Chapman Freeborn’s Top 10 Southeast Asian Airports for Private Jet Travellers
Ngurah Rai International Airport – Bali, Indonesia
Located 13km south of the capital Denpasar, travellers will find ATMs, charging terminals, shops and restaurants, including high-end retail such as Gucci and Mont Blanc. The Premier Lounge is located on the first floor. Aim to sit on the left-hand side of the plane for outstanding views of Mount Agung, the east coast and particularly the central parts of Bali with its verdant green hills and valleys.
Bali is an island paradise blessed with five star resorts, unparalleled surfing beaches, mountains and volcanoes, fabulous fusion cuisine and beautiful weather. Kuta is just 2.5km from the airport, while the trendy mountain jungle resort of Ubud is only 45 minutes by car.
Siem Reap International Airport – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Located just 3km from Siem Riep city centre and just 3km from the Angkor Wat temple complex, Siem Reap International Airport is small but perfectly formed. All passengers alight on the main runway and walk into the main building. There are only two gates for domestic departures and four for international departures. All shops are open 5am to midnight.
Top of most visitors’ Cambodia bucket list is the ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat – just four miles south of Siem Reap International Airport. This UNESCO-listed temple complex is best explored in a full day, or overnight trip. Other attractions include the Mekong Delta, Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh and the stunning Gulf of Thailand coastline.
Phuket International Airport – Phuket, Thailand
Phuket International Airport is the gateway to Phuket Island, situated 32km north of downtown Phuket. The international terminal began operations in 2016. The final approach to this single runway airport is one of the most stunning in the world, with exceptional views over the Andaman Sea. Take-off from Phuket gives passengers unforgettable vistas over the limestone formations of Phang Nga Bay.
Phuket is the jewel in Thailand’s crown and the backdrop for many Hollywood movies. The island havens of Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay (James Bond Island), Coral Island and Koh Bon to name a few have superb snorkelling, crystal clear waters for scuba and great restaurants and five star resorts.
Da Nang International Airport – Da Nang, Vietnam
Da Nang International Airport opened its new international terminal this summer, with a view to boosting capacity to 13 million passengers by 2020. It provides 82 counters for check-in, checkout, migration and immigration, as well as 10 boarding gates. The former single terminal now serves domestic passengers.
Da Nang, located in central Vietnam, has many attractions for visitors. French colonial buildings alongside tower offices, mesmerising beaches such as My Khe and Nun Noc for great surf and swimming. As well as beautiful mountains and lush green national parks. In the city centre Da Nang Cathedral and Cao Dai Temple are fascinating examples of Vietnam’s rich heritage.
Noi Bai International Airport – Hanoi, Vietnam
Originally a base for the Vietnamese Air Force, Hanoi’s Noi Bai international airport is now the busiest in Vietnam, and located 45km from the centre of the capital. Terminal 2, opened in 2014, is the International Terminal with 96 check-in counters and 17 boarding gates. Domestic flights leave from Terminal 1.
Hanoi is the capital of French Indonesia and is a vibrant smorgasbord of new and old. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex – a traffic-free area of monuments, memorials and botanical gardens. And take a stroll around the vibrant Old Quarter. Day trips include visits to rice terraces or diving into the sea along the limestone pillars of Halong Bay.
Samui International Airport – Ko Samui, Thailand
Privately owned by Bangkok Airways, Samui International Airport is the gateway to this fabulous resort island in the Gulf of Thailand. Located in the north of Ko Samui, visitors have the choice of two lounges, open-air passenger terminals and the retail space of Samui Park Avenue. Restaurants and retail includes Whittard of Chelsea, Quiksilver, Pad Thai and Pizza Paradiso.
Ko Samui is renowned for its five star resorts, turquoise-clear water and palm-fringed beaches, alongside Coconut groves, rainforest, mountains and of course the Thai culture and heritage. Visit the Big Buddha statue at Wat Phra Yai Temple, take a speedboat to the Ang Thong islands, and stroll the Friday night market at Fisherman’s Village.
Don Mueang International Airport – Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok’s international airport is one of two airports serving the Thai capital (the other is Suvarnabhumi Airport). Located 24km north of Bangkok, Don Mueang International Airport is a full-service airport with restaurants, ATMs, sauna, spa, post office and even prayer rooms. There’s a co-working and meeting space on the 4th floor at Terminal 2, while the Coral Executive Lounges (at arrivals and departures) provide business services and buffet snacks and refreshments.
Bangkok is an aural and visual feast: a melting pot of cultures, colour and cultural heritage. Visit the temples of Wat Po, Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaew. Take a boat on the Phraya River to the Damnoen Saduak floating market, visit the home of silk entrepreneur Jim Thompson and venture on a day trip to the Bridge on the River Kwai in Kanchanaburi.
Lombok International Airport – Lombok, Indonesia
The only airport on the island, Lombok International is located in the south of Lombok, around 40km from the capital city of Mataram, and some 55km from Senggigi (an 80-minute drive). It has one terminal for arrival and departures, and is a single-runway airport. Onward transportation is easy with a licensed airport taxi service, car rental or the Damri shuttle bus.
Lombok is increasingly popular as a tourist destination thanks to its mountains, lakes and volcanoes, stunning white-sand beaches, succulent rice paddies, and a culture that values the family and community. Music and dance is an integral part of life as is art in all its forms. Trek up Mount Rinjani, visit a turtle sanctuary and bathe in the Sendang Gile waterfall.
Chiang Mai International Airport – Chiang Mai, Thailand
The major gateway to northern Thailand, Chiang Mai International Airport is a 10-minute taxi ride from the city centre. Domestic and international terminals are in the same building, making transfers easy. The airport has ATMs, as well as souvenir shops and restaurants. Car rentals are located on the ground floor.
Chiang Mai is an eclectic mix of old and new. With over 300 temples to visit alongside shops, bars, restaurants and adventure activities, you could stay for weeks and still not cover it all. Visit Warorot Market where the locals shop, admire the temples of Wat Chedi and Wat Phra Singh, feed the elephants at the Baanchang Elephant Park, relax in the Bua Thong waterfalls and zipline along the rainforest canopy.
Krabi International Airport – Krabi, Thailand
Krabi’s international airport is located just 15km from the city centre and provides the quickest access to the resort islands of Haad Yao, Ao Nang, Rai Leh and Koh Lanta. It’s also a short flight of only 80 minutes from Bangkok. Krabi airport is located on the main road between Hat Yai and Phang Nga.
An antidote to the madness of Bangkok, Krabi is one of the most idyllic destinations in Thailand. Its 150-mile Andaman Sea coastline boasts white-sand beaches, jungle interiors, stunning limestone cliffs, caves and waterfalls, and amazing wildlife. The resort and its neighbours of Ao Nang, Railay, Phi Phi Islands and Koh Lanta are perfect for scuba, sailing, snorkelling and trekking.
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