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#Bangkok

#Bangkok Airport



City - Country: Advice: Saving:
Bangkok Airport AirAsia Fly Thru is so cool! First your luggage goes all the way to the final destination, but the biggest perk is when you connect in Bangkok you don't have to go through the normal (overcrowded) immigration queue.
Instead they take you to a special immigration area, with virtually no queue, and then you pass straight into the departure area to wait for the next flight. Also, if you miss the connection, you become AirAsia's responsibility. If you book two separate AirAsia flights yourself and the first is late and you miss the second, AirAisa won't do much to help.

Bangkok Airport Bangkok's Don Mueang Airport has expanded to two terminals. That's great as it was desperately overcrowded after AirAsia switched to it. The only problem is that signposting between the terminals (where you are, and which is which) is non-existent.
Here is what you need to know:
* The old terminal is now only for International flights.
* The new terminal is for Domestic.
* If you arrive at the International terminal and want Domestic, turn left as you exit customs.
* If you arrive at Domestic and want International, walk to your right.

Bangkok

There are numerous cheap shopping centers around Bangkok, but MBK is an easy one to get to from Sukhumvit road, where most tourists stay. Here is how to get there on the Sky Train (BTS):
Go to any of the Sky Train stations on Sukhumvit (Nana, Asok etc) and buy a ticket to the ‘National Stadium’ train stop. MBK is right next to the National Stadium station, with a short walkway directly into the shopping center.
Sky Train ticket machines each have a number next to the station name (like 23, 31). This is the amount in baht you need to pay to get to that station. Most machines only accept coins but only the bigger ticket machines handle notes as well.
You will need to change trains once, at ‘Siam’ station, but don’t be put off by this. You will literally step off the first train and walk 10 meters straight ahead to the opposite platform for the train to ‘National Stadium’. The platform will be clearly signposted as going to National Stadium. It is only one stop away from ‘Siam’ and also the end of the line, so you can’t go wrong.
Once you arrive at National Stadium just follow the signs for MBK Center. You’ll walk through one proper store at the entrance to the shopping center, then it becomes more of a market style layout. Things like handbags, purses, belts, shoes, clothes and toys are cheap here.
By the way, the Siam train stop is where the flash shopping centers are, so if you feel like a look around the top end places like Siam Paragon that is where they are.
MBK Shopping Center
Bangkok

Park Plaza Bangkok Soi 18 is a good value (not cheap) hotel just off Sukhumvit road. Here is how to get an upgrade for no 'extra' cost.
Firstly book the cheapest room you can, through Agoda for example, for around 2,000 baht. Make sure you do NOT pay for breakfast to be included to keep price down. Every time I have stayed at the hotel they have offered room upgrades on a sign at reception when you check in. So for about 600 baht per night you can upgrade to a deluxe room.
The trick is that this upgrade also includes free breakfast. As breakfast costs 300-400 baht per person, you can actually save money by buying the upgrade and getting free breakfast instead of staying in the cheaper room and buying breakfast (as long as there are at lest two of you staying)!
Free upgrade at a good hotel
Bangkok

'North East Family' restaurant on Sukhumvit road in Bangkok is a great place to go to get away from all the tourist orientated restaurants and enjoy some authentic Thai food. Som Tam etc. Authentic Thai food in Sukhumvit
Bangkok - Don Mueang Airport

Simple yet annoying: There are no ATMs after security in the domestic part of Bangkok's Don Mueang airport.
Bangkok Airport

‘Maison’ restaurant is a decent, reasonably priced place to eat if you have time to kill before check-in at Suvarnabhumi airport, Bangkok. It’s alongside the other restaurants on floor below departures, near Boots.
Hua Hin - Thailand
Random notes for visiting Hua Hin. Much better alternative to Pattaya for those seeking a beach near Bangkok. More chilled out, clean and friendly, but a little further away. Expect to pay 2000-2500 baht for a taxi from Bangkok. It takes 2.5 hours if traffic is good but allow for 3.5-4 hours at peak times.
Nice clean white sand on Hua Hin beach. For Cha am beach to the north, check before booking as some areas do not have much sand.
Caution for those that like 5* hotels - there are some big rocks in the sea directly in front of the Hilton and Grand Centara. From Baan Laksasubha resort (next to Centara) southwards is most quiet area on Hau Hin beach as there is limited public access for those not staying in a beachfront hotel.
If you are on a budget and going for the bar life the City Beach hotel is located next to one of the main bar roads. The Chao Lay seafood restaurant is a favourite among the locals and those in the know. Busy every night.
You can take a tour and visit temples, floating markets just outside Hua Hin but in all honestly the beach is the best thing about Hua Hin.

