10hr Layover in Bangkok - What to do?

Old Jun 6th, 2011, 03:59 PM
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10hr Layover in Bangkok - What to do?

At the end of our European holiday we'll be returning to Australia via Bangkok and we'll have around 10 hours in between flights. Is it possible to leave the airport to take in a short site-seeing tour? If that is possible how difficult is it to leave and return? I expect we'll have to leave and re-enter via immigration and security but how do we show we're transiting passengers and as such have no luggage?

I'm just hoping that someone has done this recently and can pass on some advice. Although the Bangkok airport is reportedly one of the nicest in the world sitting around doing nothing for 10 hours is not something we're looking forward too.
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 06:42 PM
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You don't say what part of the day your ten hours falls in. You should read the thread on spending 24 hours in Bangkok, as it has ideas for activities and dining.

You are granted a 30-day visa entry into Thailand by flying into the airport. I don't think you will have a problem leaving the the airport and coming back in again... maybe someone has experience with doing this. I always hit the ground and then hang around Bangkok for a couple of weeks.
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 07:02 PM
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You're correct I failed to mention the time frame. It's between 2pm and 12 midnight. I'll look up the thread you mentioned. I thought that I'd read somewhere that you can take tours directly from the airport from a Tourist Information desk but I'm unsure about that and that was one of the things that prompted me to ask for some advice.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 08:08 AM
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i think you will encounter a tax of perhaps 700 B each for entering and leaving....transport to and from town could eat up as much as 3 hours....

i think i might just stay in the airport
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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But then, you might catch the airport shuttle (skytrain) since you won't have any bags to haul around (except maybe your carry-ons)?? The shuttle will whisk you into the city pretty quickly.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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rhkkmk--Is there a special tax for entering the country for less than a day? According to the Thai Tourism office here in LA, the free tourist visa for US citizens applies even if you're on a layover and want to enter Bangkok for a a short visit.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 12:09 PM
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It doesn't have to do with a visa, it's an airport tax. Those taxes are now typically included in the airfare. The question Bob is raising is whether the tax has been included in the airfare for a brief stopover. If it hasn't it would have to be paid upon exiting the country.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 08:35 PM
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i suggest that it is not included as kathie has outlined...
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 09:13 PM
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Reading comments on other threads and other websites, it appears that a departure tax of 700 baht may indeed be due in this kind of situation. But, apparently, if you were already issued a boarding pass for the flight, you do not need to go to the ticketing/check-in counter (where that tax is collected). You go straight to security and immigration and, in general, the immigration desk passes you right through. Sometimes, if they notice that a boarding pass was issued outside of BKK, they might redirect you back to the airline counter for a new boarding pass...and payment of the tax.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 10:05 PM
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Thank you for all your replies and suggestions. If being able to take a tour direct from the airport incurs a penalty of paying a departure tax then I can live with that.
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 02:56 AM
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My thoughts and suggestions are as follows:

1. Change your ticket so that you can spend more than 10 hours in Bangkok! It deserves more time.

2. IMO you will need to be back at the airport by 11 pm at the latest to make sure you have time to get through Immigration and out to your gate (there are some looooong walks involved sometimes). Even using the airport train, I would plan on 45 minutes to an hour to get back to the airport. If you take a taxi to or from the airport, add quite a bit more time, to allow for traffic. So plan backwards from this. With a 2 pm arrival and a midnight departure, you probably have 6 hours, give or take, to spend in Bangkok. Traffic can be quite bad in the evening hours, so use public transport to the greatest extent you can.

3. When you check in for your flight from Europe to Australia, see if you can get boarding passes for both legs. This will save you some time. If you can’t (usually because you are flying different airlines), then when you land in Bangkok you need to go to the correct transfer counter for your airline and get a boarding pass. You will do this before you go to Immigration. Your checked bags will be automatically transferred. If you have hand luggage that you don’t want to bring into town, there is a Left Luggage facility on the 2nd and 4th floor, see http://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/i...baggage_en.php for a map. Not sure of the charge for this. You can find all kinds of info on being a transit passengers (which is what you are) at ttp://www.suvarnabhumiairport.com/.

4. I agree that with an onward boarding pass, you are unlikely to encounter departure tax issues. But if you do, the tax is AUS21 per person, so I would not let that stop you from going into town.

5. I would be a little concerned that a tour will consist of nothing more than driving by sites which are closed. In heavy evening traffic to boot. This may not be the best use of your time. Look closely at the proposed itineraries for these and see if you have a chance to get out to visit anything at the hour you plan to take the tour. If the tour starts at the airport and goes by bus into town, you will spend a lot of time in traffic at 3 pm, IMO, trying to get into town. Mostly, I would encourage you to travel on your own.

6. You can take the Airport Link train from the airport to two stations in very central areas of Bangkok:

(a) the Express Line which takes you non-stop to Makkasan station in about 15 minutes, from where you can connect at Phetchaburi station on the MTR (“skyway”) to other parts of town (the Express Line also goes on one stop further to Phaya Thai station), or

(b) City Line trains which take about half an hour to reach Phaya Thai station (they also stop at Makkasan on the way), from where you can get trains on the BTS green line. The City Line is about half the price of the Express Line.

In either case, you could first or last spend some time in the area of ether station, as both offer restaurants and shopping.

7. As for things to do, bear in mind that you will be hampered in your ability to see real sites, because most of them close around 5 pm (Wat Po temple and the Jim Thompson house for starters, the Grand Palace, the Vimanmek Palace, the Royal Barges and the National Museum close even earlier; the Temple of the Dawn closes at 5:30.). If you land at 2 pm, IMO the very best case scenario would put you in central Bangkok around 3:30 - 4 pm. So you may not want to try to get to sites, but instead concentrate on something like a trip up the river to get a feel for that and a look at some of the sites which are visible form the river (i.e. the Grand Palace lit at night is quite pretty). This could be a private long-tail klong tour, or just a ride on the public water boats. A drink at Sirocco with the city at your feet is another good site that works all hours. A meal would be a good use of time as well.

8. In September in Bangkok the sun will set between 6 – 6:30 pm and it will be light for about a half hour after that. So bear that in mind when planning. Perhaps try to hit Sirocco at 5:30 or so to watch the sunset, or be on a river boat at the time to see the change from day to night as the city lights up.

9. A massage or other spa treatment at a luxury hotel is an expensive way to get access to a shower, changing rooms, gym etc. Try the Penn or the Mandarin. You could do this first thing, leave your carry ons at the spa, head out to do some sightseeing, and then collect bags right before you go back to the airport. The Penn, Mandarin and Shangri-La are all quite close to the MTR station on the river (Saphan Taksin), and they all offer free boat transport from the MTR to their hotels, so it is easy to transfer between the two.

10. On a personal note, if this were my 10 hours in Bangkok, I would head for the river and hire a long-tail boat to take me out for a few hours up and down along the small canals and then up past the Grand Palace and Temple of the Dawn. Either catch sunset there or hop over to Sirocco. I would either stay there for dinner or head to the lovely river terraces of the Penn or the Mandarin.
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Old Jun 8th, 2011, 07:57 PM
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Thanks a lot Cicerone except for point 1 which is impossible this trip everything else was of solid value. Thanks for your thoughtful input.
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 01:43 AM
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Hi OzJohnno, how did it go and what did you do in Bangkok? We'll have an almost 10hr layover in Bangkok, too. Three kids in tow (12,9,6yo)... Would be great to hear from you
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Old Oct 21st, 2015, 08:37 AM
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martina, this is a very old thread. If you want an answer, you are more likely to get it by posting your own thread.
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