Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Arriving Bangkok Airport (BKK)

Here's how to easily arrive in Bangkok and get to your hotel:

Be sure to complete the arrival card, including your flight information and signature before you land. You also need to put down your contact address. Late-night flights from Narita arrive in the far section of the airport. So you can avoid having to wait for the buses, try to get on the first set of buses by walking down the right aisle of the plane and through first class.

It might be hot n humid as you walk down the metal stairs to the buses. Try to sit in front or at least stand by the door on the opposite side of the bus. The bus weaves through the tarmac and then deposits you at the terminal. Go ahead and enter the sliding glass doors and either take the elevator or the escalators on your right. Follow the crowds till you get to the end of the hall. There - look at the small arrival board to see which carousel is for your luggage.

Then go right and find a "Foreigner Passport" line with a fast worker. (They'll want to see your arrival ticket stub and to take your picture - just stand on the yellow footprints.) Go down the escalator to the right to grab a free luggage cart. The bathrooms are at the far end to your right. You will have enough time to use them before your bags arrive.

Exit the green line with your bags. (You'll have to x-ray your bags before leaving.) Then you'll walk into a secure holding area in the arrival hall. Go to the information desk in front of you or the Thai Tourism Board stall for maps and to ask any questions. You can also use ATMs or change money or travelers checks here.

Go outside with your luggage cart to the street to wait in line to get a pubic taxi. After 5-10 minutes, you'll get a taxi for a 25-minute drive to most hotels. The new system means you tell the workers where you want to go, then you give the stub to the driver. They have a lot of new and large taxis. This service has a 50B surcharge plus tolls n tip. Taxis run 24-hours so don't worry about getting to your hotel. Even if you don't have a hotel room - you could a.) book an available room at a hotel at the kiosk in the arrival hall or b.) just get a taxi to 24-hour Khao San Road and hang out with the backpackers watching free movies at the bars.

If you arrive early enough, you can take the A/C airport bus. One-way is 100 Baht and runs every 15 minutes from 5:00AM-11:00PM. Go outside and to your left to the airport bus stop - the buses are blue/white and have signage. There are four routes which deliver you to major hotels.

Oh yeah, put on bug repellent before you exit the plane (if you're prone to get bit) because there are always lots of mosquitos inside the airport!

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