Bangkok - Thailand
It’s got an unfortunate name for western ears, but Bangkok’s Bumrungrad Hospital is the best hospital in Thailand. Period. If you have a serious illness or injury it is THE place to go, unless you plan to leave the country. Their website is www.bumrungrad.com Best Hospital in Thailand
Bangkok - Thailand This is well known among regular Bangkok visitors, but I saw a distraught couple new to Thailand in my condo block who had been scammed the other day. Please do not trust anyone who talks to you about Gems or other Jewellery. The goods are fake. Just junk. Usually they tout for business at popular tourist areas. Sometimes they say there is a special jewellery sale on nearby, other times they claim to offer a normal taxi service but then drive you to a jewellery shop ‘on the way’ (Elvis). Gem Scam
Bangkok - Don Muang Airport Directions posted for the Children’s play area at Suvarnabhumi airport have been a life saver for us, several times! We’ve just taken our first journey through Don Muang (DMK) with Air Asia and for anyone travelling with young children there is a play area in domestic departures at Don Muang, between gates 32-33 (Kay).
 Bangkok - Thailand If you are looking for shopping bargains in Bangkok and especially if you have a business you need stock for the place to go is “Chatuchak weekend market” (see www.chatuchak.org).
This is where many businesses in Thailand bulk buy their stock to sell in Bangkok and other parts of the country, not to mention Malaysia and other neighbours.
If you are into import and export this is also the place to look for products you could send to your home country.
Beware the place is huge (200,000 visitors per day!) so plan ahead or you will feel overwhelmed. (Dao).
Best Shopping Market in Bangkok
 Bangkok - Thailand This is a time saver rather than a money saver. Many Taxis in Bangkok get paid to bring tourists to certain shops, usually things like Jewelry shops. The driver either gets paid a commission on any sale or gets a petrol voucher for bringing you.
This is why you will often hear a driver pressure you to visit a certain shop. It is also why when you tell a driver you want to go shopping and expect to end up at one of the big shopping malls he 'misunderstands' and takes you to one of these smaller outlets first. Then after you've had a look (and he's got his money for bringing you) he will suddenly understand where you want to go.
Some drivers will be upfront about it when you get in and some will actually refuse to take you if you are not prepared to stop off at one of these places along the way. Best tactic is just to say you have no time and be really clear 'no shopping' if they start bringing the subject up.
Time saving
 Bangkok - Thailand NEVER take a taxi unless it is labelled 'Taxi Meter'. A taxi meter, as the name says, will run on a meter and is cheap to go pretty much anywhere in Bangkok or surrounding areas. They are usually bright coloured (sometimes pink!) and have Taxi Meter written clearly on top. Other types of taxis are more like private cabs and will quote you a fee. (Stefan N) 50% of private taxi price
 Bangkok - Thailand This is a convenient hotel if you need to stay by the main airport (Suvarnabhumi). Name is "SP Powerlodge".  5mins from airport and transfers too and from are free . It's no frills and there is nothing to do nearby, but fine if you just want somewhere close, clean and safe to crash out. I book it through the tour operator with the big green sign located on the ground floor, on the right hand side of the building (if looking out of the airport). Affordable
Bangkok - Thailand Use the train to get around. It's cheap and reliable. Also traffic is terrible in the city center.
Bangkok Airport - Thailand For those that haven't been to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport before it can be a bit daunting when you walk out and have all these people shouting "taxi?, taxi?" But don't give in to these touts as they will rip you off. Instead wave the touts away and follow the signs for "Taxi". The airport has an official taxi rank where you pay a fixed rate at a desk and then they hand the ticket to the driver. It's safe, the driver knows where you are going and you won't get ripped off.
Cheapest airport taxi
 Bangkok Airport - Thailand Zone F in international departures at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport has a free children's play area.
Your sanity, if travelling with young kids!
