Thailand Travel Information

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Bangkok is a major Southeast Asian air hub, and dozens of airlines fly regularly between the Thai capital and Europe, Asia, the USA and Australia. Thailand’s national carrier is Thai Airways International (THAI; www.thaiair.com), which also operates a number of domestic air routes.

Bangkok’s new airport, Suvarnabhumi (“Soo-wan-na-boom”) is located 30km east of downtown Bangkok. It is approximately a 45 to 60 minute drive from downtown Bangkok, depending on traffic.
Suvarnabhumi now handles all international and domestic flights to and from Bangkok.
Suvarnabhumi has inherited the old airport, Don Muang's "BKK" international airport code and Don Muang will be recoded as "DBK".


Domestic
Thailand has several airlines – both full service and low cost – competing on a large network of domestic routes. All of those listed here also fly regional international routes. Nok Air, Orient Thai, PB Air and Thai Air Asia are budget airlines, Thai Airways is full service and Bangkok Airways is somewhere in between. Big discounts are often available online, and most deal only in e-tickets, so there’s no reason to schlep out to their distant offices to book a fare; use a travel agent, the internet or the phone. For last-minute fares, buy at the departures level in the relevant airport.


Airports

Bangkok has two main airports. Opened in late 2006, Suvarnabhumi International Airport (0 2132 1888; www2.airportthai.co.th) is the vast glass-and-concrete construction 30km east of central Bangkok that acts as the main international airport. After rather a lot of teething problems, at most times Suvarnabhumi (pronounced su-wan-a-poom) works fairly efficiently. The unofficial www.bangkokairportonline.com site has up-to-date transport information and real-time details of airport arrivals and departures. Left-luggage facilities (24 hr) are available on Level 2, beside the helpful TAT office .(0 2134 4077; 24 hr).

Don Muang Airport (0 2535 1111; www2.airportthai.co.th) is 25km north of the city centre and, after being temporarily retired, it now serves some, but not all, domestic routes.

Getting to/from Don Muang you can take a taxi or bus. Taking a taxi is the fastest and most comfortable option, and fares at most times will be a very reasonable 200B to 350B depending on the traffic and how far you’re going. Taxis depart from outside the arrivals hall, and there is a 50B airport charge added to the meter fare, plus expressway tolls.

Slow, crowded public bus 59 stops on the highway in front of the airport and carries on to Banglamphu, passing Th Khao San and the Democracy Monument; luggage is not allowed. Air-con buses are faster, and you might actually get a seat. Useful air-con routes include:

Bus 29 Northern Bus Terminal, Victory Monument, Siam Sq and Hualamphong train station

Bus 510 Victory Monument, Southern Bus Terminal

Bus 513 Th Sukhumvit, Eastern Bus Terminal

International carriers (both full service and LCCs) fly into Thailand, the list includes the following:

Air Canada
Air France
AirAsia
All Nippon Airways
Asiana
Austrian
Bangkok Airways
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Cebu Pacific
China Airlines
China Eastern
China Southern
EVA Airways
EgyptAir
Emirates
Etihad
Garuda
JAL
Jet Airways
Jetstar
KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines
Korean Air
Lufthansa
Malaysia Airlines
Philippine Airlines
Qantas
Qatar Airways
Royal Brunei Airlines
Scandinavian Airlines System
SilkAir
Singapore Airlines
South African Airways
SriLankan Airlines
Swiss International
THAI
Tiger Airways
Turkish Airlines
United
Vietnam Airlines
Xiamen Airlines

 

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