Suvarnabhumi Named 5th Best Airport in Asia's Largest Cities

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok was ranked fifth in a list of Asia’s best airports, according to an Agoda.com customer survey released recently.

Travellers were asked to rate 15 airports in Asia – Bangkok, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, New Delhi, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Vientiane and Yangon. The rating, on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent), was based on more than 11,000 respondents.

Suvarnabhumi won a score of 3.79, trailing Singapore’s Changi International Airport (4.37), Hong Kong International Airport (4.13), Seoul Incheon International Airport (4.01) and Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (4).

In fifth spot, Suvarnabhumi Airport handled 48 million passengers in 2012 after opening in 2006. As one of the most centrally located airports in Asia, it is a major transit and cargo hub and, interestingly, has the tallest control tower of any airport in the world.

Changi Airport came in first. Known for its hyper-efficiency and consistent investments in improvements and upgrades, it features in the top three of nearly every airport ranking in the world. Last year, Changi handled 51 million passengers. 

Second spot with a rating of 4.13 went to Hong Kong International Airport, which, similar to Changi, usually places very high on any ranking thanks to its convenient transit links and high-technology design on a huge chunk of reclaimed land in the South China Sea. Last year Hong Kong Airport handled 56 million passengers.

Rounding out the top three is Seoul's Incheon International Airport, which handled 39 million passengers last year. Interestingly, the airport holds a record that is now unbreakable - it was named the Best Airport Worldwide by the Airports Council International for a record seven years (2005-2011), and the award was discontinued after its final win. 

Top 10 Airport Rankings in Asia's Largest Cities 

1. Changi International Airport 4.37
2. Hong Kong International Airport 4.13
3. Seoul Incheon International Airport 4.01
4. Indira Gandhi International Airport 4.00
5. Suvarnabhumi Airport 3.79
6. Narita International Airport 3.69
7. Kuala Lumpur International Airport 3.56
8. Beijing Capital International Airport 3.48
9. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport 3.38
10. Phnom Penh International Airport 3.14

cr: www.nationmultimedia.com

Images of Suvarnabhumi Airport:

Have you visited any of these airports and what do you think? :)


5 Unique Travel Experiences in Bangkok...

Traveling in Bangkok city is not just about temples, palaces, and shopping malls. There are many more fun and exciting activities to do here in the City of Angel. Why not give it a try the next time you are in Bangkok?

Discover the secret “Lung of Bangkok”

Bang Kra Chao, an oasis in Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan is known for its green scenery. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, just opposite the Klong Toey business district, Bang Kra Chao is a world apart from chaotic Bangkok. The change in air and scenery from Klong Toey is immediate and astounding, and catches one by surprise. No high-rises, no cars and no pollution!

Bang Kra Chao, one of the best places for cyclists and known to foreign travelers, is virtually unknown among Thais. For Thai tourists, the Bang Nam Pueng Floating Market in Bang Nam Pueng, is more popular because of the various local fruits and vegetables on sale.

However, the 17 year-old, 200-rai Si Nakhon Keun Kan Park, locally known as Suan Klang Central Park, remains an unmissable destination. It has been affectionately called the city’s lung and has a reputation as the last green belt in this concrete metropolis.

Fishing a 100kg Siamese Carp in Bangkok, Why not?

Who would have thought? That right here in Bangkok, Bung Sam Ran Lake Fishing sits one of the world’s most prolific freshwater fishing venues. Lurking beneath the murky depths are the world’s largest freshwater species – the Mekong giant catfish, the giant Siamese carp & the arapaima all of which grow in excess of 100kg (220lb) at Bungsamran. In June 2007 the world's biggest carp ever caught on rod & line was landed estimated to weigh 120kg (264lb). Bangkok is The City of Angels for tourists, but for fisherman it is The City of Giants!

This fishing venue’s whereabouts seems to be Bangkok’s best kept secret, mostly only known by Thai locals. Bangkok is undoubtedly a huge maze of roads, streets & canals networking amongst the diversity of modern offices, wooden houses, ancient temples, markets, street vendors, Thai communities and so much more. Yet this 20 acre lake converted from a swamp 18 years ago, now full of amazing natural beauty and serenity, somehow doesn’t seem out of place.

Certainly the reaction from every single fisherman & non-fisherman alike is firstly skepticism that a lake so peaceful could exist in Bangkok – and even more surprised that the fishing in Bangkok at Bungsamran produces so many enormous fish. The tranquil & idyllic setting of Bungsamran is situated in the suburban outskirts of Bangkok only 40 minutes from the fast moving city centre. Bungsamran boasts numerous IGFA world records, making it one of the best still water venues in the world.

Play “Escape Hunt” in Bangkok

For many years online “escape games” have been a popular genre for gaming enthusiasts. These games soon became real-life rooms and the wave of popularity swept across the US and Europe to a point where there are now escape game rooms everywhere from San Francisco to London, Hong Kong to Barcelona.  Such is the rising popularity of this entertainment concept that the game centre in London is ranked as number 1 from over 900 Things To Do in London on TripAdvisor with award winning success.

Escape Hunt takes this idea to a new and unique level integrating the concept of escape game rooms with the exciting adventure theme of detectives solving a murder mystery.  As Bangkok and South East Asia’s first escape game, Escape Hunt is a unique and versatile attraction.  Aimed to appeal to Western and Asian minds, young and old, tourists and locals, teams of between 2 and 5 people need to escape from a themed room with the help of a dedicated “game master” who watches from outside over CCTV and assists as required.

