(Aug 2007) Traveller's guide to Suvarnabhumi:
Taxis to town =
Head down to the 1st floor to the public taxi line and get a metered taxi into town.
Don't agree to a fixed rate, the metered rate is better (some dishonest dispatchers will ask).
Pay the tollway/highway fare.
Passport control =
The queue at passport control upon arrival is not so bad ~10 minutes.
Upon departure, it gets worse. I have flown out 3 times, queued 10-30 minutes. Leave some time for this !
The airport is huge. To walk from passport control to your gate may take 15 minutes.
There is a massage place in the public area (level 2) and one after passport control (see attached picture) - your best bet is to get a massage in town ...
The new airport is aimed at the mid-range traveller. The options that I have seen are as follows:
* The floor above departures houses a Thai/western restuarant, main dishes ~ 300B.
* The second floor has a few quasi-fast food restaurants, with mains for ~ 200B.
* Also on the second floor, there is the "Thai village" - a few small kiosks selling Thai takeaway food - not amazing, or fresh, but cheap and filling (also added a shawarma grill last time I was there)
* There is a food court on the bottom floor, not far from the public taxi rank. Patrons are mainly airport employees. No western food, but a reasonable selection of Thai food (~ 10 different stalls) with mains at ~ 50B or less - and English translations on most of the food signs..
* There is a family mart on every floor. The departures floor one is smallest, the other 2 are larger. You can get a large variety of drinks and snacks, as well as (Thai) cup-a-soups and frozen meals, which they can microwave for you.
* After passport control, prices increase (see pic) - 200B for a small piece of pie ??
When I reached the Suvarnabhumi Airport, I went straight to Level 1 to take the bus. I was quite apprehensive about taking the limo/taxi because I've heard a lot of horror stories of people being cheated up to 900THB when the actual fare is only 250-300THB. The aiport bus fare was 150THB per person but I had to wait for about 40 minutes for the next bus to come by. When the bus came, we were caught in the middle of the notorious Bangkok jam and it took me about 2 hours to reach my hotel at Soi 5, Sukhumvit. The bus stops at most big and popular hotels along the Sukhumvit Road so there is no problem if you book hotels around this area. If your hotel is lesser-known like mine, just find a well-known hotel and use it as a landmark for where you want to stop.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport the only way to get to the old airport at Don Muang (distance about 30 kilometres) is by road.
BUS: The cheapest way to do it is by bus. First you take the free bus-shuttle from the Suvarnabhumi passenger terminal to the Bus Station (also called Travel Center) which is within the airport compound but too far to walk. The shuttle goes every 5 minutes and takes about 5 minutes to get to the Bus Station.
Once you are at the Bus Station look for bus number 554 (colour orange). It is air-conditioned, comfortable and goes directly to Don Muang airport. It’s quite a fast service because it bypasses central Bangkok and goes along the expressway. The fare is about Bt35 (US$1) and buses go about every 30 minutes. Allow from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the time of day. Rush hour in Bangkok (the Big Mango) is: mornings 7am -9.30am and evenings 5pm to 8pm. For more details about which buses go where from Suvarnabhumi, click : www.bangkokairportonline.com/node/14
TAXI: If for some reason the buses aren't running or you are short of time, you can take a taxi. The taxis have metres (make sure they turn the metre on when you start off !!! it should read Bt35). The fare to Don Muang will be about Bt250 (US$7) plus highway toll charges of about Bt100 payable as you go.
LIMOUSINE: If you are a high-roller you could go to Don Muang by limousine service. If you want to pay through the nose you can pick one of these up immediately after going through customs. Alternatively, pick and choose when you get outside the terminal. Limousines are not metred, you have to negotiate the fare yourself. Most of them want Bt800 (US$23) to go to Don Muang.
The check in process and customs and immigration is much the same as any other airport, although the security may be a little different from others. I travelled on 01/06/07 when the new liquids rule came into play in Thailand. It was strange that they don't check your liquids before you go into the transit area. You go all the way through customs, immigration and security before they check you again just before you board your flight. This is where they confiscate all liquids. Not before! It seems strange as I bought some water in the transit area and had to give it up, even though it was sealed. People had problems with their duty free purchases too, although I think there is a system in place for that now.
