getting from bangkok airport 

How to get from Bangkok Airport to your Hotel

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Asia | Thailand

How to get from Bangkok Airport to your Hotel

Getting from the Bangkok airport to your hotel in the city is easy enough and your best, fastest option is by taxi. There are two airports in Bangkok. One is called Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), the international flight hub. The other is called Don Mueang Airport (DMK) for domestic flights and some flights to and from neighboring countries. Both airports are about equal distance to the city center of Bangkok. For our 15-day Thailand for Lantern Festival trip, you will fly into Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK).


Fill out your Arrival/Departure (TM6) Card

At some point during your flight, a flight attendant will give you an arrival/departure (TM6) card to fill out. Make sure to fill out the front and back of this card. In the “Arrival” section, there will be a field for your address in Thailand. For those on our Thailand for Lantern Festival trip, write “Ad Lib Hotel” followed by the address that can be found in your pre-departure notes. Be sure to completely fill out this card because you will be asked for it when going through immigration.

You will get the arrival/departure card on your flight.

Deplane and Pass Through Immigration

Once you get off the plane, you must go through immigration. Look for the signs that say “Immigration 3” and they will point you in the right direction.

Follow the “Immigration 3” signs.

You DO NOT need a visa upon arrival. Some of you will have a layover in China or Taiwan and a lot of your fellow passengers from other countries will be going toward the “Visa Upon Arrival” area. However, if you are American, British, Canadian or Australian, you do not have to go there. Instead, go toward the general immigration line. 

If you’re on one of our trips, DO NOT go here!

Collect your Luggage and Exchange or Withdraw Money

After passing through immigration, make your way to the baggage claim area. Take a look at the monitors to find your flight number to see what baggage claim carousel your luggage can be found at.

Once you collect your bags, you may want to exchange some money at the exchange counter. These counters are located generously outside of the baggage claim area.

You can exchange money after exiting the baggage claim area.

Remember that the airport currency exchange counters do not usually offer very good exchange rates. We recommend exchanging a small amount of cash, around $50 USD worth or so. Alternatively, you might select to withdraw cash from the ATM. If withdrawing from the ATM, make sure you still have some cash to exchange on you just in case your bank puts a stop on your card. If pulling from the ATM, we suggest taking out a relatively larger amount as withdrawal fees are usually 220 baht ($6) per withdrawal plus whatever fees your home bank charges you which is usually around $5 per transaction. We suggest pulling out the maximum which is usually 20,000 baht (approximately $565 USD) depending on the machine.

Thai baht (THB).

Find the Public Taxi Computer Kiosk Queue

One of our favorite things about Bangkok airport is there is almost zero or very limited harassment from taxi drivers like you may have seen in other airports around the world. This means you won’t be swarmed by taxi drivers trying to make a quick buck as soon as you step outside. All you need to do is follow the “Public Taxi” signs to catch your ride to your hotel.

Follow the “Public Taxi” signs.

Go down one floor and continue to follow the signs that say “Public Taxi” (see below).

Keep following the “Public Taxi” signs!

You will eventually arrive at the public taxi queue. There, you will find some small computer kiosks. There will also be two attendants standing by if you need help. Watch the video below to help you find the public taxi kiosks.

Push the one and only button in the middle of the computer screen and you will receive a number between 1 and 25. Locate the illuminated lane number that corresponds with your ticket and go to the car in that lane.

Look at your ticket # and find the corresponding taxi lane.

The taxi driver will help you with your luggage. These are all metered taxis so don’t worry about getting ripped off.

Give the driver the name of your hotel and the address written in Thai from the pre-departure notes and you’ll be on your way!

