THE WHAT’S UP GUIDE TO DON MUEANG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Don Mueang International Airport [DMK]

 Don Mueang International Airport [DMK]: 
Introduction | Facilities and Services | Accommodation | Ground Transport | Contact Info | Further Reading



INTRODUCTION

Officially inaugurated in 1914, Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport is one of the world’s oldest airports. It closed in September 2006 when Suvarnabhumi Airport took over its role as the principal gateway to Bangkok and Thailand. Don Mueang Airport was mothballed for six months before reopening in March 2007 to accommodate the soaring number of budget airlines then launching new routes.

Don Mueang is now Thailand’s hub for budget airlines while Suvarnabhumi serves full-service carriers. Don Mueang is a hub facility for Thai AirAsia, Nok Air and Thai Lion Air. Other smaller airlines flying to Don Mueang include Scoot, JC International and China Express Airlines. These carriers mostly operate on domestic Thai and Asia region routes. Destinations include Chiang Mai, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur, Yangon, Shanghai and Seoul.

Don Mueang’s airport code is DMK. The name is sometimes spelt as Don Muang Airport. The airport has two adjacent passenger terminals. The terminals were built for functionality and are not particularly beautiful yet feature all the facilities and services most modern travellers are likely to need. Shopping and dining outlets are not lacking at Don Mueang either and these include well-stocked duty free shops.

Don Mueang is about 25kms to the north of central Bangkok locations such as Silom and Sukhumvit Road. Transport choices for arriving and departing passengers are currently bus, airport and hotel shuttle bus, taxi, limousine bus transfer and train. The following Don Mueang Airport guide gives more information about transport, services, dining, shopping and airport hotels.



FACILITIES AND SERVICES

The two passenger terminals at Don Mueang Airport are interconnected. Terminal 1 serves international flights and Terminal 2 is for domestic passengers. In both terminals, the Arrivals area is on the ground, or first, floor and Departures is on the third. Both terminals feature full facilities and a choice of shops, fast food outlets and restaurants.

 Currency Exchange Kiosks and ATMs 
Bangkok Bank and the Thai Government Savings Bank are among the 10 different banks with service branches and currency exchange outlets at Don Mueang Airport. These are complemented by a large number of ATMs. The exchange offices and ATMs are in both terminals and in the Arrivals and Departures.

 Information Centres 
Don Mueang Airport has several information counters. In International Terminal 1, there is one in Arrivals and another in Departures. A few more are dotted around the airside and terminal side of Terminal 2.

 Baggage Wrapping Services 
A combined luggage wrapping and weigh station is located in the Departures hall in Terminal 1.

 Left Luggage 
Don Mueang’s luggage storage facility is located in the Departure hall in Terminal 2. It opens 24/7. Travellers can store their luggage here for up to four months.

 Executive Lounges 
Coral maintains three executive lounges at Don Mueang Airport. These are aimed at the discerning traveller and come with bonuses like comfortable armchairs, cafés, meeting facilities and wireless internet. Coral’s lounges are in the airside Departures zones of Terminals 1 and 2. The Miracle Co-Working Space is located on the fourth level of Terminal 2 and offers executive facilities, a buffet and a full range of drinks.

 Prayer Rooms 
A Sanghas and Samaneras lounge for Buddhists is on the Departures level of Terminal 1. There are also reserved seating areas for monks in the terminal and on the Departures concourses. Muslims will find their prayer room on the third level of Terminal 2.

 Massage and Beauty Treatments 
There are three massage spas at the airport. One is in the International Departures hall, another in domestic Departures and the final one on the fourth floor service zone of Terminal 2.


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 Children’s Playgrounds 
Nok Kids’ Zones are on the third floor Departure zones of both the international and domestic terminals.

 Post Office 
Don Mueang’s post office is on the Departures floor of Terminal 1. It provides a full range of postal services and is open from 08:00 to 19:00 every day apart from public holidays when closing times of 15:00 apply.

 Emergencies and Medical Service 
Don Mueang’s medical centre is on the ground floor of Terminal 1 and is signposted from the main hall. Doctors are on duty between 08:00 and 17:00 daily.

 Re-entry Permits 
Re-entry permits are available from the visa overstay office just past the passport control desks in the international Departures terminal.

 Visa on Arrival 
Passport holders from countries not included in the list of nations allowed 30-day visa exempt entry to Thailand can obtain visas on arrival from desks just before passport control in the International Arrivals concourse.

 Smoking Areas 
Unlike most modern airports, Don Mueang still has rooms for passengers to smoke in. There are six and all are located in airside areas of the concourses. Smoking is also permitted in specific areas outside the terminals.

 Shopping 
Although the collection of retail outlets at Don Mueang is not as broad-ranging as at Suvarnabhumi Airport, passengers will have no trouble stocking up on souvenirs, fashion accessories, jewellery and duty free items. Shops include Jim Thompson Thai Silk, BKK Original and Skyport The Mall. King Power Duty Free shops feature a varied selection of cigarettes, cigars, alcohol, perfumes and makeup products. 7-Eleven and Boots are among retail chains at Don Mueang with all the miscellaneous items passengers are ever likely to need.

