My gateway to Bangkok was once inhabited by snakes. And they are not just any snake; they are the mythical Nagas – creatures that was believed to inhabit the netherworld and keeper of earth’s treasures. Thus to appeal to Naga’s not to be angry for invading their territory, the gatekeeper erected this monument.
The gateway, which is the Suvarnabhumi Airport, was actually built in an area previously called as Cobra Swamp. So, I guess, the reference to the mythical Naga is not only based on superstition.
The name Suvarnabhumi means “Realm of Gold” and was the name given by the King of Thailand.
I read in Wikipedia that Suvarnabhumi Airport, a.k.a. Bangkok International Airport, is the largest airport in the world in terms of area. It has the world tallest control tower and the largest single-building airport terminal. Suvarnabhumi Airport is ranked as the top 20 busiest airport in the world and top 6 busiest airports in Asia.
Suvarnabhumi Airport was my only gateway to Bangkok because I entered Thailand only through this airport. I passed through it around six times and I couldn’t say anything bad about. In fact, it is one of my favorite airports.
The Naga statue is not the only monument that welcomes air passengers. Popular Buddhist myth characters are also present like Indrajit.
Indrajit is one of the statues that also welcomed me in Wat Arun.
There are plenty of things that I like with Suvarnabhumi Airport. One is that they have walkalators. Another is that they have drinking fountains. And what I like the most is this airport is spacious and have plenty seats for passengers waiting for their flight. They even have free WiFi connection, which I used to chat with my loved ones before I board the aircraft.
Just like other airports, Suvarnabhumi Airport has restaurants and a Duty Free Shop.
Suvarnabhumi Airport replaced the old airport located within Bangkok. It was developed in conjunction to Thailand’s booming tourism industry. I guess that the Thai government realized, like what the Philippine government is realizing now, that the old and small airport will hinder the growth of tourism industry.
How I Went to Suvarnabhumi Airport from Bangkok
I usually went to Suvarnabhumi Airport by riding taxi cabs since it is the easiest means of going there. However, I also tried riding the train going to this airport.
The train is another reason why Suvarnabhumi is my favorite airport. Just imagine the convenience that it gives to tourists and local passengers who don’t want to be trapped in the heavy traffic in Bangkok. How I wish that our MRT or LRT in Manila have stations in each terminal of NAIA. I believe that being connected to the train system will make predatory taxi drivers behave because people have alternative way of going to Metro Manila from the airport.
The growth of tourism industry goes hand-in-hand with the improvement in the transportation system. Thai government realized this thus they built Suvarnabhumi Airport. My country, the Philippines, is now having the same realization. There are plans of building another commercial airport in Cavite or transferring flights to faraway Clark in Pampanga. I do hope that the Philippine government take a look at what the Thai government has done and copy some of the positive things, particularly the (1) development of big airports that can handle large volumes of air traffic and (2) the connection of the airport terminal with the rapid train system.