Just remember, Bangkok Airport’s 4th floor has all the gems.
This week, I flew from Paro, Bhutan back to Taipei, Taiwan with a ten-hour layover at Bangkok Airport. Let me tell ya, it wasn’t fun. Normally, I’m not one whiny traveler. I’ve pretty much been through it all, seen the worst. But the layover I had at Bangkok wouldn’t have been so bad if my flight back to Taipei wasn’t at 3am. So that was nice, trying to figure out how to kill 10 hours in an airport past service hours.
Luckily, restaurants and stores remain open even past midnight, offering plenty of things to do. I hadn’t been back to this airport since 1980s, to realize how much an airport has changed was a joy and completely fascinating. I hardly recognized it! Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Bangkok airport’s fancy and official name) went through a drastic makeover and elevated to an important international hub in 2006. It seems that everyone from all walks of life crosses paths here, acquiring a few hours to kill, whether it’d be a trip of leisure or business.
Just remember, 4th floor has all the gems. Here are some ways I would recommend you to spend one or ten hours:
1. Take a ramen break at Kin Ramen.
It won’t exactly take you back to Tokyo but it sure beats the other food options around. If you’re like me and hadn’t had a fast food burger in months, then Burger King might seem more appealing. If not, Kin Ramen is one commendable choice.
2. Get a WiFi password from a WiFi stand on the 3rd and 4th floors.
Unless you’ve got a Thai phone or that your carrier works anywhere in Asia, then you’ll need to get airport WiFi passwords at “Free WiFi” stands throughout the 3rd and 4th floors of the airport. Each password only lasts an hour but it’s better than nothing.
3. WiFi passwords also available at Coffee World!
If you get sick and tired of heading back to Free WiFi stands, chill out with a cup of joe at Coffee World (also on 4th floor). They offer free WiFi passwords as well, you just need to ask. The staff is incredibly nice, they’ll even charge your phone! Again, you just need to ask kindly.
4. Scarf up with Jim Thompson’s intricate Thai silk.
Thailand is known for their beautiful silk productions, and the Jim Thompson store (4th floor) is a gorgeous way to kill time! Browse through a lovely selection of high quality scarfs, ties, handkerchiefs…you name it! I fell in love with all of them. They might be pricey but definitely worth a look!
5. Find out what Bangkok Bags are all about!
I mean, I had no idea what all the fuss was about. You’ll need to be your own judge on this. But I had to take a photo. My mom did get a few knick-knacks here, I think they make perfect souvenirs. Not too pricey and the name obviously makes it quite international.