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Thailand - Bangkok - Your First Few Hours
Arrival: Most Uk visitors to Thailand arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).
Immigration Control: When passing through immigration control you may feel that you are being treated a bit like a criminal (We didn't - but fellow travelers said they did) - You will have to stand on a mark in front of the immigration officials' desk - This is so that your photograph can be taken by an inconspicuous camera. We would suggest that you remain polite and calm.
Getting from the airport: From airport to your hotel if not part of a package tour can be daunting the first time you do it.
The biggest tip we can give you at the airport is to ignore anyone who approaches you with the offer of a "limousine" to your hotel - they may be an unlicensed operator and you may also be overcharged for your journey!
Taxis: There are two types of taxis - metered and un-metered: the metered taxis are best out of the rush hour and if you decide to take the un-metered then you must agree a price to your hotel before the journey starts. It won't matter which type of taxi you take, you are liable for any tolls into the city.
Limousine: Costing about twice the price of a taxi - The "limousine" (Usually a large family saloon - Volvo is a favourite) should be booked at a desk within the airport and the price agreed before the journey.
Airport Bus: Cheaper than limousine or taxi a fairly comfortable ride - Be sure to get on the right route - Leaflets are available in the airport just outside the arrivals hall. These air-conditioned coaches run on three routes through Bangkok: A1 - A3, plus they may not take you to the door of your hotel - but the driver will be able to get you off at the right stop and point you in the right direction (a 20 baht tip is in order but not expected!) You buy your ticket on the bus.
Public Bus: Even cheaper but if you have more than hand luggage - you and your fellow passengers are not likely to enjoy the trip! Information is available outside the arrivals hall.
Airport Train: Leaving every half hour or so this is the cheapest way to get you away from the airport. The airport train only has one destination - The main railway station at Hualamphong (about 35 minutes) - This is not in the area where most of the hotels are but you can connect with the SkyTrain which again is really cheap and covers many of the hotel areas.
Car Hire: We would recommend that you waited a couple of days before you hire a car in Bangkok - Just to get a feel for the traffic and get a handle on the driving essentials!.
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