Suvarnabhumi Airport, pronounced “su-wa-na-poom”, opened in September 2007 and replaced the overloaded and ageing Don Muaeng International Airport.
The name was given by H.M. the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, meaning “The Golden Land”, referring to the continental Indochina as ““Golden Peninsula” or “Golden Land” which is a traditional name for the Thailand-Cambodia-Laos-Burma region.
It is located in Racha Thewa in the Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan province, 30 kilometers east of Bangkok.
The advantage of the new airport is the availability of space. At a size of 563,000 sq.m., Suvarnabhumi’s terminal building is the largest in the world and can cope with 45 million travelers a year. Also, the newly constructed 4-5 lane roads (currently known as Outer Ring Road) that lead to the airport reduced a part of endless traffic jams around the old Don Muaeng airport.
Bangkok’s new international airport
Other than the Don Muaeng airport, which has 3 terminals and 3 floors, the new Suvarnabhumi airport is a one terminal seven-story building with 7 concourse buildings.
At its opening, there weren’t enough clear signs which led to a lot of confusion. But the airport has been re-organized making it now very easy to move around and find one’s way, even for first time visitors.
Airport shops, food, and money
Suvarnabhumi airport offers a lot of fast-food chains, Thai and Chinese restaurants, bars and other food and beverage outlets. They can be found throughout the airport, but mainly on the 6th level.
There is also a Thai food court located on the Departures Area (level 4), offering a wide range of different kind of street food to a fair price.
Duty-free shopping options are plentiful, as are shops specialized in Thai products and handicrafts, and stands that sell clothing, jewelry and gift items.
For visitors who are on a tight budget, it is advised to buy alimentation and drinks at the “Family Mart” where prices are not subject to any kind of extra-charges.
ATMs, Banks, and exchange counters are conveniently located in the arrivals area and most of them operate on a daily basis for 24 hours. The exchange rates are, for some cases, better than those in other countries.
Leaving the airport and getting around
Once you enter the arrival area you can find various information desks that can help you out. Hotels, limousines or car rentals can be registered there.
If you don’t need all of this and just want to get a taxi, walk outside to find the waiting drivers ready to take you to the desired location. There is a 50 Baht (1.2 USD / 1 Euro) supplementary fee for hiring a Taxi at the airport.
Bangkok’s Airport Link
The SA City Line, which operates daily from 6am to midnight, will make eight stops across the capital before reaching its terminal stop at Phaya Thai. Every 15 minutes a train is available, and it only takes 17 minutes from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport to downtown Phaya Thai.