Flights to Bangkok
Bangkok has two airports; the ancient Don Muang Airport and the modern Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Suvarnabhumi is the main airport, handling all international traffic to Bangkok and most domestic services. Don Muang takes care of some domestic flights through local carriers Nok Air and Orient Thai.
Unfortunately, if you’re heading for home and fly into Don Muang from elsewhere in Thailand, you have a fair trek across Bangkok as the airports are on opposite sides of the city. If this is the case, allow for a three-hour taxi/shuttle ride, or take the 30-minute Thai Airways flight.
Suvarnabhumi is served by many of the world’s airlines and receives flights from Australia, the UK and Europe, North America, and elsewhere in Asia. Popular airlines include Qantas, British Airways, Thai Airways, Emirates, United, Delta, All Nippon, China Airlines, and Cathay Pacific.
In all, around 80 airlines serve Bangkok from over 200 cities, with most flights originating from Europe. As well as being the main hub for Southeast Asian countries, it is a popular stop-off for travellers that are en-route to Europe from Australia and New Zealand.
Low-cost carriers direct from Australia include: Tiger Airways, which serves Bangkok from Melbourne and Adelaide; Thai Air Asia, which links up with the Gold Coast (Coolangatta Airport) and Perth; and Jetstar Airways. Flights can be booked online.
Once in Bangkok, regional services connect Phuket, Krabi, Samui, and Chiang Mai, along with KL, Langkawi, Singapore, Siem Reap, and Ho Chi Minh City. Thai Air Asia offers the most useful connections, followed by Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways.
Negotiating Suvarnabhumi Airport is straightforward and there are various transfer options to Bangkok. They include a rail link, airport express buses, meter taxis, and rip-off limos (three times the price of a meter taxi). Taxis take up to an hour, while the rail link hits Makkasan Station in 15 minutes, but you’ll also need a taxi.
Facilities at Suvarnabhumi Airport are fair. If you need a bite to eat after landing, there are some convenience stores in Arrivals. Cafés and restaurants are expensive, while avoiding the duty-free altogether is a good idea owing to possible scams against tourists in the past and high prices.
Traveller-friendly Bangkok is Thailand’s capital and its most intense city. Home to over 10 million, this tropical Asian metropolis is actually has a lot more for the tourist to enjoy than you imagine, ranging from glittering 300 year old temples, to excellent shopping and its famous naughty nightlife.
Set up by Rama I (of the current Chakri dynasty line) in the late 1700s, Bangkok has grown fast and is today the heart and soul of Thailand, with magnificent temples and palaces, bustling markets and swanky malls, and cheap hotels and hot nightlife. The Thais are uber-friendly, too, the food cheap and tasty and the streets safe.
Top Bangkok attractions include the Grand Palace, Wat Po and Dusit complexes, bohemian Khao San Road, quality shopping in Siam Square, and not forgetting the incredible night scene of Sukhumvit and Silom. Bangkok also has a Chinatown and an old town, along with a substantial waterfront area.
Getting to and around Bangkok is easy enough. Flights come in from all over the world with most airlines and high competition means good deals. The shiny new Suvarnabhumi ariport is easy to navigate and well serviced from Europe and Asia, with plenty of domestic routes to connect you to the islands. Recent mass transit systems make getting about easier and there is a flotilla of useful meter taxis and thousands of three-wheelers (tuk tuks) are perfect for dodging rush hour traffic.