visitors arrive through Bangkok's Don Muang International Airport
which is connected by daily flights to Europe, North America,
Asia and Australia. Flights, from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang
and Hong Kong, land on a regular basis at Chiangmai, Koh Samui,
Phuket and Hat Yai. Charter flights sometimes land in Bangkok,
Phuket, and at U-Taphao for Pattaya.
rail services link Singapore and Bangkok intermediary stops include
Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth, Penang and major southern Thai towns.
entry to Thailand is restricted to three road crossings on the
Thai- Malaysian border, and the bridge spanning the Mekong River
between Laos and Thailand at Nong Kai.
are no regular steamship connection with Thailand. Cargo ships
calling at Bangkok's Khlong Toei port sometimes have passenger
cabin facilities. Cruise ships, such as Cunard's Queen Elizabeth
II, periodically visit Pattaya.
By Air: Bangkok's new Don Muang Airport international terminal,
adjacent to what is now the domestic terminal, has relieved congestion
and handles international passengers with modern efficiency. As
you leave customs, you'll find an array of desks where you can
arrange for taxis into Bangkok and transport to other destinations;
a reservation desk for Bangkok hotels (no fee); and a TAT desk
with free brochures and maps (tel. 02/523-8972). Both terminals
have luggage-checking facilities (tel. 02/535-1250).
is a tax of B500 for international departures and B30 for domestic
A word of caution: The airport has more than its share of hustlers
out to make a quick baht, who often wear uniforms and tags that
make them seem official. They will try to get you to change your
hotel to one that pays them a large commission, perhaps claiming
your intended hotel is overbooked. They will hustle you into overpriced
taxis or limousines. Do not get taken in.
The U.S. carrier with the most frequent flights is Northwest Airlines
(153 Rajdamri Rd., Peninsula Shopping Plaza, 4th Floor, tel. 02/254-
0789). It has direct service through Tokyo (with a minimal stopover)
from New York, Detroit, Seattle, Dallas, San Francisco, and Los
Angeles. Incidentally, this airline's seats recline more than
most, making sleeping much easier. Northwest also has a round-Asia
fare, in conjunction with local airlines, which lets you hop from
one capital to another. British Airways flies nonstop to Bangkok
Thai Airways International (485 Silom Rd., tel. 02/234-3100) is
the national airline, and most of its flights come in and out
of Don Muang. It has direct flights from the West Coast of the
United States and from London, and also flies daily to Hong Kong,
Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan.
Times: Bangkok is 18 hours from Seattle, 17 hours from San
Francisco, 20 hours from Chicago, and 22 hours from New York.
Add more time for stopovers and connections,,especially if you
are using more than one carrier. East- coast travelers departing
from New York or Washington, DC, should consider using Virgin
Atlantic/Thai Airways via London for 19-hour flights to Bangkok.
The International Express will take you from Butterworth (Penang,
Malaysia) to Hat Yai, Thailand and Bangkok without a change of
trains. There are also connecting services to or from Singapore
and Kuala Lumpur. The train, which offers only first and second-class
tickets, now operates every day. Border delays, which used to
be a problem on the trains, are less frequent.
International Express that departs from Singapore every morning
arrives in Kuala Lumpur by nightfall. Visitors may stay overnight
in the Malaysian capital or continue north by night train to Butterworth
(Penang). This train, which links Singapore to Bangkok, has a
romantic appeal and is probably the most luxurious train in Southeast
Asia, yet quite expensive. The journey can be long and exhausting
and may be best experienced in shorter segments.
by Tourism Authority of Thailand