Getting to Thailand
Bangkok is Thailand’s major air gateway. Most visitors arrive through Bangkok’s new international airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), which is connected by daily flights to Europe, North America, Asia and Australia aboard the world’s major airlines. Bangkok International Airport (BIA), under the operating of the Airports Authority of Thailand (AAT), has for many years played an important role in international cival aviation transport. It is today a major gateway into and within Southeast Asia. Used by more than 70 international carriers, it is condidered today as one of Asia’s busiest Airports.
Bangkok’s second airport, Don Muang Airport (DMK), which is in fact the “old-main” airport, is located 21 kilometers north of Bangkok Metropolitan Area. Don Muang is now used for some national flights; passengers arriving on international flights should carefully check the departure airport of their connecting flight and allow enough connecting time if changing airport.
Check your flight and connecting flight airport code; BKK for Suvarnabhumi Airport and DMK for Don Muang Airport.
The following airlines call at Chiang Mai International Airport; Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, Silk Air, Malaysia Airlines, Lao Aviation, Orient Express Air, Air Mandalay.
The following airlines call at Phuket International Airport; Thai Airways International, Bangkok Airways, China Airlines, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines, Korean Airlines, Lauda Air, LTU International Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Silk Air.
The following airlines call at Hatyai International Airport; Thai Airways International, Malaysia Airlines, Silk Air, Orient Express Air
There is a regular rail services between Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. Taking the train is a safe, comfortable and inexpensive way to travel. The whole journey from Singapore to Bangkok is 1,945 km or 1,248 miles and it takes about 48 hours; departures are daily but be careful the connections aren’t very good; often passengers from Singapore arrive in Butterworth just a few minutes after the Thai train for Bangkok has left! From Bangkok to Singapore the connections are even worse as one cannot make reservations for Malaysian trains in Thailand. Though it is possible to reach Kuala Lumpur in time for an overnight connection to Singapore, it’s often not possible anymore to make reservations for sleeping berths as the reservation counters in Kuala Lumpur just close when the train from Butterworth, carrying through-passengers from Bangkok, arrives. By making stop-overs at either Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth or Kuala Lumpur and Hat Yai you can avoid some of these connections problems, and of course you can stop off on the way to see Kuala Lumpur or Penang, or catch the ferry to Ko Samui or the bus to Phuket. All trains in Malaysia and Thailand run on metre-gauge track, narrower than European standard gauge.
Thailand has an extremely well organized overland bus system. Each corner of the country can easily be reached from Bangkok, and there are direct connections even to small towns. Comfortable uses connect Bangkok and all major provincial cities. Between smaller provincial cities, only non-aircon service is available. Overland entrance to Thailand is restricted to three road crossings on the Thai-Malaysian border in Songkhla, Yala and Narathiwat.
All major car rental agencies are represented in Thailand and you will find their offices throughout the country.
Cargo ships on the Australia/New Zealand route calling at Thailand’s Laem Chabang Port offer sometimes passenger cabin facilities. Developments on the cargo ship routes to and from Australia and New Zealand have seen changes in both ships and routings. In addition to the French-owned CMA CGM ships (http://www.cma-cgm.com) and the German-owned Rickmers ships (http://www.rickmers.de), passengers can now book passage on Round-the-World routes. Australia/New Zealand ships are very often fully booked a year before sailing, not only because it is a popular destination, but also because all the UK/Europe ships in the Australia/New Zealand trade now operate in Round-the-World services and are therefore in great demand for the full round the world voyage.
Laem Chabang Port is large, modern commercial deep-water port on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand is the nation’s pride and its main transportation and export gateway. Comprised of numerous segments, including a floating dockyard, its eleven terminals handle all types of vessels, from container ships and car carriers to passenger ships. Bangkok, the capital, is to the north of the port, and the famed beach resort of Pattaya is to the south.
Cruise ships from all major shipping lines, such as Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth II, Royal Viking, or Pearl of Scandinavia regurlarly visit Pattaya and Phuket.