We've not golfed the course (yet), but it is open to the public for a green fee of around 400-700 THB ($13-$23) plus caddy and golf cart fees. Instead, we recently flew out of DMK on a Nok Air flight to Phuket and, looking down from our window seat during takeoff, waved right out at the golfers teeing off on a Friday afternoon.
Because of the course's proximity to the runways, the planes and both civilian and military terminals, there are a few things you need to know about Kantarat:
· The golf course is the property of the Royal Thai Air Force, so there are extra security measures in place.
· You will be unable to take a taxi up to the clubhouse. Instead, your taxi will drop you off at the course's gate and you need to wait for the club car to retrieve you from there. Security reasons. Calling ahead to secure a tee time should also mean a car will be more prompt to get you.
· Be prepared for your golf bag to be searched for weapons.
· The Clubhouse sells food and drink, so after a good round you can still hang out and enjoy the domestic air traffic.
· There's virtually no separation between the greens and the runways. A shallow water ditch divides them, but that's about it.
Prior to 2006 when Bangkok's larger Suvarnabhumi Airport opened and took all the heavy and international flights away from DMK, Don Mueang was the city's major airport. Golfers back then enjoyed 747s and the stink of jet fuel, whereas these days the airport terminals are nearly deserted. Only Nok Air, Orient Thai, Solar Air, Thai Airways and private planes use the place now, but there's still enough action to warrant a visit.
Note: Don Mueang Airport is located in an area currently threatened by flooding, so maybe hold out on the golf trip with your buddies for a bit.
To see just how close the golfers get to the planes, check out :35 - :44 in the (not that great) YouTube video below:
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher for Jaunted]