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jbwalter

Travelled to 7 countries / regions

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Backpacked in Thailand and Vietnam in 2018

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Asia > Thailand > Bangkok > Useful Info
Updated on Nov 12, 2018 Useful Info

Getting to and from Bangkok city centre from the Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)

Getting in from and to DMK you've got 2 options: the cheap option that's not easy, or the easy option that's not crazy expensive by western standards

1. The cheap option: bus + metro

  • Overview: air-conditioned bus A1 runs between DMK the Mochit BTS SkyTrain station, from where you can then transfer to the BTS SkyTrain to anywhere in Bangkok that BTS serves
  • Total cost: 70-90 baht ($3-$4)
  • Total time: 1-2 hours
  • Transfers required: 1-2 transfers
  • Details:
  • Bus A1 stops at terminal 1 (ground floor exit 6), and terminal 2 (ground floor exit 12, 14)
  • A1 run between 8:30am and 11:30pm, 1-2 buses per hour. Trip takes about 30-40 min to Mo Chit BTS station (3rd stop after it leaves DMK) exit 4
  • Cost breakdown: 30 baht ($1.2) for the A1 buses, payable onboard by cash only. 40-60 baht ($1.6-$2.4) for the BTS train to city centre, payable by cash or credit at the BTS station. If you're in Bangkok for a few days it's worth getting the metro card at the station


2. The easy option: taxi

  • Overview: you can take either the regular metered taxi or Grab taxi from DMK. Personally I recommend Grab there's less chance for scam, you can pay by credit card, and easier to communicate the exactly where you're going by dropping the pin in the app
  • Total cost of taxi to or from Don Mueang: 350 - 500 baht ($14 - $20)
  • Total time: can be as short as 40 minutes when no traffic very late/early. But likely 1-2 hours in the day
  • How to take regular taxi at DMK: when you exit the baggage area, head to exit #8 where you'll see a big "Taxi" sign. Avoid anyone coming up to you to offer taxi services. At #8 before the door there'll be desks that'll take your destination and assign you a taxi. Have around 500 baht cash on hand, almost all taxis refuse to take credit cards
  • How to take Grab at DMK: download the set up the app. The app's gonna send you a text to verify your phone number, so you can either set it up before you leave for Bangkok, or get a local SIM card after you arrive at DMK. Grab works just like Uber and it's 100% legal in Thailand. Just order a car and wait for it at one of the exits. The driver will likely message you through the app to ask which exit you're at, but the app automatically translates it to English for you and your replies to Thai
  • Other things to keep in mind:
  • Your driver might check if you want to take the express way, most will do so by default. Express ways have two separate tolls of 50 baht and 70 baht that you'll have to pay on top of the metered fare. Most drivers will ask you to pay for it at the toll rather than a lump sum at the end, so make sure you have change cash on hand
  • In addition to the toll, there's also a 50 baht airport surcharge
  • So keep this in mind. The total you pay will be more than what's shown on the meter, and it's not a scam
  • With Grab, many drivers will just include all the additional charges in the total amount Grab charges you and you don't have to worry about cash (mine did this), but I've also read drivers asking passengers for cash