Sorting out Suvarnabhumi Airport
First published 25th September, 2006
Bangkok's brand spanking new airport officially opens September 28 and while a few airlines have already started using it, the bulk of carriers won't start flying in until the 28th. The lead-up to the airport's opening has concentrated on the hyperbolic -- tallest control tower, largest terminal building, most "expensive" luggage scanners and so on, but what about how to get there and away? Here's the nitty gritty.
Which route to Suvarnabhumi
The two most convenient routes to the airport are the north and south approaches, with the northern one being the better option. The northern route goes via the Rama 9 Expressway enroute to the Bangkok to Chonburi expressway, while the southern route goes via the Bangna-Trat expressway -- traffic can be very heavy on this route.
Transport: Taxis - getting to Suvarnabhumi
All taxis are able to drop off passengers at the outer curb on Level 4 (Departures). Note, only taxis which have registered with the new airport will be allowed to pick-up passengers. Initially this may lead some city cabs to refuse to take you to the airport as they'll not be able to get a return fare. This problem should fade over time as more taxis register. If you want to book a taxi, telephone 1681.
Transport: Taxis - departing Suvarnabhumi
Initially the plan was for no public taxis to be able to pick up at the terminal, instead arrivals would have to take a shuttle bus to a seperate "Transport Centre", with only limousines being able to pick up at the terminal itself. Thankfully that plan has gone the way of the dodo, and taxis are now permitted to pick up at the outer curb on Level 1. There is a 50B surcharge for taking a taxi from here, though there have been rumours that this fee will be increased to 100B. A typical taxi fare from the airport to downtown Bangkok should cost around 250B (before expressway tolls and the 50B surcharge).
Transport: Limousine - getting to Suvarnabhumi
There is a "Limousine Service Counter" on Level 2 (Arrivals). Fares are set at around 1,000B for central Bangkok and 2,000B for Pattaya. These rates do not include tolls.
Transport: Limousine - departing Suvarnabhumi
All limousines are able to drop off passengers at the inner curb on Level 4 (Departures).
Transport: Buses - getting to Suvarnabhumi
All buses drop off passengers at the Transport Centre, from there you'll need to get a shuttle bus (free) across to the terminal of your choice.
Transport: Buses - departing Suvarnabhumi
All buses will leave from the Transport Centre. You'll need to get a shuttle bus (free) from your arrival terminal to the transport centre. Bus fares to areas within Bangkok and Samut Prakan will cost 35B. Sample routes include:
1. Bus Number 549 - to Minburi
2. Bus Number 550 - to Happy Land
3. Bus Number 551 - to Victory Monument
4. Bus Number 552 - to On Nut BTS station
5. Bus Number 553 - to Samut Prakan
6. Bus Number 554 - to Don Muang Airport
Of the above, routes 3 and 4 are the most useful to tourists -- both dropping passengers off at skytrain stations.
Thanks to Kevin for this correction. There are also four dedicated "express hotel buses" which will that will run from 5am to 12 midnight, with a set fare of 150B. AE1, AE2 and AE4 take the expressway, so if you were planning on jumping off somewhere along the way, you'll need to rethink! The routes are:
AE1 to Silom
AE2 to Khao San Roaad
AE3 To Sukhumvit, Nana, Ploenchit, Worldtrade (now Central World Plaza) and Pratunam
AE4 to Hualamphong train station)
There will also be buses to provincial centres direct from the airport, including:
Suvarnabhumi to Chachoengsao -- departs 06:40,07:40,09:40,10:40,12:10,13:40,15:10,16:40,17:40,18:40 and 19:40.
Suvarnabhumi to Chanthaburi -- departs 08:10,15:10,16:10,16:55,18:40 and 19:40.
Suvarnabhumi to Nong Khai -- departs 21:00.
Suvarnabhumi to Pattaya -- departs 06:30,08:00,09:00,11:00,13:00,15:00,17:00,19:00 and 20:30.
Suvarnabhumi to Rayong -- departs 05:40,08:40,09:10,09:40,10:40,13:40,16:00 and 18:40.
Suvarnabhumi to Trat -- departs 06:40,08:25,10:10,10:25,11:40,13:10,16:10 and 18:10.
