Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How to go to Bangkok city center from Suvarnabhumi Airport?

Taxi is the first option that comes to mind when you are getting to Bangkok city center from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Especially if you are coming from a long intercontinental flight, no other option will look good to your tired body. But Bangkok is famous with its horrific traffic especially during rush hour. If you land the airport during this time, a taxi ride will be a quite long journey to your hotel. Besides, when heading to the airport from your hotel, the traffic may result in a missed flight. Back in July 2013, I and a friend went to airport by using new Airport Rail Link and two if his friends took a taxi. They have missed their flights due to the evening traffic! So it is wise to know your alternatives.

Airport Rail Link is the best transportation option between the Bangkok city and the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (I am writing the name openly because there are two airports in Bangkok). This rail system reaches to both BTS Skytrain and Bangkok MRT system. There are two type of trains here: Express trains will directly go to Makassan (for MRT) and Phaya Thai (for BTS Skytrain). It comes every 30 minutes and have enough space for your luggages. Express Airport Rail Link costs 90 bahts one way.

City Link trains (second option) stops in every station from airport to Phaya Thai. It is cheaper (45 bahts) but slower and does not have enough space for big luggage.

Let me give an example of how you can use it: In my last visit to Bangkok I stayed in ALoft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 Hotel. I was light on luggage. I took City Link train from airport to Phaya Thai.

Bangkok Mass Transit Map
Bangkok Mass Transit Map. BTS Skytrain (Sukhumvit Line and Silom Line), Bangkok MRTA Subway line and Airport Rail Link can be seen here.

At Phaya Thai, I took off the City Line and walked to Phaya Thai BTS Skytrain Station on Sukhumvit Line. This part may be difficult if you are heavy on lugagge since it needs going down from a platform up to another in a different station. Also note that during peak hour, the skytain cars are quite packed so you may not be able to get in with large and heavy luggages.

Anyway, I took skytrain from there to Nana station. At Nana, I have exited from Exit 3 (some stations have no escalator so you need to carry your luggages down from the platform) and took Soi 11 to the hotel. All this journey took less than an hour and 75 bahts.

Private Airport Express buses

Once upon a time there were these private airport express buses. One of these was even going to backpacker heaven Khao San Road. They do not exist anymore.

Taxi from Suvarnabhumi Airport

If you will take taxi from Suvarnabhumi Airport be careful! Follow the “public taxi” signs that lead to the outside of the airport premises, queue up and state your destination at the desk (English is understood). You’ll get a two-part slip with your destination written in Thai on it. There will be many people trying to take you out of this simple route and direct you to their taxis which are usually scams. Smile to them and completely ignore them. If you do not you may end up paying 2500 Baht to go to Bangkok city center!!!

Read more here: Bangkok Guide : Get In

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