What do you do when you have two weeks without your spouse (because they are going somewhere absolutely fabulous and you need to work)?
You go on adventures on the weekends, that's what!
Bangkok has a lot of hidden places to explore and one such gem I have wanted to explore since October of 2015 is the Airplane Graveyard. Normally, I would be ok to wander around the city by myself, but on this adventure I thought having someone else around would make the experience all the better! So my friend, Skye Class from SkyTravels.com, and his two friends joined me on the quest. The more, the merrier!
There are several ways to get to the graveyard: via taxi (Ramkamahaeng soi 103), or taking a combination of several different BTS trains and buses, or our choice; a combination of BTS train and klong boat. The klong boat was a straight (if not a little dangerous) shot all the way to the very last stop, Wat Sri Bunruang Pier. Klong boats are super cheap (19 baht) and quite the experience. (Note to self: bring something to cover your mouth for when the klong from the other direction goes flying by!)
Once off the boat, the adventure started with us trying to figure out exactly what route to take. We could see the graveyard, but could not find any obvious entrance. So we walked around the temple (Wat Sri Bunruang) to Soi 107 where it meets up with Ramkamhaeng. We turned right, walked about 100 meters and stumbled across the entrance. It wasn’t the most welcoming, featuring a gate with a chain securing it from anyone trying to enter. As we stood around trying to figure out how to get in, a lady approached and opened the gate. But of course it couldn’t be that easy, and she promptly held her hand out for payment. We weren’t quite sure how much she wanted, but she seemed satisfied when we each handed over 200 baht. I thought that a small price to pay to explore these beautiful giants. We later discovered a family living on the site who kind of manage the area. Explorers are welcome, once they’ve given a small donation, if you will.
The entirety of the graveyard consists of about 5 or 6 different planes (or at least parts of planes) to explore. Most of the planes have been striped of any usable parts over the years, but a lot of the overhead bins and most of the bathrooms are still intact. We also found oxygen masks and various other items scattered in and around each of the plans.
At only 5’1’, my body doesn't come equipt with the legs and arms necessary to reach as far as some of my friends, so it was a good thing I was traveling with taller people! I had a little trouble getting into the smaller plane near the front of the property due to the angle, but I managed. It had the most intact cockpit out of all of the planes, and I was even able to sit in the co-pilot seat. For all the other, larger planes, I needed a little help from my friends. But I’m tenacious!
After we had wandered around for about 30 minutes, a 5-year-old boy took a bit of a shine to us, spending the next hour and a half walking with us and showing us his favorite parts on and in various planes. His name is Peter and he is super sweet! He did cartwheels in one of the planes for us, showed us his toys, showed us how to get into some of the planes, and was overall a wonderful guide. And I was happy to have someone shorter than me showing us around. He knew all the easy-access spots!
If you decide to visit Bangkok’s Airline Graveyard, be cautious of where you place your hands (jagged pieces of metal are everywhere), wear pants (it’s weedy and there are stickers), choose comfortable shoes, and pack lots of water. I was really glad I brought my Camelbak so I could stay hydrated as the sun beat down on us. Yes, even in the winter it’s super hot in Bangkok.
I know I will go back again in the future. If you're heading to Bangkok let me know and I go explore with you!
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