Plans are afoot for a train line from the airport into downtown Bangkok. While planned to be completed by 2007, don't hold your breath.
The Passenger Service Charge for international flights will be increased from Baht 500 to Baht 700, and for domestic flights from Baht 50 to Baht 100, effective as of February 1, 2007.
Inside the airport
After clearing immigration it can take 15 minutes to walk to the furthest domestic gate and 30 minutes to the furthest international gate -- bear this in mind when planning how long before departure you expect to arrive. Given the airport is a good 45 minute drive from downtown Bangkok, travel agents are advising people leave their hotel three hours before departure.
Hotels near Suvarnabhumi Airport
The closest hotel to the new airport is the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel, with other nearby hotels including the Novotel Bangna and the Royal Princess Srinakarin Hotel, but unless you have some pressing need to stay near the airport, you'll be far better served by heading into downtown Bangkok.
Read 2 comment(s)
Add your comment
Feature story quicklinks
- Giving back in Southeast Asia (16)
- All stories
- Angkor Hospital For Children
- COPE: Helping people move on
- Epic Arts
- Free the Bears Laos
- Helping Phuket's children in need
- Helping Siem Reap's rubbish dump families
- Helping Singapore's transient workers
- Helping the Karen of Burma
- Humanitarian Services for Children of Vietnam
- Lifestart Foundation, Hoi An
- MyME Yangon
- Soi Dog Foundation
- Swim Vietnam
- Thai Freedom House, Chiang Mai
- The Samui Prison Project
- The SET Foundation
- Burma (9)
- Cambodia (23)
- All stories
- A Cambodian Eco-lodge
- A honeymoon in Cambodia
- Angkorian traffic woes
- Battambang weekend
- Elephant riding in Cambodia: Should you?
- Great places to stay in Siem Reap
- Is Preah Vihear safe to visit?
- Kampot or Kep?
- Koh Rong: Trouble in paradise?
- Kompong Cham escape
- Northeast Cambodia in photos
- Oh Poipet!
- PEPY:Sustainable Cambodian tourism
- Phnom Tamao Wildlife Refuge
- Sihanoukville beaches lure expats
- Spas, shopping & seers in Siem Reap
- The best islands in Cambodia
- The best places to stay on Cambodia's islands
- The Death Highway
- Trekking in Virachey National Park
- Trekking the Cardamoms in Cambodia
- Which Cambodian island is right for you?
- Why you should go to Cambodia
- Indonesia (14)
- All stories
- A funeral in Toraja, Sulawesi
- Climbing Rinjani
- How to hire a boat in Indonesia: Without drowning
- Learn to surf in Bali
- Medewi: A great Bali getaway
- Mountain biking in Bali: A ride in the woods
- Pasola, Sumba
- The Gili islands: Which is the right one for you?
- Ubud bird watching: From waterhens to witchcraft
- Ubud shopping guide
- Village trekking in Tana Toraja
- Weekend in Nusa Penida
- Yogya's student scene
- Laos (18)
- All stories
- A breeze through Luang Prabang
- Best budget rooms in Luang Prabang 2013
- Elephant trekking in Laos
- Exploring Laos' Bolaven Plateau
- Huay Xai to Pak Tha by slowboat
- Is Lao Airlines safe to fly?
- Laos' vanishing elephants
- Luang Prabang escape
- Luang Prabang for kids
- Muang Ngoi Escape
- Photos of Luang Prabang, Laos
- Pi Mai Lao in Luang Prabang: In 1999
- Southern Laos by scooter
- Temples in Luang Prabang
- The Gibbon Experience
- The Phonsavan adventure
- Vientiane's Chinatown
- What to buy in Luang Prabang, Laos
- Malaysia (10)
- Singapore (9)
- Thailand (80)
- All stories
- 10 Bangkok galleries worth a look-see
- 10 Thai treks aside from Chiang Mai
- 24 Hours in Bangkok: Sukhumvit to Siam Square
- 31 Thai islands
- 5 Southern Thai towns to lose time in
- A Thai homestay in Ayutthaya
- A weekend in Phra Phradaeng
- A weekend on Ko Samet, Thailand
- An extra day in Krabi
- Andaman Sea island hopper
- Are Thailand’s cheap guesthouses disappearing?
