Bangkok airport taxi
To get one from the terminal, after clearing customs and walked into Arrivals you simply go down one floor and wait at the taxi counter and they'll handle it for you. You can't fail to notice the taxi queues which at present are pretty horrendous, often snaking back from the taxi counter outside the terminal to a long way back inside the terminal area. Airport officials blame the queues on teething problems associated with the airport being newly opened, so hopefully they'll abate in time.
Shuttle buses to the PTC also leave from the first floor near the taxi stand, so if the queue is too long at the terminal and you haven't got too much luggage then it's worth the 10 minute journey to the PTC where there's an abundance of taxis waiting.
At either place when you do reach the taxi counter with it's English speaking officials, you tell them where you want to go and they'll organise a taxi for you. They will also give you a piece of paper, which has the taxi drivers registration details on it and is your complaint form in (the fortunately fairly rare) case of any problems. Do not give it to the driver, though they may occasionally ask for it. Taxis should always use the meter, though some will try and quote a fixed price. Thankfully this is an increasingly rare practice and if you do encounter one who refuses to use the meter just get out and find a different one.
The journey downtown will take from between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the traffic and where you're going. The closest popular tourist area to the airport is the Sukhumvit road district, which on a good day will take around 30-45 minutes to get too. Silom, Sathorn, and Siam Square will take about 45 minutes to an hour to reach while if you're heading over to Khao San road it could well take over an hour. Heavy traffic can make this journey a lot longer though, and so you have the option of using the expressway downtown for an additional charge of 25B to pay. This is paid for by the passenger, though the driver may pay at the time and you'll be expected to pay at the end. The expressway is substantially faster at any time during the day, though if you're arriving late at night it's not usually necessary to go on the expressway as the traffic is light on the main roads. To tell the taxi driver to use the expressway, you can say either "kuen ton-way" (from 'tollway') or "kuen taang duan" in Thai, although he may well use it without being told anyway.
The passenger also has to pay a 50B airport surcharge on top of the metered fee. Just like at the previous Don Muang airport, it's possible (though officially prohibited) to get a taxi from the departures area which has just dropped off passengers instead and save the 50B surcharge and the queues. This avoids the official safeguards too though, and so if you're not experienced with Bangkok yet it's best to stick to the official channels. Unlike at Don Muang though, this airport is somewhat in the middle of nowhere so it's no longer possible to walk to the main road and hail a taxi from there.
With all the fees included, the total cost will be around 250B for Sukhumvit up to 350B - 400B to Khao San.
Try and get some change at the airport of 1000B notes to 20B, 50B and 100B ones, don't be surprised if the taxi driver hasn't got (or claims not to have) any change. If you do get caught in this kind of situation, you can always get out and get smaller notes by buying something from the nearest 7-11 store. This tactic often leads to the driver suddenly remembering where his change is kept.
A properly licensed taxi in Bangkok is recognisable by the yellow-and-black number plates and the 'Taxi-meter' sign on top of the vehicle. Unlicensed taxis are hardly seen, if at all, in Bangkok nowadays but should you be approached by one you should always refuse for safety reasons.
If you want to hire a taxi to Pattaya, it'll take 1.5 to 2 hours and the advertised fare is 1050B. Whether taxis will be willing to go for that fare is another matter though, and the actual cost may be more along the lines of 1200B - 1500B depending on your bargaining skills. Taxis are always hired on a flat fare basis if you to hire them to go out of Bangkok.
- Bangkok Tourist Attractions
- Wat Phra Kaew, the Emerald Buddha temple
- The Grand Palace in Bangkok
- Wat Pho, the Reclining Buddha Temple
- Wat Arun
- Bangkok's National Museum
- Other Tourist Attractions in Bangkok
- Shopping in Bangkok
- Bangkok Shopping Areas
- Bangkok Shopping Areas - Part 2
- Bargaining for shopping
- Risks of shopping in Bangkok
- Pantip Plaza in Bangkok
- Bangkok Buses
- Banglamphu bus routes
- Chatuchak bus routes
- Chinatown bus routes
- Dusit bus routes
- Phaya Thai bus routes
- Phetburi bus routes
- Pin Klao bus routes
- Pratunam bus routes
- Ramkhamhaeng bus routes
- Ratchada bus routes
- Rattanakosin bus routes
- Siam Square bus routes
- Silom bus routes
- Sukumvit bus routes