DALLAS – A flight of stairs stands in front of you to climb onto the iconic Boeing 747, but this time, it’s not to take to the skies but rather for some lip-smacking Thai cuisine.
Situated in Bangkok’s Lat Krabang district, Thailand, the 747 Café revolves around a 71-meter long-retired Jumbo jet that has been revived with plush interiors, comfortable seating, led lighting, and a bar. One of the initial challenges faced by the owners was how they’d be different and stand out, as they weren’t the first airplane café, so they took one leap forward to make it the world’s largest airplane café.
Second, to move the aircraft which was initially stranded at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to its present location needed a skilled technical team that disassembled the entire 747 into 8 separate units, transported it by a big trailer, and then reassembled it all together for which the entire process took a little over three months.
From Orient Thai Authentic Thai
The aircraft ex HS-STA, a Boeing 747-400, was formerly flown and operated by Orient Thai (OX), a budget carrier from the country that ceased operations in 2018. It flew three jumbo jets besides the 737 classics and the 767-300. This particular airframe is nearly 30 years old. The total investment, right from buying the stranded jet to turning it into a café, cost some 50 million Thai baht.
When asked about the aircraft conditions, they’ve retained nearly 90% of its original structure and integrity, especially the cockpit – it’s got all the switches, panels, knobs, and the screens as the real one would ideally have.
The engines have been removed. A half wingspan now serves as a balcony deck and also features a swing hanging below. The interior features a loft industrial style which exposes a lot of the metal and skeleton of the aircraft which you would not see otherwise.
As you approach the metal bird, it is sure to bring you the rich aromas of the three Asian kitchens that sit right around, each specializing in a particular cuisine, from authentic Thai, Chinese, and Korean.
Supporting Local Production
While the café itself offers its own menu and signature dish being – Noodles and dried Chili with Bacon and Sausage along with a 747-butter cookie, the three restaurants can get you anything from a hot Satay in peanut sauce to spicy beef noodles soup.
In support of Thai farmers, all the coffee beans are brought in from estates in Pangkhon and Chian Rai situated in north Thailand standing by their slogan “Thai help Thai, Thai smile together.”
The aircraft attracts over 300 admirers each day, even offering little ones a chance to sit on the flight deck. As many of the Queens retire from the skies, this is one place that keeps its well-equipped cockpit door open to anyone and everyone.
So, the next time you’re in Bangkok, you definitely have the chance to push the quad thrust levers of the Queen and dine for some fine Asian.
Featured image: Boeing 747. Photo: 747 cafe