The train link between Suvarnabhumi international airport and the centre of Bangkok will officially be open for business on Monday (August 23, 2010). Although the much-delayed airport train link has been running a test service in recent weeks, the official opening day is Monday. However, for many overseas tourists the new train service connecting Suvarnabhumi airport may not prove to be the most convenient way to get to or from central Bangkok.
Bangkok Airport Express Train (Non-Stop)
The elevated track runs for 28kms (17 miles) and the express train service will take just 15 minutes to travel non-stop between the train terminal at Suvarnabhumi (located on the basement level at the airport) and the City Air Terminal (C.A.T) at Makkasan. The station at Makkasan is located in the vicinity of the Baiyoke Sky Tower which is itself located to the north of the central commercial districts of Siam and Silom.
Trains are scheduled to run every 40 minutes (daily 06.00 to midnight) between Suvarnabhumi airport and Makkasan. There is no direct access from Makkasan to the Skytrain or Metro network which means that if you are staying in popular tourist areas of Bangkok such as Sukhumvit, Silom or Banglamphu there will still be the need to catch a taxi (or bus) from Makkasan to your hotel or guest-house.
The promotional express train fare during the launch period will be 100 Baht but this is expected to rise to 150 Baht once the service is established. There will be a baggage check-in service at Makkasan C.A.T. but this isn’t scheduled to be fully operational until the end of 2010.
Bangkok Airport City Line Train (Stopping Service)
In addition to the express link, there will also be another train running between Phaya Thai station and Bangkok airport. Unlike the express service, the City Line trains are primarily aimed at local commuters and will stop at the following stations:
Ban Thap Chang
Journey time between Phaya Thai and Suvarnabhumi will be approximately 30 minutes with initial promotional fares on this route at 15 to 45 Baht. Phaya Thai is convenient for the Skytrain, but tourists who want to use the City Line airport train should note that it is/will be a local commuter service and depending on the time you travel, space for bags may be limited.
Should I Take the Train, Bus or Taxi to or from Bangkok Airport?
The answer to this question will depend on a number of factors.
If you are solo traveller the airport link could provide a useful and cost-effective option especially if you are familiar with Bangkok and comfortable getting around by yourself. However, depending on where you are staying in Bangkok, taking the airport train link (plus a bus/taxi/Skytrain) to get to your accommodation could prove to be a false economy and the airport bus (currently 150 Baht) into central Bangkok may be a better and more convenient option. Getting a taxi from Bangkok airport doesn’t cost much more at approximately 300 to 400 Baht into central Bangkok (including express toll-way fees).
Couples, Small Groups and Families:
If you aren’t a solo traveller or if you aren’t staying at a hotel very close to Makkasan C.A.T station or Phaya Thai, I would advise taking a taxi-meter directly to or from Bangkok airport. In terms of cost and convenience (especially with luggage) a taxi directly to or from your accommodation in Bangkok will usually be the best option.
Bangkok airport rail link website »
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