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Kantarat Golf Course’s Final Fairway: A Historic Shift for Don Mueang Airport Expansion

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Imagine a golf course so unique that its fairways are flanked not by the customary neighborhoods or sprawling forests, but by the bustling runways of Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport. Welcome to Kantarat Golf Course, affectionately nicknamed Sanam Ngu or ‘Field of Snakes’, where the usual birdies and eagles have a whole different kind of winged companion soaring overhead!

But, as enchanting as playing amidst the roar of airplanes might be, the winds of change are blowing for Kantarat Golf Course. In a move that signifies the blending of history, recreation, and modern development, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) has decided to bid adieu to this iconic slice of green. The RTAF has struck a grand bargain with Don Mueang airport, trading the land in a heartwarming handshake that speaks volumes of progress and development. The agreement includes a monetary compensation, a beacon for a bright future for both the air force and avid golfers alike.

Defence Ministry spokesman, Jirayu Houngsub, a notable figure in the narrative and a member of the House committee navigating this significant transition, shared insights into the decision backed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and Defence Minister Sutin Klungsang. It seems like the course is set for Kantarat Golf Course to transform from a ‘Field of Snakes’ to a field of dreams for the bustling airport seeking expansion.

RTAF Chief ACM Panpakdee Patanakul, with a nod and a handshake, embraced the Premier’s vision, marking a monumental shift for the space that has seen many a golfer marvel at the surreal experience of teeing off with planes taking off. But fear not, golf enthusiasts and lovers of green spaces! This transformation tale bears gifts for you too. The compensation for this land, a treasure trove of memories and unique games, is earmarked for a noble cause. The funds will breathe new life into the Dhupatemiya Golf Course, promising to metamorphose it into a sprawling sports complex complete with public parks that whisper the tales of past games while inviting everyone to make new memories.

The transition from an airfield-adjacent golfing gem to the cornerstone of an ambitious airport expansion, resilient in its commitment to support Thailand’s tourism, is steeped in strategic foresight. This decision aligns perfectly with the recently signed memo spotlighting the military’s use of state land. It’s not just about making room for more tourists; it’s about crafting spaces that bring people together, encapsulating the essence of community, recreation, and sustainable development.

As we bid an emotional farewell to Kantarat Golf Course, a rare gem that has served as the backdrop for countless tales of triumphs, defeats, laughter, and the extraordinary sight of planes zooming by, let’s look forward to the new chapters this change will write. From the ‘Field of Snakes’ to a beacon of growth and communal spaces, the legacy of this unique course is set to take off on a different kind of flight—one that promises an even brighter horizon for all.


  1. GreenFairwayLover March 5, 2024

    It’s sad to see such a unique golf course go. Playing at Kantarat was an experience unlike any other. Will the new sports complex really replace that charm?

    • SkyWatcher March 5, 2024

      Totally agree! There’s something surreal about golfing with planes taking off next to you. But I’m optimistic about the Dhupatemiya transformation. Change can be good.

      • GreenFairwayLover March 5, 2024

        Hope you’re right. Just hard to imagine it being as memorable. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    • ModernityWins March 5, 2024

      You’re missing the point. This is progress! We need to support our tourism sector and this expansion is crucial. Golf can happen anywhere.

      • HistorianHank March 5, 2024

        It’s not just about golf. It’s about preserving unique cultural experiences. Kantarat was more than a course, it was history.

  2. AviationGeek March 5, 2024

    As an aviation enthusiast, the idea of the airport expanding is exciting. More flights, more tourists, more growth. I’ll miss Kantarat, but this is for the best.

    • EcoWarrior March 5, 2024

      But at what cost? Expanding an airport also means more pollution, less green space. It’s short-sighted to only think about economic growth.

      • GreenTechie March 5, 2024

        Let’s not forget the advances in technology. The future of aviation is green. More efficient planes, less noise and pollution. It’s a balance.

  3. LocalJane March 5, 2024

    I’m glad to see the defense ministry thinking about the community. Transforming Dhupatemiya into a public sports complex is a win for the locals. It’s important to have spaces that everyone can enjoy.

  4. TourismGuru March 5, 2024

    This is a strategic move. Boosting Thailand’s tourism isn’t just about attracting visitors; it’s about creating sustainable, attractive cities. Good job to everyone involved.

  5. OldTimerGolfer March 5, 2024

    Nothing will ever replace Kantarat for me. It wasn’t the most sophisticated course, but it had soul. Sad to see it go.

    • FuturistFred March 5, 2024

      Soul doesn’t pay the bills, though. We need to adapt and embrace the future. The Dhupatemiya project sounds promising.

  6. PolicyPete March 5, 2024

    The transition reflects the government’s insight into balancing various interests: defense, tourism, and public recreation. It’s a case study in strategic land use. Kudos!

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