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  1. #1
    I am in Jail
    Butterfly's Avatar
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    The New Airport: Fooking Awesome

    So I went to the new airport. Got lost a bit but man, what a place, it's beautiful.

    It's huge, I would say 5 to 6 times the size of Don Muang. It takes a while to find the parking lot as you have to go around the airport, but it's more much convenient than Don Muang and less cahotic.

    The drop zone is huge, very neat, and that departure hall is beautiful, not as crowded and cahotic. It feels right. Not enough shopping area but I guess they are still working on it. It's spacious and you almost feel like you are in a different country. Don Muang had still that third world feeling which was also kinda nice.

    Man, very impressive, and what a space. This is when you realize that Don Muang was overcrowded and backward. The new place is just more civilized, fancy. And a lot of hot women for some reasons, looks like everyone is coming to the airport to be seen. Never saw so many good looking Thai girls. Maybe the light was different. Usually you only see the Pattaya girls with their fat boyfriends, but there, no, couldn't see even one, only civilized and pleasant looking Thai girls. Maybe I got lucky and it was a good night.

    Dining area on second floor was ok, not much choice, but still reasonable. Again, very social, restaurants were very busy (unlike Don Muang) with a lot of "social" crowd. People are definitely going there to socialize.

    Anyway, got lost on the way back, as expected. Run out of gas as there is no gas station 20km around the airport (some silly security rules apparently). The whole area around the aiport is also very nice. It almost feels like you are in the US or in Europe, but not Thailand.

    A very busy place and I can see why they were pushing for the early move to the new Airport. Definitely worth it.

    A must see.
    Last edited by Butterfly; 20-10-2006 at 09:41 PM.

  2. #2
    diaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    Anyway, got lost on the way back, as expected. Run out of gas as there is no gas station 20km around the airport (some silly security rules apparently).
    No, there are many gas stations around the area, but perhaps not on the highway itself. I live up the road & it's certainly within 10 km from the airport - pass 3 or 4 in that distance.

    Very nice report on the airport, though... be interesting to take a peek... thanks...

  3. #3
    Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb
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    Nice? Yeah right.
    Wait until you have to wait a couple of hours for a flight and have to stand, or, walk for the duration. There must be a total of a 100 public seats in the whole terminal (not counting the ones at the gates). There are more seats in two of the restaurants than public seats.

    Changi is the best airport in the world and I can't see it being knocked off its pedestal any time soon.
    Phuket - Veni Vidi Veni

  4. #4
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    Was at teh airport last week for a domestic flght.
    My impression- crap!

    It was sunday afternoon and the checking in area was full to bursting. Lines everyhwere, people sat on the floor no where to go etc. You would have thought that there had been cancellations or major delays. This was not the casae.

    After goig through security again the feeling of crowds and that it was a shopping mall and not an airport.
    At teh gate I found the srtucture to be dirty and old - not bad for a 1 month old airport.

    i recall travelling frequently through HK and KL when their airports opened and i felt I had gone on a day when they were closed. I felt i had the airport to myself. Perhaps they ahd planned for future increses in passenger numbers.
    NBIA seemed to me on the one day i tried it to be close to capacity now. what are they going to do in a few yesrs?


    A friend of mine did travel a day later on an international flight and found the check-in area to be quite spacious.

  5. #5
    ding ding ding
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    They should have called this place Marmite.

    You either love it or hate it, it seems.

  6. #6
    I am in Jail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Burr
    Nice? Yeah right.
    Wait until you have to wait a couple of hours for a flight and have to stand, or, walk for the duration. There must be a total of a 100 public seats in the whole terminal (not counting the ones at the gates). There are more seats in two of the restaurants than public seats.
    Plenty of seats, and nobody seating on the floor when I went there. Yes it's pretty busy, more busy than Don Muang, but it's more open and spacious, so you don't have the "heaviness" that Don Muang had. Looks like things have improved a bit from earlier report.

