Believe it or not, one of my greatest concerns about arriving in Thailand was the fact that I would have to get a taxi from Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to my Airbnb apartment. This may sound ridiculous, but I still bear the mental scars of having to get a taxi from Denpasar (Ngurah Rai) Airport in Bali and felt unsure if I could face a meat market like that ever again.
Thankfully the experience couldn’t have been more different this time. Here are the steps I took that will hopefully make your life as easy as possible!
Once you have passed through immigration, continue on into the arrivals area. Here you can find shops, toilets, Phone SIM cards and ATMS a long with many other things. I used the first ATM I came to which had English as a language option. To get out smaller bills (100 BAHT notes) ask for 5900 BAHT instead of 6000, this will help you in regards to having a closer amount to your taxi fare. My debit card came out of the ATM after my cash (which is the opposite of the UK), so do remember to take your card when you have finished.
Head down to floor 1 by using the escalators or lifts and follow the signs to the public taxis. Here you will see a long queue, which is a bit disconcerting but moves quickly. You are able to take trollies down there so don’t struggle to carry your luggage unecessarily. As you get further towards the front of the queue you will see it branches into two separate lines.
Here I made a mistake of getting in the wrong line, after reading a sign for short trips near the airport incorrectly. One line is normal taxis and the other is taxi vans. You only need the taxi van line if you are disabled or are travelling in a group. This line moves alot slower and will cost you more.
When you reach the front of the queue you’ll find a little touch screen which you just have to press. When a taxi is available it will print out a white ticket which tells you the bay your taxi will arrive in, the drivers name and ID, car type and license plate number. Hold on to this because if you have any problems with your taxi this will be your “get out of jail card!” If you lose it or the driver takes it, you have no evidence as to who the driver was.
You then just need to find the bay with the number that is on your ticket. Your taxi will pull in, the driver will get out and ask you where you are going. If you can have a print out of the address in Thai that will be helpful, or even a screen shot on your phone. My driver did take my white ticket but he gave it back after checking I was his customer. Do say “Meter please” before you get in the taxi and check that the driver turns it on. It will start at 35 BAHT and go up from there. There is a 50 BAHT surcharge for all public taxis from level 1 at the airport. If you are using toll roads to get to your accommodation, the driver will pay the toll and add this along with the 50 BAHT surcharge to whatever is on the meter at the end of your trip.
I was terrified of being scammed but my driver was polite, courteous and had a good sense of humour. His English was basic but we managed to get by with my Thai address print out and a little bit of mime!
I hope that you have found this helpful and that if you are getting a taxi from Suvarnabumhi Airport that your experience is also a good one.
Creative unicorn ninja; Travel vlogger/blogger. Green tea enthusiast and lover of dance and art. Currently be found back in England planning the next adventure! Southeast Asia Odyssey coming very soon!
Where I can be found: UK