Bangkok is served by two international airports, Suvarnabhumi (pronounced "soo-wan-na-poom") and Don Mueang. Suvarnabhumi is by far the largest one; in fact, it is one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Passengers from America and Europe are likely to arrive here. It serves as the main gateway to Thailand, is the primary hub for Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways, and is easily accessible by various forms of transport.
In this article, we will explore the different ways to get to Suvarnabhumi Airport, the facilities available, the history of the airport, and information about the terminals, including the facilities and getting around.
Suvarnabhumi Airport, known as the New Bangkok International Airport. It is the main gateway to Thailand and is located in the province of Samut Prakan, about 30km east of Bangkok. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It was built to accommodate the growing number of passengers travelling to and from Bangkok.
The name Suvarnabhumi was chosen by HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej, named after the ancient kingdom of Suvarnabhumi, which means "The Golden Land," and refers specifically to continental Indochina. It is the traditional name for the Thailand-Cambodia-Laos-Burma region, which was located in present-day Thailand.
It was built at a cost of $4.8 billion and became fully operational on September 15 2006, but only for domestic flights. It later allowed international flights 13 days after it was opened.
Suvarnabhumi was designed by Helmut Jahn of Murphy/Jahn Architects.
The airport is powered by solar energy and is the first airport in the world to be powered entirely by solar power.
There are 103 international and domestic airlines serving the airport. Among them are: Air China, Air France, All Nippon Airways or ANA, Bangkok Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and the country’s very own flag carrier Thai Airways.
Meanwhile, a large number of low-cost carriers from Southeast Asia and regional carriers fly in and out of Don Mueang, the second largest airport.
The airport offers a vast number of transportation options to get you to your destination. You can choose between taking the rail transport (Bangkok Airport Rail Link), or opting to take public buses, limousines, or metered taxis.
The Airport Rail Link is the fastest and most convenient way to get to Suvarnabhumi Airport. The rail link connects you to the ground level of the MRT Petchaburi Station or the Makkasan City Interchange Station and the BTS Skytrain at Phayathai Station. It is six stations away from Bangkok downtown, or just a 30-minute travel from the airport, making it the most convenient and fastest way to travel between two points.
The rail link has two lines – the City Line and the Express Line. The City Line takes approximately 30 minutes to get from the airport to Makkasan Station in central Bangkok. The Express Line takes around 15 minutes.
From the airport, you can take the entrance to the rail link on the first floor.
The rail link operates from 6 a.m. to midnight every day.
Public buses are available from various locations in Bangkok to Suvarnabhumi Airport. The bus will take approximately one hour to reach the airport, depending on traffic conditions. The fare is very affordable, and there are several routes available.
A 24-hour express shuttle bus is provided from the bus terminal that will take you to the transport center. The fare costs 25 baht.
You can take the following buses: 549, which connects the airport and Minburi via the Ladkrabang Road; 550, which goes to Happy Land; 551, which goes to Victory Monument (Expressway); 552, which goes to On Nut BTS Station; 553, which goes to Samut Prakan; 554, which goes to Don Muang Airport; 555, which goes to Rangsit (Expressway); 556, which goes to the Southern Bus Terminal; 557 to W
Public buses are also available going to Pattaya (Bus 389), Talad Rong Kluea (Bus 390), and Nongkhai (Bus 825).
Suvarnabhumi airport is located 25km east of Bangkok, making it easily accessible by car. The airport is served by three major expressways – the Bangkok-Chonburi Motorway, the Burapha Withi Expressway, and the Suvarnabhumi Airport Link. All three expressways are connected to the Airport Rail Link, which connects the airport directly to Bangkok.
These options may be the most expensive when travelling to and from the airport, but they are also the most convenient. On top of a 50-baht fee, you are required to pay the toll on all expressways when getting into and out of Bangkok.
At the Limousine Service Center inside the terminal, you can get a limousine, but it will cost you a lot more than a metered taxi and the price depends on how far you go.
Suvarnabhumi airport has two terminals: the main terminal and the satellite terminal. The main terminal is divided into two sections: domestic and international. The international section consists of four concourses: A, B, C, and D.
The concourses are connected by a common corridor. The domestic section consists of two concourses, E and F. The concourses are connected by a common corridor. The satellite terminal is mainly used for domestic flights and serves as a link between the main terminal and the concourses.
Suvarnabhumi Airport is home to a wide range of facilities and amenities. There are several information desks, restaurants and cafes, duty-free shops, currency exchange counters, ATMs, and a post office. The airport also has a medical center, a hair salon, a massage parlor, a fitness center, luggage-wrapping service, book and magazine kiosks, souvenir shops, meeting points, and smoking areas. The airport also has a variety of hotels, ranging from budget to luxury.
There are also a number of car rental companies and taxi services available at the airport.
There are two hotels inside Suvarnabhumi airport where you can stay during unexpected flight delays.
The Miracle Transit Hotel is located in the secure zone of the International Departures Hall, Concourse G of Level 4. It also has its own facilities and services, such as a beauty salon, a sauna, free wi-fi, and duty-free shops. Day rooms are available for 6 to 12 hours, and deluxe rooms or suites are also on offer.
On the basement floor of the airport, you can find a soundproof hotel called Boxtel. Walk through the Airport Link ticket area and shop for 30 meters; to its left is the entrance to the hotel. Among its facilities are air-conditioned rooms, work desks, an alarm clock, key card access, and free wi-fi. Restrooms, however, are shared.
There are nearly 50 dining venues located inside the terminal, ranging from restaurants and fast-food chains to wine bars and lounges. Only half a dozen are proper dining restaurants.
Departing passengers can choose to eat at Kinramen, a Japanese restaurant on the far left side of Concourse D, or at Asian Corner, which is across the hallway.
At the other end of the terminal is the Mango Tree, a Thai restaurant managed by the Coca Restaurant Group, while across it lies Volare.
The Traveller: Pizza & More and The Traveller: Sports Cafe & Bar are both located on concourse F.
Also available are fast-food outlets such as Burger King, Dairy Queen, The Pizza Company, Chow and Haru, Pitcher and Plane, and Billion Zone.
As for the wine bar and lounges, you can choose from four stylish-looking bars such as Reef Bar, Glass Bar, Light Bar, and Seafood Bar. These bars offer breakfast in the morning.
A free shuttle bus is available from Suvarnabhumi to Don Muang. The terminal is located in the arrivals area on the second floor, outside Door 3. You need to show a boarding pass or any proof of travel in order to use this bus.