So Courtney and I have spent months planning this trip as well as getting our heads around the whole idea of long-term travel and all of this was almost squashed when we got to the airport to check in. Upon arrival at the airport we had dinner and then proceeded to the Korean Air counter line up to check our bags and get our boarding passes. Once at the front of the line a Korean airline worker with an thick accent collected or passports and started filling out the form on the computer. All was seemingly going smoothly until she looked up at us expectantly as said "you have a visa?" Us "uhh, no..." girl "how long you stay in Bangkok?" Us "2 nights and then we're going to Chiang Mai by bus" girl "do you have your ticket booked?" us "no we're going to book it through our hotel when we get there" girl "and you have no visa?" us "omg I'm going to kill Karen (our travel agent)" then the girl proceeds to bring over 2 other airline agents who continue to ask how long we're planning on staying in Thailand to which we reply less than 30 days (the max amount of time you can without a visa) and they continue to ask in most concerned tones if we have a visa to show them. At this point we're freaking out that our non-refundable one-way tickets to Bangkok are going to be nothing more than a dent in our bank accounts.
Enter fourth airline worker "how long are you staying in Bangkok? Where are you going after? You haven't booked any tickets out of Thailand?!" us "listen we were told that we didn't need a visa if we were staying less than 30 days" fourth guy "Well if you don't have a visa do you have a MasterCard?"