In short, you are not allowed to bring anything alove 100ml onto the plane, regardless of where you bought it. So if you buy a drink while waiting for your plane, drink it all up before boarding!
I was bored during my 5 hour wait at the airport so I decided to go for a walk and check out the airport. I eventually found on the 3rd level near the food hall, a massage parlor that offered 1 hour foot massages for 450 baht. Of course I had to try it seeing as I'd already been awake 24 hours and still had another 8 hours before I got to my destination!
It was very relaxing as you lie back with your eyes closed with peaceful music floating past as a tiny Thai woman massaged my feet and legs. Afterwards I felt like I was walking on air. What a fantastic way to cure jetlag and pass some time away!!
Soon after ex-Premier Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup, Suvarnabhumi (pronounced "Soo-va-na-PHOOM) International Airport, a structure 20 years in the making, was finally opened to much fanfare by the new military government. Problems unfortunately soon surfaced and some of the domestic flights operated by Thai Airways and affiliate Nok Air, were forced to be re-routed back to the found-new-life old Don Muang Airport. The International airlines however, refused to budge and so they stayed on in the new airport.
The new Airport is about 1 hour away from the city via the Express Highway. Throw in about 450 Bahts for the journey and an extra 65 Bahts if you wish to go pass the Toll gates. There are public taxi stands OUTSIDE the Arrival Hall manned (or womanned) by staff, who will ask where you intend to go and then issue you a ticket which you will pass on to the driver taking you and/or your group. Look for the signs and walk out. There will be touts approaching you inside the Arrival Hall...so unless you have thick wallets....do the poor folks thing.
Since 2006, the airport tax will be collected when you purchase your plane ticket. It is no longer being collected separately.
The Departure Hall is bright, cool and pleasing....like any other modern airports everywhere in the world. It reminds me of Kong Kong International Airport in fact!
Plenty of eateries between the floors of the Arrival and Departure Halls....as well as a labyrinth of fast food (Burger King, Dairy Queen etc) near Gates E,F & G inside the Departure Hall.
The Arrival Hall however, looks severely unfinished....there must have been a surplus of concrete coinciding with a severe lack of paint! I have never seen so many naked concrete walls in an airport of this class! Reminded me of a factory in fact. A very large factory.
Cheapest transportation from Suvarnabhumi to Khao San would be the Airport Express Commuter Service:
Suvarnabhumi Airport - Lad Krabang - Thub Chang - Hua Mark - Ramkhamhaeng - Makkasan (City Air Terminal - interchange with MRT Blue Line (Phetchaburi Station) - Ratchaprarop - Phayathai (interchange with BTS Sukhumvit Line (Phayathai Station), 45 Baht and 30 minutes.
From there take bus 59 to Democracy Monument or taxi (should be less then 100 Baht exept when you get stuck in a trafic jam)
I find the easiest way to the new airport is taking the Bangkok Airport Train which leaves every 15 minutes from Phaya Thai, and takes only 30 minutes. Just in case you are feeling hungry after you have checked in at the airport there is a store on the extreme left of the departure floor that sells snacks and drinks at the normal street price, makes a change from the normal airport inflated prices.
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport, also known as New Bangkok International Airport.
The airport is located about 28 km east of Bangkok. Suvarnabhumi is one of the busiest airports in Asia. The airport has the world's tallest control tower and the third largest airport terminal under one roof.
Suvarnabhumi airport replace most of the international flights from the old Don Muang airport. The location on the east side of Bangkok is good news for visitors to Pattaya. The traveltime with taxi is 30 minutes less than from Don Muang airport.
