OK, so you have reached Bangkok. Now Bangkok has two airports: Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang. I will explain one by one what to do, as your experience would be different at both the airports.
Here’s how you pronounce it “Su wan na poom” than “Suvanapoom”
It’s a bigger and better airport than Don Muang airport, which has a big duty-free shopping area. After landing you have to walk a long distance to reach immigration. And when I say you have to walk a long distance, I mean a long distance. I had to confirm thrice if I was going in the right direction; even after asking I was not sure if I was going in the right direction. Signage is there but it can get tricky once you reach the immigration counter.
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The visa as you know is on arrival and if you have followed my last blog you would be ready for the paperwork. So get straight in the line. If not look for the form and fill it. Attach your return air ticket and hotel confirmation copies with your passport size photo. You need only one photo. Give your documents in the counter with 1000Baht visa fee. They will also take your passport.
If the papers are complete they will issue you a token. Move ahead and wait; you need to get your passport back, right? They will check your credentials and return your passport. It’s time to move to the immigration counter; they will identify you and stamp your passport for visa.
Now depending on how many flights have come together, the waiting time will vary. It took me 45min to get the token, and then it took another 1 hour to get my passport, and then another 15 min to get my passport stamped.
There was an express visa facility which used to cost 1200Baht, but that was not available or has been discontinued. (Effective February 2018, Express Visa Service has started again at 2200THB)
If you have check-in luggage, it’s time to get it after you cross immigration counter. I hope you listened to the air hostess as to which conveyor your luggage would come. And if you were sleeping like me there are help counters. Just tell them your flight no. They will tell you on which number to go.
If you have plans to go Bangkok you can utilize the Metro, Taxi or Bus services. All are available at the airport. I would recommend using the metro as I know you will be going to Sukhumvit road. You have to switch twice to reach, but even with heavy luggage, it’s easy to go. The back of the metro ticket will also have the map of the stations, which the train will be covering. When you get down at any station use your common sense and read the signs. The signs are there to read- utilize them. As soon as you get downstairs, which you have to do in most scenarios, there is always a map in front of you, which is very easy to read. It will also tell you which exit to take.
The best website to book any local transport that I have come across is 12Go.asia.com. You can book domestic flights, taxi, buses, and even ferry and they have very competitive pricing compared to other websites.
If you are heading to Pattaya directly, you can use a taxi or my favorite: the bus service. If you are going by taxi, make sure the price is inclusive of tolls. You can also get a pre-paid taxi, but usually, it is expensive. You will get a direct bus service to Pattaya from Suvarnabhumi airport. The bus is the cheapest form of transportation to reach Pattaya from Bangkok. The buses are air-conditioned and are very comfortable. You can get the bus from level 1 gate 8 at the arrival hall.
There are two service providers 389 and Bell Travel.
Bell travel first bus goes at eight in the morning. Bell Travel tickets can only be booked from there website. There is no counter sale of tickets.
Bell Buses Timings and Fares
You can take a shared Tuk-Tuk or ride a bike if you have less luggage to reach your hotel. Shared Tuk-Tuk can cost you between 40-60 THB. The cost will vary more depending on the location of your hotel in Pattaya.
389 Buses Timings and Fares
* 21:00 and 22:00 bus will go to North Pattaya bus station only
A metered taxi from the airport to Pattaya has an official price of 1,050 baht, plus 60 baht for expressway charges.