Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand is one of the largest (4th) and busiest (20th) in the world. Certainly it is the busiest in Thailand, as the popular tourism destination brings more than 50 million passengers through each year. It is the hub for Thai and Bangkok airlines, so you’re likely to spend more than a few hours here if you’re heading to Chiang Mai or Phuket via those airlines. I, in fact, have spent one night in Bangkok (Airport). Sorry, not sorry.
Be aware that there are some unscrupulous individuals looking to pray on tourists by acting as unofficial tour guides and cab drivers. Be safe and be careful, as these people can be very slick and in some cases have relationships with airport workers. Check and double check that is via the most legitimate channel before going anywhere with anyone.
It is about 16 miles from the city center, and depending on the traffic, it can take a long time to get there. You can also get to and from the airport via rail. There is one main terminal split into 7 concourses A-G with about 120 gates, with C-G serving international flights.
There’s a ton of things to see here, and it holds the distinction of being one of the most instagrammed airports in the world. There’s statues depicting Thai folklore, there’s Garudas in the departure ticketing area. There’s actual plays and live music depicting Thai legends before you even enter the main terminal. It’s a great place to have a layover, but if you’re so inclined, there’s also a Novotel Hotel on site.
There’s basically a high end mall’s worth of shops here: Armani, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chopard, Dior, Fendi, Ferragamo, Gucci, Hermes, Longchamp, Prada and Zegna. There’s airline lounges abound, and I will say the Bangkok Airlines lounge has really great snacks and juices available.
The food options are just okay. There are a lot of fast food options, asian and grab and go mostly, but there’s Burger King, Starbucks and a Kinramen, which has a decent bowl of ramen. There’s a lot of Thai coffee shops and also a Mango Tree, which is an international chain. The thing I don’t love is that the asian food is located near the asian airlines, while the western food is near the flights from US and Europe. There’s a lot of walking involved in this airport.
Remember: ✈️ = thai again to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = thai to stay here as long as possible
Convenience to the city: ✈️✈️ (taxi, rail, a little far from the city)
Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️ (very large, a lot of walking)
Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️ (it’s a very busy airport)
Dining: ✈️✈️✈️ (could be better)
Bathrooms: ✈️✈️ (there could be more available, like I said there’s a lot of walking)
Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️ (free wifi not available, decent amount of charging)
Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (lots of things to see, Thai souvenir handicrafts and shops, airline lounges, observation deck)