The newly built Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok is one of the nicest airports I have been to in my travels. It’s huge but easy to navigate. There are tons of amenities for travelers with long layovers including massage and sleeping rooms. And the food is actually good. We had Pad Thai (so I could say I had pad thai in Bangkok) at a cafeteria located above the airline counters in the international terminal and thoroughly enjoyed it. The airport is brightly lit and has a modern feel. Rumor has it the old airport will remain as a domestic hub. The Suvarnabhumi Airport is located 30 km east of the city. All major airlines ticketing counters are easily accessed in the main terminal if you wish to purchase tickets at the airport. If you are arriving in the middle of the night know that the ticketing counters don’t open until 5 am. A variety of shops and restaurants tempt visitors to this bustling airport, so there is all you could ever need under one roof.
This will be my Suvarnabhumi International Airport International Airport with Pictures of the International Departure Area. The International Departure Area is separated by a barrier from the the domestic departures and occupies the Concourse C to G of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport and the Rest of the concourses to A to B is for Domestic . Domestic Departure Counters are from Row A to C and the rest of the Rows from D to Z is for International Departures.
In 2006, The New Suvarnabhumi Airport Was opened to the Public and the Ageing Don Meuang International Airport in Bangkok was made into the alternate domestic Airport. Suvarnabhumi Airport is located in Racha Thewa in Bang Phli district, Samut Prakan Province, about 30 km east of Bangkok. The Airport has one large terminal building and has several concourses for both th domestic and international gates. The airport is the main hub for Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Orient Thai Airlines, Thai AirAsia. And a focus city for Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, EVA Air, Air India, Druk Air, Indian Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines. The name Suvarnabhumi means "The Golden Land", specifically referring to the continental Indochina. "Golden Peninsula"or "Golden Land" is a traditional name for the Thailand-Cambodia-Laos-Burma region
Suvarnabhumi is currently sixth busiest airport in asia, behind Beijing Capital International Airport, Tokyo International Airport, Incheon International Airport, Changi International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport.
Airport Express Buses operates 4 bus routes to downtown. The cost is 250 baht for entire route. Airport Express service operates from 5:00 am to midnight. Contact Airport Express Counter Level 1, near Entrance 8. Limousine Service Counter at the Arrivals level (2nd floor). Limousine pick up area is at the Arrivals Level (outer curb)
There are about 6 types of airport limousine service from suvarnabhumi to bangkok ranging from mercedes benzes to BMW's. The Limousine fare is at set rates between 600-1500 baht, depending on the type of limousine. I had a mercedes benz E class car as limousine service of which a friend of mine paid for FREE hehehe. (i wouldn't spend 1000 baht for just a limousine ride! i'd rather spend it on shopping!)
Limousine Counter is at Level 2, Baggage Claim Hall and Arrival Hall of Suvarnabhumi Airport.
We took the bus from the airport to Banglamphu for 150B each. The bus journey takes 45 minutes and drops you off near Kao San Road. Go to gate 8 at the airport (signposted). Comfortable journey and the bus representative warns travelers about getting taxis (i.e asking for the meter to be on) and tuks tuks in Bangkok.
Here is a past post::
A lady from Bell can be found near/ next to door 7 on the ground floor of the Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport.
Bell airport representative: +66-89 44 98 843
Bell Pattaya Office: +66-38 37 00 55
Bell Bangkok Office: +66-27 47 46 73
Airport -> Pattaya: 8.00 / 10.00 / 12.00 / 14.00 / 16.00 / 18.00
Pattaya -> Airport: 6.00 / 9.00/ 11.00/ 13.00/ 15.00/ 17.00/ 19.00
Pattaya -> Downtown Bangkok: 9.00/ 13.00/ 17.00
Airport - Pattaya v.v.: 150 baht
Pattaya -> Downtown Bangkok: 300 baht
Fares incl. drop off at hotel in Pattaya. The bus wil take you the bus terminal in Pattaya and the a minivan will take you to yout hotel. If you go from Pattaya to Airport/ Bangkok then minivan will pick you up, take you to terminal and then bus to Airport.
The 15-minutes Phayathai Express Line service from Suvarnabhumi costs 90 Baht per ride. A two-way trip costs a cheap 150 Baht. The Express Line services are the fastest in ASEAN. Bangkok is developed now because of Makkasan and Phayathai Express Lines. I wish Changi Airport could also have an Express Line service.