Taking the Highway and Paying the Tolls

Your taxi driver may ask you if you want to take the ‘highway/toll’. The answer is yes! The highway/toll road has much less traffic and is considerably quicker. You will arrive at the first toll and it will cost 25 baht (approximately $0.70 USD). The taxi driver will usually ask you for the money for the toll. The toll roads provide change so don’t worry about only having large bills. The driver might give you back all of your change or keep 50 baht from the change as there will be another toll to pay in about 5 minutes which costs 50 baht (approximately $1.40 USD) to pass through. He will more than likely just ask for 75 baht at the first toll and use the leftovers to pay for the 2nd toll. In any case, the total amount for the two tolls is 75 baht (approximately $2.10 USD).

This is what one of the toll booths looks like.

Below you can see toll receipt tickets that you’ll receive: One for 25 baht and the other for 50 baht. The total for all toll roads comes to 75 baht.

You will need to pay 2 tolls, one for 25 baht and another for 50 baht.

Once you arrive at the hotel, you will pay the amount on the meter plus 45 baht for the airport surcharge. The driver might ask you for a tip and 50 baht is sufficient. The most common way to tip is to just round up your tab. For example, if you owe 445 baht, just give him 500 baht.

It takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to get to the hotel. Since most of you are coming on the weekend, this will be good because the area in which we are staying will have less traffic. Traffic can get bad, especially if arriving on a weekday and hitting rush hour!

Getting to Ad Lib Hotel in Bangkok

If you are going on a Globe Drifters trip, your hotel is pretty new and quite small with only 48 rooms so your driver might not be familiar with the hotel and its location. The hotel is also blocked by a big hospital, but don’t worry, the pre-departure notes with the hotel address that you gave him also have the phone number of the hotel on them. He or she can call if having a hard time locating the hotel. Most taxi drivers speak some English, albeit limited.

Watch the video below to get an idea of where your hotel is located.

This is the Ad Lib Hotel lobby where you’ll check in.

Water will be provided in your room and if you are jet lagged, you can order food at the hotel although it is a bit pricey.


Have a safe flight and see you in Bangkok!

Loy Krathong Lantern Festival tour in thailand 

Asia – The Land of Festivals

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Asia | Thailand

After living and traveling in Asia for many years I quickly learned that Asia has quite a fondness for festivals. There is the full moon festival, the Loy Krathong festival, harvest festival, hottest day of the year festival, washing hair festival, camel festival, weaving festival and the list goes on. Many of these festivals are enjoyable but what festivals are worth planning your trip around?

india trip globe drifters 

A Love/Hate Relationship – Traveling to India

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Asia | India

Oh India…. you make me feel uncomfortable, give me severe diarrhea, make me take 30 hour train rides but in the end you utterly amaze me. You are that really bad relationship that I keep wanting to go back to. But what is it about traveling to India which is so addictive?

Cambodia-Orphanage-Childsafe 

Why You Should Not Volunteer While Traveling

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Asia

The problem with volunteering overseas is that most do not have a skill set that is really needed for the volunteering position and most organizations want a minimum commitment of 6 months to really “make a difference,” not three days.

vietnam cambodia travel tips 

How to get a Cambodian Visa at Siem Reap Airport

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Asia | Vietnam/Cambodia

Getting a Cambodian Visa at Siem Reap Airport

Getting a Cambodian Visa on arrival at the Siem Reap airport is a pretty easy affair and it is outlined in the 4 steps below.

Just one of the amazing temples around Angkor Wat!

1.) Complete forms during your flight.

There is one international airport in Siem Reap (Siem Reap International Airport.) During your flight to REP, you will likely get the following forms from the flight crew :

  • Application Form Visa on Arrival
  • Arrival/Departure Card
  • General Department of Customs and Excise Passenger’s Declaration (Customs Declaration form)

Cambodia Visa on Arrival Application Form 

Cambodia Arrival/Departure Card

Cambodia Customs and Excise Declaration Form

If you do not receive them from a member of the flight crew member, just ask them the forms to get a Cambodian visa on arrival. If they’re not available, don’t worry; you can pick them up once you arrive at the airport. However, you will more than likely receive them during your flight, so you can fill them out with a pen. Ink pens are not typically provided at the airport, so it’s best to have your own with you. If you have questions when filling out the forms, just ask a flight crew member. He or she will be able to assist you.

