Bangkok & Airport Transportation

Discussion in 'Thailand' started by Kalboz, Feb 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,009
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    There are several modes of transportation from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Bangkok, including but not limited to the following:

    By Taxi:

    When clearing Immigration and customs at BKK and leaving the arrival hall, don't mind the airport taxi touts! These touts will charge rates that can be as much as 200-300% the normal metered taxi rates. Instead, follow the signs to "PUBLIC TAXI" and join the queue that normally forms just outside the building. All meter taxis leave from the first floor down one floor from your arrival level. Once you make you way to the taxi desk, tell the staff present which hotel, or where you want to go. *DO NOT ASK ANYONE "HOW MUCH?" - It's a metered taxi, the cost is dictated by the meter, you asking HOW MUCH is tacit approval to being charged a flat rate. They may give you a YELLOW slip of paper with your destination written on it. Take the paper to the line of drivers and hand it over to the supervisor. It will be exchanged for another larger WHITE slip of paper with your specific Taxis' details recorded on it and an explanation of the 50฿ airport fee which you will add on to the fare at journey's end.

    KEEP this slip of paper! There is NO information on this slip of paper that the driver needs, he's already been told where you are going - it's yours, put it in your pocket in case of any difficulties during the trip or when you find you've left some property in the taxi, or for any other issue that may arise. This slip of paper identifies the specific taxi and driver you are using. Remember Bangkok Taxi meters ALWAYS start at 35฿. Tell the driver to take the toll/express way although this is not always necessary especially in the late hours. If you elect to use the Tollway/Expressway, you will need to give the driver 70฿ for the tolls. If the driver pays, you add it to the meter fare at the end of the journey.

    If possible, get your hotel name written in Thai, Bangkok has thousands of hotels, and no driver can know them all by their English title. Most hotels in the Sukhumvit, Silom, Sathorn, Khao San road areas should cost 200-250฿ on the meter + the 50฿ airport tax + any tolls paid by the driver (if the expressway was used usually 70฿ total). Your journey from airport to hotel should take around one hour or less depending on time of the day you arriving and the prevailing weather conditions.

    Airport Rail Link:

    There is an airport rail link from BKK to Bangkok city proper. The trains which are on two service lines have a maximum speed of 100 MPH. The first, Airport Express Line runs every 30 minutes, while the second which is the commuter City Line runs every 15 minutes. Both lines operate 6 AM - midnight - 7 days a week. To take the Train from Suvarnabhumi Airport, from the arrival hall, head down to level M to the platform, where tickets can be purchased.

    The fare for "Express Line" (Suvarnabhumi - Makkasan nonstop) is 150฿, one-way, traveling time of 15 minutes. From Makkasan you can get a taxi to your final destination, or walk to the Petchuburi MRT station ( about 200 meters), or take the city line two more stations to Phayathai and connect with the BTS Skytrain.

    The local "City Line" route makes eight stops across the capital, starting at Phaya Thai, before heading to the airport (Suvarnabhumi - Phayathai) takes longer (30 minutes) with fares of between 15฿ - 45฿ one-way, depending on distance traveled. From Phrayathai you can take a taxi to your final destination or connect to the BTS Skytrain. Please note that the city line train is a commuter train and is not recommended for travelers with large luggage.

    Map: http://www.urbanrail.net/as/bang/bangkok.htm

    Photos of our "field trip" when in December 2010, with Seanthepilot (2lovelife here), we took the City Line from Phaya Thai to BKK and returning on the Express Line BKK-Makkasan: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalboz/sets/72157625517757655/
     
  2. CrankyScott
    Original Member

    CrankyScott Silver Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    285
    Status Points:
    450
    Excellent post and review of the transportation options in Bangkok. Well done Kalboz!

    One other option is the AOT Limo that is heavily promoted in the baggage claim and arrival hall. Typical round trip to downtown hotels is around 1,900 Baht. Just don't let them talk you into a more expensive car - go for the cheapest they have and you will be very happy with the quality.

    When I am traveling on business this is what I use and have been very happy with the service. But as Kalboz points out there are a lot of other low cost options.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  3. fumitani
    Original Member

    fumitani Gold Member

    Messages:
    15,357
    Likes Received:
    39,305
    Status Points:
    19,995
    If you want to avoid paying the 50 baht commision....go up to the departures hall and catch a taxi which just dropped off a passenger. That way you can avoid paying 50 baht comission. This is recommended only if you know your directions or you can speak Thai. Any driver who wants to go without meter (screw them) find a new taxi they flow in like ants!
     
    Chimpy and kwai like this.
  4. I used to do this all the time ;) I don't speak Thai, but if you can show them on a map you will be fine.
    These days though, I would take the train or bus depending on the weather; otherwise a taxi.
    I like mass transit cause it exposes you to the city and its people.
     