Playing the part of Shylock or Charlotte Barnes and their team of detectives, the group will be transported back 100 years to early 20th century Bangkok. Facing their most challenging murder mystery, the only way to escape from the room is to find all the clues and solve all the puzzles before the clock stops after 60 minutes.  There are 4 different rooms split into Chinese and English story lines but all share the same opulent Bangkok setting on the Chao Phraya River, ghosts and mystery.  All games last a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes including the briefing and de-briefing and can be run in English, Thai, Japanese or Chinese using state-of-the-art IT system and multi-lingual staff.

Learn to fly a Boeing 737 in Bangkok

Bangkok's new flight simulator lets wannabe pilots feel what it's like to take off and land one of the world's most popular passenger aircraft.

Ever wondered why being a commercial airline pilot is one of the most stressful jobs in the world? Try landing a Boeing 737-800 on a simulator at Bangkok’s new Flight Experience Center. Guest "pilots" can feel with 85 percent accuracy what it’s like to takeoff, fly and land the famed passenger aircraft. The realism is chilling, thrilling and mildly unnerving.

Don't worry about forgetting anything; the flight instructor is right next to you in the co-pilot seat. To really get into character, turn on the mic and bust out some pilot lingo: "Cabin crew, please be seated for takeoff." 

Flight Experience packages start from 4,350 baht (US$140) for a 30-minute "Scenic Experience." For serious fliers there's the 9,350 baht, 90-minute "Ultimate Experience," which includes a flight in and out of your airport of choice, followed by a more challenging city-to-city section. 

Fun-tas-tic Way to Explore the City

Bangkok is one of the unique beautiful cities. Now you can discover Bangkok and beyond in the way that you’ve never seen before by gliding on Segway Personal Transporter (PT) - the world’s first electrical self-balancing personal transporter.

By using the Segway PT to visit Bangkok, you are not only having fun, but also helping protect our monuments and buildings caused by pollution, since it's not only safe and easy to use, but also electrical.

Having Segway PT in Bangkok is perfect way of bringing together the marvelous culture of Thailand with the fascinating experience of traveling using one of the most impressive developments in transportation technology. With the Segway PT you can see twice as much in half the time. The Segway PT intuitively and automatically balances the way humans do - moving forward and backwards, responding to movements in your body's position. Gliding a Segway PT is as easy as walking and more fun as if you were sitting on the magic carpet.


Find Your Ideal Expat Home in Bangkok

You’ve landed your dream job, now all you need to is track down the perfect home. But don’t worry, finding the right condo, apartment or house in the capital is a fairly simple process...

Moving to Bangkok to take up a new job is a challenging experience and one of the most important tasks is to find somewhere to live. This is a reasonably straightforward process with a wide range of choices that match a range of budgets, but it is important to understand the range of options.

The first decision is going to be where to live. This will be determined by where you are going to work, if you have children and where they go to school, and your need for access to public transport, especially the BTS skytrain.

The most popular expatriate residential area is Sukhumvit Road between sois 1 and 63 (odd-numbered sois on the north side and sois 2 to 42 on the south side). This is followed by the Lumpini area between Ratchadamri and Soi Ruam Rudi, and the streets off Sathon Road north of the Narathiwat Ratchanakarin intersection.

There are a few suburban locations favoured by some expatriate families because of proximity to schools. These include Nitchada Thani next to the International school of Bangkok (ISB), and some developments near Bangkok Patana school on Soi La Salle in the eastern part of Bangkok.

Most expatriates coming to Bangkok will choose to rent rather than purchase. There is a wide choice of accommodation types for rent including serviced and unserviced apartments, condominiums, single detached houses and townhouses.

Serviced Apartments are single-ownership buildings that provide units for rent that are fully furnished and equipped with all the appliances, cutlery, crockery, linen and amenities one would need. Effectively you can move in with just your toothbrush. Most serviced apartments provide a regular cleaning service, so it feels like living in a hotel except you have more space and a kitchen. The most common unit types are studios and one-bedroom apartments with a range of sizes.

Tenants can rent serviced apartments on a monthly basis or for longer periods. These are ideal for expatriates on short-term assignments or for singles or couples who want the convenience of everything being provided and the service. The rents per square metre are higher than for other types of rental accommodation with a range of between 700 and 1,200 baht per square metre per month.

Apartments are single-ownership multi-unit buildings and condominiums are multi-ownership multi-unit buildings where units have been bought by individual owners. Physically there is little difference between apartments and condominiums. Generally, both are offered on a furnished basis with major appliances but without linen, cutlery, crockery and so on. Most condominiums and apartments have facilities such as swimming pools.

The main difference is in the way these buildings are managed. In an apartment building, one company owns all of the units and is responsible for maintenance and repairs inside the unit and the common areas. In a condominium, the property managers of the building are only responsible for the management of the common areas and the individual owner is responsible for maintenance and repairs inside the unit.

The length of a residential lease is generally one year with the tenant paying a deposit the equivalent to three months’ rent and paying rent monthly in advance. Tenants are responsible for paying utilities such as electricity, water, telephone, internet and cable TV, except for serviced apartments where generally they are included in the cost.

Contracts are generally short and straightforward. However, it is important that anything agreed orally between the landlord and the tenant should be included in writing in the agreement to avoid any future misunderstandings.

It is also important to have a proper handover where any existing defects are listed and agreed upon in writing by the landlord and tenant. This way, when it comes to handing the unit back at the end of the lease, there is no confusion about who was responsible for any damage, which could result in deductions from the deposit.

CR: Bangkok Post, 28 July 2013 by James Pitchon