 Bangkok - Thailand Backpackers and people with luggage, please find first a safe hotel or guesthouse to leave your belongings, especially after flying long distance (Bru - BKK or London - BKK...)
Even you think you are in a hurry and do not have time enough to see everything of Thailand, never go around full packed and totally tired of long haul flights, on the moment you arrive on very crowded touristical places with luggage you'll be an easy victim of Tuk tuk drivers who say they know a cheap hotel nearby and who will come over with stories to make you use them.
These days, 20 August 2012, Bangkok has a very good BTS system that reaches directly from Suvarnabhumi to the most city places tourist places (Like Sukhumvit - Phatpong - ...) they are always cheaper then taxi fares and the chance to meet people from western countries is also here bigger.
People like me who live in BKK, we know well all the tricks of Tuk TuK drivers and Taxi fares (If you use taxi, look first if the MRT is not possible, discuss first if meter will be used and try to guess the distance, follow well the roadmap, many tricks exist to change the road and to turn around just so that you pay higher prices).
At this moment only the Kaoh San Area, King Palace area is not reachable by MRT, probably in 1 year it will be, because there will be a line of BTS between Charoenkrung to King Palace. Most easy way from Sukhumvit to go Kaoh San seems to me by MRT till Saphan Thaksin (Nearby Chao Praya river) and there you can take a cheap boat to King Palace.
Other possibilities are taking MRT till victory Monument and then a bus, but show well the ticket vender where you want to go and make sure the bus goes there. But this you always do better without luggage and if you are relaxed. I got the experience of a girl who back packed to Kao San, She knows now what I mean. (Van Welde Bruno)
Safety / Getting Around
 Bangkok Airports - Thailand Attention Air Asia flyers: They are moving ALL their flights from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport to the old Don Mueang airport by Oct. 1st (2012)!
So if you fly into Bangkok from Europe, USA, Australia you will probably land at Suv. but now need to travel to Don Mueang to fly on to Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai and other places with Air Asia. Big hassle and unless Don Mueang has improved it's small, hot, old and very little to do. Nok Air was the only airline that stuck with Don Mueang after Suv. was built.
I'd estimate travel time between the airports at around 1 hour, but varies depending on traffic. Air Asia are offering the chance to change flights or a credit. It's not been made clear if the flight changes will start from Oct 1 or be finished by Oct 1 so check your ticket carefully from now on to be sure where you should be/are going. (Geoff).
Check Air Asia tickets
 Bangkok - Thailand Taking one of the many cheap buses from Bangkok to the north (Chiang Mai, Laos etc) or south (Phuket, Koh Samui) may seem tempting but its at least an 8-10 hour drive. The drivers are overworked and so often fall asleep or take 'enhancements' (legal or otherwise) to stay awake. Better to take a cheap flight and only 1000-2000 baht more. (Chris, England)
Safety
 Bangkok - Thailand Just a quick note for those that don't know but Bangkok has two main airports - Suvarnabhumi (new big one) and Don Muang (old main airport). They are about 30mins apart depending on traffic. Just about all international flights use Suvarnabumi but some regional flights use Dong Muang including 'Nok Air'. Air Asia only flies from Suvarnabhumi. (Miss M)
UPDATE: AirAsia has moved to Don Muang Airport - AffordAsia.
Be at the right airport!
 Bangkok Airport - Thailand This isn't a life changer, but I admit to having been pleased when I found out you can by a bottle of drinking water from Boots in Suvarnabumi airport for 8 baht.
Yes 8 baht for a 500ml bottle of Boot's branded drinking water. Not the usual 70-80 baht for Evian type water and its cheaper than even the Thai brands.
You can find Boots on the third floor (the floor under the check-in desks) about 50 metres to the right of Starbucks. Starbucks sells water bottles for 75 baht.
You can't take fluids past security anyway and I was always throwing away the overpriced bottles when they were still half full. Now even if I only have chance for a sip or two it doesn't really matter. (Henry, Cheshire).
Save 70 baht a bottle