    My only negative comment is the bathroom, too small and dirty. That's a major problem. Hey they even have a Family Mart on the second floor, no need to go down to that polluted parking lot anymore to pickup your favorite drinks at regular price. Frankly, it's not more than a normal walk from other International airport I have seen around. It's just that we get lazy when we stay in Thailand so walking more than a few blocks makes us all tired. Walking is good for your health anyway

  7. #7
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    I went to Laos on business this week and I agree with the OP...it's great...but...

    There is only one huge area for check-in area for Economy Class and these pics were taken at about 6:30am...you can see the length of the queues...

    When I got to where the guy in the red shirt was I saw this sign!!

    Sorry wording not so clear...the middle sign says "No Checked Bag"...
    there was no one there so I slipped under the cord and checked in there (only hand luggage)...by the time I left there was quite a queue...

    The queue was also really long to pay departure tax...but there are five places you can pay...I just walked to the last one which had no queue and paid there...still only 500 baht

    Immigration was fast and thence to the departure hall...wow...it's impressive

    My gate was the very last one...maybe a km from passport control but they have those walking thinkys for the whingers...

    There was the normal range of eateries with their over-inflated pices...I saw 290 baht for a Burger King Whopper...

    Anyway, I recommend this coffee shop


    The seating was comfortable...coffe was good and staff very attentive...

    Best of all...price were street prices...coffee at 90 baht


    Eventually made my way to the departure gate...very clear signs.


    My only gripe was about the toilets...in the Departure hall they are tucked behind the shops and getting there is a shade disconcerting...





    Overall it would probably rate 7/10 in my book...free overnight parking was an added bonus during this opening period....
    Last edited by klongmaster; 21-10-2006 at 01:05 PM.

  8. #8
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    yes parking is free which is nice.

    Have you ever seen those waiting line on an international or domestic flight in the US or Europe ? much worse !!!

    In Dong Muang, I remember seeing longer lines than those in Terminal 1 and you coudn't even go through. Terminal 2 was a different story but most of the passenger traffic was from Terminal 1

  9. #9
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    So I went to the new airport. Got lost a bit but man, what a place, it's beautiful.
    Forget that.

    Is it quicker to Pattaya?

  10. #10
    Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb
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    I believe it takes only 45 minutes from airport to Pattaya.

  11. #11
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    ^ Thanks, S.B.


  12. #12
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    I quite liked the airport, nice enough building, almost pleasant in places

    no seats after checking in, unless you go into your gate

    enough toilets (I only needed one pee)

    the architecture at domestic gate 6 is good, especially if you are there as the sun goes down and the light changes

    all in all, OK, after all, it is just an airport. As long as it is efficient and relatively stress free, what more could you want?
    I have reported your post

  13. #13
    befuddled
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    Has anyone been to the DonMuang area since the move? The local economy must have taken a real dive.

  14. #14
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    Did you see any of those carts that cart people who can't walk around properly.

    There is now way my old man can walk a km through a busy airport with his gammy leg.

  15. #15
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    if he tells the staff at check-in he will be met at the plane door with a wheel chair & pusher and get the vip treatment right through to the greeting point...

    had an ex-mother-in-law (farang) who used to put on a real act and when she got to the car park all was miraculously well again...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by danbo View Post
    Has anyone been to the DonMuang area since the move? The local economy must have taken a real dive.
    The living around Don Muang was already quite slummish, I hate to think what it'll be like now when there is no civilian air traffic anymore.

    Amari missed out on a real cash cow. Their Amari Airport hotel made them sweet bucks, but they were outbid by Novotel for the official Suwannapoom airport hotel.

