Where airplanes go to die...
“Oh you live in Bangkok!? What do you do for fun there?” people always ask.
The natural response is usually "ummm..." and a crinkle of my forehead as I contemplate this seemingly simple question (to no avail.)
I've concluded that I have difficulty answering this popular conversation starter because since I’ve moved to Thailand, I spend my time in really strange ways. If you asked me what I did this weekend, I didn’t go shopping and I didn't go to the gym (shame really, but I'm absurdly lazy.) I didn’t go to the movies or watch Netflix. I didn't hit the bars, and I certainly didn’t cook, clean, or do anything of a domestic nature. The accurate response would be:
“Well, I clambered around a bunch of abandoned airplanes that have been sitting in a field for ages and took loads of photos.”
If you live in or are visiting Bangkok, I think you too should clamber around the heaps of metal that used to fly through the sky and are now looked after by a Thai family living in a shack (smart little business venture, if you ask me.) Bangkok, I’ve learned, is home to some of the most unique exploration opportunities. The Airplane Graveyard is one such opportunity, and only comes second to the Ghost Tower (more on that another time...but feel free to Google away.)
This isn’t a tourist attraction. This is a potentially dangerous and unsupervised adventure that for the negotiable price of 200 baht, is all yours. The cranky woman manning the locked gate will show you in, just be prepared to holler from the other side of the fence to avert her attention from the TV that mysteriously functions in her home with no walls. Anyway. Here’s where it is, and also my recommendation on how to get there:
See that nice big river where it says 'Wat Sri Bunruang'? That's your best bet for reliable and fast transportation. Luckily, there's no such thing as waiting in khlong boat traffic for two hours. For more information, check out the Transit Bangkok website for routes and fares. My closest khlong stop, if you will, is Saphan Asoke. From there, I hopped on to the boat (hold on tight, it would be highly unfortunate if you were to fall into that thing) and paid my fare on board. It'll run about 10-20 baht depending on your beginning and ending points. To get to the Airplane Graveyard, you'll want to get off at Wat Sriboonreung. It's the last stop on the route, so you needn't worry about missing it. From there, it is about a 5 minute walk to Ramkhamhaeng Rd. The airplanes are completely visible from the street. All that stands between you and playing with a broken steering wheel in a cockpit is a locked gate and a Thai family who are more than willing to take your 200 baht and grant you unlimited access. I'd highly advise wearing sneakers, and do be warned that you will sweat and get dirty. Hoisting yourself up into some of the planes requires a bit of leg work, and if you're as graceful as I am, you'll take home a few scratches.
And now for some photographic incentives: