With cheap flights to Bangkok readily available, the city has become a preferred destination to both first-time travellers and repeat visitors. Serving all is the new Suvarnabhumi Airport (IATA: BKK) which replaced the aged Don Muang Airport in September 2006.
Named by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Suvarnabhumi (pronounced ‘su-wan-na-poom’) is the fourth largest airport terminal in the world and features 563,000 square meters of terminal space packed with amenities and traveller facilities. The terminal is sectioned into four main levels:
- Level one – bus and taxi lobby
- Level two – arrivals
- Level three – “Meeting Centre” packed with amenities and traveller facilities
- Level four – departures
Just 300 meters from the airport sits the four-star Novotel Suvarnabhumi Hotel, which is accessible via an underground walkway. The hotel has 600 rooms, as well as function rooms, restaurants, and spa and fitness centre.
There are approximately 50 different dining venues available within the airport terminal, with most offering comfortable seating areas. There is also a selection of proper restaurants to choose from. Dining facilities are arranged to best suit clientele and based to destination. For example, Asian eateries are housed in the eastern concourses near Japan Airlines and Thai Airways while European-style cuisine is offered in the western concourse near the gates which facilitate Europe and the USA. All dining venues are open 24 hours. This includes:
- Kinramen, which offers Japanese noodle dishes, rice with toppings, and a selection of sushi.
- Asian Corner, which is a buffet featuring a selection of fare ranging from Chinese dim sum to Korean BBQ.
- Mango Tree is an upscale Thai restaurant.
- Fast food outlets include Burger King, Dairy Queen, and Pizza Company as well as the Chinese Chow and Haru and Pitcher and Plane, which offers sandwiches.
- Four wine bars are located along Concourse D offering fine wine and seafood. Breakfast is served before 11 AM.
- Snack and deli corners, coffee shops, juice bars, and ice cream parlours are located throughout the terminal, including Starbucks and Britain’s own Whittard of Chelsea.
Suvarnabhumi Airport also offers a wealth of duty-free shopping, with shops providing everything from liquor and tobacco to cosmetics and toys.
- There are several brands of perfumeries and cosmetics on offer, including Shiseido, Dr. Brant, Anna Sui, Provocateur, and PureLogicol. Products are presented in a long walk-through ‘street’ arrangement convenient for browsing.
- Fashion and boutique offerings include Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Coach, Swarovski, Mont Blanc, Benetton, Mandarina Duck Lonchamp, and LeSportSac.
- Also on offer are a wide range of wines and spirits from around the world.
- In the Royal Project and OTOP area of Level 4, the traveller will find products from Thailand. Those bearing the Royal Project symbol do so as a mark of their excellence and quality. OTOP, which stands for “One Tambon, One Product” are products which are part of a scheme to encourage Thai villages to produce their own, unique products.
Getting to Downtown
For those leaving the airport, there are plenty of options for getting to downtown Bangkok, with transportation by taxi, airport bus, passenger bus, limousine, boat, train and even by helicopter available. Transportation costs are relatively cheap.