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If you plan to take a metered taxi, ask for small notes when you exchange currency. The exchange booths are familiar with this request, and will comply willingly. A reasonable supply of 100฿ notes and ideally some 20฿ notes would be best. Many taxi drivers either do not have small change, or will tell you they don't, hoping you will let them keep a large note/bill to avoid a problem or delay.
There are exchange booths scattered throughout the airport-- most are open 24/7 regardless of day. There is even one in the baggage reclaim/Customs Hall area- immediately after passport control. You can easily attend to your money matters while you wait for your bags.
There are also ATMs. ATMs typically dispense 100, 500, and 1000 baht notes, up to 20 notes per transaction. If you choose to use an ATM, it is suggested that you withdraw 9,900฿ instead of 10,000฿ (for example) as this forces the ATM to dispense several smaller denominated notes. Be aware that most ATM's now charge 150฿ for all withdrawals using foreign cards. ATMs are set to dispense a maximum of 20 notes, so withdraw 15,900฿ to get the biggest amount possible with some 100 baht notes.
(If you neglect to get change, all is not lost! If you use the toll highway, the Expressway, the toll booths are obliged to change 1000฿ notes. Pass the driver a 1000฿ note to pay the toll, and voila! You have change. Please count it.)
After you have your Thai baht and have reclaimed your baggage, continue to pass through customs control (Thailand uses the standard Red/Green lane system). Note that there are more ATMs in the general arrivals area if you missed the one in the Customs Hall. After you clear customs, follow the signs to "PUBLIC TAXI" on Level 1, one floor down from the Arrivals level, and join the queue that may form just outside the building.
DO NOT use the LIMO/TAXI services offered by
. They can tend to swarm around you once you have cleared customs. These touts will charge rates that can be as much as 200% to 300% of normal metered taxi rates.
Once you make you way to the taxi desk, tell the dispatchers your hotel or other destination.
*DO NOT ASK ANYONE
It's a metered taxi. The cost is dictated by the meter. Asking HOW MUCH is tacit approval to being charged a flat rate.
They may give you a YELLOW slip of paper with your destination written on it. Take the paper to the line of drivers and hand it over to the supervisor. It will be exchanged for another larger WHITE slip of paper with your taxi driver's name and number written on it and an explanation of the 50฿ airport surcharge (which you will add on to the fare at journey's end - see below).
KEEP this slip of paper, ( there is NO information on this slip of paper that the driver needs, he's already been told where you are going - it's yours, put it in your pocket in case of any difficulties during the trip or when you find you've left some property in the taxi, or for any other issue that may arise ).This slip of paper identifies the specific taxi and driver you are using.
Remember Bangkok Taxi meters ALWAYS start at 35฿ ( see below)
You can ask the driver to take the toll/express way (although this is not always necessary especially in the late hours). If you elect to use the Tollway/Expressway, you will need to give the driver 75฿ for the tolls if the driver pays, you add it to the meter fare at the end of the journey -
see below. (The tollway charges increased to 25 + 50 = 75฿ on September 1st, 2013.)
There is also a mandatory 50฿ Airport tax/surcharge. Notice of this is stamped on the form. It wiill be added to the metered fare at the end of the journey.
If possible, get your hotel name written in Thai, or print out the instructions in Thai for drivers that many hotels put on their websites, Bangkok has thousands of hotels, and no driver can know them all by their English names.
A taxi ride to most hotels in the Sukhumvit, Silom, or Khao San road areas should cost you between 200฿ and 250฿ on the meter PLUS the 50฿ airport surcharge PLUS any tolls paid by the driver (if the Expressway was used that will usually be a total of 75฿).
Your journey should take about 30-60 minutes depending on the day, time of day, and weather conditions, but 35-40 minutes is average for Sukhumvit, Siam or Silom.
If you want to work out "exactly" how much your metered taxi should cost (and you know the distance from the airport to your destination within Bangkok - use google maps) check this link to the rate advertised in all Bangkok taxis;
Taking Taxis from Departures 4th Floor:
It is no longer possible to get a taxi from the 4th floor departures area. One-way, incoming turnstiles have been installed, and these are staffed by guards. Passengers now cannot pass outbound to the area where taxis would be waiting after letting off incoming passengers.
AOT operate "limos" out of the Airport. They have a desk in the baggage claim area and also in arrivals. Rates charged start at around 800฿ for a standard sedan, and go up from there for mini-buses (for more passengers or luggage) or more luxurious options.
There are many well regarded private transfer operators in Bangkok. These can get you from the Airport to your Bangkok Hotel, or almost ANY OTHER place you want to go in Thailand (for a fee). Here are just a few - so DO shop around;
Oriental Escape is one of the most popular transfer services, priced from 900฿
Transfer BKK for safe and secure transfer with baby seat in luxurious family car
ATT (Airport Transfers Thailand) offers airport transfers beginning at 1080฿. They also organize shared Arrival and Departure transfers.
Siam Resorts Limousines provides professional airport transfers and Fast Track arrival services.
Bangkok Limo For larger groups a VIP minivan goes for around 1400฿.
Thailand Stretch Limousine For those times when you're looking to impress, they have an 8½ meter imported Limo (seats 10).