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HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:31 am
by SuseJ772
In March we are headed to HKT. Did SXM back in 2014 and had a blast. HKT seems similar but also different. Curious if anyone has been at both and if so which did you like better?




Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:46 am
by A350OZ
Wow I didn't even realise HKT has this very low beach approach. Looking at Google Maps it seems the "piano keys" are even closer to the beach than at SXM (120 vs 160 metres), and there's plenty of wide-body activity at HKT. Not sure why St Maarten is so famous for it and Phuket is not?

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:58 am
by AirIndia
A350OZ wrote:
Not sure why St Maarten is so famous for it and Phuket is not?


It cud be that the Maho beach n SXM is one of the few beaches opn the island and thus sees a lot of traffic while Phuket has many beach options with resorts all over the island as well as north into Khao Lak. So there arent many tourists going to the beach near the airport.... also IIRC there are not many high end resorts close to the airport.

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:50 am
by TheEuphorian
HKT because it has more widebody traffic.

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:39 pm
by Zetor
I was at SXM in February 2016 and at HKT two weeks ago. Main difference is that touchdown zone at HKT is further from the beach, so airplanes over the beach are quite higher than at SXM. Also landing from the other side at HKT is quite possible, for 4 days I had every day landings and takeoffs in 27 direction. As it was said before, Phuket has many beaches and number of people at the beach by the airport is significantly lower than at SXM. From the traffic point of view Phuket is far better, especially because of widebodies. In 2016, SXM got Air France 343 every day, KLM 747 3x week, 2x week Air Caraibes and TUI and on weekends A332 of American Airlines. And that was before hurricane. Phuket has at least three to four daily rotations to Bangkok including 747, then Emirates, Qatar (sometimes even twice daily), often Pegas Air, AZUR, Thai Lion, Cathay Dragon, Finnair, TUI and of course Rossiya 747 5 to 6 times per week. Unfortunately a lot of widebody traffic is night only (Korean, Jin Air, Air China, Turkish, other Qatar and Emirates rotations).

But nothing can beat that atmosphere at Maho Beach with all these people waiting for a 747.

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:51 pm
by SuseJ772
AirIndia wrote:
also IIRC there are not many high end resorts close to the airport.

That’s the truth. We are staying initially pretty far but the day before we leave we are going to stay one night by HKT and hopefully have a good beach day with 27 in use

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:54 pm
by SuseJ772
Zetor wrote:
From the traffic point of view Phuket is far better, especially because of widebodies. In 2016, SXM got Air France 343 every day, KLM 747 3x week, 2x week Air Caraibes and TUI and on weekends A332 of American Airlines. ... But nothing can beat that atmosphere at Maho Beach with all these people waiting for a 747.
I think that is what I was most surprised by SXM was how much gaps were in between arrivals. Of course I should have known looking at a the timetable, but it significantly less than I was expecting.

That being said, you can’t beat the KLM 747 so low. Great experience.

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 4:51 pm
by PatrickZ80
AirIndia wrote:
It cud be that the Maho beach n SXM is one of the few beaches opn the island and thus sees a lot of traffic while Phuket has many beach options with resorts all over the island as well as north into Khao Lak. So there arent many tourists going to the beach near the airport.... also IIRC there are not many high end resorts close to the airport.


Not true, there are a lot more beaches at the Island of St. Martin. No doubt Phuket has more beaches, after all it's a bigger Island. But don't underestimate the number of beaches at St. Martin. However it needs to be said the beaches at St. Martin are often smaller and some of them are private.

SuseJ772 wrote:
That being said, you can’t beat the KLM 747 so low. Great experience.


Unfortunately KLM no longer uses the 747 to St. Martin. They switched it to the A330-200.

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:32 pm
by HELyes
I stayed in Nayang next to HKT in December 2017. I like the area, peaceful and a nice big beach, easy plane spotting close by. Was perfect for a couple of days.

Nayang Beach, for plane spotting you turn right from here, 10 min walk on the beach.

P.S A good new HKT plane spotting video: https://youtu.be/TJmXlPJFZH8

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Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:52 am
by debonair
Why always the same discussion about these two places? Why not JSI for a difference? :bigthumbsup:


Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:08 pm
by AirAfreak
HELyes wrote:
I stayed in Nayang next to HKT in December 2017. I like the area, peaceful and a nice big beach, easy plane spotting close by. Was perfect for a couple of days.

Nayang Beach, for plane spotting you turn right from here, 10 min walk on the beach.

P.S A good new HKT plane spotting video: https://youtu.be/TJmXlPJFZH8

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Where did you stay while at Nayang? Is this an area you recommend for both accommodations and convenient access to airplane spotting at HKT? I’ve only traveled to Kata Noi and enjoyed the peaceful environment there during the week I spent towards the end of the monsoon season.

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 2:47 am
by HELyes
AirAfreak wrote:

Where did you stay while at Nayang? Is this an area you recommend for both accommodations and convenient access to airplane spotting at HKT? I’ve only traveled to Kata Noi and enjoyed the peaceful environment there during the week I spent towards the end of the monsoon season.


I stayed in a simple, nice hotel called Phuket Airport Sonwa Resort. I ended in Nayang quite accidentally, I just needed a hotel close to the airport for a couple of days. Nayang is a small place but it has some high end hotels too. There are some restaurants and other small services close to the beach. For the nearest 7/11 you have to walk a bit, towards to the airport.

I am not a active spotter myself but I noticed a place on the beach under the landing path where spotters gathered, next to the runway shown on the video I linked. There are better spots closer to the action but it seems you are easily shooed away.

Phuket Airport Sonwa Resort

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Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:35 am
by spacecadet
AirIndia wrote:
A350OZ wrote:
Not sure why St Maarten is so famous for it and Phuket is not?


It cud be that the Maho beach n SXM is one of the few beaches opn the island and thus sees a lot of traffic


St. Maarten/Martin has *dozens* of beaches on what's really a very small island, and all of them are open to the public: http://www.stmartinisland.org/st-martin ... aches.html

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:58 am
by AirAfreak
HELyes wrote:
AirAfreak wrote:

Where did you stay while at Nayang? Is this an area you recommend for both accommodations and convenient access to airplane spotting at HKT? I’ve only traveled to Kata Noi and enjoyed the peaceful environment there during the week I spent towards the end of the monsoon season.


I stayed in a simple, nice hotel called Phuket Airport Sonwa Resort. I ended in Nayang quite accidentally, I just needed a hotel close to the airport for a couple of days. Nayang is a small place but it has some high end hotels too. There are some restaurants and other small services close to the beach. For the nearest 7/11 you have to walk a bit, towards to the airport.

I am not a active spotter myself but I noticed a place on the beach under the landing path where spotters gathered, next to the runway shown on the video I linked. There are better spots closer to the action but it seems you are easily shooed away.

Phuket Airport Sonwa Resort

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I appreciate you taking the time to share this information. Thank you kindly!

Re: HKT vs. SXM

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:15 pm
by PatrickZ80
debonair wrote:
Why always the same discussion about these two places? Why not JSI for a difference? :bigthumbsup:



True, but Skiathos doesn't see wide bodies or long distance flights. The largest thing that lands there is a 757, but mostly it's 737s and A320s. All from within Europe.

Also, the weather in Greece during the winter gets a bit unstable. There's chances of good weather, but it can also be cold. Both St. Martin and Phuket got warm weather year-round, although you might want to avoid the rain season.