Flying through Bangkok? Have a layover of more than five hours? Head out of the Airport complex, to get a quick taste of Thailand. Find out what you can do and how to do it, right here!
Most international flights to Southeast Asia from Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and other Indian cities have a layover at Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok International Airport).
If you’ve got five hours or more between your connections, you can fit in a bowl of Thai noodles, take a temple tour, or get a Thai massage easily. Thanks to visa on arrival facility for Indians, this is one of the hottest halting destinations for many Indian tourists. In fact, many tourists choose to break their flights and extend the stay in Bangkok for a day or two before taking their next flight to the destination. Thus, for instance, rather than taking say a direct Bangalore to Malaysia flight, you can break it into two and book Bangalore to Bangkok Flights and Bangkok to Malaysia flights separately without adding much to the total travel costs.
Here are the top five things to do in Bangkok, while you wait for the onward connecting flight.
- Join an Organised Transit Tour
The easiest and least stressful option is to join any one of the organised transit tours offered at the airport. There are more than 15 tours organised for transit passengers by the airport authorities. These tours range from 4-12 hours. Pick one that suits your connection time.
Some popular tours include:
- City & Temple Tour
- Erawan Museum & Ancient City tour
- Dinner & Puppet Shows at Aksra Theatre and Siam Niramit
- Massage & Spa Tour
- Thai Village Tour & Cultural Learning Centre
Where to Register? Check out Concourse C/D and D/E at the Arrival Floor.
- Visit Khao San Road
This place is often nicknamed as “the Backpacker Capital of the Universe.” During the day, this market houses an endless array of local vendors selling their wares. You can find anything from traditional handicrafts to pirated CDs and DVDs. During the evenings, this former rice market transforms into an alley of pubs and eateries with travellers from all corners of the world.
If you want to know, why Thailand remains the No.1 spot for adventurers and backpackers, then you must visit Khao San Road to experience it firsthand.
- The Grand Palace
If you wish to check out the architectural magnificence of Thailand and soak in authentic Thai culture, then plan a visit to the Grand Palace during your layover. This palace is the official residence of the Thai monarch since it was constructed in 1782.
Today, it’s the seat of the Government and houses the country’s mint as well as the War Ministry. Check out the transformation of the country through the ages with the help of elaborate paintings and carvings.
One thing to note is that admission to the Palace requires a formal dress code. No shorts, skirts, and sandals.
- Wat Pho Temple
A visit to Thailand is incomplete without checking out this classic Buddhist structure. The Wat Pho is the oldest and largest temple in the country and houses the famous Reclining Buddha. The statue is around 15 metres and is coated with pure gold leaves.
While the Buddha statue is the main attraction in this complex, don’t forget to check out the murals lining the walls of the temple.
- A Transit Time of less than five hours?
Wondering what to do if your Malaysia Airlines flight or other connecting flight is scheduled for less than five hours?
While you may not have enough time to visit downtown, there’s plenty to do at the airport itself. Indulge in a classic Thai massage to melt away the stress of your travel. Check out the multitude of restaurants in the airport complex to sample the local cuisine.
The Bangkok International Airport is just 30kms away from the city centre, and taxis are plenty and often inexpensive. Before you head on a city tour, make sure to check out the transit visa requirements. Additionally, always get back to the airport well ahead of schedule to avoid delays due to traffic and other unforeseen conditions.