Don Mueang is the older and smaller airport of Bangkok, which is not yet served by a dedicated airport rail link. Or is it?
While there’s plenty of taxis or bus options to get to the nearest BTS or MRT station or even the city itself, RailTravel Station, being RailTravel Station, chose to travel by train after the arrival of my flight.
From the arrival hall of the international terminal, ascend the overhead bridge leading to the railway station and Amari Don Mueang Hotel.
Exit before you enter the hotel portion of the bridge to the side door pointing towards trains.
Walk the non-airconditioned portion of the bridge to the middle point.
The actual Don Mueang Airport Rail Link is under construction beside the existing railway.
Descend down the ramp where the sign points to the Bangkok Bound Platform.
The gentle ramp is suitable for travellers with all kinds of baggage. Even if you’re heading towards northern and northeastern destinations such as Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai or Nong Khai, you should use this ramp as the northbound platform comes only with a set of unsheltered stairs.
The main platform of Don Mueang Railway Station.
Get your ticket at the ticket counter.
For Ordinary trains from Don Mueang to Bangkok Hua Lamphong, fares are 5 baht (SGD 0.20) for foreigners and free for Thai citizens. If you wish to change to the MRT Blue Line at Bang Sue, fares are 3 baht (SGD 0.12) for foreigners and free for Thai citizens.
Different fares apply for trains classified Rapid (still affordable), Express (may be affordable or otherwise, depending on available classes and what your perception is) and Special Express (prohibitively expensive).
My ticket for the ride to Bangkok’s main railway station.
The timetables on display at the station.
The platform is sufficiently cool to wait for the train. There is also a stall selling cold drinks at local prices (hint to anyone stuck at the airport) and another selling grilled snacks on a stick.
The Ordinary 208 arriving right on time. This train originated from Nakhon Sawan, which departed at 5am in the morning, while I was probably finishing my McDonald’s breakfast at Changi Airport at 6am Singapore time.
And since Don Mueang is just an intermediate station, the train was understandably full with only standing room available. But with a fare of 5 baht, even standing throughout the journey is a steal.
The train plies parallel to the highway from Don Mueang Airport to Bang Khen.
Looking at the progress of Bang Sue Central. Once this station is up, this cheapest airport rail link will terminate its service here, but by that time, you’ll probably just get on the actual Airport Rail Link and interchange at Phaya Thai for the BTS if you’re staying in the city.
Since there is heavy railway activity in Bangkok especially in the morning, it can be said that there was a traffic jam on rails. Trains are also usually timed to have two passing at one road crossing in order to reduce jams on the road, even if it’s just by a little.
Passing by the traffic jam on the roads.
Allowing a train from and to the Eastern Line to pass Yommarat Junction before my train can proceed on.
Sorry for your wait of 4 trains guys.
Arriving at Hua Lamphong Railway Station.
Some SRT photographers at the end of the platform. If you guys see this post, please tag me!
Arrived back at the grand Hua Lamphong Railway Station. Factoring in delays due to the traffic jam, both on rails and on road, the 22km journey took 80 minutes.
At 20 Singapore cents or 64 Malaysian sen, this is probably the cheapest paid airport rail link system in the world.