Arriving at Bangkok Airport

Arrival in Bangkok Airport

Chances are, your arrival in Thailand will be at Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi Airport.  This sleek and modern airport is easy to navigate and well-serviced.  On disembarking your aircraft you will need to proceed to immigration which is generally quick.  Try walking down to the further desks to speed this up.  Immigration officers are noticeably surly.  It’s best just to hand over your paperwork, let them take your picture and not engage with them.  If you don’t have a pre-arranged tourist visa you can receive a visa on arrival.  See the visa section.  INSERT LINK Baggage claim is directly behind the immigration desks.

On exiting baggage claim and heading into the arrivals hall you will find plenty of ATMs.  These disperse 1000B notes only which may be a problem for your taxi driver, so either try to break one by buying a bottle of water in the arrivals hall or ask your taxi to wait on arrival at your hotel and have the front desk staff give you some smaller notes.

Transport into Bangkok

In the arrival terminal you will find many touts offering taxi and limosine services.  It’s not necessary to use these.  For a taxi follow the signs to the metered taxi rank outside gates 4 and 7.  There may be a bit of a queue for this but it generally moves quickly as there are a lot of taxis available day and night.  The taxi kiosk will ask you for your destination so have the name and address of your hotel ready.  Most taxi drivers in Bangkok speak a little English and will understand where you need to go.  The kiosk will give you a slip that corresponds with the next available taxi.  You can retain this in the event that you have any problems with your driver, instructions on how to lodge a complaint are on the form. If your taxi driver doesn’t turn the meter on before you depart the taxi rank, insist that he does so.  If he refuses, go back to the kiosk and complain.  Most drivers will switch on the meter when instructed to do so.  Do note that on top of your fare you will need to pay an additional 50B airport fee and any tolls that you go through to reach your desintation.  You may need to pay these en route, another good reason to break a 1000B note at the airport before you leave.  If you don’t have any small currency your driver should pay this for you but make sure you keep track of how much the tolls are.

There is a new Airport Rail Link train service that runs from 06.00 to midnight.  The Airport Express runs non-stop to Makkasan Station taking about 15 minutes and costing 100B.  From Makkason Station you can connect to the MRT station at Phetchaburi.  The Airport City Line runs to Phayathai Station where you can connect to the BTS.  The journey takes 30 minutes and costs 15 to 45B depending on distance travelled.  It also calls at Makkasan Station for the MRT station at Phetcahburi and other local stations along the way.  Tokens can be purchased from machines in the station.  The train service is wheelchair-friendly.

There is no longer a bus service to the airport.

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