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How to get a Thai visa extension from Chiang Mai

Don’t you just hate it when you have to go to the Thai border to renew your visa? Fortunately, if you are in or near Chiang Mai, you don’t need to! We had already booked tickets and were about to leave for Mae Sai to renew our visas when we found out that there is in fact an immigration office in Chiang Mai where you can get the extension. It might cost a bit more (perhaps someone can confirm or deny this) but at least you won’t have to make a full day’s trip (sometimes even a 2-day trip) to the border to get the extension. And naturally the trip to the border costs something as well!  So, how do you get a visa extension in Chiang Mai?