If you want to save big time on getting out of the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand, your best bet would be to ride their public bus transportation system.
If you hail a metered taxi, it could cost you a whooping 500 baht for the trip to Bangkok from the Suvarnabhumi Airport. Sometimes, taxi drivers will charge you a flat rate (pakyaw) which will cover the toll fees that you will pass. But metered or not, the ~500 baht fare is just too expensive if you are travelling alone, unless you have someone else to split the fare. Travel time: ~2 hours and depends on the traffic
Airport Rail Link
Then there’s also the Bangkok Airport Rail Link which will cut the travel time as well as the costs of getting in Bangkok. From Suvarbabhumi Airport, you may have to pay ~150 baht to reach the Phaya Thai station in 30 minutes.There are plenty of signs in the airport so you won’t definitely get lost when finding the Airport Link station. From there, you can ride a taxi to get to where you want to go or simply take the BTS train. I haven’t really tried this mode of transportation but this one looks really promising as this is definitely cheaper compared to hailing taxi cabs. Travel time: ~1 hour
However, for someone like me who travels on a tight budget, I believe that the cheapest way to travel to Bangkok from the Suvarbabhumi Airport is via a public bus. So how do you find one within the airport? Simple…
You just have to ride one of those Bangkok Airport Shuttle Bus. The shuttle bus is FREE. When you exit the doors of the arrival section of the airport, cross the street (still within the airport grounds, ok?) and look for the bus stop signs and wait for the free shuttle buses.
riding the free airport shuttle bus with our backpacks
There’s enough room on any Airport Shuttle Bus for your luggages too, if you are carrying one instead of backpacks. But since this is a free bus, tendency is you may stand up when there are too many passengers waiting for the shuttle bus. You can either wait for the next bus to arrive or be alert and quickly hop on the bus before the other passengers =)
These buses will take you to the Transport Centre.
the Transport Center
bus numbers vs their corresponding routes
Once you are in the Transport Center, look for the huge board with different bus numbers and their corresponding routes. You can use them as reference to what bus number you will ride. Travel time: ~2 hours depending on the traffic
Public Bus Number 550 on its way to Bangkok
public bus within Bangkok
On my recent trip to Bangkok, we rode bus number 550 to reach the Mo Chit Bus station. The plan was to get to the Mo Chit Bus Terminal and ride a taxi to Hua Lamphong station (which was what we did the last time we were there). But due to language barriers, we end up getting dropped at the Mo Chit Bus station. From there, we rode another bus going to the Hua Lamphong Station. The cost of the whole trip?
34.00 baht/head – Transport Center to Mochit Bus Station (airconditioned)
8.17 baht/head – Mo Chit bus station to Hua Lamphong Station (we paid 24 for 3 heads) (non-airconditioned)
42.17 baht/head - Total fare – Suvarnabhumi Airport to Hua Lamphong Railway Station
We were on our way to Siem Reap which explains the need to go to Hua Lamphong train station. But I bet we could have saved more on the bus fare had I known the exact bus station to get off to reach Hua Lamphong Station. After being dropped off at the Mo Chit bus station, we asked some locals if it is cheaper to ride a taxi or a bus and they recommended the bus and pointed us to what bus number to ride. We could have paid a few extra bahts if we hopped on an airconditioned one but this is still the cheapest by far. (TIP: Never hesitate to ask for help)
|Mode of Transportation||Travel Time||Cost||Degree of Difficulty||Availability|
|Taxi||~2 hours||expensive*||easy||24 hours|
|Airport Link||~1 hour||moderate||difficult**||6am – 12mn|
|Public Bus||~2 hours||cheap||difficult**||24 hours|
*esp if travelling alone
**especially when carrying huge luggages
Hailing for taxi cabs is more convenient due to their door-to-door drop off points but you may also end up getting scammed by some taxi drivers. Airport Links could be difficult if you have huge luggages and you will have to walk to reach the bus/train stations. Public buses could also be difficult if you have huge luggages with you and you may have to ask what bus number to ride and wait for the buses to arrive.
So there you go. Even if taxis are the most convenient mode of transportation going to Bangkok, I’d still prefer riding a public bus. The amount of money I will save on a taxi or the airport link will definitely be useful for food trips and shopping in Bangkok!
If you want to know how to get around Bangkok, you can check out the differenttransportation they have within the city on this link:
This is a series of blog posts documenting my trip from Bangkok to Siem Reap and back in January of 2011. If you haven’t read the first posts, please check on the links below:
** Off to Bangkok and Siem Reap
#1 – The Accidental Trip to Bangkok and Siem Reap in 2011
#2 – Trip to Bangkok and Siem Reap: The Planning Stage
#3 – How to Create Your Bangkok to Siem Reap Itinerary
#4 – Arriving 5 Minutes Late on our Connecting Flight to Bangkok
#5 – En Route: Clark to Bangkok
#6 – Touchdown Bangkok!
#7 – Suvarnabhumi Airport a.k.a. Bangkok International Airport
#8 – Bangkok Train Station: Waiting for our Train Ride to Aranyaprathet
#9 – My First Taste of Authentic Thai Food
You might also find this useful:
Modes of Transportation in Bangkok
Things to Consider When Planning Your Travel Itinerary