Bangkok, the capital of and largest city in Thailand, is an established medical hub for international patients and has a wide range of internationally accredited hospitals, including Bumrungrad International Hospital, one of the busiest medical centers in the world. The main entry point for patients is Suvarnabhumi International Airport located at the eastern edge of the metro area. It’s an easy airport to navigate and provides a variety of transportation modes into the city. The three most common forms of transit are taxi, the Airport Rail Link, and hospital arranged transport.
Upon arriving, most passengers will de-plane directly at the gate. However, some flights will de-plane onto the tarmac and passengers will load onto a bus which will transport them to the terminal. Once inside the terminal, passengers will walk to immigration, baggage claim, and customs which appear very similar to most international airports. After collecting one’s baggage, passengers proceed to the transportation departure points to Bangkok.
Taxis and hospital pick-ups are located outside Floor 1. Just follow the signs for taxis and request on from the Taxi Desk. Make sure it is a metered taxi. Fares start at 35 Baht and there is a 50 Baht surcharge from the airport. It is helpful to have 100 Baht notes to pay for the trip. Depending on one’s arrival time, travel by taxi could take more than an hour due to high levels of traffic and congestion.
If you are mobile enough to handle transit by light rail, then the Airport Rail Link (City Line) will could save time and costs. Travel into the city by rail is 45 Baht [roughly US$1.30] one way payable at the ticket window in the airport. The airport line ends at the PhyaThai station in Bangkok. You will need to exit the train and then either leave the station to catch a cab or connect to the BTS line. If you decide to continue on the light rail look for the BTS ticket window. The ticket fare for the BTS line varies by distance to the stations and can be up to 35 Baht. The ticket window will not issue a ticket but will provide change for your Baht paper money in 10 Baht coins. Once you have the coins, go to the nearby ticket dispensing machine, find the fare for the station to which you need to go, and insert the coins to get the ticket. Central stations include: Siam, Ploen Chit (near Sukhumvit Soi 1), Victory Monument, Chit Lom, and Thong Lo. From these stations, you can catch a taxi to the hotel or hospital.
Bangkok BTS Map: http://www.transitbangkok.com/bts.html
The photos below are a visual guide to Suvarnabhumi International Airport and show how to get to the Airport Rail Link. Upon returning to the airport for your departure flight, be sure to arrive at least two hours before the flight. Check-in lines and, particularly, immigration lines can be long and slow.