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Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

Kuala Lumpur
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Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

I'm attending a sports event in February 2013 at Pak Chong (villa paradis) The place is hideously hard to get to via Public Transport and accommodation near the area has all been fully booked. Ive been informed there isnt even any public transport.

Even if I stay in Pak Chong town, I will need to pay to go to villa paradis for registration, come back to Pak Chong Hotel then go to Villa Paradis again the next morning for the event, and then back again to the hotel!!! I can just imagine how expensive that would be via driver/cab.

My idea would be to rent a car from the Don Muang airport to Pak Chong. Will the traffic be completely unmanageable? If its a highway from the Airport to Pak Chong I should be able to manage it........can anyone advise? Should I get GPS?

Appreciate your kind help

Lavy81

Malaysia

Bangkok, Thailand
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1. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

Renting a car is your only real option. You should also probably arrange that before you are confronted by the touts at the airport. Possibly, you can rent with GPS.

For someone not familiar with Bangkok, and Thailand, I would highly recommend a GPS. That said, I hope you can pinpoint the locations.

Bangkok, Thailand
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2. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

When you exit the airport you need to take the first U-turn and follow the highway. Its a couple of hours drive and I'd recommend a good map as a back up. Its a very busy road most of the way and accidents are common. Watch out for the numerous U-turns in the centre of the highway which create some dangerous situations.

Kuala Lumpur
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3. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

oh my gosh. ok well then ill be taking the bus :-)

Bangkok, Thailand
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4. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

There are trains to PakChong which stop at Don Muang station across the highway from the airport but i have no idea of timetables or cost. Buses to Pak Chong run from Morchit Mai bus station in Kamphengphet 2 Road about 10 minutes by taxi from Morchit BTS station. There's a shuttle bus to the BTS station from the airport.

Worldwide
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5. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

A local not wanting a car might take the train from Don Muang to Pak Chong (or maybe try to flag down a bus with remaining seats, which might stop at the bus stop adjacent to the train station attempting to get additional passengers), then charter a "song theau" (a pickup with 2 benches in back used for local passenger traffic) or motorbike taxi to your hotel. There may be a few sitting near the train station if you arrive at a "reasonable" hour. If you're alone you could sit in front with the driver, with your bags in back. A local should be able to get a very reasonable price for such a service, unless a "mafia" system is in operation as in Phuket and Samui. I am not sure of the scene in Pak Chong, because of Khao Yai but would guess you could meet some drivers wanting to gouge foreigners, but some who would give a sort-of reasonable price. For me, this should beat renting a car unless you want to do additional things before or after your event.

If you get a good motorbike taxi or song theau driver, and get a prepaid Thai SIM card for your phone (e.g. in the airport), get the driver's phone number for later use. It looks like your event venue is close enough to town for this to work..

You should be able to contact the organizers, or the hotel, and get advice on this. Some links, which also mention a regular song theau run from Pak Chong to Khao Yai, which you might be able to use - and a suggestion that some might want to rent a motor bike in Pak Chong for mobility in the area. If you think this might be attractive, read up on motor bike safety in Thailand, wear a helmet (if the rental place has junky ones, buy one at the Lotus Tesco in Pak Chong, or elsewhere), and make sure you have an international drivers license or all "insurance" may be invalidated.

khaoyaiguide.com/2011/…

wikitravel.org/en/Khao_Yai_National_Park

The following "book" may help:

…dropbox.com/u/…20Timetable.pdf

Check pages 34-36 for schedules to Pak Chong.

Check page 4 for a map. It's about 160 km on the rail line between Don Muang and Pak Chong.

Page 25 notes the types of cars (sleeping?, sitting?, dining?) on each train on northern and northeastern routes. On that relatively short run, a 2nd class seat should be fine. Air conditioned or not should be OK. All 2nd class seats are assigned (booked/reserved).

Page 98 lists fares for seating options on trains between Bangkok and Nakhon Ratchasima. Your price between Don Muang and Pak Chong would be somewhat less than those.

If you're used to KTM trains, Thai trains tend to be a bit similar, but generally with somewhat older and more worn equipment but often full-service dining cars (on loco-pulled trains, not railcars) with food cooked to order in the kitchen. The book has several photos of trains and seating - such as on pages 84-85.

You didn't say your arrival time. The earliest train from Don Muang to Pak Chong is scheduled for 0629AM, arriving 0859AM. The last train on the daily schedule departs Don Muang ~0025AM, arriving ~0409AM. Depending on the day and train, there should be seats available for sale at Don Muang train station when you arrive. But some trains may be sold out, especially on busy days (including holidays such as long weekends) or when there are events along that train route. I never take a chance, and always book ahead (in my case, always at a train station) - but YMMV.

Enjoy your trip!

Edited: 29 September 2012, 19:54
Kuala Lumpur
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6. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

Thanks to all the helpful and detailed responses. Based on this information, I am inclined to take the train from Don Muang ( the earliest at 630am, as I arrive the night before - will stay at Amari), arrive at Pak Chong and, as suggested hire a songthaew or motorbike taxi for 2 days. I should be able to get around to the event site and back , and perhaps even visit the premium outlet mall. As suggested, I will get a Thai prepaid SIM card..

If there are no tickets, I'll take the bus from the Mo Chit station.

I do have a follow up question though

1) How do I get from Amari hotel or the airport to the Don Muang train station?

2) If in the end, I do decide to drive, how do I manage tolls? Do I just pay cash at any counter or is there a specific lane i need to go to etc?

Many thanks for everything so far.

Bangkok, Thailand
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7. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

1. The hotel is right next to the train station. The airport is across the highway. All three are linked by one elevated walkway.

2. There won't be any tolls to pay on that route - unless you opt to use the Don Muang Tollway (cash at the booth) but its not necessary unless traffic on the highway is very heavy.

Kuala Lumpur
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8. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

thanks !!!!

9. Re: Don Muang airport to Pak Chong - Driving ?

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