Although the swanky Suvarnabhumi airport is the one that most travelers to Thailand both arrive in and depart from, budget travelers coming in from other parts of Asia likely end up in the Don Mueang airport.
Although a bit further out, Don Mueang isn’t that bad. It’s small and super quick to get through. The taxi mafia isn’t half so lively here. The main problem is that the coaches don’t come out here. A cab will cost 350-400 baht. 12 dollars is steep for a solo traveler or long-term couple.
But there is a solution. You can take the city bus #59. It, on the other hand, costs as of June 2014 all of 23 baht. (Make sure you have correct change; perhaps buy something in the airport before leaving. I had only had 20 baht and then 1000s but I was lucky enough to have a nearby Thai dude chip in the missing 3 baht.)
To catch old number 59, turn right when you step into the arrival hall and walk to the end of the airport. Head outside and keep going straight. There should be a parking lot to your right. But what you’re looking at is the street to your left. Keep heading straight and you’ll intersect with the main road and the bus stop will be obvious and just a little bit behind you.
The bus takes you to the Democracy Monument but unless you know how to say that in Thai or have it printed up, you just need to ask for Khao San. The ticket lady will give you a shout when you get there. On the way, to indicate how long the ride is, she might also indicate that you go to sleep. Maybe that was just me though!
It’s a long ride in–I didn’t have a watch but I’d say it was over an hour, maybe an hour-an-a-half. If you are pressed for time or just an impatient person, this might not be the option for you. But for everyone else, it’s a great way to get into the city without bleeding too many baht and if you score a window seat you can see new parts of the city too.