I was a bit surprised when I discovered that AirAsia transferred all of its domestic and international flights to Don Meuang International Airport.

Such a shame since I was looking forward to transit through the newer Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok’s premiere airport. I had been flying with a lot of budget airlines lately anyways. It wasn’t a bother to fly out from budget airports/terminals.

Trip Date — October 2012

Itinerary Notes & Tips

Early morning taxi to Bangkok’s Don Meuang Airport

My early morning flight  from Bangkok to Yangon was scheduled at 7:15am. I had to ride a taxi from my hostel near Khao San Road to Don Meuang International Airport.

Going by bus/train would’ve been much cheaper but most of Bangkok’s public transportation stopped service during the wee hours of the morning.

I also tried looking for private shuttle transfers to Don Meuang Airport, but all the travel agencies I visited told me there weren’t any available that early. The early morning shuttles were only available for Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Upon check-out at my hostel, the staff offered to call a taxi and asked me to cough up 400 baht (B) up front. I asked if the B400 was for the taxi to “Don Meuang” and not “Suvarnabhumi” and if it already included the taxi fare and all the (possible) toll fees. I wasn’t sure if he understood me because he just kept repeating the words “taxi” and “give me money.” I was irritated by his insistence and didn’t want to risk any confusion, so I stormed out and looked for a taxi myself.

Good thing I did, there was a taxi line waiting at the end of Khao San Road. I approached one of the drivers, who offered to take me to Don Meuang Airport for B300. It seemed like a decent deal since the airport was 30 minutes (or around 25km) away from Khao San Road.

Check-in at Don Meuang Airport, Bangkok

Don Meuang International Airport was located north of Bangkok City Center. In contrast, Suvarnabhumi International Airport can be found at the southern outskirts of Greater Bangkok.

I booked my “Bangkok to Yangon” ticket during an AirAsia Big Sale promo, one year before my actual flight. The ALL IN promo fare costs only B890 (one-way).

After I arrived at Don Meuang Airport, I did the AirAsia check-in routine that I was already very familiar with, having gone on multiple flights with AirAsia around South East Asia previously.

These were the basic steps:

  • Find AirAsia’s “self check-in kiosks,” which looked like red ATM machines
  • Check-in for my flight by entering the “booking number” on the touch screen
  • Keep printout of the boarding pass
  • Present boarding pass to the baggage drop off counters, if I was planning to check-in baggage.
  • Clear immigration and proceed to the pre-departure area to wait for the flight

I thought I bought check-in baggage allowance. The AirAsia staff told me my payment did not register, so I had to pay an additional B370 for it “over the counter”.

I only had B396.5 left on my wallet, which left me just enough money to buy B25 pack of crackers for breakfast :( The money changers were still closed and I didn’t want to spend extra on the B150 ATM withdrawal fee.

I was a bit nervous coming up to the immigration counters. Myanmar was the first country I visited that that required me to apply for a tourist visa. The lady immigration officer was so nice, she even gave a warm smile before letting me through.

The pre-departure lounge didn’t open until 45-minutes before departure. Most of the passengers sat on the floor (outside the gate) while waiting for the boarding call.

At around 6:00am, the sky started to lighten. A beautiful sunrise revealed itself from behind the glass window of the airport terminal. Although I was exhausted and a bit hungry, I still had a reason to smile thanks to the sunrise, which reminded me of new beginnings and stimulated my excitement over potentially epic adventures that awaited me in Myanmar.

Bangkok to Yangon flight

We boarded the plane for AirAsia flight#FD770 from Bangkok to Yangon at around 6:45am. The flight was only 45 minutes long. I was so tired, I slept the entire flight. We already landed at Yangon International Airport when I woke up.

Arrival at Yangon International Airport

Immigration procedures went very smoothly. As soon as I got the stamp on my passport, my excitement coalesced in full force. I was finally cleared to start my two week adventure in Myanmar!

I proceeded to the arrival hall, where I was greeted with lots of taxi drivers offering a rides to the city center for US$10. They left me alone after I told them I was taking the bus.

I went to the tourism information desk to inquire about the bus to the Downtown Yangon before proceeding to the currency exchange stall.

The lady at the information desk was very nice and spoke excellent English. She told me I could find the buses to the city center at the “ten miles market bus stop” which was a 15-minute walk away from the airport terminal.

Myanmar (Kyats) Currency Exchange

I only changed US$10 (1US$ = 860 Myanmar kyats) at the currency exchange stall thinking I’d get better deals at the city center. I realized later that it was a bad move. The rate at Yangon Airport was the best compared to everywhere else (banks, currency exchange shops, travel agencies, even black market peddlers) I encountered in Myanmar.

Myanmar currency is Kyat, pronounced as “chat.” Foreign Exchange (Forex) Currency Code is “MMK.” In Myanmar, it is commonly abbreviated as “Ks” or simply “K,” placed before or after the numerical value.

When I left the airport terminal, I only carried K10,600 with me. K8,600 from the airport currency exchange stall plus K2,000 that was given to me by a friend, who I met when I was traveling in Vientiane, Laos.


  • Transport:
    • Khao San Road to Don Meuang Airport Taxi (30 minutes) – B300
    • Bangkok to Yangon Flight via Air Asia Flight# FD770 (45 minutes) – B890 (bought during AirAsia Big Sale Promo)
      • Over the counter baggage add-on fee (15kg) – B370
  • Notes:
    • No additional airport terminal fees or gov’t taxes paid for departures at Don Meuang Airport