Day 5 Testing

The hotel gave me an antigen test kit for Day 5 because that’s the new Test and Go protocol, but I will still go to my Day 5 hotel and RT-PCR test because I need the negative result anyway to get back into Manila quarantine-free.

So that was my experience traveling from Manila to Bangkok using the Thailand Pass. It takes a bit more organisation than in the before times and you can’t really go on spur-of-the-moment trips anymore, but as long as you have a legitimate reason for travel and all your required paperwork it’s not that hard to go.

About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in fitness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

2 thoughts on “How to Travel with Thailand Pass (Manila to Bangkok)

  1. Hello, plan to go to Thailand this week. Just filled up already the THAILAND PASS REGISTRATION. One of the things that makes me very confusing is the “COE” CERTIFICATE OF ENTRY? It is one of the requirements according to Philippine Airlines Staff recently. THAILAND PASS AND COE are they the same?

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