- Ayutthaya temple tour
- Bangkok craft villages
- Bangkok for art lovers
- Bangkok's Charoen Krung Road
- Bangkok's Thonburi: exploring the west side
- Brilliant Bangkok
- Chiang Dao getaway
- Chiang Mai's temples
- Corruption in Thailand
- Eating on the edge
- Elephant's World Kanchanaburi
- Exploring Lamphun
- Exploring the Lungs of Bangkok
- Far southern Thailand: Go or not?
- Five days in Khao Lak, Thailand
- Floating markets around Bangkok
- Great Thai food blogs
- Highlights of Chanthaburi province
- How to do Khao Yai National Park
- Khao San Road safety and scams
- Ko Mun Nork: a nearby paradise
- Ko Pha Ngan 7-day detox:Colonic fast
- Ko Pha Ngan's best beaches in 2013
- Ko Phi Phi on a budget
- Ko Tao for non-divers guide
- Ko Yao Noi or Ko Yao Yai?
- Ko Yao: the islands you're looking for
- Learning Muay Thai in Bangkok
- Motorcycling the Chiang Rai loop
- Narathiwat: residence of good people
- Navigating Bangkok: The BTS Skytrain
- Phuket by night
- Phuket for Kids
- Phuket heritage walk: Car parts to saris
- Phuket's secret beaches
- Planning around Thailand's civil unrest
- Roll your own Kanchanaburi
- Should I book for the full moon party?
- Should I cancel my Thai holiday? No.
- Should I cancel my trip to Thailand? No.
- Soi Thong Lo, Bangkok
- Sorting out Suvarnabhumi Airport
- Staying at a Thai monastery
- Thai islands for nature lovers
- Thai islands to lose yourself on
- Thai visa FAQ
- Thailand tsunami wrap
- Thailand's Full Moon Party
- Thailand's Mae Khlong market
- Thailand: Where to from here?
- The best beach on Ko Samui
- The best places to stay on Ko Kut, Thailand
- The bridge over the River Kwai festival
- The road to Sangkhlaburi
- The road to Sangkhom
- Travelling through north-east Thailand
- Trekking in Thailand
- Trisara -- decadent luxury at its best
- Two days in Kamphaeng Phet
- What are the alternatives to Bangkok?
- What is the best beach on Ko Tao?
- What is the best island in Thailand?
- What's a good beach on Ko Pha Ngan?
- What's a good beach on Ko Samui?
- Where to stay at Railay Bay, Thailand
- Where to stay in Sukhothai?
- Where to stay on Ko Samet, Thailand
- Which beach on Ko Samui?
- Which island in Trang?
- Vietnam (33)
- All stories
- A short break in Nha Trang
- A Weekend in Can Tho
- Being fed Fido: Eating dog in Vietnam
- Buying a touring motorbike in Vietnam
- Con Dao escape
- Do nothing and see the best of Hanoi
- Doing the DMZ from Hue
- Exploring Kon Tum
- Exploring Vietnam's Mekong Delta
- Great Hanoi cafes to chill out in
- Ha Long Bay conclusions
- Ha Long Bay for backpackers
- Ha Long Bay for budget-busters
- Ha Long Bay for flashpackers
- Ha Long Bay or Sapa?
- Hanoi escape
- Hanoi or Saigon?
- Hoi An -- Walking over the dragon
- How to do the Dien Bien Phu loop
- How to enjoy your time in Vietnam
- How to pick a good Ha Long Bay cruise
- Is the Hoi An culture tour worth it?
- Motorbike Vietnam's Central Highlands
- One day in Hanoi
- Responsible shopping and eating in Hoi An
- Saigon's top 10 cafés
- Sapa or Bac Ha?
- Saving Vietnam's bears
- Street food safety
- The DMZ: Traveller tactical briefing
- Travel tips for Tet in Vietnam 2013
- Two Wheels & Ricefields: A review
- Which is the best street food tour in Hanoi?