2.) Receive your visa at the Siem Reap airport visa area

Once you’ve landed, you’ll enter the airport at which point you’ll need to have the following available to give to the visa officer :

  • Passport with 6 months validity and 2 blank pages for the visa sticker
  • $30 USD cash (exact change)
  • 3 above-mentioned forms (completed)

Once you’ve de-planed and entered the airport, you’ll need to go to the visa kiosks before passing immigration to get your visa on arrival. Look for the signs that say “Visa on Arrival” and follow them. As you enter the airport, you’ll see a large hall/room and will need to walk straight ahead. The signs are typically in plain view, but if you cannot locate them, just ask. Just make sure that you head to the Visa on Arrival desk BEFORE getting to the immigration line.

3.) Clear customs and immigration

Once you’ve given all proper documentation to the visa officer and received the visa sticker in your passport, exit the visa kiosk area and head to the customs and immigration clearance area to your left. You’ll then show them your passport and all other remaining documents including those that you filled out on the flight to Siem Reap. You’ll then pass through the immigration area to collect your luggage.

4.) Collect your luggage

Once you’ve collected your luggage, you’ll exit the baggage claim area into the public area of the arrivals terminal. Your Cambodian guide will be waiting for you there with a sign that says “Globe Drifters” in plain sight. He will guide you to your tuk tuks that will take you to your hotel.

You’re now ready to start your adventure in Cambodia!

The beautiful blue waters surrounding Koh Rong Sanloem!

 

Traveling Alone in India as a Female

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Asia | India

Top tips when Traveling Alone in India as a Female

The Advantage of traveling solo to India

Traveling alone in India as a female can be daunting at times, even for the most seasoned travelers. I thought it would be useful to recount some of my stories and experiences I had. As a female solo traveler who usually throws caution to the wind, I got myself into some sticky situations when traveling alone in India. I will explain the pros and cons of traveling as a solo female, rather than just telling you “don’t do this” or “watch out for that.” This way you can draw your own conclusions and opinions.

koh-phi-phi 

People Ruin Everything

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Cuba | Thailand

What are the downsides of mass tourism?

Seven years ago I visited the island of Koh Phi Phi, which is probably the most popular and well-known island in Thailand. I went during peak season so there were hoards of tourists on the beach and it pretty much ruined the mood. I remember going into the water and thinking, “Is the water really warm because it’s hot out or is everyone around me taking a piss?” Talk about one of the downsides of mass tourism… and there are so much more! Learn about the obvious ones I witnessed and how to avoid crowds and reduce your impact when traveling.

teaching in south korea 

Teaching English in Korea

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Asia | South Korea

Yes, I was an English teacher in Korea…as well as half the American population come to find out. Any time I mention to someone that I was teaching English in Korea I get this response, “I know someone who did that.” I knew it was really popular to go to Korea; money’s good, experience a new culture and the kids are ridiculously cute but shit, everyone and their mother taught English in Korea.

travel tips globe drifters 

Long Neck Village – Ethical Issues

By globedrifters Amazing trips around the world | Asia | Myanmar | Thailand

Ethical issues when traveling to Southeast Asia has always been at the forefront of traveler’s minds. Are we hindering or helping child beggars by giving them money? If we ride on an elephant are we exploiting them? If we visit a ‘long neck’ village, are we encouraging the cultural torture to continue?

Don’t get me wrong, in the West we are burdened by many ethical problems of our own but when you go to South East Asia many of these moral dilemmas are brought upon by tourism and we see it first hand, hence why we feel the need to write about it, talk about it and take action to improve it. But the big dilemma seems to be there is not any clear-cut answer. It is neither black nor white but a large grey area.