 Dining 
Dining options at Don Mueang are diverse. Travellers are able to indulge themselves with all the tastes of Thailand as well as dishes from Japan, American burgers and Subway sandwiches. Silom Village, Meefann, Tokyo Teppanyaki, McDonald’s and A&W are among the restaurants. Dairy Queen, Krispy Kreme, Starbucks and bakeries offer a good assortment of tasty snacks and sweets. Eateries are in three main areas: the public area’s fourth floor and in the two airside departure lounges.


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ACCOMMODATION

The Don Mueang District of Bangkok has a nice selection of hotels to choose from. The top choice, the Amari, is right across the road from the airport, but there are others within walking range or short taxi journeys. Room facilities do vary, but generally include air-conditioning and televisions. In addition to the What’s up recommended Don Mueang hotels below, others such as the Mida, the Miracle Grand Convention and the Rama Gardens are only five to six kilometres away.

 The Amari Don Muang Airport Hotel 
Reached via a footbridge from the passenger terminal, the Amari Don Muang is convenient and comes with full guest and room facilities. A swimming pool, a fitness centre, a business centre, a cocktail lounge and a Henry J Bean’s Bar & Grill are the onsite highlights. Rooms and suites include bonuses such as large-screen televisions, minibars, safes and bathrobes. Free shuttles are available for travel to nearby Skytrain and underground train stations…more info & booking    

 Thip Mansion Don Muang 
Thip Mansion is one kilometre from the airport and a short ride in a taxi. It offers cost-effective rooms for singles, couples and families. Air-conditioned rooms have cable televisions, wireless internet and en suite bathrooms with free toiletries…more info & booking    

 Don Mueang Airport Modern Bangkok Hotel 
The Airport Modern is a homely boutique premises a short drive from Don Mueang. The rooms here are air-conditioned, bright and have refrigerators and 200-channel cable enabled televisions. The hotel’s dining room serves breakfast while an onsite minimart stocks microwaveable meals and drinks. There are lots of restaurants nearby too…more info & booking    

 Sleep Owl Hostel 
The Sleep Owl is a hostel with capsule bed accommodation designed for travellers on limited budgets. The beds are comfortable and separate from bathrooms. A TV lounge and external seating area are the main onsite facilities. The Sleep Owl is less than 10 minutes’ walk south of the Amari Hotel and Don Muang Railway Station. The locality is a happening area and has lots of shops and eateries…more info & booking    

 Mont Place Boutique 
The Mont Place is a stylish property 500 metres down a lane and across the road from Don Mueang’s passenger buildings. Rooms are air-conditioned, have LCD televisions, hairdryers and facilities to make hot drinks. Standard room rates include breakfast and are discounted for rooms without windows. The Mont Garden Café is open for breakfast and lunch…more info & booking    


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GROUND TRANSPORTATION

 Train 
There is a footbridge from Terminal 1 to Don Muang Railway Station. The bridge is beside the one for the Amari Airport Hotel. The station is on the main lines from Bangkok Hua Lamphong Rail Terminus to Northern and Northeastern Thailand. Both commuter and intercity trains stop at Don Muang on their way in and out of Bangkok. The trains are the cheapest means of getting to central Bangkok but on the downside service is sporadic in the middle of the day.

 Bus 
There are four airport bus routes which pick up on the Arrivals level outside both terminals at Don Mueang. A1 buses go to Mo Chit BTS Skytrain Station, the A2 to Victory Monument, the A3 to Lumpini Park and the A4 to Banglamphu and Sanam Luang Park. Route 29 buses stop on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road outside the terminals and offer a cheap, albeit slow, means of getting to Hua Lamphong.

 Don Mueang to Suvarnabhumi Airport Shuttle Buses 
Free shuttle buses between Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi run from 05:00 to 24:00. The buses pick up passengers at two stops. At Terminal 1, the stop is outside Gate 6 of the Arrivals hall and for Terminal 2 is near Gate 14. Buses depart every 12 minutes during the peak morning and evening hours and every 30 minutes at other times. This service is free for passengers with confirmed flights and preferably with boarding passes.

 Airport Limousine Buses 
These buses are 33-seater coaches which run on two routes. One is to Khaosan Road and the other is to Ploenchit and Lumpini Park. Service time is between 09:30 and 24:00 and buses depart every half an hour. Fares are higher than the standard airport bus routes, but still cheaper than taxis.

 Taxi 
The taxi ranks at Don Mueang are outside the Arrivals halls. The airport has introduced a queuing system which assigns a specific driver and taxi for each voucher. Passengers pay the fares displayed on the meters in addition to an airport fee and any fees for toll road usage.

 Airport Car Rental 
Global hire car companies such as Avis, Budget and Hertz have service desks in the international Terminal 1 Arrivals hall. Sixt and local car suppliers also offer rentals for arriving passengers at Don Mueang.

 Airport Parking 
Don Mueang has four different parking facilities. There is a basement car park at Terminal 1 and a multi-story one adjacent to Terminal 2. Another multi-level facility is close to the former domestic passenger building.


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CONTACT INFO
Don Mueang International Airport (DMK): 
#222 Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Bangkok 10210 | Call Centre: 1722 | Terminal 1 – Tel: +66 2 535 2111, +66 2 535 1277 | Terminal 2 – Tel: +66 2 535 1192, +66 2 535 1254 | Website | E-mail | Map 


FURTHER READING
•  Chiang Mai City Self Tours
•  Chiang Mai Shopping Guide
•  Chiang Mai Dining Guide
•  Chiang Mai Bars & Pubs Guide
•  Southern Thailand Travel Guide