Airport Layover Guides

Bangkok Layover Tour Guide- No-Extra-Cost Mini Layover in Thailand!

Could you turn your Bangkok layover in Thailand into an exciting mini-vacation? Is it worth leaving the airport? I’ve got all the answers you need in the Bangkok layover tour guide – no extra cost, just a lovely miniature holiday on your excruciating flight around the world. Why not take the opportunity to go sighseeing in Bangkok?

When I asked on forums, commenters told me there was no point leaving the airport with my layover window (8 hours), but here’s the clever way I discovered to make full use of your layover. I decided against organised tours, I was afraid they might get held in traffic and cause me to miss my next flight, and also put off by the lack of flexibility and high ticket price.

What will you get from this Bangkok layover tour guide?

#Tips and pre-requisites to make sure everything goes to plan
#How to stick to a tight budget and save the 50 dollar ticket on organised Bangkok layover tours for sightseeing
#A daredevils’ itinerary for those who want to see the most
#A play-it-safe itinerary for those who want to MAKE SURE there’s no chance of anything going wrong.
#Pics to inspire you, don’t even consider spending your layover in Bangkok airport and missing out! All you need is this Bangkok layover tour guide

Suvarnabhumi airport during the Bangkok layover tour guide livein10ocuntries

What’s on offer inside Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport?

Tasty food, but all the tourists go to Burger King airside, because it is almost always open. The concourse on floor 4 is packed with ice cream options too, and you’ll want to try a few flavours. For the most authentic option, head to Silom Village on the floor 4 concourse.

With 6 hours you might want to invest in a 3-hour or 5-hour pass at Louis Tavern CIP First Class lounge, on Level 3.

World class massages are on offer at FL3’s spa, or you’ll likely find a massage chair in the lounge that offers 10 minutes of relaxation for a small fee.

In terms of shopping, King Power has a lock on the shopping business inside the airport, and they sell everything you could ever need- plenty of opportunities to browse and kill time.

AOT provides free wi-fi throughout Bangkok airport.


The Daredevils’ Itinerary- See the biggest sites and watch the time like a hawk!

7am  Having cleared customs and snapped up a Thai SIM (instructions in the tips below), dive down to the basement and catch the City Line Airport Rail Link. Purchase the ticket from counter staff- they speak English. The tickets are 15-45 Baht and the route is here . It takes twice as long by taxi, lucky you’ve got this Bangkok layover tour guide.

7.30am  Exit at Ratchaprarop station

7.45am  Flag down a taxi to either Wat Pho (the Temple of the Reclining Buddha) or the Grand Palace, which are next to each other. Depending on traffic this could take up to an hour and should cost no more than 100 Baht. Enjoy these stunning sights. They open at 8.30am, ignore anyone who tries to lead you away saying they are closed- this is a scam.

9am  Step into the National Museum and explore Thailand’s rich history, entrance is 200 Baht- museum is open Wed-Sun.

9.30am  Sample a local Thai breakfast by taking a taxi back to the area of Phaya Thai station and stopping at this address for critically acclaimed Thai seafood. The journey should be quicker at this time of day:

Kuang Sea Foods
107/13 Soi Rangnam, Samsen Nai, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400
Phone: 0-2642-5591, opening 10am till late

10.30-10.45am  Ensure you board the Airport Rail Link from Phaya Thai station back to Suvarnabhumi Airport for customs.

Central City sightseeing in the Bangkok layover tour guide livein10countries


The Play-It-Safe Itinerary- Stay close to the airport and avoid all taxis/traffic

7am  Having cleared customs and snapped up a Thai SIM, dive down to the basement and catch the City Line Airport Rail Link. Purchase the ticket from counter staff- they speak English. The tickets are 15-45 Baht and the route is here . The train is really fast and efficient- it’s a no-brainer.

7.20am  Exit at Ratchaprarop and walk to Pratunam Market 869/15 Ratchaprarop Road for a host of local Thai wonders. Plot your route via the wonders of Google Maps.

8.20am  Enjoy an authentic breakfast at Petchaburi Soi 30 Makkasan, Kaiton Pratunam which is a short walk from the market- they specialise in authentic chicken and soup dishes that are delicious.

9.30am  Stroll to the Baiyoke Sky Hotel to have your mind blown by the tallest hotel in Thailand. Up on the 77th floor you can have a true Lion King moment, and for the entrance of 350 Baht you’ll also have access to a fruit buffet. Afterwards walk 3 minutes to Ratchaprarop station.

10.30-10.45am  (or earlier) Ensure you board the Airport Rail Link from Ratchaprarop back to Suvarnabhumi Airport for customs. The lack of taxis or long walks in this version makes it absolutely certain you should have no unexpected delays and should allow you to stick rigidly to your timescale.

Got an overnight layover? You won’t want to miss out on Bangkok’s quirky night markets, click here to read all about it in a fantastic post by Derek Freal

Bangkok Layover Tour Guide by Livein10countries- got a layover of 6 hours or more in Bangkok? Don't stay in the airport!

Pin this to access your itinerary easily during your trip!

