Bangkok’s ultra modern airport is located about 33 kilometers from Khao San Road in Banglamphu, the city’s tourist hotspot. Although many tourists start their trip here, it’s quite hard to get to using public transport. That’s why we listed the three best transport options for you below!
After a long flight you finally get off the plane. You’ve just landed on Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. But you’re not there yet, there are still a few steps you need to take before you can check in at your hotel in the Khao San Road area:
- Arrival Card – On the plane you’ll receive an Arrival Card (see example). Fill it in and stick it in your passport.
- Immigration – After getting off the plane, follow the blue signs that say “Immigration” if you have a visa or are eligible for a visa on arrival.
- VISA on arrival – If not, follow the signs to “VISA on Arrival”.
- Customs – Get your photograph taken and receive your entry stamp.
After getting through customs we recommend you do the following:
- Pick up your luggage – Various screens in the luggage hall will tell you where to pick up your backpack or suitcase. Take your luggage from the belt and go to the arrivals hall.
- Money exchange – In case you brought cash with you, exchange your money for Thai Baht. You’ll find the best exchange rates in the airport basement. To get there, follow the signs that read “Airport Rail Link”.
- Thai SIM-card – After exchanging your money you’re ready to buy a Thai SIM-card for your smart phone, which you can do in the arrivals area. Employees will install it into your phone straight away. You get to keep your WhatsApp number and send a message home saying you’ve landed safe and sound. Plus you’ll be able to enjoy very fast 3G or 4G internet on your phone wherever you go in Thailand.
- Bottle of water – After that, buy a bottle of water at one of the airport supermarkets and pay for it with a 1,000 baht note and use the change to pay for transport to your hotel in Bangkok.
Transport to the city
These are three best ways to get from the airport to Bangkok:
- By taxi;
- Airport bus;
- or Airport Rail Link.
Option 1: Taxi
The most expensive option, but as far as we are concerned, also the best one. You’ll be very tired after a long flight and the taxi is the most comfortable way to quickly get to your hotel in Bangkok.
Follow the signs that say “Public Taxi” to the first floor. Then walk outside and stand in line. You’ll be assigned a ticket which will have the number of the taxi stand on it. Go there, a taxi will pull up and you can get in.
Before putting your luggage in the trunk of the car, make it clear to the driver you want to be charged by the meter. Simply say: “Meter on, please”. Only get in once the driver confirms – and make sure he actually does it. In case the driver doesn’t want to do it, get out of the car and get another taxi.
Taxis drive on toll roads (which you have to pay for) and you also pay a 50 Thai Baht fee for coming from the airport. All in all, the drive will take about an hour and will cost anywhere between 350 and 700 Thai Baht, depending on the traffic.
Option 2: Airport bus
Since recently, (June 2017) there is a shuttle service between Bangkok Airport and Khao San Road.
Buses leave every thirty minutes, between the hours of 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM, from Gate 7 on the first floor (near the taxis). They’re equipped with air conditioning and there’s a luggage compartment.
Ideal for anyone who wants to save money, as the ride only costs 60 Thai Baht per person. It will drop you off on Khao San Road, from where you can walk to your hotel or get a taxi/tuk tuk.
Option 3: Airport Rail Link
This last option is great for travelers staying in Bangkok’s city center (areas like Silom and Sukhumvit) and near a BTS-station.
The Airport Rail Link is an aboveground metro that goes between the airport, Phaya Thai, its final stop, which is where you’ll need to get off. It leaves from the airport basement between 6:00 AM and midnight. Tickets are 45 Thai Baht per person and will get you to the city center in half an hour.
Downside of the Airport Rail Link is that can be quite busy during rush hour.
Although it can seem quite chaotic for those arriving for the first time, Suvarnabhumi Airport is actually very well organized. Make sure you go through all the aforementioned steps and choose your preferred mode of transport. And after a day’s rest in your hotel room, you’re finally ready to experience Thailand!