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How to Get to Bangkok

How to Get to Bangkok by Air

Bangkok has two airports and is thus well connected both internally and with the world.

The Suvarnabhumi Airport literally meaning the ‘Golden Land’ is Bangkok’s main airport and the busiest in South-East Asia. It was opened in 2006 and is used for both, international and domestic purposes. It is arguably the world’s largest single terminal airport. It is located approximately 25-30 km east of the city.

Suvarnabhumi International Airport

The airport has seven concourse buildings which are equipped with world class facilities like ATMs, money exchanger, information desks, cafe´s and restaurants, convenience store, post offices and huge duty free shops.

There are two left luggage counters in the airport. One is on level 2 (arrivals) near the escalators, behind Exit 4 area and the other is at level 4 (departures) near Entrance 4.

There are Parking Buildings in front of the passenger terminal, ground level parking and long term parking too.

To get to your destination from the airport you can either reserve a limousine taxi at the hire counter on the second floor or you can go to the first floor and hire a public taxi. Avoid ‘Ghost Taxis’ that is taxis that don’t go by meter.

If you do not have much luggage, you can also take the Airport Rail Link from the basement of the airport to the centre of the city.

Bus service is also available from the front of the airport. There is a choice between bus/minivan and airport express buses. There are shuttle buses from second floor to take you to the bus stop.

Dom Muang Domestic Airport

The Don Muang Airport is the old airport of Bangkok. It was reopened in 2007. It has three terminals out of which only Terminal 3 is in use for domestic flights. It is currently being used by two airlines, Nok Air and One-Two-Go Airlines.

How to Get to Bangkok by Rail

Bangkok is very well connected by rail and has four stations.

Hualumpong is Bangkok’s main train station. It is located in the heart of the city. Access from Chinatown, riverside, Sukhumvit areas and Silom is very easy. There is also an underground station linking the Sky Train system to Bangkok. The trains are a cheap and comfortable way of travelling around the country. The State Railways of Thailand system connects with the Singapore line which runs along peninsular Malaysia.

It connects with bus to go to the tropical islands like Phuket. The advanced booking office is located to the right of the platforms and is well organized. The station also has left luggage facilities at the opposite end of the concourse. The taxi pick up and drop off point is to the left of the platforms.

During peak times it is very crowded and getting a ticket can be difficult. In case you don’t get a train ticket you can buy public bus tickets from the main bus terminals. Never accept offer for a ‘VIP’ bus ticket, it’s a sham.

Bang Sue Train Station is very convenient if you are coming from north or north-east side as it connects to the metro and can save upto half an hour of your travelling time. However English information is not available at this station and may prove problematic for tourists.

Thonburi Train Station is also known as the Bangkok Noi Station and is on the west side of the river Thoburi. It is the terminus for twice-daily trains to Kanchanaburi, River Kwai Bridge and Nam Tok.

Wong Wien Yai Train Station is not one of the main stations of Bangkok and only one serves one train the Mahachai/Maeklong commuter line.

How to Get to Bangkok by Bus

The city has four national highways, 4, 3, 32 and 117, interconnecting the entire city. Buses are the simplest mode of transport. There are a number of long distance buses to Bangkok from almost all the major tourist destinations in every alternate hour. There are three bus terminals in Bangkok, the Southern Bus Terminal, The North/Northeastern Bus Terminal and the Eastern Bus Terminal.

Renting a car to Bangkok is also an option. Many companies rent out cars with and without a chauffeur.

Getting Around Bangkok

Getting around Bangkok can be a harrowing experience- the city’s traffic jams are reputed to be the worst in the world. However if you’re up to it, probably the most convenient way to make your way about is by a hired car- there are lots of local car rental companies. Arm yourself with a good map before you set out.

Walking is not all that pleasant an experience or a healthy one, as Bangkok is one of the world’s most polluted cities. An air conditioned car/van or bus is the only thing that makes travelling/ sitting in a traffic jam for hours bearable. Of course if you are travelling solo and want to beat the traffic, hop on to the pillion seat of a motorbike taxi and weave through the traffic to reach your destination.

If you’d rather someone else did the driving, you’ve got plenty of other options- taxi, tuk tuk (the bright, noisy three-wheelers which ply the streets of Bangkok- they’re cheap and good for an adventure or two) or `river taxis’ which travel on the Chao Phraya River within the city limits. There’s a good bus service too, which covers the entire metropolis: you can get hold of a bus route map at all the large bus stations, at some book stalls, and most hotels. The Bangkok Mass Transit System commonly known as the BTS Skytrain, opened in 1999. It is a fast and reasonable to explore the city. It is, however, limited to two lines, Sukhumvit and Silom, and therefore does not connect all the major sites of the city. You can get a full day pass for 100 baht.

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is the underground metro and covers more areas than the Skytrain. It has revolutionized commuting around the city. The fare is between 16-41 baht and all day tourist passes can be made for 120 baht. It has interchanging stations at Silom where you can take the Skytrain but the passes are not interchangeable.

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