Koh Samui has the coolest airport ever!

I had seen pictures of Koh Samui Airport before, though I don’t think any of them fully do the airport justice, because I was grinning ear to ear yesterday upon arrival. You know those Lego airport sets? Well, the whole airport felt kind of like that.

There’s a single ~5,000 foot runway, and once you slow down you make a U-turn and taxi back on it to the terminal.

Interestingly enough all the airport firefighters were standing outside watching the landing.

Then when you pull up to the tarmac there are a bunch of Disney World style trams that drive you to the terminal. We were in business class, so as soon as the seven business class passengers disembarked our tram left for the terminal.

Then you’re dropped off at the “international arrivals hall,” which is open air.

Immigration took less than a minute, at which point we were in the baggage claim area, which was equally awesome.

There was even this handy lost and found area…?

On the whole this has to be one of the niftiest airports I’ve ever been to. More on it later with the trip report, of course!

Has anyone been to another airport as awesome as this?

Comments

  1. Loved that airport! They even have free snacks for all in the departure area. I will never forget sitting in a rocking chair in the open air terminal looking over the runway waiting for departure!

  2. The airport on the Chatham Islands is pretty cool in a very basic, windswept kind of way. (Though not as cool as the 1946 vintage Convair you fly to get out there!)

    I remember landing at Gothenburg City on Ryanair (I know, I know, it was cheap and I was flying with friends) a few years back, and it was just a shed. Like, an actual shed. A barn. The baggage cart was a tractor with a wagon and instead of tensabarriers for queueing they had hay bales.

  3. There’s even a domestic airside departure lounge, though it’s something out of the 1980s and reminds me of Thai’s lounge in Chiang Rai.

  4. Bora Bora. Everything is picture perfect, from approach, to landing, to taking a boat to your final destination.

  5. @Lucky — we were just there last week and sent the same report to my friends and family. Awesome little airport…probably my most favorite small airport in the world now! Bangkok airways Blue Ribbon Lounge on the way out is a nice reprieve as well, and the aquarium in the bathroom is awesome.

  6. Koh Samui is indeed very cool. A small version of other outdoor-oriented airports. Some that come to mind that I’ve been to: HNL, NAN, CGK.

  7. Looks very similar to the Hanimaadhoo Domestic Airport in the Maldives, although from your pictures it appears you had a mechanized baggage belt. At Hanimaadhoo they transferred the bags by hand onto a counter for passengers to retrieve!

  8. I enjoyed Tikehau in French Polynesia…just a strip of concrete, a small covered hut and not much else.

  9. I remember that one. We landed in the middle of tropical rain and I almost crapped my pants. A month later same plane went off the runway and few people got killed. There is video on youtube of two european guys after they got out of flaming plane. I was terrified to watch that.

  10. Remember me Morro de Sao Paulo, an island offshore Salvador de Bahia.
    As well many relaxed small airports in Africa and Australia.

  11. You wet my appetite for going there and booking now, before the devaluation of Hilton points. How do you get there from SFO and which airlines can you book? If you arrived at international, what airport did you transfer through? How did you get to the hotel and how long did it take. Sorry for all the questions, but don’t have much time.

  12. Kona international airport on the Big Island was one of the best I’ve been to. Completely open air and you land on a runway completely surrounded by black volcanic rock.

  13. Nothing like landing in Paro, Bhutan.

    The airport is amazingly traditional, the runway is next to a mountain and river, and the landing itself is an experience. Fly Druk airlines !

  14. Good one Jorge! PBH has the most unique approach in the world. And there is only a single airline with a few planes. But they do have a business class lounge! I’ll never forget it.

  15. There’s a nice aquarium over the urinals in the terminal, go check it out on your way out, it’s really nice.

  16. Ah, this brings back memories of a wonderful trip to Thailand a few years ago. Koh Samui’s airport is indeed charming – a very unusual combination of relaxed, efficient and beautiful.

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