  5. fumitani
    Original Member

    fumitani Gold Member

    Messages:
    15,357
    Likes Received:
    39,305
    Status Points:
    19,995
    I always talk to the drivers, because I arrive late at night and they seem to be tired....
     
  6. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,009
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    I used to do this also, but a bad experience in July 2008 made me not to sweat the small stuff any more ... and 50฿ (less than $2), my good man, is the small stuff.

    It took this dumb kid (the taxi driver) almost 2 hours and 500฿ meter charges Plus toll road charges to get me from BKK fourth floor (Departure Level) to Siam@Siam Design Hotel on the west side of National Stadium BTS Station. To save that 50฿, I spent an extra hour fuming in a cab while spending an extra 200฿ ... go figure!

    My advice: Pay the 50฿ airport fee and have peace of mind [​IMG] YMMV!
     
  7. opushomes
    Original Member

    opushomes Silver Member

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    41
    Status Points:
    120
    I would like to add another bit of advice. If one gets baht from an ATM or even from the exchange windows at the airport, it often is in high denominations. Taxi drivers typically either 1) do not have change or 2) claim they do not. Actually, they usually do not have change for even a hundred. Following the above advice to take the "Highway" (toll expressway). Hand the driver your 500 or 1000 baht bill for the 1st toll. He will receive smaller bills including 20s and return the change to you. At the second booth hand him a hundred and receive further small change. This eliminates completely the problem of having correct change to pay him and add a small tip as appropriate. It also gives you small bills for any tip to the bellman should you have large amounts of luggage.

    Still another small bit of advice. Be sure that you can see the entire face of the meter displaying the starting amount of 35 baht. Be wary of items obscuring the display as some drivers like to make a little extra by starting at say 135 baht by obscuring the 1.
     
  8. fumitani
    Original Member

    fumitani Gold Member

    Messages:
    15,357
    Likes Received:
    39,305
    Status Points:
    19,995
    If you go to BKK often enough you know the roads...2 hours....where did this idiot go....
     
    kwai likes this.
  9. kwai
    Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,977
    Likes Received:
    12,916
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Probably was trying to go home to Isaan.
     
  10. kwai
    Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,977
    Likes Received:
    12,916
    Status Points:
    11,070
    During high volume times it would be wise not to travel with bags on this line. I've successfully navigated the City Line with bags a number of times, but it can get crowded. If the city line is your thing you should only consider taking it from Phaya Thai. Accessing the train from other stations, with bags, can be problematic.
     
  11. TRAVELSIG
    Original Member

    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Likes Received:
    5,509
    Status Points:
    4,145
    Kalboz- Thanks for starting this thread. I would also suggest AOT in some circumstances- particularly when you can book the return trip with 25% discount. Ask for a Toyota Camry- often the sales reps start with expensive cars (BMW series 7 etc)- the price is reasonable and it can be more relaxing than a taxi.
     
    Kalboz and kwai like this.
  12. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,009
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    Yes, I know Bangkok very well as I have been traveling there for years now ...

    After the usual requests: meter, express tollway usage, and destination description/information, we took off from BKK on the highway towards downtown. As I settled in, I started making my usual phone calls not realizing what had happened. As I became aware, the taxi had already exited the highway and we were stuck in traffic somewhere on upper Sukhumvit. I immediately demanded that he gets back onto the highway and he "appeared" to not understand me. He called his boss and I explained to her that he needed to go back to the highway. By that time, we were going in a big circle. Total charges were close to 500฿, which is not a big deal (around $15). But the big deal that it did happen to me and I considered myself a savvy traveler. Guess what? There was no tip or rounding off change for that SOB!
     
    Chimpy likes this.
  13. kwai
    Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,977
    Likes Received:
    12,916
    Status Points:
    11,070
    At that point I would have also refused to pay the meter total. And have done so, albeit very rarely.
     
  14. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,009
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    Hindsight is 20/20 [​IMG]

    Yea, I could haggled but the kid was sincerely dumb ... so I let it go at that.
     
    Chimpy and kwai like this.
  15. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,009
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    An editorial in the March 2nd issue of The Nation newspaper outlined some of the issues faced by BKK transportation. This article which is based on readers' tweets to the newspaper's editor-in-chief, is worth mentioning here on MiPo: Suvarnabhumi: a bad experience for travellers

    http://www.nationmultimedia.com/201...a-bad-experience-for-travellers-30149833.html

     
    Chimpy likes this.
  16. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Messages:
    3,616
    Likes Received:
    6,793
    Status Points:
    4,670
    Any good car service options? I used to use Image Limo when they were ~ 2000 baht return for a Nissan Teana. Last I heard they were getting 2600 roundtrip. Still always found them a good service but wondering if there are better options out there for hired car service BKK to downtown and back?
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  17. TRAVELSIG
    Original Member

    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Likes Received:
    5,509
    Status Points:
    4,145
    Hi- AOT is good with clean newish vehicles and very reliable with polite drivers. Ask for the Toyota- don't let them "sell" you on the BMW 750.
     
