When I fly back from Thailand, I usually fly from Survanabhumi airport. Survanabhumi is large and world class airport. If you wish to board a flight from Bangkok, please, I beg you please leave early- because the jam in Bangkok can be unpredictable. You do not want to miss your flight because you are stuck in the infamous Bangkok jam.
And over the years, I’ve had a few close calls of almost missing my flight because either we left a little late or we were caught in a massive bumper to bumper jam.
If you are in very early, you can go down to Magic Food court to have a meal where the price is cheaper compared to other restaurants.
When you arrive at the Survanabhumi departure floor, do check out the aisle based on your flight number. Do try to check in early, about 2 hours before your flight because the queue at the security check and Immigration can be a little long.
Do note that if you have items which you need to obtain VAT refund for, you need to get the items inspected before you enter to Immigration. And you can only get VAT refund for certain items and at the point of purchasing the item the shop got you to fill up the forms, photocopy your passport and help you to submit into the system. Then with receipt you can claim back VAT refund within 60 days from date of purchase if you are bringing the item out of the country. At the airport, the officers would check your item and then put in a chop on the form. You can then claim back the VAT refund after entering the Immigration.
Then after check-in, you can now enter into Immigration. The officers would check your boarding pass, you would then take an escalator up to one floor and proceed to the security check-in counter.
The security check-in in Survanabhumi is quite strict and they use the latest technology. For the checks, you need to remove your slippers/socks/shoes. After going through the check-in, you would walk and take another escalator downstairs to the Immigration counter where you would need to have your passport, boarding pass and the departure card. The officer will take your departure card and return your passport/boarding pass to you.
After the Immigration, you would be greeted by the iconic statues of Brahmas with the Dragon as per below:
Many tourists would like to take picture here. Depending on your departure gate, you can either turn left or right.
Above is the VAT refund counter- each time I pass the counter there would be long queue. So it is also advisable to have enough time to queue up to get your refund.
The interior is huge with lots of shops.
If I have time, I tend to look for bookstores. In the past, I have bought a few Thai language book and dictionary from the book shops in the airport. They are not too expensive and definitely cheaper compared to me buying them from a local bookstore in Malaysia.
Hmmmm…. already a book caught my eye:
Work and hyperfocus. Yes, it is the hyperfocus ability that got me through my job. You would be surprised at the kind of interesting finds here. There are also a number of souvenir, foodstuff, cafe, jewelry and various other shops around. But for me, only bookstore interests me.
At certain departure gate, it gets a little quiet and less crowded:
But you know another thing I like about this airport? Even though it may mean much to many people, I like the fact that they provide water fountains for visitors to be able to fill up their water container. When you need to empty your water bottle at the security check-point, do not throw away your bottle because you can always fill it up with water later when you are inside.