Yin dee ton rub su Krung Thep!
Welcome to Bangkok! If you are flying by plane you will land at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport which officially opened in 2006 for international flights. With many airline tickets fares decreasing over the decades, Bangkok has seen a rapid growth in tourism.
Before you can set foot onto the Kingdom of Thailand you will need to fill out an Arrival/Departure Card (TM6), which is distributed by the airlines’ crew shortly before landing.
Next one the list is the immigration process. Even though there are 130 passport control checkpoints, you will need to have a lot of patience as there is usually a long and endless queue that can keep you waiting for up to one hour.
It can be quite a hassle, especially after a long flight, but the wait is well worth it as you are about to enter a land full of marvel and beauty.
First things first: the arrival and departure card (TM6)
This is the Arrival/Departure Card (TM6) you will receive shortly before landing or which already is included with your ticket. Make sure to fill in both sides (arrival and departure) before heading to the Immigration Desk as they rarely let you fill it out on the spot.
The last thing you want to happen is to get sent back to the beginning of the endless queue after waiting a long time. It is important to keep this card during your whole stay as the TM number is required at many hotels.
In case of losing this card, it is advised to arrive at the airport several hours before departure. Be prepared to deal with a lot of paperwork.
Exploring Thailand and its neighbouring countries
From the airport it is possible to continue your journey to different places via the Airport Bus Terminal. Many buses depart daily on an hour basis to the most popular tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Hua Hin, Kanchanaburi, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani (for Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui).
The tickets can be purchased directly at the terminal service counter and are relatively cheap.
Another option to travel to various destinations is by train from the Hua Lampong train station. Most journey times are around 10-12 hours.
Many buses depart from the Mo Chit Bus Terminal (BTS skytrain terminal station or MRT metro Chatuchak station), or the Eastern Bus Terminal (BTS skytrain Ekkamai station) to nearly every place in Thailand.
If you wish to travel abroad, contact a travel agent in Bangkok. Many mini and regular buses leave to Penang, Butterworth and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Vientiane in Laos, or Phnom Penh in Cambodia several times a day.
Unfortunately, there is no train that crosses any of the Thai boarders.
Flight times to Thailand
Europe: 12 hours direct (16 hours with transit)
Australia: 9 hours direct (12 hours with transit)
West coast USA: 16 hours direct (21 hours with transit)
East Coast USA: 22 hours direct (12 hours with transit)
Japan: 5 hours direct (7 hours with transit)