Bangkok is served by two international airports, namely Suvarnabhumi (pronounced as “soo-wan-na-poom”) and Don Mueang. Suvarnabhumi is by far the largest and the one passengers from America and Europe are likely to arrive at.
Suvarnabhumi Airport, known as the New Bangkok International Airport. It is located in the province of Samut Prakan or 30 kilometers east of Bangkok, and is the the main gateway of Thailand. It operates 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
The name Suvarnabhumi was chosen by HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej which means “The Golden Land,” and refers specifically to the continental Indochina. It is the traditional name for the Thailand-Cambodia-Laos-Burma region.
Suvarnabhumi 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.
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 from taking the rail transport (Bangkok Airport Rail Link), or you may opt to take public buses, limousine, and metered taxis.
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.
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.
There are public buses serving Suvarnabhumi airport directly. A 24-hour express shuttle bus is provided from the bus terminal that will take you to the transport center. Fare costs 25 baht.
You may opt to take the Bus 549 which connects the airport and Minburi through the Ladkrabang Road; Bus 550 going to Happy Land; Bus 551 to Victory Monument (Expressway); Bus 552 to On Nut BTS Station; Bus 553 to Samut Prakan; Bus 554 to Don Muang Airport; Bus 555 to Rangsit (Expressway); Bus 556 to Southern Bus Terminal (Expressway); Bus 557 to Wongwien Yai; and Bus 558 to Future Park Rangsit.
Public buses are also available going to Pattaya (Bus 389), Talad Rong Kluea (Bus 390), and NongKhai (Bus 825).
Taking these options could be one of the most expensive when travelling from and to the airport, but nonetheless 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.
Meanwhile, limousines are available at the Limousine Service Center within the terminal but are significantly more costly than a metered taxi and fares are calculated based on distance.
Services and facilities at Suvarnabhumi airport include: hair salon, spa and massage, information desks, medical facilities, pharmacies, convenience stores, tour services, Muslim prayer room, Monks’ reception room, luggage-wrapping service, books and magazines kiosks, souvenir shops, meeting points, smoking areas, transit hotels, VAT refund for tourists, and lost and found desks.
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, 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 sound-proof hotel called Boxtel. Walk through the Airport Link ticket area and shop for 30 meters, and to its left is the entrance to the hotel. Among its facilities are air-conditioned rooms, work desks, alarm clock, key card access, and free wi-fi. Restrooms, however, are shared.
There are nearly 50 dining venues located inside the terminal, spanning from restaurants to fast-food chains to wine bars and lounges. Only half a dozen, however, are proper dining restaurants.
Departing passengers may opt to eat at Kinramen, a Japanese restaurant located on the far left side of concourse D, or at Asian Corner which is situated across the hallway.
At the other end of the terminal is the Mango Tree, a Thai restaurant managed by Coca restaurant group, while across it lies Volare.
Nearby Concourse F are The Traveller: Pizza & More and The Traveller: Sports Cafe & Bar.
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 at 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.