- Accommodation guides (21)
- All stories
- 2005 Top guesthouses in Bangkok
- 2005 Top guesthouses in Chiang Mai
- 2006 Top guesthouses in Hanoi
- 2006 Top guesthouses in Phnom Penh
- 2006 Top guesthouses on Ko Phi Phi
- 2006 Top Luang Prabang guesthouses
- 2008 Top Bangkok airport guesthouses
- 2008 Top Luang Prabang guesthouses
- 2008 Top spots on Phu Quoc Island
- 2009 Top guesthouses in Bangkok
- 2009 Top Phnom Penh guesthouses
- 2011 Best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur
- 2011 Best places to stay on Ko Phi Phi
- Best places to stay in Hanoi 2012
- Cheap Phuket guesthouses & hotels
- Five special hotels in Cambodia
- Ko Lipe's best budget guesthouses 2012
- The best hostels in Bangkok 2014
- The best places to stay on Ko Chang, Thailand
- The changing face of Khao San Road
- Where to stay on Koh Rong Samloem
- Travel with kids (7)
- Opinion & advice (16)
- All stories
- 10 reasons to do an adventure tour
- 10 reasons to travel independently
- A year's worth of travel for 2013
- Beach hideaways in Asia
- Christmas and New Years in Southeast Asia
- Do I need reservations for my holiday?
- Evil man of Krabi
- Fifteen tips for a great holiday in Asia
- Getting a cheap airfare to Asia
- Hotels should never charge extra for WiFi
- Long distance buses in Southeast Asia
- Mass tourism in Southeast Asia
- Nine Asian upcountry hideaways
- Planning a Gap Year? Some advice.
- Ten Southeast Asian trips for 2008
- Ten thoughts on ten years with Travelfish
- How do I? (11)
- All stories
- Bangkok to Ko Samui, Pha Ngan & Tao
- Bangkok to Siem Reap
- Catching a train in Thailand
- Catching a train in Vietnam
- Cheap flights with Discovery Airpass
- Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
- Crossing the Cambodia Laos border
- Ko Chang to Phu Quoc Island
- Siem Reap to Ko Chang
- Stops between Bangkok & Chiang Mai
- Visa run from Thailand to Burma
- Cycling Asia (13)
- All stories
- 24 hours in Bangkok
- An Angkor cycling guide
- An introduction
- Battambang, bamboo trains & guides
- Confessions of a "cheating cyclist"
- Cycles of all sorts
- Ha Long Bay independently
- Ko Samet Vs Pattaya
- Muay Thai night
- Phonsavan and Luang Prabang
- The hills of Vietnam
- The road less travelled
- Tubing in Vang Vieng
- Health and safety (6)
- Money and finance (4)
- Diving guides (6)
- Photo essay (3)
- Guest blog (2)
- General (15)
- All stories
- 10 Christmas days in Asia we're yet to have
- 10 dumb things I've done while travelling
- 34 ways to travel greener
- Asian animal experiences
- Call me Mr Massage Magic
- Chefs Without Borders
- Flying is fun!
- Mr Golden
- On being a travel writer
- Teaching ESL in Asia
- The 211 country honeymoon
- The Boxing Day Tsunami: 5 years on.
- To Teach or Not to Teach
- Travel writing scholarship 2012
- Tuk to the Road Charity ride
- Book reviews (5)
- Interviews (8)
- Explore Bangkok by BTS (18)
- All stories
- Bangkok by skytrain: Ari
- Bangkok by skytrain: Asok
- Bangkok by skytrain: Chid Lom
- Bangkok by skytrain: Chong Nonsi
- Bangkok by skytrain: Mo Chit
- Bangkok by skytrain: National Stadium
- Bangkok by skytrain: On Nut
- Bangkok by skytrain: Phaya Thai
- Bangkok by skytrain: Phloen Chit
- Bangkok by skytrain: Phrom Phong
- Bangkok by skytrain: Ratchadamri
- Bangkok by skytrain: Ratchathewi
- Bangkok by skytrain: Sala Daeng (S2)
- Bangkok by skytrain: Sanam Pao
- Bangkok by skytrain: Saphan Taksin
- Bangkok by skytrain: Siam
- Bangkok by skytrain: Surasak
- Bangkok by skytrain: Thong Lor
Sign up for Travelfish Burp!
Our weekly wrap on Southeast Asian travel.
Click here to see a recent newsletter.