These frequently asked questions about Thailand travel are intended to give visitors general information about such topics as getting a Thailand visa, Thailand travel methods, health and safety, accommodation, and understanding Thailand customs’ regulations.
What is Thailand's premier international air travel gateway?
SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT: GATEWAY TO A GOLDEN LAND
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand’s premier international air travel gateway and a regional center for aviation, links all aspects of air travel and transport. It also supports the country’s travel and tourism development, as befits its auspicious name, “Suvarnabhumi”, (Golden Land), which was bestowed upon it by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Suvarnabhumi Airport was built on 3,100 hectares of land in the Bang Phli District of Samut Prakan Province, about 25 kilometres east of Bangkok. The main access road is an elevated 10-lane highway connected to the outer ring road network. It also connects directly to the Bangkok-Chon Buri (Pattaya) Motorway. The beach resort of Pattaya is an hour and a half’s drive away.
Designed by Murphy/Jahn Architects, the airport has the world’s tallest control tower (132.2 metres), and the second largest single building as an airport terminal (563,000 square metres), slightly smaller than Hong Kong International Airport’s 570,000 square metres.
It replaces the old Don Muang International Airport which is only being used for select domestic travel and charter aircraft.
Built at an estimated cost 155 billion baht, Suvarnabhumi has two parallel runways and two parallel taxiways accommodating simultaneous departures and arrivals. Suharnabhumi has a total of 120 parking bays, five of them capable of handling the Airbus A380. The main passenger terminal building can handle 76 flight operations an hour adding up to 45 million passengers and three million tones of cargo per year.
Above the underground rail link station (scheduled to open in Fall 2009) and in front of the passenger terminal building is the 612-room Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel, a member of the Accor Group. The Airport Hotel is a five-minute walk from the airport along a 300-metre underground walkway. The hotel has four restaurants, two bars, a swimming pool, business centre, fitness centre and health spa. Between the hotel and the terminal building are two five-storey car parks with a combined capacity for 5,000 cars.
Plans for additional runways and two terminals capable of handling up to 100 million passengers and 6.4 million tonnes of cargo a year are on the drawing board.
Rail networks: A 26.6-km high-speed rail link from the airport to the City Airport Terminal in Makkasan is currently being built, with November 2009 as its planned completion date. The City Airport Terminal network is connected to BTS Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Sukhumvit Line and the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Blue Line at Phaya Thai and Phetchaburi stations. The total journey to the airport will take approximately 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) provides a suburban commuter train service between Hua Takhe, the nearest station to Suvarnabhumi on the East line, and the northern suburb of Rangsit through Bangkok and the old Don Muang Airport. A shuttle bus service linking the airport with Hua Takhe railway station is provided by the Bangkok Mass Trasit Authority (BMTA) for 15 baht. The train service is less popular than the bus service as it requires a shuttle bus connection, and it will be phased out when the Airport Express Link is completed.
Departure tax: International travelers departing the airport must no longer pay a departure tax levied by the airport operator, Airports of Thailand. The tax is now included in the price of airline tickets.
What are the domestic airlines with in Thailand?
There are a number of domestic carriers that allow air transportation around Thailand including such destinations as Krabi, Chiang mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Phitsanulok, Sukhothai, Nan, Lampang, Ubon ratchathani and to all the major destinations in Thailand. The domestic airlines available for you to travel within Thailand are:
Thai airways (www.thaiairways.com)
Bangkok airways (www.bangkokair.com)
Nok Air (www.nokair.com),
Air Asia (www.airasia.com)
Orient Thai (www.orient-thai.com)
PB Air (www.pbair.com),
One Two Go Airlines (www.fly12go.com)
Are there dayrooms available at the Airport during my transit in Bangkok?
The airport has one attached hotel, the 4 star Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel which is only 5 minutes away via an underground walkway. It has all the facilities you'd expect as well may ease you during your transit. To know more other hotels nearby the airport, visit Thailand Travel Agents.
