Travel to & around Thailand
Travel to Thailand is easy with flights to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport leaving daily and a wide choice of airlines to get you there. Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hat Yai airports also have immigration facilities and a small number of scheduled international flight arrivals. Check out the cheap flights to Thailand or call us about getting a Round the World ticket with a stop in Thailand.
Bangkok is home to two airports. The new airport, Suvarnabhumi, opened in 2007 and is located in Racha Thewa around 30 kilometers east of Bangkok. There are various forms of transport to and from this Bangkok airport including shuttle bus, public bus and car rental. Usually the higher end hotels will send a representative to meet you at the airport but most visitors take a metered taxi – there is a 50 baht airport surcharge on top of your fare (which should only be a few hundred baht) plus you’ll need to pay express way fees. The journey is usually 40 minutes to an hour depending on your destination.
Don Muang airport
Some domestic flights still operate out of the old international airport, Don Muang (24 kms north from Bangkok), so check your ticket carefully so you’re definite about which airport you should be at. The same transport options exist out of Don Muang as they do at Suvarnabhumi and the travel time is slightly less.
Phuket Airport is one of the busiest outside Bangkok. You can get a cab, mini-bus or public bus to your destination. Average taxi fares from the airport are a little more costly than the other airports – around 400 baht to Phuket (30 minute journey), 550 baht to Patong (40 minute journey) and 650 baht to Kata/Karon (around a one hour journey).
Chiang Mai airport
Chiang Mai airport is 10 minutes from the city center and there are taxis, songteaws (an open-back taxi truck) and tuk-tuks ready and waiting. A taxi trip will cost around 120 baht to most destinations in the city. Many hotels will arrange free transfer to and from the airport so check with your hotel to see if they provide this service.
How to get around
Travel in Bangkok
There are tons of Thailand transport options to suit all budgets and comfort levels – if you’re traveling through Bangkok the sky train is an excellent way to get around – both cheap and fast (avoid that traffic!). Otherwise you can jump in a taxi (make sure you ask for the meter to be turned on, otherwise risk paying an inflated price) or there are plenty of tuk-tuks to take you on a fun ride. Be sure to agree on the price before heading off and ask for a direct route or you may find you make some unscheduled stops where the driver will collect commission – this goes for both tuk-tuks and taxis. Another novel way to see the city is to jump on an extremely cheap public bus, or head down to the Chao Praya River and get on a tourist boat or river taxi.
Travel outside of Bangkok
Travel outside Bangkok by flying into one of the domestic terminals, or take a train or bus if you’re on a budget. You can jump on a boat to get across to the islands, and once you are there, hire a motorbike, jeep or pushbike, or catch a songtaew. If you’re going to hire a motorbike make sure a helmet is included and cover up if you can - motorcycle accidents and injuries are so common that in Koh Phangan for example, the characteristic road burn is known as a 'Koh Phangan tattoo.'
Organized tours are a great way to see the sites and soak up the local culture – especially if you’re traveling alone or are a first-time traveler. Check out some of the options for tours and treks in Thailand.
*The Small Print
We’ve tried to make this destination guide as accurate as possible but please double check the essentials like visas, health and safety, airport information etc with the relevant authorities before you travel. STA Travel takes no responsibility for loss, injury or inconvenience caused as a result of this guide. All prices listed are in the currency of the destination, unless otherwise stated.