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Rail link from airport?

ireland
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Rail link from airport?

Hi first visit to Bangkok in two weeks and staying off Ratchadamri Road. My better half wants to use the Rail Link from airport to city centre getting a taxi from there to hotel as hoping it will work out cheaper than a taxi straight from airport. Anyone any thoughts on this?

Bangkok
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1. Re: Rail link from airport?

Hi,

Cheaper? Probably so..

However, do know that a fair bit of the total fare differential will be accounted for in:

a) The that taxi trip *from* the airport incurs a B50 airport fee-- on top of the actual meter rate, and

b) Whether or not you or the taxi driver decided to use the expressways (about B70 in total) also add to the total taxi cost..

Lastly, remember with taxis it's a per *vehicle* charge, with train it's a per *person* charge.. so the larger your group is (to the limit that you can all fit into one taxi) the more cost-effective this option becomes.

So right there alone you've got a B50 to B120 fare differential. and the ARL (city line service) fare from BKK to Phaya Thai -- the terminus ends of the entire system-- is only B45..

So yes, it will be a cost savings.. in the opposite direction -- that is going TO the airport, you'll still save, but the difference won't be quite as much as there's no B50 fee to paid in that direction, but you can still decide on expressway or not-- that's your decision as the passenger.

But that's just the cost side of the equation.. You do still have to consider time and convenience factor.. While there are elevators and escalators in most all of the stations -- therefore making moving of baggage easier, you do still have to move it all yourself.. by contrasts, a taxi is naturally door-to-door..

So, yes, on the cost side, the ARL will win in most all cases.. but that's not entirely an apples-to-apples comparison,

Travel Safe,

Edited: 10 March 2012, 20:25
London
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2. Re: Rail link from airport?

I agree with Gopbi with regard to the escalators/elevators considering the luggage you may have to carry and how tired you are when you arrive.

Btw, there are elevators but you may need to look for them.

Taking this into account and with regard to the rest, I still prefer the airport link for a number of reasons

1. It IS cheaper (if the cost is per person) at 45 baht plus a fee for the BTS (15 to 35 baht depending where you are heading)

2. It is frequent and reasonably hassle free

3. You do not have to contend with the traffic

4. I have not always felt safe with some of the taxi drivers

5. I have always felt safe travelling the airport link

Caveat: Sounds like I am biased in favour of the airport link? Yes, I am.

Other fellow posters will add their experience no doubt.

Happy choosing

Giorgio Federico

Sydney
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3. Re: Rail link from airport?

Is your better half going to be willing to carry your luggage all the way to the hotel in decidedly much hotter weather than you are used to if the going gets too tough for you?The reality will kickin after you exit the airport train at Phaya Thai with your luggage and then need to join onto the BTS skytrain system....Total fares using this system are 130 baht to Ratchadamri for both of you...Total grief in terms of inconveniance after a 13 hour long haul flight are in my opinion a lot more just to save what will basically amount to a couple of pints at the local ex-pat pub..As GOP'points out there isn't really a lot in it when there is more than one of you as taxis' are that cheap in comparison to Europe anyway you aren't exactly saving that much!Look at the FAQ for info' on the offical metered taxi stand on level 1....

Swansea, Wales
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4. Re: Rail link from airport?

there are so many factors to consider: what you are willing to pay, state of exhaustion, level of adventure, etc. A few weeks ago I had to pick up something at the airport (complicated tale, but it had to be done). As I was on my own and only a foot passenger with a free day, I decided to take the new skytrain- it was easy enough but no way would I wish to do this with luggage or if exhausted from a long flight.

I boarded at chitlom and went to playa thai. It's a bit of a walk to the airport link, although all on the level and quite high in the sky! I bought a return ticket it cost 150B. There was a sign saying trains every 40 minutes and so I had a half hour wait. There was a seating area, and when it was time, attendants guided us into the lift so that part was easy. Journey itself it brilliant and similar to the heathrow express, however, at the airport there is still a substantial walk, some uphill (slightly) to get to the basement of the terminal, then you find the lift and go up.

so, my conclusion is that it is easy, but cumbersome. and I will not be doing this with luggage. If you are young with a backpack then it would be something to consider. I am neither young nor own a backpack.