Are there left baggage services available at the airport?
There are 2 left luggage counters at the Suvarnabhumi Airport;
Level 2 - Arrivals: The Left Luggage Counter is located on the Level 2 (Arrivals) - near the escalator - behind EXIT 4 area.
Level 4 - Departures: The Left Luggage Counter is located on the Level 4 (Departures) - near the entrance of Entrance 4.
How much is the airport tax?
Airport departure taxes for international departures costs 700 baht/person which is included in the price of the ticket; nothing extra must be paid. Airport tax for domestic flights is also included in tickets. However, flights departing from the privately run Samui airport have been known to levy a departure tax on both domestic and international flights.
Is there an airport shuttle service?
Airport bus express operates 4 bus routes to downtown. The cost is 150 baht for entire route. AE1 Suvarnabhumi-Silom (by expressway) AE2 Suvarnabhumi-Bang Lamphu (by expressway) AE3 Suvarnabhumi-Sukhumwit 3 or North Nana AE4 Suvarnabhumi-Hua Lamphong (by expressway)
What public transport is available to get to the Bangkok International airport?
Public transports to get to the airport available are taxi, BMTA (Local city buses), and train, which requires a short ride on a BMTA bus from the station to the airport. You can take local city buses from the center of Bangkok to the airport at such locations as Silom, Sathorn, Sukhumvit, Ratchada, and Ladprao.
There are airport shuttle bus services available too, for more information about airport shuttle bus, please visit www.airportthai.co.th
What about transfers from the airport?
Public transport to get to town from the airport include taxi, BMTA service (Local city buses), pivate limousines, the new rail link, and the airport shuttle service. (for more information about airport shuttle bus, please visit www.airportthai.co.th) In addition, The Transport Co., ltd. provides air-conditioned bus (standard 1) to carry passengers between Suvarnabhumi Airport and some major attractions such as Pattaya, Talat Rong Kluea and Nong Khai.
Where are the international airports located in Thailand?
The capital, Bangkok serves as the landing port for numerous international airlines, most with direct flights from abroad landing in the capital. Some chartered flights and international service from nearby Asian nations may land at one of the other, smaller international airports within Thailand, such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, Samui, and Hat Yai International Airports.
Can taxi drivers at the airport understand English?
Usually, at the airport taxi stand, there will be staff to help you communicate with the taxi drivers. In locations with greater numbers of tourists the drivers generally have a greater understanding of English. However, it is best to speak slowly and enunciate your destination name, trying different tones and inflections until the driver recognizes the name.
What about Taxi fares?How much should a taxi cost from the airport to my hotel?
Metered taxis are available 24 hours at the airport. The metered fare is standardized, with the flag down rate of 35 Baht for the first 2 km and around 5 Baht for each km thereafter. Passengers must pay tolls if using the expressways. If taxis do not have meters, fares must be agreed upon before starting. The amount will vary depending on the distance, traffic, weather, etc, but a taxi from the airport to the center of the city should cost around 350B (about 10 US dollars).
How far is Downtown Bangkok from the airport?
Suvarnabhumi Airport is located 24 kilometers to the east of Bangkok. The journey downtown will take from between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the traffic and where you're going. The closest popular tourist area to the airport is the Sukhumvit road district, which on a good day will take around 30-45 minutes to get too. Silom, Sathorn, and Siam Square will take about 45 minutes to an hour to reach, while if you're heading over to Khao San road it could well take over an hour.
Heavy traffic can make this journey a lot longer though, and so you have the option of using the expressway for an additional charge of 25-50B to pay, depending on the number of toll booths you mass pass through. This is paid for by the passenger, though the driver may pay at the time and you'll be expected to pay at the end. The expressway is substantially faster at any time during the day, though if you're arriving late at night it's not usually necessary to go on the expressway as the traffic is light on the main roads. To tell the taxi driver to use the expressway, you can say either kuen ton-way (from 'tollway') or kuen taang duan in Thai, although he may well use it without being told anyway.
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