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FeaturedLuke GibneySoutheast AsiaThailandTravel

Thailand: Bangkok’s Airplane Graveyard

By 11/03/2018November 5th, 2018No Comments

How To Get ThereHow To Get There Entry FeeEntry Fee Before you goBefore you go

Bangkok is home to many famous tourist hot spots and attractions. Among them a total gem, a diamond in the rough if you will. Bang in the middle of Bangkok city you will find an airplane graveyard. Yup, you heard me, an airplane graveyard. Resting peacefully in the hectic surroundings of Soi 103, next to a car repair yard just off Ramkhamhaeng Road in Bangkok, you will find the skeletal remains of a giant 747 and two small MD-82 airplanes, one of which was involved in a crash killing 89 people in Phuket.

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Eerie wreckage sitting idle in the middle of Bangkok city

A total must do in Bangkok, not only to see the behemoth spooky remains sitting by the side of the road, but also because in a weird turn of events 3 homeless Thai families moved in to the wreckage and made it their home and livelihood.  The families have re-purposed any of the materials they can to turn their new digs into a more homely space, recycling or selling anything they can, as well as letting tourist poke around to make a bit of cash.

The homes they have fashioned for themselves out of the hulls of the planes are actually quite impressive. Although we didn’t get to stick our noses into the inside, (because, you know, you wouldn’t let random weirdos wander round your humble abode) from outside steps made of tires lead up to the front doors, windows all have curtains and I saw at least one picture of the Thai king on a wall. It was amazing to see the families gathered around whatever it was that was cooking for dinner, living a normal life in an abnormal place.

The graveyard itself is off a little bit from the families and their homes which is good because you can poke around and get all those insta-worthy shots without annoying them, which was great for us as we love a good poke!

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The (NON) flight of the concords!

Having been slowly stripped of anything useful, the desolated jetliners sit empty, looking like a scene from an episode of the walking dead. Plastic panels and bits of cable and old airliner magazines litter the ground and walls, we loved it! you can access the main cabins and cockpits of all the planes, although I will say its not an easy climb up into them, watch your step here and enter tetanus land at your own risk!

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Yup, I can still see you.

 

How to get there:

By Bus:

From behind the south terminal, outside the 7 Eleven, take the local bus 511 to the main Ratchadamnoen Klang road which runs adjacent to the Khaosan Road. The journey costs 15 Baht (€0.40) per person.

By Canal ferry: 
Head to Panfa Bridge and here, along the bridge is the Panfa Leelard Pier. The nearest pier to the airplane cemetery is the last stop, Wat Sri Boon Rueng, at 19 baht (€0.50) per person, this is a great little ride through everyday Bangkok, it goes faster than expected which provided some laughs. The journey takes about an hour, but we totally recommended this way!
Make sure you mention the Airplane Cemetery stop to the ticket inspector guy who scales the side of the ferrys as there are different prices per number of stops, you shouldn’t pay more than 19 baht. You’ll change boats about half way too.

 

Entry Fee:

Having recognized the benefits of allowing nosy tourists to snoop around in exchange for a “donation”, the families will ask for anything (we’ve read) from 100 to 600 baht (€2.50 –  €15.00) per person to enter and satisfy your curiosity.
We paid 200 Baht (€5.00) for both of us, might we suggest you approach the gate with 100 baht per person and start to haggle from there, just remember you’re helping these people feed their kids. 
Once you pay and enter, you can spend as long as you exploring the dissembled aircraft. Do wear decent shoes and maybe even long trousers or leggings, the mozzies are killer, the grass is high and the planes are jagged with sharp edges.

 

Things to Note:

There are a couple of things to bare in mind when visiting, just to make you life and visit a lil better,

Footwear:

This is not a maintained, monitored tourist attraction. It’s jagged, rusty metal, crawling and scraping and there’s a little bit of climbing involved too. Although, in theory it  would be possible to do in flip flops, you’ll enjoy the experience a whole lot more in a good sturdy pair of kicks. Trust me.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs:

The mosquitoes in Bangkok are bad enough, but there’s a particularly blood thirsty monster species living here, I do not exaggerate when I say BUG SPRAY people, bug spray. You’ll thank me later.

Opening times:

Again this is not an actual tourist attraction, it’s someones home. So while there are no official opening times you’re best off visiting early in the day when you won’t be catching them at dinner.

Remember if the curtains are down respect their privacy.

If you arrive and the gate is locked you should be able to call out to someone who either will or won’t allow you access.

If you can’t get anyone’s attention, tough. Be nice and do not go onto the property without getting permission from the tenants.

This is a really cool way to kill a morning/afternoon outside of the normal touristy things to do in Bangkok, you’ll get some great shots, have a bit of craic and support three local families and go on a local boat trip through typical neighborhoods. What more could you possibly want?

As always if you need anymore info, or have any questions or comments please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!

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Luke

Author Luke

They told me I had to grow up, so I sold everything I own and bought a one way ticket around the world. That's how you adult!

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