Getting from Bangkok Airport To Khao San Road (or the city centre)

Bangkok’s main airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, is located around 30km from Bangkok city. If you’re flying into Bangkok from pretty much anywhere, this is the airport you’ll fly into. I’m in and out of this place every month so I thought I’d share some of my wisdom and help you guys avoid getting scammed on your arrival in the land of smiles…

bangkok airport to khao san road

Most backpackers will head to Khao San Road which is found in the West of the city – so when you land in the airport you have to choose how to get there. How muchis a taxi to Bangkok airport? Should I take the bus? Here are your options and answers:

1) Take a taxi – if you do this, make sure you demand the meter to be used, don’t accept any bartering or set fees, it’s the meter or nothing. To Khao San Road from the airport it’s about 400 Baht ($13 USD), to the city centre about 350. The charge is made up from tolls + airport surcharge + the meter, so although the meter may state less, you also have to pay the rest! This takes around 20-30 minutes.

2) Take the Bangkok airport bus – This costs 150 baht ($5 USD) and drops you right at the end of Khao San road, it takes almost an hour but is very convenient (you need AE-2 which goes to Banglamp, where Khao San is found)

3) Take the new Airport Link (train) – There are two options here.

a) Express Line to Makkasan Terminal, near Phetchaburi MRT, runs every 15 mins, costs 150 Baht. Takes about 20 mins.

b) Cityline to Phaya Thai (BTS) station, runs every 15 mins and costs around 50 Baht.

NOTE: However, if you’re headed to Khao San road, then skip these options because you’re still another 30 min cab ride from there when you get off the skytrain.

You’re in no rush to choose between these option as both are found beside each other. Finding your way around Bangkok Airport can be quite tricky but if you go downstairs, follow the signs for taxis and outside you’ll see the taxi rank with a queue forming. If you want to take the bus, walk on past the queue another 50 metres or so and the airport bus stand will be there selling tickets.

If you’re alone, jump on the bus – it’s cheap, easy and you’ll meet people in the same situation as you. If you’re with mates, taxis are cheaper and faster. Enjoy Bangkok!

47 thoughts on “Getting from Bangkok Airport To Khao San Road (or the city centre)

  1. Greg Rodgers

    Unfortunately, the Airport Express bus that dropped travelers at the end of Khao San Road stopped running a long time ago, presumably shut down by the “taxi mafia.” I’ll see if it has started back up (will be in BKK on Thursday) but don’t think so.

    There is a free shuttle bus from the airport to a small, nearby bus terminal, where you can get a very cheap bus to Victory Monument. That at least shaves some cost off the taxi ride, but there is still a toll. Otherwise, you can save a little on the overpriced coupon fare by hanging around the taxi queue outside the airport to team up with travelers going there as well.

    Reply
    1. Greg Rodgers

      March 2016 Update: I found a minivan service to Khao San Road for 100 baht — way cheaper than the taxi. Go to the ground floor; the kiosk (with a hand-written sign for “Khao San Road”) is at the far left end when facing the exit doors. The service is hourly.

      Reply
      1. Finn

        Thanks for this helpful comment. I arrived this morning and took the said service. So once one arrives to the airport, there are clear signs for transport to the city, pointing downwards. So just take one escalator down, then do a u-turn to the left and you can see four bus counters after 15 meters, the second one being a sign (not handwritten) for KSR. From thr abovr I had an impreasion that the hall was huge but it is not. Yhr counter is impossible to miss. The minibus costs 100 bahtis, and leaves when it’s about full. They dropped me all the way to my hotel.

        Now after recovering from jetlag time to find something to do… Thanks for the updates and hope this helps others!

        Reply
        1. Anna

          This is great news! i land at 1am as well so i’ll try to get this van! if any changes before December, it would be great if someone would update this thread 🙂 THANKS!

          Reply
  2. Khandy

    Hi,

    I am going to Bangkok this Jan 28-31, 2016. Your blog helps me to go in Khao San Road. May i know what places the best to see from Khao San Road? It’s my first time to go in Thailand 🙂 Thanks

    Reply
    1. Sara

      You’ll be close to Chao Phraya River. Buy a boat pass and be ready to a wonderful day at the sea, where you’ll see the “real” Bangkok and be able to jump on and off (for example, the boat will take you to everything from China town to the very cool temple Wat Pho). I did this the last time I was in Bangkok. It’s easy and a cool experience. I went to many different places (was in Thailand for 3 months) but if you are here for 3 days I would go for the boat ride :). You buy the pass where the boat leave at (the “harbour” which is closest from Khao san is like 5 minutes by feet from Khaosan road) and they have descriptions of the different stops in English, so you can just chose where you wanna get off.

      Reply
      1. Seancho

        Buying a pass is silly. Pass costs 150 baht for one day, and each ride only costs 14baht. You would have to ride the boat more than 10 times to recoup the cost of the pass. Better to just pay 14 baht each time you ride.

        Reply
    2. sue

      Howdy, I am wondering if this is still current as of Feb.16? I can’t find any info about an Airport bus? I haven’t been to Bangkok for a fair few years now but the shuttle to/from Khao San Rd was very easy, can anyone advise if it still runs or whether it is now better to take the train?
      Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Mark Wayne

    Since you are staying in Thailand for a long time, can you give me the best advise how to maximize my stay in Thailand for 2 days and 2 nights….specifically I want to stay on affordable hotel resort near Bangkok because I want to see some temples

    Reply
  4. ucuz mineflo

    Superb overcome! I will newbie although you amend your site, the best way could my partner and i subscribe to get a site site? This accounts helped me the suitable bargain. I used to be slightly familiar of the your current broadcast supplied brilliant apparent concept

    Reply
  5. ulfa

    Hi johnny.. such a good work blog! thanks. By the way, do you think the standard taxi can fit for 4 passengers only or can be 5 passengers? (excluding the driver)

    Reply
  6. sjCliff

    Hi Johnny,
    A high school cousin of mine is going on a school-sponsored trip to Bangkok on April 1-3. Her task is to work out a 3-day itinerary for 8 people on a student-budget (3,000.00 THB per day for all 8 students).

