Tips for Arriving in Bangkok – How to Get from the Airport to the City
Bangkok, Thailand is one of the most popular destinations in Southeast Asia and many travelers begin their journeys around this region. It is easy to find cheap flights to Bangkok and the city is a great introduction to the colourful culture, hot climate, ancient history and abundant cheap and delicious food of Southeast Asia.
One of the first things that you will need to figure out when you arrive in Bangkok is how to get from the airport to your hotel or hostel in the city. It is always a good idea to have a plan for this in advance, as when you arrive you will be tired, jetlagged and overwhelmed and you will simply want to make it to your hotel and get settled. It is most likely that you will arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport as this is the most popular airport in the city for international arrivals.
The airport is approximately 19 miles from the city centre, so you should prepare yourself for a long journey to get into your hotel, whether you book a Bangkok airport taxi or take public transit. Here are some great tips that will help you make it from the Bangkok airport to the city centre quickly and easily.
The Airport Rail Link
This is a high speed train service which ferries passengers from the airport to downtown Bangkok. The trains run from 6:00am-midnight every day. However, if you arrive in the small hours of the morning this option will not be available to you and you will need to take a taxi instead.
The non-stop Express Line travels from the airport to Phaya Thai station or Makkasan in approximately 18 minutes. This train costs 90 baht one way and there is space to place your luggage. Phaya Thai station is the more convenient option, as Makkasan station is across a link bridge from the Skytrain and the walkway is still under construction so it is quite a distance.
You could also consider taking the City Line, which is the commuter rail line. It costs 15-45 baht and takes 25 minutes to get to Phaya Thai station. However, this train runs more frequently than the express so it might get you to your destination sooner.
If you are really on a tight budget and you want the cheapest option, you can take the exceedingly slow third class train. This departs from Hualamphong Train Station and will take approximately one hour. However, the journey will only cost 6 baht which is only £0.12.
Taking a Taxi
When you step outside of the airport, there will be a number of taxi drivers vying for your attention. Taxi drivers in Thailand can be pushy and will usually approach you asking where you are going and ignoring your polite “no thank you.”
If you do choose to book a taxi at Bangkok at the airport, make sure the driver agrees to charge you with the meter rather than a fixed price. If they refuse to do this they are trying to get away with charging you too much, so move on to the next driver until you find someone who will agree to use the meter.
Pre-Booking Airport Taxis
One of your options is to pre-book a taxi. You can do this online so that you know that everything will be sorted out before you arrive, giving you some peace of mind. You don’t need to pre-pay or give your credit card information, as you will be able to pay the driver on arrival.
After you book your taxi, the driver will be waiting for you at the Arrivals Meeting Point inside the exit gate and will be holding a sign with your name on it. The driver will drive you straight to your hotel and you will be able to pay the pre-arranged fee on arrival.
If you want the option with the least hassle and the most security, you might want to consider booking a Bangkok airport taxi in advance. It means that you will be able to know in advance what your taxi fee will be and you won’t have to worry about taxi drivers who refuse to use the meter and try to quote you very high fees at the airport.
The taxis in Thailand should be very reasonably priced, especially compared to what you might be used to in the Western World.
Renting a car in Bangkok is not recommended, as the city is known for its massive traffic jams and chaotic roads. Most visitors will not be prepared for the daredevil habits of some of the local drivers, making driving during your travels a dangerous proposition.
Whether you book a taxi or take the train, there are many ways to get into the city from the airport when you arrive. Have fun and enjoy your travels.
There are many ways that you can get from the airport into downtown Bangkok, so it is up to your preferences and your budget whether you book Bangkok airport taxi or take the public transit option.