What is the most cost effective way to get from the Suvarnabhumi Airport to Hua Hin (on Thailand's northwestern Gulf coast)? And how much would that be compared to a taxi ride?
A taxi ride would be at least 3000 Baht, but from the Airport you have taxi stands with fixed prices for most destination. From downtown Bangkok, you can negotiate to as low as 2000 Baht.
The less expensive would be to take the public minibuses. Thais use them for transport between provinces. Most of the minibuses can be catched at Victory Monument. To go there from the Airport either take a taxi (about 200 baht), or take the Airport Link to Phaya Thai. There are one rapid (100 baht I think) and one that stops to every station. At Phaya Thai, take the BTS to Victory Monument (one stop). Vans depart from several places under the Skytrain station (near Century mall), normally from ~7am to ~8pm.
So total for the less expensive trip would be Airport Link (45 baht) -> Bts (15 baht) -> Minibus (~200 baht) = 260 baht.
It is 305 Baht for a trip from Suvarnabhumi to Hua Hin on a bus with AC. Estimated travel time is 3 hours.
This service is brand new, it just started on 29 November 2012.
The best way is to stay at the Inter-Continental and charter their Cessna for the 35-minute hop.
But at 50,000 baht one-way, this may not be all that cost-effective ;)
- take "Airport Rail Link (SA City Line)" : Airport > Makkasan station (45THB)
- 5 minutes walk : Makkasan Station > Phetchaburi Station (MRT-Metro)
- take "MRT" : Phetchaburi Station > Hua Lamphong the Thailand Train central (29THB)
take "Train" : > Hua Hin, there are more than 10 times a day (44THB-202THB depend on the class)
Time overall around 5 hours
PS. check the train time table at http://www.railway.co.th
Bell Travel bus desk on Level 2 of the Airport has shuttles that run regularly, best if you book on line as they sell out, Around THB260/per person. Air conditioning, toilet, wifi, reclining seats. Around 3.5 hour trip but definetley the cheapest and easiest way to get there.
Not associated with this company just a happy customer.
I think a metered taxi from the airport (Suvarnabhumi) to Hua-hin should be around 2,500 Baht, I did a quick online search and found a company called oriental escape that offer airport or downton pickup and transfer to Hua-hin for 2,650 Baht in an economy car (toyota Soluna) so a taxi should be a little bit cheaper than that, I usually get a taxi from Sukhumvit to Hua-hin and pay around 2,200 Baht!
there is actually no question of what is the best way.
The best way is CLEARLY by Bell Travel bus (http://airporthuahinbus.com)
- easy online booking
- new 24 seater bus
- 3 super wide fully reclining seats in a row
- smooth ride
- 3.5 hours travel time
- price 270 baht
The second best way can be hiring a private car online
- Camry/Innova car
- not as smooth as a bus, surely will make you more tired
- roughly the same travel time
- price from 1800 baht
Trains may be fine, but it will take much more time
- old smelly train
- first take airport link train
- then change to MRT
- then walk to the railway station and buy tickets
- trains are super slow and NOT NICE
Don't ever think about taking a van from Bangkok, it's a horrible experience, not foreigners should travel this way... It's inhumane.
I have used www.bangkokshuttle.com several times to get from the airport into downtown Bangkok. Apparently, they also serve Hua Hin for 2,800 THB. Clean and hassle-free.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Bangkok Shuttle other than as a satisfied customer.
I have travelled many times to Hua Hin. The most cost effective way to travel is by train as Fawas described above, another easy way is using the airport bus shuttle, but.. I have had to wait almost 2 hours sometimes before leaving the airport, and that is not really great after a 11 hour flight and then another 3 -3½ hours in the bus. But the buses are comfortable.
What I normally do is book a transfer by taxi from a Hua Hin based taxi company, there are several you can find on the net, but lately I have used www.huahintaxiservice.com simply because the reply fast and have good communication skills in English when I book the trip. As mentioned I have tried others and all seem to have good cars and good drivers, price for one is between 2200 to 2500 THB.
If your goal is get the cheapest journey do the following
Airport rail link city line to Lot Krabang (next station) (15 Baht) Take the train to Bangkok (6 Baht) Hualamphong to Hua Hin
This is what i would advice and also an extra tip...
Save yourself the stress , worries and the dragging with suitcases and spend the few baht/dollar/euro and take the Bell bus which cost 305 euro. It is quite fast and very comfortable. If you are at Hua Hin, you probably can walk or take and if not, take taxi from the busstation to your resort/hotel.
2200/2800 baht for a taxi is really overpriced. If i have to wait an hour extra, then i will have lunch or dinner there. A 3-4 hour drive to Hua Hin with an empty stomach can be a longggg ride.
What i would recommend is leave a day earlier Hua Hin, and take an airport hotel for 1.5 or 2 nights. They offer often free shuttle from/to the airport. Because my flights from BKK to my destination departs at 2AM i will book an extra night, so i will leave the hotel at 22:45pm and be 3 hours before departure time at the airport. At daytime i can relax and swim and get a last glimp of Bangkok if i want, and then take a rest, and then shower and head to the airport worry and hassle free.