Chiang Mai is the major doorway of northern Thailand and therefore plays a vital part promoting tourism in the region. It is located only 4 Km from the city centre. The airport has two terminals, one for domestic passengers and the other for international flights, they are interconnected. The airport handled over 9.4 million passengers in 2016, (including over 2 million of international ones). This is a similar number to for example Venice in Italy or Buenos Aires Ezeiza in Argentina.
As an important connecting point to Northern Thailand, you can imagine this airport handles many arrivals from Chinese tourist, which normally travel in large groups. For that reason, many passengers seem to complain about this airport because it is thought to be very crowdy.
My experience as a solo traveller was different though, I breezed comfortably through every step of the process, in and out, in an easy and speedy manner. I must say though, that I have learnt to master every step of the passenger’s airport process so that helps with my airport navigation experiences.
Although, being a rather small airport I found it to be just fine, very efficient on departures. When I arrived, I found enough signs pointing the ways to go.
I also found it spotless clean landside and airside. There is also a post office on site, stations to charge mobiles and tablets and a VIP Lounge called “Coral” which anyone can get access to for a fee of 1000 THB (£23) where passengers can spend up to 2.5 hours.
Food choices can improve though but just enough shall passengers wish to grab something to eat before flying. I found the airline and airport staff helpful not just as my personal experience but I saw that in my observations to other passengers. On my departure, I spent less than 25 minutes from dropping my bag, security control, and to the departure hall.
My Chiang Mai airport rating: (1*-5*)
- Airport Facilities ***
- Friendliness of airport staff *****
- Signs *****
- Passport Control *****
- Cleanliness *****
“Airports have seen more since hugs and kisses than wedding halls..”