The Ghost Tower and other crazy things to see in Bangkok

gt20thfloor

After nearly a month of living in Bangkok and this being my 8th time here, I have done most of the normal touristy things. I decided that this time, I needed something a bit stranger. Well here you go. Four strange things Bangkok has to offer.

Bangkok’s abandoned Skyscrapper – The Sathorn Unique Building

During the 1990s Thailand’s economy was booming.  A city of gleaming offices and residential skyscrapers were to be a testament to the nation’s rapid development.

Then in 1997, the Asian Financial Crisis hit. Many of these building projects Ghosttowerswere put on hold, including The Sathorn Unique skyscraper, a 49-story tower, abandoned at 80% construction. Many towers have now finally been completed, some others have construction continuing. However, many broke developers are still unable or unwilling to take action on the remains of their projects.

On completion, the Sathorn Unique was due to be one of Bangkok’s most luxurious and exclusive residential properties. 659 residential units, 54 shops and a spectacular panoramic view of the Chao Phraya river.

Located in downtown Bangkok, just a short walk from Saphan Taksin BTS station, locals insist this skyscraper is haunted and have aptly named it the “Ghost Tower”.

GhosttowercorridorWell after taking two trains to get there, I almost didn’t go in! Yep, I was pooing my pants and it was during the day. I almost just took a picture and went home until two German girls, asked ‘Have you been in?’. Well I couldn’t reply ‘No I am too scared’, so ‘Erm, not yet’ whimpered of my mouth, and I followed them in.

Once inside you will have to pay the locals that ‘work’ there 200THB to start your climb. It is 49 floors of unfinished, uneven, crumbling concrete stairs to the top, with very little light. I had done my research so luckily had trainers and a torch!



Booking.com

The first 16 floors are OK and then it starts to get a little errie! The corridors are dark and other visitors appear from hidden rooms. Yes I screamed a few times. There are bath tubs in the middle of some rooms and corridors, along with other objects such as sofas, mannequins and left over construction tools, making it very interesting and jumpy to explore. It is a tough climb but once at the top the view is breath taking. You can see for miles around Bangkok. Definitely worth it.

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*Here is the bit I have to say* It is dangerous to enter the building and I do not recommend it, but you are a grown up so it is your choice.

The property has gained a higher popularity and presence with tourists after a Swedish backpacker was sadly found dead on the 43 floor in July 2014.

Tropical Fish in the Abandoned shopping Mall basement

This is another weird thing you can find in Bangkok. About a five minute walk fish-abandoned-mallfrom Khao San Road, stands an abandoned shopping mall that has been closed for around 20 years. The back part of the mall was built too high and had to be demolished, the building was then shut down. The part demolition left no roof coverage to an area of the basement, causing rain water to flood in. The basement is now flooded and is full of exotic fish.

In an attempt to get rid of the mosquito that then bred around this water, the locals released some fish into the water. With the locals and tourists feeding them, the fish have thrived and there are now over 1000 tropical fish in the basement.

Again *The bit I have to say* This mall is private property and it is illegal to trespass. It is also very dangerous so I do not advise you enter.

Abandoned Boeing 747

abandoned-airplane-bangkok

On Ramkhamhaeng Road in the Bang Kapi district of Bangkok, just a short taxi ride from the city centre,  surprisingly, there is part of an abandoned Boeing 747 Aeroplane. A bit strange! The area where the plane is was originally a beer garden but is now a car park. The easiest way to get there is to take the BTS to Ekkamai and then get a taxi to Ramkhamhaeng Road Soi 101 (about 100THB)

And again *The bit I have to say* This plane is on private property and it is illegal to trespass. It is also very dangerous and has very sharp edges.

The Penis Shrine

PenisShrine

A 5 minute walk from Phloenchit BTS station is where you will find the Penis Shrine.  The story tells of a Thai businessman called Nai Lert who found a spirit house floating in the canal around the beginning of the 20th century. Nai Lert rescued this spirit house and placed it in his garden, which is now the area just behind the Swissotel Nai Lerk Park Hotel.

Noone knows how the phallic symbols came to be placed there, but they are very popular in Thai culture and are sometimes left at spirit houses. Over the years, hundreds have been left there.

The official name of the shrine is Chao Mae Tuptim, a Southeast Asian tree spirit. The tree spirit is believed to bless those that worship at the shrine. The phallus being a symbol of fertility, causing women, who are hoping to get pregnant to come from all over Thailand to worship at the shrine.

I chose to stay well away from this area. A baby would not fit in my carry on and I think people frown upon you putting them in the checked baggage section.

Well there you have it. Some crazy and weird things in Bangkok. Are there any I have missed!?

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 30, 2015 at 10:46 am

Oh my gosh, these are all so strange!! I haven’t been to Bangkok for many years but definitely haven’t visited any of these places! I think honestly I’d probably be too scared to go up the ghost tower but the views must have been great! Very sad re the tourist who passed away there though.
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sallymunt sallymunt March 30, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I was a lot braver than I thought I would be! I usually cry at the thought of a haunted place. The views were beautiful, it is sad that something so horrible could have happened there.

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Rachel March 30, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Wow, those all sound fascinating! That mall could become a fish farm! Is there any explanation for why a part of an airplane is sitting in a vacant lot?
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sallymunt sallymunt March 31, 2015 at 1:23 pm

I did some investigating and found out it that the area used to be a beer garden and when the airport decommissioned the plane the owner asked if he could have it. Now the pub is gone no one can move the plane and as it is causing no problems they decided just to leave it!

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Natalie Deduck April 1, 2015 at 11:18 am

Great weird tips Sally!!
We just left Bangkok and I didn’t have courage enough to visit the Ghost Tower while there, shame on me :-(
But I’m really curious about the airplane and the fish “farm”… More reasons to come back to Thailand soon.
Happy Travels,
Nat
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Chris April 3, 2015 at 12:11 am

I love to see these sorts of random, off the beaten path places!

I had read that the mall with the fish within was set to have them removed & possibly completely demolished…

Any better word from being there on the ground?
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sallymunt sallymunt April 3, 2015 at 4:48 am

Oh no, I hope not! I will do some further research!

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Annie April 7, 2015 at 2:24 pm

These are so bizarre. I love it! I think I’m with you, I would be terrified to go in that building alone–especially after they found a dead backpacker.. How sad! Thanks for sharing these.

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Wayne Seto August 1, 2015 at 7:38 am

Great Post. I frequent Bangkok regularly and have only heard about the Ghost Tower. I was actually at the tower and ready to enter when a thunderous boom and blanket of dust came from the second floor. Whether something was going on or the building was just falling apart, I elected to refrain from entering that day. Soon after, that Swedish backpacker that you mentioned was found dead there. Thanks for sharing.
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