    I’m glad we found your site. What we’d like to know is: What the safest and least expensive way for 8 kids to leave BKK to Pen Park Place?

    Khorb Khun!

    Reply
  7. Melissa

    Couldn’t have found a better, straight-forward article if I tried.

    Thank you!! This is great.

    My boyfriend and I are travelling to Bangkok on April 5th 2012.

    Reply
  8. jan

    Why not make it a good trip, not just get to Khao San as fast as possible.

    Take the airport train to Phaya Thai, take BTS to Sathon (central Pier) and
    from here a boat up river to Khao San. Travel on the river is cheap and a great way to say hello to Bangkok.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey Jan, thats a great idea. For me though, with my backpack, i wanna get to a hostel soon as possible. If you’re traveling light, this is an excellent idea though

      Reply
  9. Michael B

    I’ve tried these way:

    Taxi
    Bus
    Train to bus
    Train to taxi

    Taxi can be as low as 250 if you have confidence and pretend like you know what your doing. For sure get a meter, night time should be cheap as there is no traffic. Ask to go ‘no poll’ and pay him the difference, if you want.

    Best route I took yesterday: train to city (90bth) then meter taxi to KS (70bth during rush hour) took like 25mins to get to the road! Great option.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey michael,

      thanks for your input mate. Having lived in Bangkok for a long time though, i’d have to disagree.

      For a taxi: it’s illegal to do anything other than a meter, taxis HAVE TO use their meter, if they refuse, you just don’t take them. From my condo in the city centre I’ve never paid less than 350 baht (even at 4am) and Khao San is twice as far!

      For the train, when you say train to city – where do u mean mate? Also, the train alone is almost 30 mins and the taxi during rush hour can take an hour easily :S

      Reply
  10. rob

    for the ultra budget backpackers there is also a free shuttle bus to the nearby bus station. from there you have to take a local city bus to the victory monument and then another to banglamphu (khao san area). it takes a lot longer and is more hassle but can be done for under a dollar.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey jerick – to be honest mate, i don’t know BUT i don’t think so :/ airport link starts around 5.30 i think tho so you could wait for that, or pay the 400 baht for a taxi (ouch!)

      Reply
  11. Paris Wells

    Top post , Bangkok there are always sharks in yellow jackets pretending to be taxi’s trying to sell you “private cars” , its the worst arriving in a country and being ripped off on the first service you use! As you said before a general rule about going to any country is getting outside and finding a metered taxi , or in India you need to find a pre paid taxi stand!

    Reply
  12. emma

    Hey Johnny, thanks for your info, we are heading into Bangkok late at night in a couple of weeks and will use your tips and feel much better about our pending arrival now!
    Cheers, Emma

    Reply
  13. Rebecca

    Thanks for the tips – it’s been several years since I’ve been in Bangkok and I haven’t experienced the new airport. We’re heading back to Thailand in April so this is very timely!

    Reply
  14. Jason

    Walking out of that airport at night and catching a taxi is always ridiculously overpriced …. If i go to Bkk ill get a bus if im alone,but if Pattaya is my choice Ill get a cheap taxi by just walking out the airport turn left in traffic flow direction and onto the main highway,… Taxi drivers and Police will follow u shouting complete shit that I usually just ignore and keep walking … After 200 metres yr out their zone it seems because who ever follows usually turns back,then every so often someone will shout taxi … Of course they are not genuine taxi drivers but I always find them alot more fun and alot cheaper.

    I get Pattaya journey for 500-600baht in taxi doing it this way 🙂 if not it costs 1,500 – 2,000 in airport 🙁

    Reply
  15. Gray

    Thank you, Johnny. Out of all the blog posts I’ve read about Bangkok, I think this is the first one that covered the logistics of getting in from the airport. It’s probably so simple most people overlook it, but logistics confound some of us–especially when you want to know what is the “best” method (for you).

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      hey gray, thanks for that. Yeah i know – i got so confused and was trying to save cash, finally worked it out and thought it would be helpful for everyone 🙂

      Reply
  16. Ricky B

    I heard word about a new express train from the airport direct to the city, may have been mistaken though. Is that true or false? I know KL has a good airport train service.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      it’s true mate but it puts you on the Bangkok transit system which doesnt go anywhere near Khao San! If you’re heading to the city centre, and don’t have too much luggage, then it’s a viable option but as a backpacker i’d jump on the bus or if im with friends, jump in a cab – much better!

      Reply
  17. Surishian

    You should research more before you put out information.

    Your forgot to list the new airport link train.

    Probably the cheapest alternative to reach the city centre.

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      Thanks Surishian – for people living in Bangkok that may be a good option but i’m trying to help people generally heading to Khao San and then the airport link is of very little use with the nearest BST stop being national stadium, still miles away from Khao San.

      If you live in BKK it’s useful but for someone who has never used the transit system, with a huge backpack on their back, fighting with the crowds in the BST it would be quite tough i think! For another 100 baht or so, a taxi to the city centre would be much better i reckon.

      Reply

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