Bangkok flights will take you to a city which can sometimes be an enigma. It encompasses vastly different elements ranging from some very risque shows in Patpong, to beautiful Buddhist temples and ancient royal palaces. And what's even more surprising is that none of these aspects seem at odds with each other, merging seamlessly to create the very atmosphere and elan that draws millions of visitors every year.
Those hoping to explore Thailand's rich cultural heritage will find it in Bangkok's many temples, including the Wat Po temple which houses the famous Reclining Buddha. Plated in gold and measuring over 150 feet in length, this is one of Bangkok's biggest tourist draws. The city's legendary nightlife also lives up to expectations and there's something for every budget from cheap neighbourhood pubs to the swanky Sky Bar.
With floating markets, all-night shopping streets, street food that could rival most restaurant fare, accommodation choices from luxurious hotels to budget hostels, and the perfect mix of old Asian culture and modern progress, Bangkok is more than just a gateway to Thailand's beaches, and definitely worth booking a flight to in its own right.
The vast number of airlines with flights to Bangkok makes it easy to find cheap tickets at most times during the year. Visitors from Canada can choose to book flights with Air Canada, American, Virgin, United, and Air Transat, among others.
All international and most domestic flights to Bangkok land at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). On the other hand, Don Muang Airport (DMK) is used only for domestic flights and is served by airlines such as Nok Air.
The airports are not close to the city or to each other, so if you have connecting flights or need to get to the city immediately after your Bangkok flights land, remember to leave enough buffer time to account for the distance as well as any traffic jams you might encounter.
Bangkok falls within the 'tropical weather' zone, characterized by heavy monsoon rains, hot summers, and cooler winters. The temperatures may not vary much through the year and it rarely goes above 33-35°C in the summer, but you should be prepared for high humidity levels. Monsoon showers begin around May or June and can sometimes last well into November.
Bangkok weather is infamous for being unreliable and erratic, so no matter when you travel, rain is always a possibility and you may find the city humid, even in the supposed 'cool' season.
The peak tourist season falls between November and March but festival times such as the Thai New Year in April can also be busy. Bangkok flights will be cheaper in the shoulder season from September to October, but be sure to check the weather forecast before you decide on any wardrobe choices.
Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) has two terminals, one each for domestic and international flights. There are several bus services that connect the airport terminals to each other, as well as the parking lots, Public Transport Center, and the Novotel Hotel nearby. These bus services are free and you can use Lines A, B, C, or D, depending on where you need to go. The airport website has more detailed information on all the transport options listed below.
Bus: Bangkok Mass Transit Authority runs buses from the airport's Public Transport Center to the city centre and fares average less than $1 CAD. If you plan to go straight from the airport to places like Pattaya or Chanburi, you can use the BorKhorSor inter-city buses which depart from the transport center and passenger terminal. Ticket prices will vary depending on your destination.
Train: The Airport Rail Link trains depart from the basement level of the passenger terminal. Choose from SA City Line, SA Express Line, and New SA Express Line, depending on where you're going and how quickly you want to get there. Trips to the city centre on the SA City Line take about 30 minutes and tickets cost the equivalent of about 50-80 cents CAD. Express services will cost you about $3 CAD for a one-way trip with travel times of 15-18 minutes. Students and senior citizens are eligible for discounts on some routes.
Airport Shuttle: Shuttle buses run between the airport and Bangkok areas such as Victory Monument and Rangsit. You can find the shuttle vans at the Public Transport Center or the first floor of the passenger terminal outside Gates 3 and 8. Fares vary between 80 cents to $2.50 CAD depending on where you're going, making this one of the cheapest ways to travel from the airport.
Hotel Shuttle: Hotels in Bangkok typically do not offer courtesy shuttle services from the airport but they can arrange to have a car collect you when your flight arrives in Bangkok, for a fee of course. It will take about 35-40 minutes to get from the airport to hotels in the city centre.
Taxi: Taxi stands are located on the first floor of the passenger terminal outside Gates 4 and 7 and a dispatcher will direct you to the appropriate cab. Beware of anyone offering you a 'great deal'. If they're not in the queue for the metered taxis, then it's not a great deal.
There is a $1.60 CAD mandatory airport surcharge, and toll charges will be extra. In all, a taxi trip to the city should not cost you more than $10-$15 CAD. Keep the destination slip handed to you by the driver even after you reach your destination. If you've left any luggage behind, it will help to find the right cab and driver.
Chauffeured Car Services: You can hire airport vehicles ranging from sedans to limousines at a desk in the baggage claim area. The minimum fare into town is about $27 CAD for a sedan and can go up to a whopping $200 CAD for the best of the best. A few private companies also offer these services but require advance booking as there are no reservation desks at the airport.
Car Rental: Not very many tourists choose to take on the challenge of driving through Bangkok's traffic, but if you're feeling adventurous, you can find car rental kiosks for Hertz, Budget, Avis, and the Thai Car Rental Association in the arrival halls of both terminals as well as the baggage claim area. Alternatively, head straight to the Public Transport Center where you can book and pick-up your vehicle of choice.