Bangkok’s domestic and low cost carrier international airport
Don Mueang International Airport (sometimes also spelt Don Muang Airport) is Bangkok’s new domestic airport (not a new airport, but recently designated for all domestic flights out of Bangkok). If you are flying into Bangkok and then onward to any destination in Thailand, or if you are transiting through Bangkok on your way home, you will need to know about Don Muang Airport. If you happen to find yourself staying at the Amari Don Muang Hotel, of course, you’ll probably be able to see Don Mueang from your room.
You may also find yourself flying into or out of Don Mueang International Airport on some limited international routes. That’s Air Asia does fly out of Don Muang to Kuala Lumpur and its subsidiaries, Thai Air Asia and Indonesia Air Asia, fly into and out of Don Mueang to various Asian destinations including Jakarta, Surabaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and Mandalay.
The most important thing to know is that the transit time between the main Suvarnabhumi (pronounced “sufarnarpoom”) international airport and Don Mueang International Airport can take up to two hours depending on the mode of transport and the time of day. If you are travelling at peak hour, especially in the mornings, don’t use buses or taxis! They are liable to have long traffic delays.
The best way to get between the two airports is actually to take the commuter train into Phaya Thai station in the middle of Bangkok, and then catch the BTS Skytrain back out to Mo Chit station and take a taxi to Don Mueang Airport Bangkok. It sounds crazy, but the trains are pretty reliable and the trip time is really only about 40 minutes. The cost is reasonable too – 45 Bt to Siam Central, then 25 Bt to Mo Chit and maybe 100 Bt for the taxi fare.
Airport Rail Link express trains leave Suvarnabhumi Airport for Don Mueang International Airport every 30 minutes from 6:00 AM until midnight. This is a special express train that only takes 15 minutes non-stop to Phaya Thai station and costs 150 Bt. It’s a good option if you are in a hurry or don’t want all the stops of the domestic commuter trains which leave every 15 minutes from 6:02 AM until 11:51 PM and stop at five stations on the way in.
If you can’t or don’t want to take the train-taxi combination, there are plenty of other options to get to Don Meuang International Airport, but allow extra time or you may miss your flight. There is a free shuttle bus that runs to the Bangkok Transport Centre. From there you can take the 554 or 555 bus to Don Mueang. There are also vans at the Transport Centre that have the same numbers, but cost 5-10 Bt more and are considerably quicker.
Outside of peak hour, a taxi from Suvarnabhumi to Don Mueang International Airport will cost you around 450 Bt including tolls and take around 25-30 minutes if you get a good run, or maybe 90 minutes in heavier traffic.
For people going from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi Airport, you can reverse the instructions above. But do note there is a direct bus between the two airports from the DM end – look for the pedestrian overpass that runs from Terminal 1 to the Don Muang rail station, take the ramp down to Vihavadi Road and catch the 555 bus. If you have a heavy bag you might need to pay for two seats.
Air Asia is working on getting an airport shuttle bus in place between Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, now that many of their flights have been relocated (fractured) to Don Muang. Expect this to start any time soon and be one of the better options for getting between the two airports.
Airline offices in Don Muang Airport
Don Muang Airport is a hub for Thai AirAsia, Orient Thai Airlines, Nok Air and Thai Lion Air. Most of the major airlines that fly in and out of Don Muang Airport Bangkok have offices located in the terminal building, mainly in the departures hall on Level 2 although Nok Air also has a ticket office next to the departure gates and one in the arrivals hall on Level 1.
Best hotels near Don Muang Airport, Bangkok
Amari Don Muang Hotel is a 4-star business hotel opposite Don Meuang Airport with 423 rooms, 24 hour room service, airport transfers, restaurant and a poolside bar. It’s a popular choice with business travellers and people who need to stay overnight to catch a domestic flight the following day. Amari Don Muang is the closest hotel to the airport and only five minutes walk to the terminal across the passenger bridge. It’s also very close to the Future Park Rangsit. You won’t miss your flight if you stay at the Amari Don Muang. Styling is a bit dated, but the rooms are very stylish, quiet and comfortable.
Mida City Resort Bangkok is a 3-star hotel with 125 rooms located off Chaeng Wattana Road with airport transfers, restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre. The hotel is close to the airport expressway and Laksi train station so you can easily duck into Bangkok’s night spots if you have time. It’s mostly a convention hotel but very stylish with well appointed rooms and a fitness centre. The good size rooms are clean and simple, with soft beds. Can be a little noisy at times.
TK Palace Hotel is a 3.5 star hotel also located on Chaeng Wattana Road with 180 rooms, a coffee shop, restaurant with buffet meals, a fitness centre and spa and a swimming pool. It’s mainly a business hotel but the rooms are quite luxurious and it has its own jogging track if you’re into staying fit. The common areas of the hotel are dated and not well maintained, but the guest rooms are generally quite good with comfortable beds. Pity about the red carpets.
Miracle Grand Convention Hotel is a 4.5 star hotel located on Vibhavadi-Rangsit Road with 270 rooms, some of which come with breakfast included. It is one of the few near Don Muang that have connecting rooms for families. Primarily a convention hotel, it has great facilities including a nice bakery, Japanese and Chinese restaurants, a Thai breakfast buffet, fitness centre and spa and a big swimming pool. Upper floors have panoramic city views. The hotel is past its prime, but still pretty good and welcoming. It’s 10 minutes from Don Muang airport and adjacent to the expressway. If you have time, it’s also fairly close to the famous Chatuchak Weekend Market.