  17. #17
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    yeah, the Novotel looks Ok, right in the middle of the project

    I also went to visit the surrounding area, where they have all the technical buildings, also very nice. Except no gas station 20km around. They had one gas station in the airport project but they wouldn't serve gas for security reasons, only GLP and diesel. I had to drive another 10k from that area to get a gas station. The BUDGET Car guy who took me there told me it was annoying for them to refill and wash their cars. They had to drive 30km just to clean-up their damn cars for their customers.
    Last edited by Butterfly; 21-10-2006 at 06:08 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skulldigger
    The living around Don Muang was already quite slummish, I hate to think what it'll be like now when there is no civilian air traffic anymore.
    I was thinking to go there just to see what has become of the old place. But I don't think it's open to the public.

  19. #19
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    if he tells the staff at check-in he will be met at the plane door with a wheel chair & pusher and get the vip treatment right through to the greeting point...

    had an ex-mother-in-law (farang) who used to put on a real act and when she got to the car park all was miraculously well again...
    He used to have his BA Gold or Platinum card and his stick in his hand and jump queues. Since he has retired he has been downgraded to a Blue BA card. He's not best pleased.

    The old bugger likes to recount the tale of when he rescued a damsel in distress on the last flight back to Newcastle.

    As he was leaving the plane at Manchester or Luton a lady tried to push past him and he stopped her and asked her if she had not seen his stick and maybe take her time. She said that she was catching the last flight back to Newcastle and was worried about missing it.

    Don't worry my old man said and told a stewardess to get the trolley cart to take him to the Newcastle connection with his new friend. He gave the lady a lift taking a service tunnel to the plane. Chivalry at it's best (fuck knows what happened to me)

    What he doesn't tell people is the next week in all his haste at the airport he ended up on a flight to Aberdeen not Newcastle (he only realised when he started to wonder why he was reading the Scotsman newspaper)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Burr View Post
    Changi is the best airport in the world and I can't see it being knocked off its pedestal any time soon.

    good point. agreed.

  21. #21
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    I have to disagree with most comments praising the new airport. Yes, it's a nice building, but as a state of the art terminal, allegedly the gateway to Asia, it's actually a disgrace. Just travelling from Singapore to Bangkok you can see how different the airports are and how one country knows how to run services properly and how one doesn't. Given that it's over budget, over time and brand new, I wouldn't have expected the toilets to look like this:



    This one is just after baggage reclaim. There seem to be none at all between the arrival gate and passport control, which is actually when most people need to go after flying in.

    Getting to passport control was a pain. There is one main sign which points straight on (from the gate I arrived at) and then on a pillar someone has stuck a handwritten sign on a piece of A4 which says go right. It's the same for baggage reclaim. Lots of hurriedly written signs in marker pen to make up for the complete lack of adequate signage everywhere.



    It's the same for taxis. In the arrivals hall there is one A4 sign stuck to a pillar that says go downstairs for the public (metered) taxis. I couldn't see any other signs for taxis at all, and not even one that says 'Exit'.



    If the Thai authorities think this is adequate then it says more about the state of the country than anything. They have had years to get this right. These are the basic, simple things that all airports everywhere usually get right. Even something as simple as getting an immigration arrival card to complete is not easy. There is one very small office desk just before passport control, there are no signs about it and just one bloke hanging around hoping someone might ask him about the procedure.

    Whatever you might think of the airport building itself, the services, customer care and infrastructure are dreadful and an embarrassment.
    The truth is out there, but then I'm stuck in here.

  22. #22
    diaw
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    They were warned, but NaLiam wanted to go for broke... in a big rush... well, it's broke by the look of it...

  23. #23
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    The grouting is already dirty in that photo

  24. #24
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Burr View Post
    I believe it takes only 45 minutes from airport to Pattaya.
    No fecking way! It's about 115 km from the airport to Pattaya. At the moment because of all the construction down the motorway, it takes a minimum 2 hours. (Took over 3 hours going down on Friday (just after lunch) and over 4 coming back yesterday

    Motorway construction has got a good year or so to go till it's finished and it's supposed to get worse before it gets better.

  25. #25
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    but going the other way...into the city... it's great...

    at least they finsihed that section before the airport opened...

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