Don Muang Airport is one of the two major gateways to Thailand. It isn’t just the country’s oldest, but it also holds the proud title of being Asia’s oldest airport.
Don Muang was established on March 27, 1914 as a Royal Thai Air Force base and had been in use only in 1924. It was the original Bangkok International Airport before the title was handed over to Suvarnabhumi Airport, now Thailand’s largest and newest international gateway, which was built in 2006 to serve as an alternative option to Don Muang.
Upon Suvarnabhumi’s commercial operations, Don Muang was ordered closed for renovation, but it reopened a year later for domestic flights.
To date, Don Muang is serving mostly low-cost carriers for international and regional flights, including Thai Airways’ non-connecting flights and all Nok Air and Orient Thai domestic flights.
Among airlines landing at Don Muang are Air Asia, Nok Air, Scoot Airlines, Malindo Air, Thai Lion Air, Thai Smile and Tiger Air. Chartered flights also fly in and out of the airport.
Don Muang is technically connected to Bangkok via State Railway of Thailand (SRT) through its surface rail, but taking cabs are far more convenient than taking the train.
You can board the train bound for Hua Lamphong or the Central Railway Station near Bangkok’s Chinatown.
Service hours start as early as 3:20 a.m. from Don Muang and 4 a.m. from Hua Lamphong while last revenue train are until 10:15 p.m for Don Muang and 10:55 p.m. for Hua Lamphong.
The nearest station located just opposite of the airport building. Note that trains are infrequent and will consume about an hour of your time. This could be worse during weekends.
You’ll find the public taxi terminal just as you exit the customs and baggage claim. It’s well signposted.
When taking a taxi, it is important to note that since the airport is located near a residential community, heavy traffic can be a serious problem at rush hour and make increase your journey time and fare. A 50-baht surcharge will be imposed for taxis departing the airport and passengers are required to pay all tolls when taking expressways.
One of the cheapest options in getting to your destination from Don Muang airport is through taking Bus No. 29 which leaves from the Siam area but this method is not the most practical way especially if you have too much luggage. It only costs about 20 baht.
A free shuttle bus will also take you from the Domestic Terminal to the International Terminal within Don Muang.
Limousines are operated by three companies, Airport Associate Limousine, Thai Limousine, and Phrapirab Limousine. They all have the same fares, starting from 650 baht for downtown Bangkok. You may contact them at the International Arrival Halls and Domestic Passenger Terminals.
Similar to other airports, Don Muang offers facilities such as a convenience store, duty-free shops, and money exchange booths, and a vast number of dining areas.
Speaking of dining areas, some of the food outlets located at the food court of the Don Mueang Airport-Terminal 2 include: Croissant Taiyaki, Subway, Cafe Amazon, and Garrett Popcorn. All are located at the departure area on the third level.
Meanwhile, on Level 4, you will see another Cafe Amazon, as well as Dish is Food, Burger King, The Pizza Company, Dairy Queen, Thai Express, Bonchon Chicken, Cafe Ritazza, McDonald’s, Yentafo, Mee Faan Cafe, and Gindaco.
As there is no direct railway system between the two airports, you may opt to travel between through a free shuttle bus. There is no need to reserve when travelling between these points because of a first-come, first-served system.
The shuttle bus from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi starts at 5 a.m. while the last bus leaves at midnight. Shuttle buses depart every 12 to 30 minutes at the Terminal 1 on the first floor, and travel time can take up to 2 hours if traffic situation is harsh.
You may also consider taking the A3 bus from and transferring to the nearest train station, the Airport Railway Station’s Ratcharop Station.
Bus ticket costs 50 baht while train ticket costs 40 baht.