Adventure Bangkok

My Journey to Conquer Fifty Storeys of Intense Fear

December 14, 2015

Many Thai people believe the Sathorn Unique skyscraper has been haunted, and this was when I decided to climb and see the view from the top.

The construction project of this tower collapsed in 1997 with the Asian Financial Crisis. It was never completed and left 49 storeys high skyscraper abandoned in the heart of Bangkok.

Getting there: Take the train to BTS Saphan Tak. The skyscraper is located in close proximity to the cross roads between Sathon Tai Road and Charoen Krung Road. Look up and you won’t miss it. Check the google map below, the pin is right on top of the abandoned skyscraper building.

In December 2014, a Swedish backpacker was found hanged on the 43rd floor. Thai authorities investigated and ruled out the death was suicide.

One afternoon during this most recent trip in Bangkok, I was reading an article “Ghost Tower: Climbing Bangkok’s Abandoned Skyscraper“, it inspired me so much that I decided to climb it. Now I needed someone else to join me on this unusual urban exploration. The next day I met an American traveler who stayed at the same hostel I did who was fascinated about my idea to climb the abandoned skyscraper, but after telling him in detail about the history of the building, he didn’t want to do it. Four days passed and I couldn’t find anyone willing to climb the abandoned skyscraper with me to take a few extreme selfies overlooking the spectacular panoramic view of the Chao Phraya river.

Monday, December 7 was the date, I woke up at 8am, had a shower, ate some breakfast and left to conquer Sathorn Unique. I arrived at the entrance of the building in a tuk-tuk with a flashlight, a bottle of drinking water and my phone of course. A tall metal fence surrounded the whole premises and there were about three security guards stationed at the entrance. I was under the impression that a touristic conversation with the guards could help me accomplish my motive, but it didn’t work out and they turned me down. I offered them each 500 baht to let me in, and still they didn’t accept it. Bribing people is not my game or something I do everyday, but I had no choice should I intend to attain my strange little adventure.

 

The metal wall that surrounded Sathorn Unique / Photo by me

A sign stating access strictly prohibited / Photo by me

I still didn’t want to give up. I previously read an article about an air-bridge that connected the fourth floors of Sathorn Unique and the building alongside it, so my next approach was to gain entry via the air-bridge from the next building. It appeared my luck had run out, there was a security guard on duty and I couldn’t just tell him that I wanted access to the fourth floor to sneak in to Sathorn Unique.

The air-bridge / Photo by Jeremy Scott Foster

I finally decided to abort my crazy adventure because it was just not my lucky day, hopefully one day I will return to accomplish my journey to climb Sathorn Unique.

This article was written in no way to portray Sathorn Unique as an attraction for visitors, but as an unusual sight and I do not recommend entering the building!  However,  if you are crazy curious like me, go try at your own risk! I also advise that people who fear heights should definitely not enter because it seems there are no railings whatsoever to protect you from falling off the building. The stairways is said to be pitch dark even during afternoon, you have to carry a flash torch unless you want to get lost. You will need plenty of water because climbing 49 storeys with a temperature of 35 degrees celsius is close to the temperature at Sahara desert making it quite an ascend. Be careful where you place your feet, the structure is fragile and there are many unsealed shafts and holes in the floor. More importantly, beware of dogs, getting bitten by a dog is the last thing you would want while on vacation in Thailand.

That’s the shot I wanted! / Photo By Matthew Karsten

Inside the abandoned skyscraper / Photo by Matthew Karsten

Please Note: Trespassing and entering the Sathorn Unique Tower building is illegal. I tried, I failed and do not recommend anyone going into the building. You claim all responsibility no matter what happens if you do. It’s risky, dangerous, and generally not a good idea. Travel inherently comes with an element of risk (just like crossing the road does). You are putting yourself in elements that are unfamiliar and foreign to your usual lifestyle. There are also potential dangers in the environments to which you may not be accustomed to.

Please take extra care in travelling, ensure that you have adequate travel medical insurance (accidents seem to happen when you least expect them), and have let a trusted colleague, family member or friend know your whereabouts and activities.

Read more on this here: http://expertvagabond.com/abandoned-skyscraper-bangkok

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2 Comments

  • Reply Ahmed shah ali December 14, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Mr.Ijaz I would like to visit there and see that place in my next visit to bangkok.

    • Reply ahmed ijaz December 19, 2015 at 9:27 pm

      You probably should Shah, take a selfie and send me a postcard 🙂

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