Essential Tips and Lessons Learnt

  • Schedule a night flight to Bangkok which will allow you to arrive in the early Thai morning feeling rested. My flight from Melbourne got in at 6am and I needed to fly onwards after my Bangkok layover after about 7/8 hrs. This will work equally well if you taking a flight to Australia with stopovers.
  • First stop after customs is the 2nd floor of Arrivals in Suvarnabhumi Airport to get a PAYG SIM for internet. I picked AIS because they have a website in English, but they’re all much the same. Spend around 500 Baht for 1.5 GB of internet and just bin the SIM later.
  • If you take a taxi you’ll need to 1) insist he uses his meter while the driver desperately pretends that he doesn’t know what you’re talking about, 2) Google Maps the journey so you know he isn’t going the ‘scenic’ route 3) Google the real price of the journey and talk him down from his ludicrous quote.
  • But a follow up to my last tip, this Bangkok layover tour guide relies on you taking the fast and efficient express train because Bangkok traffic is completely batso and will cost an incredible amount of time. Take taxis only for short nips, access everything else by train.
  • When you take your first flight make sure you check in all the way through to your final destination, and ask them to load your bags automatically during your layover- saving heaps of time. If your hand luggage is heavy, stop at the Left Luggage at Bangkok Airport and leave it for 100 Baht at level 2 Arrivals. They don’t accept valuables such as laptops, iPads and cameras, though, frustratingly.

After finding on Skyscanner that an 8 hour layover in Bangkok cost NO MORE than a shorter layover, I couldn’t resist the chance to see a slice of Thailand!

A guide to a layover tour of Bangkok for those in transit. Detailed itinerary to the see the best of Thailand's capital over a layover of 6 hours of more.

Pin me for your layover!

Image via @Flickr Chrisgel Ryan Cruz


Let me know below, what did you do on your last long/ short layover between flights? Has this Bangkok layover tour guide been useful for you? Be sure to pin this itinerary so you know exactly what to do in Bangkok next time your flight touches down.

 

19 Comments

  1. Rob Taylor

    November 23, 2016 at 11:20 am

    I am always surprised to hear about scams in Asian countries when it comes to fares and the random ways people try to get money from tourists, as it’s nothing like that here in the USA. The taxi tips seem silly to me, but then I’ve never experienced a strange taxi ride in Thailand. 🙂

    1. Derek Freal

      November 25, 2016 at 2:49 am

      If you’ve never experienced a strange taxi/tuk2 ride in Thailand, that means you’ve never been to Thailand 😉 Everybody has one or two before they learn the ropes. Comes with the territory 🙂

  2. Christina

    November 24, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Eight hours is pretty tight, especially if you happen to get stuck in traffic. You did well do cram all that into a short time. For travellers who haven’t been to Bangkok before, I think it’s a good idea to get out of the airport.

    1. Danni Lawson

      December 7, 2016 at 11:26 pm

      You’re so right 🙂 That’s why I recommend avoiding taxis as far as possible- the chance of getting stuck is too real. On the train you don’t need to panic about that 🙂

  3. Carly Wayward Heyward

    November 25, 2016 at 3:26 am

    Excellent guide! Those quick layover trips are always kind of scary to me!! I’ve only done it if it’s a place I’ve already been, so I’m familiar with the area! Same with the commenter above, it’s so frustrating when the taxi drivers think they are being crafty. It must work on some people though, and that’s why they keep doing it! SMH

  4. Stacey

    November 25, 2016 at 4:32 am

    I love this! What a great way to kill some time! I always feel like layovers are a waste of a day but you really jam packed some great stuff in here

  5. Belinda

    November 25, 2016 at 6:35 am

    I’ve been to Bangkok and I must agree that tuktuk is a must. I love how friendly the tuktuk drivers are

  6. Sarah

    November 25, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Great advice for a quick layover. I love how many cities are working in conjunction with airlines to offer layover experiences like this! Quite honestly, I wish this was all the time I spent in Bangkok. It is one of my least favorite cities so far!

    1. Danni Lawson

      October 15, 2017 at 11:03 am

      So right, I love the idea of Bangkok transit tours! But I liked the city, what kind of issues did you have there?

  7. Janine Good

    November 25, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    That’s a lot in 8 hours! I was lucky to have much more time in Bangkok to enjoy it as much as I did. It really is a great city to explore.

  8. Diana - MVMT Blog

    November 26, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I love this guide and that you provide two different options, Danni! I’m all about taking advantage of layovers and found this to be extremely helpful as I’ve never been to Thailand before. I’m hoping to visit Thailand for more than just a few hours when I go to SEA in the spring, but this will be a great starting point for me.

  9. Marta

    November 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    This is so interesting, thank you! I had no idea it was possible to see anything in Bangkok during a layover and always assumed I’d have to skip it: great to see I was wrong, I’d love to visit!

    1. Danni Lawson

      October 15, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Glad it gave you some ideas! There are Bangkok stopover tours with companies that will take you around the city, but I felt safer doing it solo, that way I could control the times more carefully.

  10. Zoe

    November 26, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    I love this post! I definitely think it’s a good idea to get out of the airport during an 8 hour layover in Bangkok, whether you have or haven’t been there before. There’s just soo much to see in Bangkok!

    1. Danni Lawson

      October 15, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Honestly you’re so right, staying inside the terminal for a layover in Bangkok airport would have really killed me. I did look into what to do in Bangkok airport for 6 hours or more, and it’s got great facilities, but I’d have gone stir crazy!

  11. Charles McCool

    November 27, 2016 at 12:14 am

    I love intentionally scheduled a lengthy layover specifically to see that destination. Although a dozen hours may not seem like enough time to see a place like Bangkok (it is not!), it is better than not seeing it. Nice travel resource article.

  12. Kerri McConnel

    November 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Love how you have a dare devil plan. I would definitely be up for getting out of the airport and it’s so easy to get into Bangkok city. Good ideas in here.

  13. Kathi

    November 28, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Awesome guide! I’m going to Thailand next year and will take note of your tips – even though we’ll stay longer 🙂

    1. Danni Lawson

      December 2, 2016 at 7:03 am

      Thanks, Kathi, look forward to reading about your travels!

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