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Bangkok’s Less Usual: The Airplane Graveyard #BengkangBangkok

Coming back from the successful sunflower excursion to Lopburi (click here to read), we still had some daylight when we reached Bangkok. Since our car/driver arrangement is based on hours we thought we could make full use of the additional time for a quick stop. We were thinking of doing something not too touristy, as we had allocated a full day for that the next day and something that doesn’t involve shopping as we also had allocated a full day for that on the last day of our trip.

Being a fan of aviation, I thought it would be cool to check out attractions that have something to do with aviation within the City. That is when the idea of visiting a rather less-known (at least among us Malaysians) airplane graveyard came into the picture. A good 30-60 minutes of being up close with airplanes fuselage sounds like a good idea to end our already productive day.

What on earth is an airplane graveyard?

Airplanes have their lifespan and while it can go for as long as 40-50 years, the glory days of flying to all four corners of the world will usually last for a maximum of 30 years before newer, more modern and more efficient  fleet comes into the picture. So where do these airplanes go after they retire?

Some will end up being scraped as “besi buruk”, some will ended up at glamorous museums, some are lucky enough to get second lives as restaurants or movie sets. But for most of these retired planes, an aircraft graveyard is their final destination.

In Bangkok, in the middle of nowhere lies a small area where a few of these retired airplanes are being placed. It is not a tourist attractions nor it is designed to be one so do not expect fancy tourist facilities at this site. As a matter of fact, there’s not even signage but you would not miss the sight of a random aircraft at a side of a busy Ramkhamhaeng Road Soi 101-103.

Cars, Buildings, Streets... errr Planes?

Cars, Buildings, Streets… errr Planes?

I was excited and ready to jump out from our car and rush to the planes, only to be stopped by our driver. It slipped my mind that these retired planes are within a private compound. There is a clear barricade and while the actual owners were not there, a group/family of locals are known to use the compound as their home.

Upon a friendly negotiation and a small fee/donation to the locals, both of us were allowed to roam within the compound.

The Queen of the Skies, Boeing 747-400 is obviously the star here.

Still the star even after retirement. A typical 747 :)

Still a star even after retirement. A typical 747 🙂

Its majestic size makes the rest of the planes look small. Look at that size difference next to a McDonnell Douglas MD-82.

Size does matters

Size does matters

Visitors can actually climb into the planes. I was tempted to get into the 747 but it requires some climbing so I opted for the smaller MD82.

Makeshift steps available to climb into the 747

Makeshift steps available to climb into the 747

Inside, most of the items are gone but signs of its glory days remain. Like the seat numbers..

Welcome onboard.

Welcome onboard.

Forward galley

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Coffee or Tea?

Nothing too interesting at the cockpit area, of course all the avionics is gone.

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I can imagine the worn interior and unique exterior of the planes would make a good site for photo-shoot. Something a bit different. As for me, a window selfie is good enough 🙂

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Equally fun are the aircraft at the back.

Previously on LOST...

Previously on LOST…

Ooops…. Not everyday you can step on an airplane’s wing.

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Explore all you want and take as many photos but remember these few things:

  • Always respect the locals, some part of the planes are their “home” so stay away unless they invite you in lah. There was someone in the 747 on that day of my visit so I decided to skip its interior (plus I was not too keen to climb all the way up)
  • It might get a bit HOT. It is an open space and Bangkok heat can easily make you feel a bit uneasy.
  • Be careful. Everything is at your own risk, you do not want to spoil your holiday by falling down or getting a cut from many sharp metal from the aircraft’s body. Always keep in mind that this is NOT an official tourist site so be smart 🙂

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This airplane graveyard might not be interesting for many but for those who loves aviation or looking for a unique photo opportunity in Bangkok, do check this place out.

Coming up next: Bangkok’s Usual: The Sightseeing, The Shopping and The Halal Food

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