Monday, November 26, 2012

Suvarnabhumi International Airport - 1st Level: Train Link, Shops & Taxi Bays

Suvarnabhumi International Airport's 1st level (first floor) is located just below the arrival hall. You can get here by elevator or the walkalator if you're pushing a cart full of baggages. From here, there are counters for transportation: limousine taxis, and even buses and vans that will take you directly to places like Pattaya and Koh Samui.


If you need a taxi, go outside from the lobby and there are taxi bays outside. Just head to the nearest "meter taxi" booths. Those luminescent taxis are parked just across the lane. Though I initially thought that these "drivers" have already been duly informed that they're supposed to flag down their meters, some will try to con you otherwise. In one of my transits recently, a driver conveniently "forgot" to use the meter so I insisted he does a minute after pulling out of the taxi bay! Insist on it! Do not forget. If they try funny stuff, you have a coupon which has their details - an avenue for complaints. Remember that if you choose to use the skyway, you will be asked for money at the toll gate (two gates) so make sure you have the necessary Thai baht for this.

Walkalator from the 2nd level

From the walkalator (or an elevator), head leftwards to get to the train station. Taxis are just outside this lobby.


First Level also has the Airport Rail Link or City Link Trains. From the escalator/walkalator, turn to your left until you find a train station. This station is open daily from 6AM to 12 midnight. Tickets to the city is cheap, 40 baht to the Pratunam area station. The ticket clerk will most likely ask if you want to purchase a return, but remember that these tickets are only valid for use on the same day of purchase. If you're staying overnight or longer in the city, just get a one-way ticket. Once inside the station, you need to go a level down (elevator or escalator) to get to your platform. Getting to the city center will approximately take 15, 18 and 27 minutes, depending on which trains you're lucky to get (there's an express train). The train cars are comfortable; smells and looks new. It opened last August 23, 2010. It's a rapid transit line running a 28.6 kilometer route.

The Airport Rail Link has 8 train stops and the stations are as follows: Suvarnabhumi Airport, Lat Krabang, Ban Thap Chang, Hua Mak, Ramkhamhaeng, Makkasan, Ratchaprarop (Rajprarop) and terminates at the Phaya Thai.

The problem is, from 3PM onwards, a huge number of local commuters also use this train from Phaya Thai, Rajprarop and Makkasan making your ride back to the airport a rather uncomfortable experience. Yes, think mashed up sardines! It even gets worse when you have your baggage with you. Unlike the comfort iof riding Malaysia's KLIA Express, Airport Link is a challenge. It's a lot cheaper though than the KLIA. I had to miss two trains because i couldn't get a space inside the airport bound train at 3:30PM on a weekday. Imagine a Friday?

Construction of this Train Link was in the vicinity of 25.9 billion baht ($84.10 million).

This is the view once inside the train station, facing the ticket counter (right) and entrance. just outside are restaurants and shops which are part of the airport's first level.

From this floor, you have to take the elevator (photo below) to get to your train platform. An airport hotel is supposed to operate in this 1st floor level.

Elevator to the platform and back to the 1st level.

City Link Train at the train platform as it waits for passengers.

Airport Trains at the Rajprarop Station in Bangkok's Pratunam district.

This was late lunch at a restaurant called Twin Mix Food - stir fried noodle with vegetable and pork at 85B, plus 15B Coke. It looked absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, it was the king of blandness.

Didn't taste as good as it looked.

Twin Mix Food restaurant is located at the first level, near the lobby of the Airport Link Train Station.


General information and a little history of Suvarnabhumi -

Dunkin Donut and another Thai-language Bookstore found at the first level (floor) of Suvarnabhumi.

A view just outside the first floor of Suvarnabhumi. Nearby are taxi bays.

Taxi Counters. Queue for a taxi, state your destination, get a coupon and a driver is assigned to take you. Then you cross the street to get to your taxi. Insist that they flag down the meter!

Luminescent public taxis waiting for their customers. Why take a taxi when you can take the train to Bangkok?


Ola said...

impressive modern building!
Blog about life and travelling
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eye in the sky said...

It sure is. An eyecandy for me. :)

Mom with a Dot said...

Suvarnabhumi (Golden Land) indeed!! Plush and trendy. My son would love it! Planes and Trains are his perfect combo :)

NRIGirl said...

Beautiful pictures as always @Eye!

NRIGirl said...

By the way, Suvarnabhumi means Golden Earth in Tamil. Is that what it means in Thai too?!

eye in the sky said...

@ Mom with a Dot:

Love the literal translation of Suvarnabhumi. It's very poetic and I didn't know this. :)

eye in the sky said...

@ NRIGirl:

I didn't know the meaning of Suvarnabhumi and I like it. I am not sure though if it has the same translation in Thai, but it is very possible. :)