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
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.
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
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!
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.