4 Ways to Pass Time During a Layover at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport, colloquially known as Bangkok Airport, is one of the biggest airports in Southeast Asia; it’s the 21st busiest airport in the world and 11th busiest in the continent. As a gateway to the region and a connecting point for many international carriers, millions of passengers pass through it every year, with many of them popping into the city proper on a long layover. Below are some of the things you can do in and around the area if you need to kill a few hours, and a couple of suggestions for longer overnight layovers:

Relax and Freshen Up

Overnight layovers can be a drag. If you’d rather rest your head and wake up refreshed for your flight out the next day, there are several hotels near Suvarnabhumi Airport where you can grab a shower and turn in for the night. Searching using “โรงแรมใกล้สนามบินสุวรรณภูมิ” may yield you more results, though they may be in Thai and difficult to navigate if you don’t speak the language. Airport hotels are an option for those who don’t wish to stray too far, too—rooms are available for rent in 4, 6, and 12-hour increments. Going for a massage in one of the many spas available inside the airport is a great way to relieve muscles sore from traveling; they offer a wide range of services, including express massages, hour-long Thai massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures.

Take a Transit Tour

If you have a minimum of 6 spare hours to wait until your connecting flight and don’t want to think too much about how you’d like to spend them, inquiring with the airport tour desk nets you fifteen different options, ranging anywhere from 4 up to 12 hours. These include a tour of the city and some temples, the Erawan Museum, the Grand Palace, some of the more popular markets, and so on. You can leave your baggage with AIRPORTELs Bangkok, a luggage storage facility that is open 24 hours, and just take your essentials with you. Keep in mind that if you plan on going shopping, you may need to exchange your currency or withdraw cash from a machine.

Visit an Outdoor Market

Some of the best eats and bargain shopping in Thailand can be found in Bangkok’s famous outdoor night markets. Suvarnabhumi Flea Market is the closest to the airport; a short ten-minute or less ride if you take a taxi, which is convenient if you’re pressed for time but don’t want to spend it cooped up in the airport. If you only have 3 hours or so to spare, this is one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of the local culture and have a phenomenal meal at the same time, as roadside stalls and friendly vendors hawk incredible Thai dishes and succulent tropical fruit.

Visit Khao San Road

This backpacker’s paradise recently caught the attention of the local government and has since become somewhat more commercialized. Nevertheless, Khao San Road has retained most of its charms, and now it’s one of the most popular areas to visit in Bangkok. Spring roll and pad thai stalls freely mix with international restaurants serving everything from burgers and fries to falafel and hummus. During the day, it’s an excellent shopping destination if you’re into local curios and handicrafts. At night, it comes alive: you’ll find some great bars and nightclubs here, if you’re in the mood to stay up all night long. Seek out Gazebo in particular, a rooftop dance club and bar that was recently voted as one of the world’s best. The drinks are excellent, the kitchen serves terrific food, and great live bands perform nightly.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of the better places to be stuck in for a layover: with its proximity to Bangkok and various methods of getting into the city, it’s completely possible to have a mini-holiday in Thailand before getting on your connecting flight. Just make sure to keep an eye on the clock and factor in enough time for unforeseen circumstances, such as traffic or a particularly long immigration queue. Beyond that, enjoy your short stay in the Land of a Thousand Smiles!

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