California's second busiest airport, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is located 12.5 miles south of downtown San Francisco. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), unofficially known as Bangkok Airport, is the 17th busiest airport in the world. This airport is approximately 18.5 miles east of the city.
Direct flights from San Francisco to Bangkok are not available. The flight distance is a staggering 7,914 miles, and the overall travel time depends on the stopovers involved. Most flights require only one connection, while some may require two. The quickest total flight time is around 16 hours and 22 minutes, with some flights taking up to 24 hours or longer to reach Bangkok.
Layovers for flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Bangkok (BKK) include cities such as Hong Kong and Taipei, as well as Singapore. Between 50 to over 100 flights are generally available between these two cities on a daily basis.
SFO has both short and long-term parking options available onsite. The airport has a ride-sharing app pickup and drop-off zone. However, the quickest and easiest way to get to SFO from downtown San Francisco is with a BART train. The BART station is located close to the airport's international terminal.
BKK has two multi-story parking garages for both long and short-term parking. The local ride-sharing app is called Grab. Passengers can also take the Airport Rail Link into the city or jump into a taxi using the Airport Taxi Service, which takes roughly half an hour to reach the city center. Ensure you have your hotel's address written down before taking a cab.
All non-Thai citizens need a passport to enter Thailand, which should be valid for six months or longer from the date of arrival. US passport holders do not need a visa if they plan to spend less than 30 days in the country. Travelers may need to provide proof of an onward journey and/or return ticket. To drive in Bangkok, tourists will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with their domestic driver's license.
Bangkok is 14 hours ahead of San Francisco. The city has three distinct seasons; hot season from March to June, rainy season from July to October, and the "cool" season from November to February. However, the so-called cool season does not compare to San Francisco's year-round cooler temperatures. The hottest city in the world, Bangkok boasts daytime temperatures over 90 degrees F throughout the year.
Although Bangkok's peak season is from November to February, the city is popular with tourists throughout the year. Tourists can sometimes find deals during the rainy season in the summer and early fall.
Travelers coming to Bangkok from San Francisco will need to convert their dollars into Thai Baht. As of September 2019, 1 USD = 30.47 THB. The official language spoken in Bangkok is Thai. In the touristy areas, the locals generally speak English and signs and restaurant menus are also available in this language. However, once off the beaten path, it may be more difficult to get by on English alone.
Many Thai people are devout Buddhists. To show respect, remove shoes whenever entering a building or temple displaying a statue or picture of the Buddha. It is also important to never show disrespect to the Thai royal family, who are revered in the country.
Visit a temple
To get a deeper glimpse into Thai culture, many tourists enjoy visiting one of Bangkok's 400 Buddhist temples (wats). One of the most popular is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew), which is also the location of the Grand Palace.
Take a ferry ride
A fun and relaxing way to see most of Bangkok's major sites is from the Chao Phraya River. Tourists can jump onto a public ferry (orange flag) or the pricier tourist ferry (blue flag) from the Central Pier.
No trip to Bangkok is complete without a shop til you drop experience! Kao San Road is a buzzing street full of backpackers and party-goers with plenty of souvenir shops to choose from. On the weekend, a trip to the Chatuchak Weekend Market is an absolute must. Tourist who would like to combine shopping with refreshing air conditioning should swing by one of Bangkok's malls, such as the Siam Center.