Jan 27 2012
Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport might be a sprawling mess, but you’ll have to navigate it at some point in your travels — here’s the second part of our guide on how to travel into Bangkok once you’ve cleared immigration. Check out part I for info on trains and cabs into the city.
Bus and public vans
The old Airport Express bus services (including the one to Khao San Road) have been cancelled. It’s around the same price to take the airport rail to Phaya Thai and then a taxi to Khao San Road, even for one person, so it’s not a huge loss. City bus service and public vans leave from the public transit centre (take shuttle bus Line A from door three or door eight on the first floor). Of particular interest to travellers is line 555 (to Rangsit, stopping at Don Muang domestic airport, 65 minutes, 03:30-22:00, 23 baht) and line 556 (to the Southern Bus Terminal, 90 minutes, 06:00-21:00, 23 baht). Both buses and public vans of the same number run the same route — public vans are faster but more expensive (usually twice the bus price), but both options are subject to the vagaries of Bangkok traffic.
The representatives for Airports of Thailand Limos can be pushy as you leave immigration and customs – ignore them! Unless you really need to be driven around in a Mercedes (and if you do, you probably don’t read Travelfish.org), this option isn’t worth it, but it can be easy to be bullied into it if you aren’t careful, so be warned! Limos cost from 500-1500 baht for the first 15 kilometres, based on the quality of car you choose. Travelling all the way into the city will cost at least 1,500 baht or more.
Khao San Road on a shoestring
The absolute cheapest way to get to Khao San Road (apart from walking) is to take the public bus to Victory Monument from the airport (every hour, 05:00-22:00, 18 baht) and then transfer to bus line 201 (every 20 minutes, from the southwest corner of Victory Monument traffic circle, 04:00-22:00, 14 baht). Depending on traffic and connections, this can take as little as 90 minutes (you’ll be very lucky) or as long as eternity (consider how good your karma is: will the universe choose to repay you on this bus journey?). You’ve been warned.
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