Thailand airports are often the first introduction to the friendliness of this popular country, when the opportunities for backpacking, pristine beaches, and scuba diving all bring many visitors to Southeast Asia. There are nine major airports in Thailand, with the Bangkok airport acting as the major hub, and budget airlines make it possible and affordable for most visitors to skip the slow buses and trains and board a domestic flight to explore different areas of the country. Many searching for a beach paradise find themselves at the airport in Phuket, just off a flight from Bangkok International Airport.
If you want to fly to Thailand, you may be able to secure a cheap flight depending on the season. In June the rainy season begins for the Phuket beach resort. This doesn’t mean that every day will see rain, and many tourists still arrive to enjoy the beaches. A thunderstorm or two might roll through, but affordable travel is often well worth weathering the storm. High season at the airport in Phuket is from December through May, and during these months you may experience some lengthy lines at immigration as many flights land at similar times.
Bangkok Airport Image: evershade (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
At the Bangkok airport, and especially at the airport in Phuket, try to get a window seat on your arriving flight. The beaches, water, and fishing boats of Phuket make for a beautiful sight and an exciting beginning to your vacation. The airport in Phuket is about a 30- to 40-minute drive from the main beaches, such as Patong Beach and Karon Beach. There are many forms of transportation available, and if you haven’t arranged transportation before your arrival, you'll find plenty of taxis and buses waiting to whisk you to the beaches. Taxi drivers may not want to turn on the meter; you should insist that they do.
Many visitors change money at Thailand airports. As is true in many international locations, the exchange windows don’t give the best rates. It is better to keep your eye out for an ATM when you first arrive in Thailand. September 2009 saw the opening of the new international Bangkok airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport. All Thai airways flights, both domestic and international, will now fly from this airport. The tricky task of moving a major international airport from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi was no easy feat, and it had been meticulously planned to be completed in a twelve-hour period. The new airport is eighteen miles (30 kilometers) east of Bangkok.
Other Thailand airports include Chiang Mai airport, the gateway to the northern section of the country. With more than 2 million passengers per year, this airport is a popular choice for travelers exploring Thailand beyond its beaches. Only a ten-minute drive from city center, this small airport provides ATMs and taxi service. Samui airport, located on Koh Samui, is known as being one of the most beautiful in the country, and Krabi Airport is a gateway to Thai beach resorts such as Had Yao, Rai Leh, Ao Nang, and Koh Lanta. The available airports make it easy to begin any Thailand holiday with the amenities visitors need while also providing efficient transport and service.