Hi everyone! Welcome to the last article of this series. Today I’ll let you know how to travel around Bangkok easily and how to get to the MagicFest venue. Many of the references I’m using today will be taken out of other public sources since they’ve already done a good job in explaining it. Also, I’d like to give a big thanks to my judge colleague, Boonyakiat Sripongam (Nong). He has contributed so much in this article since he lives close to that area. A lot of pictures and videos in this article were taken by him. Anyway, let’s get started.
What are the public transportation options available in Bangkok?
- Taxi – If you’re travelling in a group, then taxi is the most cost-effective method to go around places in Bangkok. As I said in the first article, always ask the driver to turn on the meter. Don’t let them scam you by coming up with their own unfair price. Since Thai taxis are quite cheap when comparing to other countries, I highly recommend you to use them EXCEPT for only when the traffic is horrible. There are also few tourist attractions around Bangkok that is not reachable by trains anyway, so in many cases you’d have to stick to taxis.
- Grab – We do not have Uber here anymore, but Grab is an option. If you don’t want to worry about getting cheated by normal taxis, then this is the best option for you. Please note that the charge is a bit higher than normal taxis, around 20-30% depending on the distance of your destination. Sometimes, you could be in a situation that’s tough to hail a taxi (maybe from raining or bad traffic). Grab Taxi is also a good choice for such case.
- Motorbike – In many crowded areas in Bangkok, you’ll be able to find a public motorbike pool waiting for customers. Price-wise, they are very good deal if you want to hurry to another place nearby, but starts to get insane when the distance is long. It’s still the best choice if you’re in a hurry though since they’re going to weave through the traffic jam like snakes.
- Tricycle (Tuk-Tuk) – They are a bit more expensive than the motorbike but can carry more people at the same time. Of course, they can’t sneak through traffics like motorbike. I’d say it’s more of just for-experience type.
- BTS/MRT (Skytrain/Underground Train) – These 2 railways go through majority of Bangkok, and they are still expanding (slowly). One good news is that we just opened another new BTS station named “Ha Yaek Lat Phrao” that directly connects to Central Lat Phrao, our MF Bangkok Venue. This is probably the method more than 80% of Magic players will take to the venue as they are best for avoiding traffic. There are many stations that BTS and MRT (and even Airport Rail Link) are connected so as long as you’re staying near one of these stations, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get to the venue. WARNING!! Friday morning’s traffic is very bad, so please use skytrain if you can. Lastly, you can find the map of all the train stations in Bangkok from this link:
- https://www.thaiwaysmagazine.com/bangkok/bangkok-maps/bangkok-skytrain-bts-and-metro-mrt-map.html (Note that the new station is not included in this map yet. It’s just another station next to Mochit Station on green BTS route.)
- Bus – Just like everywhere, buses here are inexpensive. However, Thai buses are not punctual at all. My best advice is….. don’t use it LOL. Only try it when you’re not in a hurry.
- River Boat – The Chao Phraya river cuts through Bangkok, so there are many places you can visit by boat. Also, it’s another great choice for people who want to avoid traffic because there are few train stations that are close to the pier. You can find further information about how to travel by boat around Bangkok in these 2 links:
So….. How do I get to Bangkok from the airport?
First thing first, we have 2 international airport in Bangkok: Don Muang and Suvarnabhumi Airport (FYI, it’s pronounced “Suvannapoom”.) Therefore, I’m going to divide this section into two.
From Don Muang Airport
This is the older airport that’s a lot closer to the city. Most of the flights here are low cost airlines, so if you’re flying AirAsia, then you’ll land here. This airport is very small (well, it’s opened since 1914 so it was considered very big back then), and that’s why there are very few active airlines in this airport.
- Taxi: Just follow the “Taxi” sign on the arrival floor, and you’ll be able to find taxi counter like in the picture. If the traffic isn’t too bad, the taxi should cost around 250 THB (ED note: 1 USD is about 30 THB) to reach the city center, including the 50 THB surcharge for trips starting at the airport. Again, like I mentioned above, always tell the taxi to turn on the meter.
- Airport Bus (A1): This is the one I recommend the most if you come here alone (or in a pair). This bus is available in every 30 minutes, and it takes only 20 minutes to get to Mochit Station, which then, you could take BTS train to any other stations around the city area. Mochit Station is also the closest stop to the MF venue, too. There are other lines that can take you to other parts of the city as well, which is very useful if you know where you’re staying.
From Suvarnabhumi Airport
Ok, this is our new airport. It’s a whole lot bigger and easier to get lost. Again, thanks to my great friend, Nong, who took pictures of how to travel to the city from there for us.
- Taxi: Just like Don Muang Airport, if the traffic isn’t too bad, it should cost around 300 THB to reach the center of the city (airport charge included.) Best for travelling in groups. You can find taxi stands on the 1st floor of the airport. Once you reach the stand, you’ll find an automatic ticket machine just like in the picture below. Just press the button on the screen, and you’ll receive a ticket telling which taxi you’ll be taking.
- Airport Rail Link (ARL): This railway will take you to many stations around the center of the city. The closest station to the venue is Phayathai, the last station. Note that you can also interchange to MRT line at Makkasan Station, just in case you’re heading to somewhere connected to MRT line. You can find ARL on the B floor of the airport.
Quick Tip – If you’re hungry when you arrive, we all know that foods at the airport is always expensive. However, if you head to the food court on the 1st floor, you’ll be able to find “Airport Street Food (by Magic Food Point).” The price of foods here are a lot more reasonable than the one around arrival/departure area.
So it’s Oct. 11th, how do I get to the venue?
This part, I’ll skip the obvious ones like taxi and motorbikes. Instead, I will emphasize only the railway instead because this is probably how 90% of the attendees will travel to MF Bangkok. Before going to the main point, please let me remind you all first. Traffic during Friday morning and evening around this area is probably one of the world’s worst traffic jams, so please take that into consideration too.
- BTS Sky Train: Head to Ha Yaek Lat Phrao Station, then head to Exit No. 1. This way take you to the department store Central Lat Phrao.
- MRT Underground Train: Head to Phahon Yothin Station (BL 14), then head to Exit No. 3.
The venue is BCC Hall, which is on the top floor of this mall. Just take the elevator or escalator up to the 5th floor and look for a big sign saying BCC Hall. You won’t miss it.
You can find the video of how to reach BCC Hall here: https://youtu.be/V8UyvD1Dlz4
And that concludes all of my guides and tips for your visit to Bangkok! Thank you very much for reading. I really enjoyed doing this series knowing that it’ll be helpful to others. MagicFests don’t really come around here often so I really hope we could do everything to make it as smooth as possible. Before I go, I’d like to thank Nong again since he is the one who took more than half of the photos in this blog. The video is recorded by him as well. This guide could not be as complete without his help.
As always, if there is anything you’d like to know more about Thailand, feel free to contact me at any time! I’d love to help all of you. Here are some channels you can get in touch with me:
Hope you all enjoy this article. Thanks very much for reading and see you soon in Thailand 🙂