Bangkok airport taxi

The original plan for Suvarnabhumi was that you wouldn't be able to get a taxi from the terminal building itself, but would instead have to go to the Public Transportation Center (PTC) to get one. Public complaints forced a rethink, and so today there's a couple of options: to get one direct from the terminal or first take a (free) shuttle bus to the PTC and then catch one from there.

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.

If you've got any comments on this page, or can add to or correct it, then we'd love to hear from you.
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Comments may be edited for content or clarity.

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I took a taxi from the airport to Sukhumvit road (Nai Lert Park Hotel) yesterday and the total fare on the meter read 495 baht plust 75B for the express toll.
' Peter
Please provide details how I go from Swanabhumi air port to Dong Muang quickly. Your help regarding this is highly appreciated.
' wijitha senadeera
The taxi now requests 75B for tolls from airport and ask minimum 400 B fare into Sukhumvit area. Could we have an update on proposed MRT from airport to city?
' Peter Stanley
Could you please tell me How much is cost from New airport to Don Mueang airport and take a Taxi for how long to be there ? Any traffic problem . by the time beteween 12:30PM-1:00PM Thanks !
How much is it taking a taxi from BKK airport to Hua Hin? Do i need to book the taxi in advance?
' pierra so
Excellent info, thank you very much. I have search the web for hours to find info regarding transport to Bangkok city from the new airport but most were very brief. I have been to Bangkok at least 10 times but were using Don Muang airport all the while. This is my first flight to the new airport. thank you for the tips, excellent site.
' Kevin
Is there a shuttle bus that goes from Suvarnabhumi to Don Muang? What time does it operate? Do you know anything about We_Train Hostel?
' toni lewis
Well structured and very informative and best of all really very very useful for first-time travellers to Bangkok. Well done, Keep up the good work !
' Rajiv Rao
How much approximately will it cost to travel by taxi from Bangkok Airport to Siam Square?
' Ivy
Want price for a car from new airport in Bangkok to Hua Hin ? Normal car, not limusine. Thanks !
' Harald M
On Nov 1st, I took with 2 friends a taxi at the airport 1st floor knowing that a 50 baths is surcharged as well as tollways. As soon as in the car, we left and the driver gave to my friend a ticket. Noticing that the driver hasn't switch on the meter, I started to complain, but the driver said that this is fixed price as shown in the ticket, i.e. 864 baths. Already on the highway, we couldn't do anything than to accept this scandalous fare. Upon arrival at the hotel, the driver claimed for 914 baths, i.e. fare + surcharge. If anyone read this, please check carefully and before departure that the driver switch on his meters.
' bernard
Thank you for this honest and comprehensive guide to taxi transfers. I have been trying to decide between organising the more expensive private transfer or taking a taxi for some time. Now I feel confident to take a taxi from the airport with no fear of being "ripped off". Thanks again.
Good to have this site, as we come to Thailand twice a year and are yet to experience the new airport. Can you tell me which airport we will use when: Flyyng with Asia Jet from KL and Flying with Asia Jet to Phuket as we will be doing both.
' Ann S Rode
I've just returned from BKK. Twice the taxi drivers did not know the correct route to the new airport. Ensure your driver knows how to get to the airport before you get in, otherwise you could end up 30+ kms PAST the airport, as I did.
' michael
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