Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok
This Airport is huge and may be daunting at first.
To collect your luggage, go to where the 20 carousels are. Here there is a Television screen with the names of the flights that have landed and the number of the carousel that your luggage will be on.
After you have found your luggage, then I found a cheap way to reach my destination, was the AIRPORT EXPRESS BUS, it cost 150 t/baht compared to 300-400 for a taxi.
There are 4 different routes that the Buses service. They run from 5am to 12pm. Be prepared to put your luggage on the Bus yourself as they do not give you help and it goes on the Bus with you.
It is located at Level 1, near doorway 8.
If you are in a hurry, then you are better off to take a taxi, as by the Bus, you may be the last person to be dropped off, but if like me, and not in a hurry, I had a free tour as well as reaching my destination.
You can also catch the Express Bus for your return trip. I only have the details for the area I stayed which was near Khaosan road.
To get this bus (AE2), the ticket is only available at booth infront of the Sawadee Hotel, which is situated between Khaosan road and Rachdamnoen Klang road on Charkophong Road, nearly opposite Wat Chanasongkram.
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.
from the airport, there is a metered taxi queue on the left side after you come out of customs. It may be long, but it's pretty fast. you tell the person at the counter where you are headed and he'll tell the cab driver.
beware: there is a toll charge along the way, but make sure that you pay at the toll instead of the driver, coz some drivers pay first and then charge you a much higher rate. That's what happened when the 6 of us took 2 cabs, and the other group was asked to pay the total fare at the end, while our cabby asked us to pay at the toll booth (25baht) and our cab fares differed by 70 baht, even after including the toll charges.
The Suvarnabhumi Airport is located about 40 minutes away from downtown Bangkok. It boasts of the tallest control tower in the world and one of the biggest terminals in the world. I was pleased that even though I had arrived shortly before midnight that there were still a lot of immigration desks open and the staff were kind enough to direct us to shorter queues. Getting my luggage was also a pleasant experience. There were also a few shops as well as money changers available at that time.
Just like in any airport around the world it is advisable to get cabs only at the designate area. Do not entertain any people who will approach you offering their services. Do remember that you are responsible for the toll fee which will be levied on your taxi.
On my way home, the lines were quite long at the immigration area and I had to wait 20 minutes in line before I went through. This is not because of the lack of open immigration counters but because of the volume of people who were about to fly out of Thailand.
In the departure area there is a vast area for duty free shopping where you can do some last minute shopping, eating and foreign exchange. Do be careful though as this area is quite far from the gates so it would be a good idea to allocate some extra time getting to the gates.
Anyone who has friends or relatives down there at Suvarnabhumi Airport and want to know latest fight status, please check here:
This new Airport is big and looking awesome.
Currently is not connected to any train line to downtown Bangkok, but I heard next year it will.
Anyway, the fire sprinkler went off for no reason on the day I flew home.
All the cosmetic stuffs nearby must be going on 70% Reject sale (see Pic).
If your international flight is on time you should be OK, but remember your flight from London will land at the new airport, Suvarnabhumi (BKK) and your Nokair flight will leave from the old airport, Don Mueang (DMK). I would suggest a cab to get you from one to the other. So even if it takes an hour (unlikely) to clear customs etc at BKK you still have an hour for the cab ride (about twice the usual journey time) to get to DMK more than an hour before your flight to Phuket.
I first came to Bangkok about 22 years ago, on leaving the airport you were greeted by hoards of taxi drivers clamering for your business, bargening was a must. Then they brought in the airport limo, simple set price within the arrival hall, no hasle.
Now arriving at the spanking new airport what are you greeted with......yep hoards of airport limo touts trying to grab you (lots of "very cheap"). Then go to the "official" airport limo to be told that they can't give you a 700 baht limo as they don't have one, I had to take a 900baht one. Not sure why I am charged more depending on what type of car you have, thought petrol was pretty standard price.
Hopefully someone at TTA will read this and try to ensure that the first impression of Thailand improves
Update 2008: first counter said "1000 Baht" outside first tout asked 800 baht, kept walking, second tout asked 600 baht, kept walking to meter taxi - total cost 250 baht.
If you have to change airports in Bangkok from the new to the old or vice versa
We found at Don Maung you can take an air conditioned minibus for 50 baht a person
plus 50 baht for each piece of large luggage, or for even cheaper there are 2 local buses
that run between airports for 34 baht a person. But the buses only run every 50 minutes
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.
(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 ??
As of August 2007, this is the system in place for those who wish to use public taxis to the city from the airport. When you emerge in the Greeters area, take the escalator down to the "Public Taxis" area. There is a stand or table there where you tell the person-in-charge your destination and he shall issue you a ticket (see photo) and on it the fare-- in Baht-- to be paid the driver will be written. The fare includes the airport surcharge and expressway toll.
The ticket would also indicate the plate no. of the cab plus a phone no. to call in case you left something in the cab when after you get off.
The new Bangkok airport opened early in 2007 – and promptly ran into major problems when major construction faults led to calls for the old airport to be re-opened while repairs were made. We passed through the new terminal in late May and everything appeared to be functioning properly by then. The terminal is absolutely huge, though as we saw it at night, gaining a clear impression was difficult. The construction of boarding lounge areas appears similar to other new airports, such as Hong Kong, with extensive use of “plastic canvas” roofing. There are vast long concourses connecting different areas, fortunately equipped with moving walkways, and shops grouped at what I would call “nodes”.
Unsurprisingly, it was largely empty when we arrived late at night, local time! We found our way from our arrival lounge through the corridors with fairly few problems, then entered the boarding lounge (go out at the top level, then downstairs to the lounge – see photo). What soon became apparent was that no catering options existed in the boarding lounge area – to obtain some drinks, it was necessary to return to the shopping node.
So, getting to the point, if you are travelling from Bangkok Airport and are looking for catering, I would suggest you shop for nutrition prior to entering the boarding lounge area. Maybe later something will be provided in these areas as the terminal ‘beds in’.
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!!
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!