Suvarnabhumi Airport changed the atmosphere of Bang Na and surrounding neighborhoods when it started operated flights in 2006. Before that, Don Muang Airport handled all of Bangkok’s international traffic. Today, airport hotels near Suvarnabhumi are among the newest and busiest in Bangkok.
The international airport lies off of Highway 7 and has facilities enough to accommodate 45 million passengers. It became the biggest airport in Southeast Asia and continues to challenge other regional gateways like Singapore's Changi and Hong Kong International Airport.
There are airport hotels on Suvarnabhumi Airport grounds, along with plenty of accommodation in the extensive Bang Na area. Several country clubs and golf courses are here as well, for those with time between flights. As the airport is removed from Bangkok’s sightseeing districts, this area mainly appeals to passers-through and business travelers.
Bang Na is west of the airport, and it has the best commercial offerings in the area. Central Plaza Bang Na is the best and biggest mall in the area – extremely popular with locals, with seven floors of shops and a swimming park on the roof. Another area institution is Assumption University, a prominent Thai university with a student-fueled entertainment district.
For business travelers, an important area of Bangkok within the Bang Na area is BITEC – Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center. Host to exhibitions, concerts, large-scale music events, trade fairs, expos and the hugely popular Motor Show, BITEC is a brief cab ride from On Nut BTS station, or 15 minutes by car from the airport.
The transportation infrastructure in Bangkok is still under development. The BTS to the airport is in its final stages of completion, meanwhile taxis – the metered taxis at the front of the airport – are the best way to get to hotels in Bangkok metro. Limousines are another reliable, if somewhat more expensive, option and airport buses serve different routes throughout Bangkok around the clock.