Flying into Bangkok International Airport? Nothing is worse than arriving at an airport at a strange hour, jet-lagged and not knowing how to get into the city. You also don`t want to pay and arm-and-a-leg for transport. So how do you get into the city if the airport is situated 31 kilometers away from the city center?
There are many transport options to choose from including:
- Public bus
- Rail link
- Airport Limo
The quickest way to get into the city is by taxi. However, if you have booked your hotel in advance, check with the hotel before the time if they have an airport pick-up service available. I have to stress that the latter is NOT the cheapest option. They do offer a very convenient service – meeting you at the airport with your name on a sign,hotel logo and a call to the hotel 2 minutes before you arrive. But you are charged 10 times more than a normal meter taxi.
Taxis in Bangkok can be tricky. You find unregistered taxis in many public places and not all drivers are honest. To avoid being ripped off, go to the Public Taxi desk and ask for a “meter taxi”.
1. Meter Taxis
Once you have cleared Immigration go to the first floor and find the desk that says “Public Taxi“. You will be asked for your hotel address. Tip: Ask the hotel to write the name and address for you in Thai. Insist on the meter! The meter starts at 30 Baht. The taxi fare is for the car and not per person. You pay the driver at the hotel. If the driver is going via the toll road then you will have to pay the toll charges. The drivers only accept Thai Baht so make sure you change some money at the airport.
Taxis are not very big but you do find “Vans” or Maxi taxis for 3 to 4 people with lots of luggage.
Price: Average 300 – 350 Baht,Surcharge 50 Baht and Toll fees are 70 Baht.
Travel time: 30-45 minutes
Tipping: Taxi drivers are not tipped but it doesn`t do any harm rounding off figures.
2. Rail Link
The Rail link is by far the cheapest and quickest if you are travelling on your own. There are two trains to choose from: ARL Airport Express and ARL City Line. However you will have to transfer by taxi or sky train once you have arrived at either Makkasan or Phaya Thai stops.
ARL Express Train:
- Leaving every 30 minutes to Phava Thai and take 17 minutes. The last train leaves at midnight and first train at 6hoo.
- Leaving every 40 minutes to Makkasan and take 15 minutes. The last train leaves at 23h38 and the first train at 06h18.
The fare for the Airport Express (Suvarnabhumi to either Makkasan or Phaya Thai non-stop) is 150 baht. From Makkasan you can get a taxi to your final destination, or make the 5-10 minute walk to the Petchuburi MRT (subway – underground) station. At Phraya Thai you can transfer to the BTS Skytrain.
ARL City Line:
This line is more busy than the Express Train and is used by locals and tourists. The Express train is more quiet and has more luggage space. It makes more stops (8 in total Suvarnabhumi to Phaya Thai) and takes 27 minutes. Trains leave the airport about every 11 to 13 minutes from 06h02 in the morning and the last one leaving at 23h56 on weekdays. On weekends and holidays they run every 20 minutes starting at 06h11. The last train leaves at 23h51.
Fares range between 15 and 45 baht one-way, depending on the distance traveled Many stations are handy to areas where travelers tend to stay, for instance Ratchaprarop is near Pratunam, Makkasan is not far by taxi from Lower Sukhumvit and Ramkhamhaeng is a 10 minute (60 baht) taxi ride from Thonglor. And of course at Makkasan you can change to the MRT (subway – underground) and at Phaya Thai to the BTS Skytrain, giving you access to a large part of the city by mass transit.
3. Public Bus
The bus fare is 35 Baht.
Public Bus Service to Bangkok and area.
Bus No 549 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Minburi
Bus No 550 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Happy Land
Bus No 551 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Victory Monument (Expressway)
Bus No 552 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – On Nut BTS station
Bus No 553 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Samut Prakan
Bus No 554 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Don Muang Airport (Expressway)
Bus No 555 – Suvarnabhumi – Don Muang Airport – Rangsit (Expressway)
Bus No 556 – Makkasan City ARL station – Southern Bus Terminal
Bus No 557 – Suvarnabhumi – Wongwien Yai
Bus No 558 – Suvarnabhumi – Central Rama 2
Bus No 559 – Suvarnabhumi – Future Park Rangsit
Public Bus Service to other provinces.
Bus Number 389 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Pattaya
Bus Number 390 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Aranyaphratet (Talad Rong Kluea)
leaves at 07:00, 09:10, 11:10, 13:10 and 17:10 daily from the Airport Transportation Center. Cost is 184 baht.
Bus Number 825 – Suvarnabhumi Airport – Nong Khai
4. Limousine Service:
If you feel like treating yourself to a ride in a limousine then this is the way to go. Top of the line Mercedes-Benz and BMW`s are available and prices range from 800 Baht to 6000 Baht. Transfer time is 30-45 minutes depending on the traffic and distance.