Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) is now Bangkok’s secondary airport and home to many of the budget airlines in Thailand serving Bangkok’s domestic routes and international routes within the Asian-Pacific region. The airlines based at Don Mueang include Thai Smile, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, Siam Air, Orient Thai Airlines and New Gen Airways.
Situated around 24km north of Bangkok the airport is easily within reach of Bangkok city centre via either taxi or buses which go to Lumpini Park and BTS Mo Chit station. There are, at the time of writing this guide, also plans for a skytrain service between Don Mueang and Bangkok city centre in the future.
Don Mueang was closed commercially in September 2006, as the new Suvarnabhumi Airport opened, but it continued to be used for charter flights and also as an aircraft maintenance centre. The airport was reopened in March 2007 to ease passenger traffic at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Following recent renovation work, Don Mueang now serves 140 domestic flights carrying 20,000 passengers each day. It processed over 35 million passengers in 2016 according to official figures. Since re-opening Don Mueang Airport has seen extensive renovation and investment.
Don Mueang has two terminals. Terminal 1 is for international flights while Terminal 2 is serves domestic routes. From recent experience, the airport terminals are reasonably straight forward to navigate and well sign posted in multiple languages. The maps below should give you a good sense of where you’ll need to go and what services are available.
The airport offers all the services you would expect from an international airport including cafes, pharmacies, ATMs and several mini-marts like 7-Eleven which are located both airside and landslide. Their opening hours vary but, having travelled through Don Mueang at most hours of the day and night, we have always found that there is 24 hour coverage.
If you are travelling with children then there are play areas located in both the domestic and international departures on Floor 3 and should you need assistance from the airport staff there are multiple information desks in both terminals where the staff will be more that happy to assist you. Free WiFi is also available at the Don Mueang but is limited to a maximum of 2 hours per traveller. To connect simply use the @AirportTrueFreeWiFi network. There are charging stations for your mobile devices in most of the seating areas throughout the airport.
Don Mueang also has a fully staffed Medical Centre which offers urgent and emergency medical care between 8am to 5pm daily. You can find it on the 1st floor, north of Terminal 1.
To get into Bangkok, you will most likely need a taxi. In Thailand there are private taxis called simply ‘taxi’ and public taxis called ‘taxi-meter’. Our advice would be to take a taxi-meter because it is much cheaper.
To get a taxi-meter from Don Mueang you will need to follow the signs to the taxi ranks located in the Arrival Halls for both the International and the Domestic Terminals. You then need to take a ticket and wait until your number is called. Once your ticket number is called, the staff in the taxi rank will ask you where you need to go and allocate a driver to you.
This service costs an additional 50 baht on top of the meter charge. Also be aware that when using taxi-meters in Thailand you are responsible for any expressway toll charges which need to be paid in cash so it's always best to ensure that you have some smaller notes in your pocket - we find 100 baht notes work best. Depending on where in Bangkok you need to go the cost should be between 250 and 500 baht.
If you are looking for a more cost effective way of getting into Bangkok city centre from Don Mueang then you could use the bus services which leaves from airport Gate 5 and has two routes of interest namely,
A1 : Chatuchak or Jatujak - for the BTS from Mo Chit - they leave every 15 minutes or so.
A2 : Victoria Monument - for Lumpini Park and Khao San Road - the buses leave every 30 minutes or so.
If you need to get from Don Muang to Suvarnabhumi airport, there is a shuttle bus service from outside the passenger terminal at Don Muang (Gate 6) which is clearly sign posted. On arrival at Suvarnabhumi the bus drops passengers at the departure terminal on the 4th Floor by Gate 5. To use this free service, you will need to show the attendants a valid plane ticket from Suvarnabhumi airport.
As from 1st June 1999, the tourists who purchase goods from stores in Thailand which display a ‘VAT Refund for Tourists’ sign may claim for VAT refund from the VAT Refund counter in the departure hall of international airports before departing Thailand.
A tourist is eligible to receive a VAT refund when a purchase of 2,000 Baht or over is made from the same store in a single transaction and the store is part of the ‘VAT Refund for Tourists’ scheme. The merchandise claimed for VAT refund are required to be taken out of country by the tourist within 60 days of purchase date. Before departure, the tourist is required to present the merchandise and VAT refund application for tourists form (P.P.10) to Customs officers for inspection before check-in for departure from Thailand. Luxury goods, such as jewellery, gold ornaments, watches, glasses or pens, must also be inspected by the Revenue officers at the VAT Refund office.
If this is of interest to your then the VAT Refund Office and the Revenue Office at Don Mueang International Airport are located in the departure hall on the 3rd floor, close to entrance No.1 and also in the international departure hall.
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