This week’s topic will be about tips on things (with budgets, of course!) to do around Bangkok airport; transportation, baggage, foods, etc. From how to travel around Bangkok from the airport to where to get your stomach filled, now you can just relax and travel in Bangkok airport like a boss!
1. There is more than one Bangkok airport
There are actually 2 international airports in Bangkok: Suvarnabhumi airport and Don Mueang airport. Most low-budget domestic as well as some international flights are operated at Don Mueang airport. Although there are shuttle bus between the two airports, it takes at least an hour to get to either place.
Now multiply that with your typical Bangkok traffic scene, and you know why getting Bangkok airports mixed up is one of traveler’s biggest nightmares.
2. There are several means of transportation that will take you around town
Suvarnabhumi airport offers more transportation choices. The most common ways are via Airport Rail Links (ARL) and taxi. Whereas the easiest way to get to and from Don Mueang Airport is by taxi and sometimes by bus (recommended only if you are traveling with a small backpack and arrive in Bangkok during non-peak hours).
Know Before You Go: For airport taxi service: you’ll have to pay the driver 50 baht more for airport fee. And sometimes the queue can be excruciatingly long (this doesn’t have to be during the peak hours). The alternatives are to use GRAB cars/taxis or book your private transport transfer here.
Here is a rundown on how to get to major traveler hubs by public transportation from each airport.
1. Khao San road
- From Suvarnabhumi Airport
- Airport Rail Links (ARL) – Walk down to Basement B and take the train from the airport to the terminal station, Phaya Thai. The fare is 45 baht. Then, catch a taxi to Khao San road (approx. 70-100 baht depends on the traffic).
From Don Mueang
- Airport LimoBus Express – The service hours are from 9.30 am – midnight, and the bus arrives every 30 minutes. The parking spots will be at Platform of Passenger Terminal (Building no.1), Gate 6-8 and Platform of Passenger Terminal (Building no.2) on the 1st Floor, Gate 14. The fare is 150 baht. You can also book the ticket online at limobus.co.th.
2. Ratchatewi/ Phaya Thai area
From Suvarnabhumi Airport
- Airport Rail Links (ARL) – Walk down to Basement B and take the train from the airport to the terminal station, Phaya Thai. The fare is 45 baht. To get to Ratchathewi, when you walking down from Airport Rail Link, turn left (you should see a railway there,) then walk straight toward an intersection. You will see Ratchathewi BTS station across the street (approx. 15 mins of walking).
From Don Mueang
- Public bus no. 29 – Walk toward Platform of Passenger Terminal (Buidling no.1) on the 1st Floor, Gate 6 or Platform of Passenger Terminal (Buidling no.2) on the 1st Floor, Gate 12.
3. Victory Monument
From Suvarnabhumi Airport
- Airport Rail Links (ARL) – Walk down to Basement B and take the train from the airport to the terminal station, Phaya Thai. The fare is 45 baht. To get to Victory Monument, you can either get on BTS (only 1 stop) or walk down from Airport Rail Link, turn right (the railway is on your left,) then walk straight toward an intersection. Cross the intersection and keep going straight, and you will reach Victory monument within only 15 mins.
- Public van no. 551 – Departing every 20 minute with only 40 fare throughout the route, you can find the vans at Platform of arrival terminal 1st floor, gates 1 and 8.
From Don Mueang
- Public bus A1/ A2 – Walk toward Platform of Passenger Terminal (Building no.1) on the 1st Floor, Gate 6 or Platform of Passenger Terminal (Building no.2) on the 1st Floor, Gate 12. A2 bus will take you straight to Victory Monument. A1 will drop you off at Mo Chit BTS station, which is only 4 stations away from Victory Monument. The buses fare are only 30 baht.
3. Arriving late at night? No problem for all the solo female travelers
Most public transportation from Bangkok airports don’t operate after midnight, so getting a cab seems to be the only choice. Fortunately, there are several taxi services to choose from.
- Suvarnabhumi airport: Airport taxi service is at Passenger Terminal on the 1st Floor, Gates 4 and 7. You’ll get a taxi ticket with your driver’s name, his license plate number as well as his taxi ID number.
- Don Mueang airport: their taxi service works almost the same way with Suvanabhumi’s, but there is no automated kiosks. In order to get your taxi ticket, you will have to wait in line and tell the officers where you will be going. Then, they will call a taxi driver to come over and get your luggage.
- Again, GRAB taxi or private airport transfer is a great choice and also local’s go to when the queue is too long.
4. Afraid of Thai taxi scam?
Thai taxi scams are notorious among travelers. But arm yourself with some local knowledge and you are sure to have a smooth time riding in our colorful cabs.
How? Have your destination written down (preferably in Thai. Your hotel staff or a friendly local next to you are likely to happily help.). Better yet, ask them the approximate price.
Always ask your taxi driver about the price, and if need be, bargain before you get in. Only pay the amount you’ve settled. (Please note that you’ll have to pay any highway toll fee on metered taxis.)
Tips: if you are travelling in group, or simply prioritize comfort and safety, renting a private car or van with a driver is undoubtedly the easiest way to commute around Bangkok or even Phuket.
5. Where to snooze at the airport
Although there are chairs to lay down and take a nap, light sleepers might find it hard to rest as there will most likely be crowds. Luckily, the B floor at Suvarnabhumi airport has some quiet spots.
If you have plenty of time and sleep is your priority, Boxtel also offers private rooms on the B floor at Suvarnabhumi airport (maximum 4 hour-stay).
6. Stay over at a place nearby airport?
Although we are all for spontaneous traveling, we recommend booking your stay in Bangkok at least for your first night. Although you’ll find all kinds of accommodations at every other corner, lugging your bags around in Bangkok’s heat would be far from ideal.
7. Airport baggage deposit
There are several luggage deposit counters at both Bangkok airports. But here, you can book and pay online, then just come leave your luggage and our lovely staff will take care of the rest.
Don Mueang Airport – Terminal 2, 1st Floor, Gate 9
Suvarnabhumi Airport – B Floor, Airport Rail Link
You can find our desk centers at other major malls in Bangkok like Terminal 21, MBK and Central World. For more info, click here.
Airport-Hotel Express Luggage Delivery
If you are time-strapped whether on your first or last day here, just leave your luggage at your hotel lobby and our staff will bring it straight to you at the airport (and vice versa, we also pick up your suitcase at the airport and deliver it to your hotel.) Read more here.
8. Which tourist sim to get?
There are 3 mobile phone providers in Thailand; Dtac, AIS, and True. You can find tourist sim cards at their counters at both airports. Most tourist sim cards are pre-paid ones which you can easily top up at any 7-11 and FamilyMart across the country.
DTAC is now offering 22% OFF their Unlimited 4G sim card with free 100 baht call credit. Buy now and pick up your tourist sim at either Don Mueang or Suvarnabhumi airports.
9. WTF (Where’s the Food)!
Apart from the ubiquitous 7-11 and MiniMart, a handful of franchised restaurants have been popping up in both airports.You can also grab a meal at a food court downstairs of Suvarnabhumi airport.
For Don Mueang, there are a mini mart and a food court. From the ‘Group Tour’ exit, turn right and walk to the end of the way, walk down a small stairs, and you will reach Magic mini mart and food point.
Credit photo: Earnonabudget