    Kalboz likes this.
  18. Mangy
    Original Member

    Mangy Gold Member

    Messages:
    18,801
    Likes Received:
    126,568
    Status Points:
    20,020
    BKK taxi drivers seem to be getting worse. I have always liked them - they are clean, cheap and have good A/C; however, fewer and fewer seem to know which way to go. Last year there were two separate times (from the sirport) where I just got out of the taxi, gave them some money (not what was on the meter) and found alternative transport (BTS or walked). Why someone would go down Asoke when I was on the expressway to National Stadium I will never know.[​IMG]
     
    Chimpy likes this.
  19. kwai
    Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,977
    Likes Received:
    12,916
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Two or three years ago we got into a taxi and said 'hua lom pong'. Yup yup yup was the response and he attempted to take us to Suavarnaphum. My my better half (Thai) tried to ask him which way he was going he said, in a rather impolite way, he knew the roads well and she obviously didn't. When we finally were dropped of at the Don Muang train station (for we had certainly already missed the original departure) the meter read 47.8km and 375B. We gave him 200B because he at least did attempt to make up for his mistake and he was humbled after his initial arrogance.

    The funny thing was, on the approach to DMK, the guy actually tried to take us at first to the airport not the affiliated train station.

    He must have had a traumatic event with trains as a child. [​IMG]
     
    Chimpy likes this.
  20. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,009
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    For groups or families of more than two travelers with luggage, a hired van from Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to their destination won't be such a bad idea. Oriental Escapes offers such transfer services, and so do others: http://www.orientalescape.com/thailand/transfer/bangkok.html

    TONG: (her team - Nui, Tom, Pook, Jerry, Kung, Lily, Nina, Charlie, Get) www.tourwithtong.com Email: tourwithtong@yahoo.com
    RATT: (Ratt is the driver - her team members are all licensed guides) www.ratservice.com Email: rat_bkk@hotmail.com
    TAN: (her team - Kay, Fay, and Ron are guides, and Kawin - driver) www.izthai.com Email: izthai@gmail.com
    OAT: Email: oat747@yahoo.com mobile: 6689 661 3039
    NOOK: Email: cnnchinlawan@hotmail.com
    CELINE: (and her team) Email: siritom@hotmail.com
    CHERRY: Email: magical_routes@hotmail.com
    CHOB: www.thaitourguide.com Email: chob@thaitourguide.com
    JAN: Email: noobo@yahoo.com
    SIDDHI: Email: siddhided@gmail.com
    WANDEE: www.wandeetoursforyou.com Email: cin1133@yahoo.com
    IRENE: Email: klugcat@gmail.com
    JOSEPH: Email: caroljoseph83@gmail.com
    GIFT: www.privatetourthailand.com Email: guidegift@gmail.com
    ANN: www.absolutebangkoktour.com Email: info@AbsoluteBangkokTour.com or, absolutebangkok@yahoo.com
    ASIAN TRAILS: Email: res@asiantrails.org
     
    FlyingFree, Chimpy and TRAVELSIG like this.
  21. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    668
    Status Points:
    720
    Very helpful post. While I can see the attraction of City Line, I don't see the case for Express Line. It costs 150, then you still have to drag your luggage and pay for a cab ride to your hotel. It would probably make more sense to pay a cab 300 from the airport to hotel door.
     
    TRAVELSIG, Chimpy and Kalboz like this.
  22. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,009
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    BINGO! My sentiment exactly :)
     
    Chimpy likes this.
  23. Kalboz
    Original Member

    Kalboz Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,009
    Likes Received:
    22,441
    Status Points:
    15,020
    Chimpy and kwai like this.
  24. kwai
    Original Member

    kwai Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,977
    Likes Received:
    12,916
    Status Points:
    11,070
    I don't know Kal, my reading of the article is this has nothing to do with the city link, more about the express to Makassan. Although many similar comments can be made about the city link.
     
    Kalboz and Chimpy like this.
  25. TRAVELSIG
    Original Member

    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,942
    Likes Received:
    5,509
    Status Points:
    4,145
    Exactly- and if you are in two people or more, the cost of the train is far higher than a taxi and gets close to an AOT car!
     
    Kalboz likes this.

Share This Page