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Getting There

Bangkok - Getting There

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The best way for expatriates to reach Bangkok is to travel by air. The massive Suvarnabhumi (pronounced as "su-wan-na-poom") International Airport is Bangkok's new airport. The IATA code for the Suvarnbhumi Airport is BKK. The older airport that used to serve Bangkok and the surrounding region is the Don Mueang International Airport (DMK). Don Mueang Airport was closed in 2006 with the opening of Suvarnabhumi Airport. However, Don Mueang reopened in 2007 after problems arose at the new Suvarnabhumi airport. The Suvarnabhumi airport replaces the Don Mueang Airport as Bangkok's main airport, with Don Mueang airport operating as the auxiliary airport - used primarily for domestic and charter flights, and by some low-cost carriers. The Suvarnabhumi airport is located southeast while Don Mueang is located north of Bangkok City, and the two airports are about 45 km apart. In good traffic, the journey between the two airports will take about 45 minutes by car / taxi, and 1-2 hours by bus / shuttle.

More than 70 international airlines operate out of the Suvarnabhumi airport. A flight from Europe takes around 12 hours (more if there is a transit), while a flight from Australia takes around 9-12 hours, and a flight from the US takes around 16-22 hours, depending on whether the journey begins from the east or west coast. Like all newly operating airports, expect changes and delays, and it is advisable to check on the airport situation just before leaving for Bangkok. Location-wide, the Suvarnabhumi airport is located about 25 km from downtown Bangkok, in Racha Thewa, in the Bang Phli District of the Samut Prakarn Province, about 15 km on the Bangna-Trat Highway (east-bound). The airport call center hotline is 02 132 1888. For flights information, call 02 132 0000. For more information about the Suvarnabhumi airport, visit the official website of the airport operator, the Airports of Thailand at www2.airportthai.co.th. There are other unofficial websites with more up to date information on the airport. Try www.bangkokairportonline.com.

The public stand for taxis is on the same floor as the arrival hall, on the second floor of the terminal building. If there are not taxis waiting at the pick-up point, approach the taxi counter in the International Arrival Hall that operates 24 hours daily. Limousine services are useful for larger groups, and are available at a separate counter. A metered taxi ride from the airport to the city is relatively inexpensive, around 200-400 baht. There is a 50-baht surcharge for taxi journeys beginning from the airport, and 65 baht for highway tolls. Expect to pay at least 3 times more, if you choose to go by a private limousine. Limousine services are pre-paid at the counter. In good traffic, the journey should take around 40 minutes. If you prefer to travel by public transport, there are airport city buses shuttling between the airport and Bangkok city, but these buses do not operate 24 hours. At time of writing, the Suvarnibhumi Airport Express terminal, a high-speed rail link that connects with the other rail lines operating in Bangkok, is scheduled for completion in August 2009, after several delays.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

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