Toby Keps

Travelled to 12 countries / regions

Written 42 briefs
I backpacked across Thailand in winter 2019



Asia > Thailand > Bangkok > Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport > Useful Info
Updated on Jan 07, 2020 Useful Info

Best way to transfer between Don Mueang Airport (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Bangkok

  • Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport (sometime spelled as Don Muang) are Bangkok's two commercial airports located 30km apart from each other. While Suvarnabhumi is arguably the main airport of Bangkok, with 63 million passengers and lion's share of its international arrivals, Don Mueang is not far behind, with 41 million passengers composed primarily of domestic passengers
  • Given how big they both are, it's pretty common for visitors to have to travel between these two airports. However, the challenge is that they're located on opposite ends of the city, and there's currently no railway connecting them together (in fact Don Mueang airport doesn't have any trains, period)

  • There is a master plan to connect these two airports by train at some point in the future. But for the time being, there are two main ways to travel between these two airports:
  1. Shuttle Bus: best option and is free
  2. Taxi: most convenient option and the only option from midnight to 5am
  • In addition to these two main options, there are also a two other specialized transportation methods: 1) prearranged transfer and 2) train + taxi

  • Option 1) Shuttle bus: best option
  • This is in my opinion the best option because not only is it direct, requiring no transfers, it's also FREE. Unless you have so many pieces of luggage that you have to use a taxi, I highly recommend using this option
  • What you need: the only thing you need is the reservation, ticket, or boarding pass of your same-day connecting flight leaving from the airport you're trying to get to. For example, if you're going from BKK to DMK, you need to show the ticket/reservation/boarding pass for a flight departing from DMK. If you're going from DMK to BKK, you need to show a ticket/reservation/boarding pass for a flight leaving from BKK
  • Where and how to board the free shuttle:
  • At Suvarnabhumi airport: after you've exited the customs into the arrival hall (which is on level 2), go to exit door 3. Go outside the door and you'll see a counter immediately to your right (do not cross the street!). Show the staff at the counter your flight ticket, which can be on your phone, and you will get a stamp on your hand that lets you board the busUser submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi AirportUser submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi AirportUser submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi AirportIf you're still confused, check out this video which shows you exactly how to board this bus at BKK
  • At Don Mueang airport: the boarding process is identical to going from BKK to DMK described above. Go to arrival hall (ground floor), Terminal 1 (international terminal), door 6. The service counter where you need to show your reservation/ticket/boarding pass is located inside door 6:User submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi AirportThe boarding spot is located outside door 6, to your left after you exit through the door. Look for this sign, as this is where the bus will pull up:User submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi AirportCheck out this video for a step-by-step guide:
  • Shuttle travel time between DMK and BKK: 50-60 minutes in normal traffic. During rush hour can easily take 90-110 minutes. Make sure you plan at least 2 hours for this airport transfer
  • Price: FREE
  • Schedule and Frequency: the hours and frequency is the same in both directions, with the first bus leaving at 5am and the last bus leaving at midnight, every 12 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes during lighter hours. Here's some more details:
  • From Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Don Mueang (DMK): User submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
  • From Don Mueang (DMK) to Suvarnabhumi (BKK):User submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

  • Option 2) TaxiUser submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport
  • Because of the existence of the free shuttle bus, I don't normally recommend taking a taxi. The two circumstances in which you should take a taxi are: if you have more than one piece of large luggage, in which case taking the shuttle bus becomes very tiresome; or if you've landed close to midnight and need to get to the other airport early in the morning, in which case the free shuttle is not running at all
  • You can take regular metered taxi or Grab at both airports. Personally I like using Grab because it's more convenient, fees are fixed upfront, and I can pay with credit card. That being said, there's no price difference between Grab and metered taxi, and with Grab you do need to set up the app before you leave for Thailand (you can download Grab from its website)
  • Taxi fare: 350-450 baht ($11.5-$15USD). Price is pretty much the same whether you take metered taxi or Grab. If you opt to use the metered taxi, make sure the driver uses meter as some of them will try to talk you into a flat fare that's vastly inflated. Keep in mind that there's a 50-baht airport pickup surcharge added onto the fare shown on the meter. There are also highway toll charges that many drivers will ask the passengers to pay for directly as they enter the highway
  • Travel time: 30-60 minutes depending on traffic condition
  • Where and how to take taxi and Grab: overall very straightforward. There are designated spots at both Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang for boarding metered taxis and Grab taxis. Read more details for BKK, and for DMK

  • Additional options: in addition to the two main options detailed above, there are also some specialized transportation options available
  • Prearranged transfers:User submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi AirportThis is basically when you book a private transfer service online ahead of your arrival, and a driver will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to the other airport. This option is even more convenient than taxis because the driver will be waiting for you in the arrival hall. Personally I think the best use of these transfers is when you need extra large cars that can seat 6-8 people, or if you want a nice car like SUVs. To book these you can use websites like Viator and Klook. On these sites just search for Bangkok, and then filter for "Transport" category. There are lots of these providers for both DMK and BKK and the costs range from USD$20-$50 depending on the car type you choose
  • Trains + taxi:User submitted photo of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi AirportI can't really think of any good situations that may call for this but it is possible to do. Here's how:
  • From BKK to DMK: total trip will cost 220-250 baht ($7.3-$8.3USD) and takes 1.5-2 hours
  1. Take the Airport Rail Link train to its final station at Phaya Thai Station. This leg costs 45 baht ($1.5USD) and takes 30 minutes. Read more about how to take the Airport Rail Link from BKK here
  2. At Phaya Thai, transfer to the BTS Sukhumvit Line (green line) to Mo Chit Station. This leg costs 36 baht ($1.2USD) and takes 10 minutes
  3. Exit from Mo Chit station and flag a street taxi to take you to DMK. This leg will cost 150 baht ($5USD) and takes 15 minutes
  • From DMK to BKK: identical steps as above but in reverse. You take a taxi to Mo Chit station first, and then take the BTS Sukhumvit Line to Phaya Thai Station, then finally transfer to Airport Rail Link to the airport