Suvarnabhumi Airport Mini Guide
The Airport of Smiles
Suvarnabhumi or “the Golden Land” in Sangskrit, the Thai language, is the new main international airport for Bangkok and has been since it's inauguration in 2006. It is the main hub of Thai Airways and is also used by numerous international airlines. It is located about 25km east of the city and is easily accessible by bus, taxi and a rail link which opened in 2010. It is an up to date airport with every convenience for the traveller – it can handle up to 45 million passengers a year!
A Stopover or Staying in the City
Bangkok is a major stopover centre for flights from the UK
and Europe to Australia
and New Zealand
, particularly if your flight is with Thai Airways. If your time in Thailand is long enough then you must make every effort to see as much as possible whilst in Bangkok, however, if it's only a few hours then the Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel is only 300m from the terminal and offers a comfortable bed for a few hours sleep. All rooms have high speed internet access, so you can keep in touch and if you're travelling on business and need to do things in a hurry this is the place to stay.
Just Arriving and Departing?
You will find that Suvarnabhumi is a small town in itself there is so much going on there, in the baggage reclaim and arrivals area on level 2, you will find no fewer than 8 banks and ATMs, the Thai and Bangkok tourist offices are represented, together with several travel agents. If you are hungry there is a cafeteria and when you've visited the ATM for some local currency, several shops including Boots the Chemist!
On level 3 there are several dining options and also a relaxation centre offering Thai massage and a spa for your comfort. Level 4 gives you yet more banking facilities and ATMs and more shops, this time including a supermarket, although you probably won't be able to carry the weekly shop! The inevitable duty free shops are available on all three levels, so it's just as well there are so many ATMs!!
If You Do Have Time to Spend in Bangkok
Bangkok is a wonderful city and most of the major sights and attractions are situated fairly close together so it's an easy city to see a lot of in a short period of time. The Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha are two of the most impressive sights as is Wat Arun which is quite close by, just across the Chao Phraya River.
One of the main attractions in Bangkok is of course, the shopping and there you really can “shop till you drop”. There are numerous shopping centres and malls, two of which are the Gaysorn Plaza, this is a very upmarket mall with designer shops and not for the budget customer, but just along the road is MBK which is seven storeys of every kind of shop imaginable and there you can barter to get the price down in many shops.
There is also the fantastic Patpong night bazaar for copy designer goods and the world famous Chatuchak market held on Saturdays and Sundays, definitely a “different” shopping experience – the smells more than the sights!!
Only 16 miles from the city centre, you can hire a car at the airport to get you to your hotel and also to enable you to explore this sprawling city.
The Royal Palace is definitely worth a visit. It has its own Buddhist temple and you can visit most parts of the palace as long as the royal family aren’t in residence. Another fascinating trip is to see the Golden Buddha of the city. Immense in size, the climb to the top of the site is well worth the effort.