Don Mueang is a bustling airport but it seems to operate with military precision. I attribute this to the fact that is used mostly by no frills, budget airlines for whom time is money. That said there are some budget airlines use Suvarnabhumi so always double check. Don Mueang was the main International gateway before Suvarnabhumi opened.
There’s a little bit of a walk to immigration but after a cramped budget airline seat it’s nice to stretch the legs. Queues at immigration vary depending on time of day and season but are invariably quite long. After immigration baggage claim is down the escalator. There are also some currency changers but if you need currency change only the minimum needed to get yourself into town and change more there for better rates.
Taxi – Turn left into the arrivals hall after passing through customs and look for Public Taxi signs which will direct to the end of the building. Queues can also be quite long here. Make sure you get a numbered ticket so you don’t miss your turn. The Taxi into town will cost in the region of 300-350 baht depending on where you are going. On top of the the meter you will need to pay a 50 baht airport surcharge plus the toll road fees of which there are usually two. Your driver will usually ask for cash as you pass through each toll. The toll fees will vary depending on which part of Bangkok you are going to but are usually about 50 or 70 baht each.
If you are hungry before checking in there are a number of restaurants on the first floor between terminals one and two.
International Terminal 1 – The check-in counters for Air Asia (1-3) are always busy. To their credit they do process their passengers quickly and efficiently. At the time of writing there are no self check-in terminals.
Other airlines have fewer flights so the check-in counters are not as frantic. Once through immigration the security checks are almost on the main concourse leading to the gates. Turn left and just beyond the big duty free area there are a number of fast food chains including Burger King, Subway and Starbucks.
Gates 1-6 are down one level, you will be taken to your aircraft by bus.
Domestic Terminal 2 – Queues for check-in and baggage drop are usually long but they do seem to move quite fast. Air Asia has self check-in terminals. If you only have hand luggage this will speed the process, if you have checked bags you will need to go to the baggage drop before proceeding to security. Once through there are a few shops Boots Pharmacy, 7-11 and a wide range of eating options including, Subway, Burger King, McDonalds and Starbucks.