I still vote for the taxi, although we now splurge for AOT limousine which is even better, although more money. I was travelling alone this time and felt ultra safe in the hands of the AOT service.

Bangkok
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5. Re: Rail link from airport?

Hi,

Forgot a few other potential issues-- depending on the time of your travel.. The ARL, like the BTS, is not a 24/7 operation... Last trains in each direction leave the terminus stations just a few minutes after midnight.

So if you're arriving around 22:30 or later, you may find the ARL closed by the time you get out of customs and get down the B level.. Also, while the last ARL train is just past midnight, by the time it arrives into town, the connecting BTS system (if you planned to use it) will now be closed.. It shuts down just after midnight as well.

The same holds true in reverse.. System start-up for both BTS and ARL is at 0600.. so if you need to be at the airport earlier than 0630, the the ARL idea doesn't work as the very first AM train (city line) will get you to the at about 0620 or so..

Am I a fan of the ARL? I am.. but only when it favor me (or the potential rider) in terms of time, cost and convenience factors..

My personal take is this.. While there IS a cost savings (that diminishes as the number of people in the group increases) to the ARL over a taxi, I do think that in the totality of a typical tourist trip to Thailand, that the cost savings-- whatever they may be-- is very nominal..

Again, not dismissing it can be a savings-- it can be, only that I can think of other ways or things I can do, that might yield me even more savings-- and do so with little adjustment or sacrifice per se.

Travel Safe,

Berlin/Bangkok
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6. Re: Rail link from airport?

Sue, you must have taken the Airport Express train. If you had taken the slightly slower City Line (which stops at 8 stations and runs about every 12 minutes) you would have saved the half hour wait, and paid only 45 baht each way. I've taken the ARL train (strictly speaking, it's NOT a "skytrain") frequently with luggage and it's absolutely painless as long as you're travelling reasonably light (eg with the usual wheeled suitcase and cabin bag).

Several times I've combined a taxi and ARL, for example ARL to Ramkhamhaeng and taxi to Thonglor. This turned out to be much faster and cheaper than a taxi door to door from the airport.

To Chitlom or to Ratchadamri, I would take the ARL to Ratchaprarop for 40 baht and then a taxi for about 60 baht.

Please read our FAQ: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-c116554/Thail…

Edited: 10 March 2012, 21:26
Berlin/Bangkok
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7. Re: Rail link from airport?

The BTS Skytrain is usually too crowded to get on with luggage. Since the new eastern extension opened to Bearing, it's been packed solid most of the day.

Bangkok
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8. Re: Rail link from airport?

Hi,

I've never really had a major issue when connecting in Siam.. but I agree, if your *origin* station is to the east of Siam-- like Chidlom, Nana or father on.. then yes, it tends to be very full..

The nice thing in Siam is that a great percentage of people either exit or transfer there-- so there's a fair bit of movement.. I find that so long as you're reasonably close up to the front of the line, you'll get on.. a tight squeeze from time to time, but you generally get on.

To/from Phaya Thai I've not had issues except for the hours in the AM/PM rush hours-- 0700 to 0900 and 1630 to 1830 or so-- where again, you do need to be kind of close to the front of the line to have a decent chance of making that carriage.

But true.. I've tried-- keyword: tried-- to get on a carriage from Asoke station at 1730hrs on a weekday and it was like crushing people 101... and I just can't see this as being viable if you were carrying anything of size..

Travel Safe,

Harbin, China
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9. Re: Rail link from airport?

Hi,

I am biased in favour of the Airport Rail Link/Skytrain and I have used it several times and I will continue to do so in the future. The journey into Bangkok makes for a good introduction to the city from high up. Anyway, if you arrive feeling dreadfully tired after a long flight and with heavy luggage a taxi will be much more convenient for you. Leave the final decision until your arrival.

ireland
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10. Re: Rail link from airport?

Thanks everyone for your replies. Yes you are right we will be tired after a long flight from Ireland. We arrive in at about 16.30..... Just two of us......and i will be carrying or pulling my own case:))) The plan was to pick up a taxi wherever we get off the rail link but agree the saving mightn't be enough to justify the pulling and lugging ourselves up and down escalators etc. Might just do as advised and decide when we arrive. Thanks again