Mar 15 2011

How to get from the airport into Bangkok

Published by at 2:19 pm under Transport

Arriving in Bangkok on a long-haul flight can be disorienting. Here’s a quick run down of the options to get you from Bangkok’s main airport to your bed as fast (or as cheap) as possible. Suvarnabhumi International Airport (pronounced sue-wan-nah-poom) is located about 25km east of Bangkok. The arrivals hall is located on Level 2; taxis, the Airport Express Bus Service and the shuttle bus to the bus transportation centre depart from level 1. The Airport Rail Link Station is on level B1.

Air Asia flight at Bangkok's international airport

Air Asia flight at Bangkok's international airport

Airport Rail Link
The Airport Rail Link connects Suvarnabhumi to both the BTS system and the MRT subway system, at Phaya Thai and Makkasan, respectively. It runs 06:00-0:00 daily.

Two types of service are available: a non-stop service to Makkasan, taking 15 minutes, and a local service to Phaya Thai, making six stops and taking 26 minutes. If you are headed anywhere on the BTS or MRT systems, or your destination is within a few kilometres of an Airport Rail Link Station, take the train from the airport and connect using the MRT, the BTS, or a taxi.

The express service costs 150 baht and the local from 15-45 baht depending on distance travelled.

Airport Express Bus Service
The Airport Express Bus Service runs four lines to central Bangkok: Sukhumvit, Silom, Hualamphong Train Terminal and Khao San Road. The service costs 150 baht, is well air-conditioned and there is ample room for luggage. Depending on traffic, the journey to Khao San Rd can take between 65 minutes and two hours. Service runs 05:00-0:00 and departs from level 1. The stops are well sign-posted.

Metropolitan and long-distance bus service
Departing from Level 1, a shuttle bus connects the airport to the bus transportation centre. The bus transportation centre has departures for many Bangkok neighbourhoods (Bus No 551 to Victory Monument and 556 to the Southern Bus Terminal being especially useful, both 35 baht, from 06:00 to 22:00), as well as destinations along the eastern seaboard, including Pattaya, Trat and Koh Chang.

Public taxis leave from level 1. Travellers confirm their destination with a dispatcher, who writes the destination on a receipt that is given to the driver. Drivers might try to bargain after you are in the cab; politely say “meter” while pointing to the meter.

If a driver is rude, don’t hesitate to get out and go back to the dispatcher for a new cab. A taxi to Khao San costs around 250 baht on the meter. There is an extra 50 baht charge to hire a taxi at the airport, and passengers are responsible for toll charges if you use the expressway (recommended, adds about 70 baht to the fare, but saves 30 minutes travel time) for a total fare of around 370 baht.

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5 Responses to “How to get from the airport into Bangkok” ...

  1. Websteron 11 Oct 2011 at 1:18 pm

    The Public taxi service is outside, but you may get several offers for taxis before you even exit the building from reputable companies but these are usually “up class”, more expensive and often have nicer vehicles than the public taxi. the cheapest way is the public taxi and if you don’t want to use these vendors politely say “Mai ow Krap”. They will give you an understanding smile.

    I would avoid the individuals who hang around just outside and walk up quietly asking if you need a taxi. They are usually looking for the a higher prices and don’t want to wait in the public taxi line.

    Please keep in mind that the Public taxis mentioned above often wait hours for a fare and for a reason, they are looking for those big paying long rides to Pattaya, longer distance higher paying fares. They can get really annoyed if you ask them to go to fairly local place, close to the airport, say less than 25 Km. I live 15-20 minutes from the airport and after listening to their explanation don’t use level 1 taxis any more. I do what so many other people do (if you are only taking a short taxi ride), I go upstairs and get a taxi who has just dropped a fare off. I insist on the meter or don’t take the ride. I always tip. These guys work long hours (10-12hr straight per day). Most rent the taxis and pay 500-1000 per day rent plus there own fuel, usually LPG.
    Good luck

  2. chaos23on 30 Nov 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Hej there,

    as far as I know, Airport Bus 556 is not runing anymore to the Airport, it goes Sai Tai Mai – Makkasan and back. Don´t know about 551 and the others yet.

    Also the 150Bht AE Busses are canceled since July. Will be checking on that next tuesday.

    Taxi to KSR is expected around 400-500 Baht, 250 for one person including tolls I only got during the Red Shirts Campaign.

  3. Ritaon 30 Nov 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Indeed, the individuals who hang around, even before immigration, said the rate would be 1200 TBH; I asked the money changer and he mentioned around 500 TBH ! And in the end we paid 450 TBH. Beware of people who make you think they’re from Tourist Information; they’re not, they just try to sell you a tour. This is not an official tourist information office.

  4. Ritaon 01 Dec 2011 at 4:07 am

    Forgot to say in my above post that going back to the airport we took the subway and then the train at Makassan station, but there is o direct connection between the two. And though in the subway station there is some indication as which exit to take, once outside the station, it’s a guess.
    Why couldn’t they make a connection ? Is this the work of an amateur ???

  5. soi1davidon 26 Apr 2012 at 11:27 am

    If Traveling with more than 1 person, With heavy luggage or your accommodation is more than an easy walk from the final BTS (Sky-train)or MRT (underground) stop (you will have to get a taxi.) Or wanting to use it between midnight and 6am the value of the Airport train is none.

    By researching “Bangkok Airport sky train” you will find a majority of experienced people who have use this route to agree.

    To depart from the airport into Bangkok city, Walk past all who offer you a taxi from the point of luggage carousel thru arrival floor. Go up to top floor Which is the departures area. Walk out the airport door , past the smoking area and make eye contact with a taxi driver who has just let someone out. ( I will note that the solid colored taxis are the most reliable) tell him you destination, Having it written in Thai is the best any good hostel should supply this in the confirmation letter. Once he understands the destination Say “Meter” if he does and the light reads 35 baht. Then put luggage in and get in.

    Cost will depend on your destination but for a comparative to Sukhumvit rd the meter should be Approx “200 baht”. there would of been 2 tolls one of 25 baht and another of 45 baht for a total of 70 baht in tolls. for approx <300 baht, tou have gone from point A to B in air-con comfort in less than 30 minutes.
    The correct way for a traveler to use the taxi's in Bangkok are to insist on meter and not getting in taxi till the meter light is on. (correctly getting to your destination would be an other entire post.) rush hour , be daring and use a moto bike driver , Will be the fastest and Oh what an experience it can be.

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