A Journey In Bangkok’s Airplane Graveyard
I’M ALWAYS TRYING TO SEARCH FOR UNIQUE PLACES THAT ARE RARELY SEEN OR DOCUMENTED, ALONG WITH ADHERING TO A BACKPACKER BUDGET.
When I heard there was an airplane graveyard in the middle of Bangkok, I had to see it for myself. Thanks to Jarryd and Alesha from NOMADasaurus for inspiring me to go find this one of kind site!
IT TOOK US FOREVER TO FIND THE SPOT, MOSTLY BECAUSE GOOGLE MAPS DOESN’T WORK WELL OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.
After walking several hours in the Bangkok heat, we finally found the gigantic birds laying in a field that was just beyond a locked gate, but I was warned about this from other travel bloggers. The airplanes have become the homes to a couple of local Thai family squatters.
I noticed a woman and her son just on the other side of the gate, so I said hello and asked if we could go in. “200 baht!” she exclaimed. “for both? I asked. She said “no, each” at this point Teryn was quite over it and wasn’t as excited as I was about taking photos of the wreckage. Teryn told me to go ahead and so I handed the woman the money and she opened the gates. Once inside I was greeted by the woman’s son. The woman said, “this your guide.” “sàwatdee, kun chêu a-rai? “I asked. ( Hello, what is your name?) the little boy answered back with a perfect, ” my name is Tommy.” “holy cow kid, not even my kids at school can say that as good as you just did!” Also, I guarantee your name is not Tommy, but who cares.
“OKAY TOMMY, LET’S GO!” I REPLIED. TOMMY THEN MOTIONED ME TO FOLLOW HIM AROUND TO THE PARTS OF THE PLANES THAT THEY WERE NOT LIVING IN.
IT WAS PRETTY SURREAL SEEING THESE PLANES IN A RANDOM BANGKOK FIELD, SOMETHING THAT ONCE TRANSPORTED HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE ACROSS THOUSANDS OF MILES AND NOW THEY LAY HERE IN A FORGOTTEN ABOUT WASTELAND.
I KNEW MY TIME WAS GETTING SHORT AS THERE WAS A STORM STARTING TO ROLL IN, TERYN WAS STILL WAITING PATIENTLY IN THE BANGKOK HEAT, AND TOMMY WAS DEMANDING THAT I PAY HIM MORE MONEY. I SOON LEARNED THAT TOMMY’S VOCABULARY CONSISTED OF, “MY NAME IS TOMMY AND MISTER MISTER I TAKE PHOTO, YOU PAY ME MONEY.” AFTER ABOUT TWENTY MINUTES OF HIM PESTERING ME, I GAVE HIM A 10 BAHT COIN TO KEEP HIM QUIET FOR ANOTHER TEN MINUTES.
IT WAS QUITE INTERESTING TO SEE THESE AIRPLANES IN THIS CONDITION, A RARE LOOK INTO WHAT AN AIRPLANE LOOKS LIKE AFTER IT’S BEEN DISCARDED AND THROWN AWAY.
HOW TO GET THERE: The address is Ramkamahaeng Soi 103. You can take a taxi, bus or even a ferry, because it isn’t far from the canal. We tried the bus route mentioned in other blogs, but we became lost pretty quickly once we were kicked off the bus several blocks before the airplane graveyard. If you do take the bus, the stop you want to go to is Phrakanong BTS Station (exit 3), or from the Airport Link Ramkamhaeng Station.
COST: $200 baht per person or $5.62 USD. This isn’t technically legal, but the families here are just doing their best to survive and it really isn’t that much when you consider the photography gold mine.
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