Ghost Tower: Climbing Bangkok’s Abandoned Skyscraper

Bangkok Skyscraper

Abandoned Skyscraper in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand

The skyscraper’s 43rd floor is the most haunted of them all. Treading carefully over piles of debris, I pick my way through musty darkness praying I won’t vanish into a hole.

It happened in the bathroom. One morning a local photographer who was climbing the tower happened to smell something rancid, and went to investigate.

That’s when he discovered the body.

Sathorn Unique Building

Bangkok’s Sathorn Unique skyscraper was supposed to become a premium luxury apartment complex with amazing views of the Chao Phraya River.

That was until this massive construction project was suddenly abandoned due to the collapse of the Thai Baht during Asia’s 1997 Financial Crisis.

Left to rot in neglect, the unfinished skyscraper eventually became a home for drug addicts, homeless vagrants, and wild dogs.

Bangkok Skyscraper

Sathorn Unique Tower

Bangkok Skyscraper

Graffiti Covers the Walls

The Haunted Skyscraper

This mysterious abandoned skyscraper rises 49-stories into the clouds high above downtown Bangkok. It’s official name is Sathorn Unique, but locals refer to it as “The Ghost Tower”. Most people keep their distance.

They believe the building is haunted, and for good reason.

Dead bodies seem to turn up here on a regular basis.

There’s also a 2nd twin building down the street called Lebua State Tower, an exact copy of this one. However while that skyscraper thrived (featured in The Hangover 2), Sathorn Unique has been cursed to ruin for the past 20 years.

Bangkok Skyscraper

The Throne Room?

Bangkok Skyscraper Balcony

Flooded Balconies

Weird Tourist Attraction?

People have been visiting this abandoned skyscraper for years, climbing over an outer fence or bribing one of the homeless inhabitants to open a locked gate to the stairwell.

However a few months before I arrived, the body of a Swedish backpacker was found hanging from a bathroom on the 43rd floor, discovered by a Thai photographer there to capture the sunrise.

After this incident, the building’s owner decided to make it safer (and earn some cash) by opening the ghost tower to tourists so they don’t break in.

Haunted Skyscraper

Inside the Haunted Skyscraper

Abandonded Skyscraper

Standing Water & Trash

Exploring The Ghost Tower

The narrow stairwell of Sathorn Unique is claustrophobic and littered with rubbish. A few bare lightbulbs cast a dull glow on some floors, others are pitch black, making the climb hazardous.

After the first 10 floors is when I began to sweat.

It’s like climbing an indoor mountain, stopping to rest while exploring the abandoned, windowless luxury apartments decorated with graffiti and million-dollar views of the city below.

Dusty hallways are flooded with puddles of standing water, construction equipment, old shoes, broken toilets, electrical wires and more.

Piles of debris make it difficult to spot holes in the floor. Pieces of the ghost tower occasionally fall into the streets below as it descends into neglect.

Abandonded Skyscraper Roof

Sunset from the Top

GoPole Reach

Extreme Selfie with my GoPole Reach

Incredible Panoramic Views

By the 49th floor I’m completely drenched in sweat and breathing heavily. It takes about 30 minutes of constant climbing to reach the top. The roof is a mess with steel rebar and broken concrete all over the place.

But the views over the city of Bangkok? Amazing!

A panoramic urban skyline stretches out before your eyes — filled with skyscrapers of all shapes & sizes, the BTS train system, narrow city streets congested with traffic, and barges loaded with goods floating down the Chao Phraya river.

Your reward for the challenge of scaling the tower is a beautiful sunset.

Bangkok Skyscraper

GoPole Scenlapse

GoPole Scenelapse in Action

Where to stay in Bangkok?

Budget

iCheck Inn Silom

Check prices on: Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda

Mid-Range

Padi Madi Boutique – Small stylish hotel right next to a metro station and various dining options.

Check prices on: Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda

Fancy

Sofitel Bangkok

Check prices on: Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda

I also enjoy using AirBnB from time to time. Make sure to read my article about how to find cheap hotels too.

Shooting With GoPole

To capture this adventure on video I used my GoPole Reach attached to a GoPro. It gives you some unique perspectives, including sitting on the edge of a skyscraper dangling my feet over the side!

Another cool attachment I used is the GoPole Scenelapse on the GoPole Base — this rotating timer is great for recording time-lapse sequences like the one at the end of my video below. ★

Watch Video: Exploring Bangkok’s Ghost Tower


Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for new Adventure Travel Videos!

(Click to watch Abandoned Skyscraper – Bangkok on YouTube)

More Information

Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Cost: 200 Baht ($6 USD)
Accommodation: Click Here For Deals in Bangkok
Useful Notes: The building is open every day from 2pm – 8pm, you must pay a fee for them to unlock the stairwell. The closest BTS Metro station is called “Saphan Taksin”. From there it’s a 5 minute walk, just look up!
Thailand Travel Guide: Lonely Planet Thailand

READ NEXT: Best GoPro Accessories For Travel

Have you ever visited a haunted building before? Drop me a message in the comments below!

GoPole

Any Questions Or Comments?

Thanks for leaving a comment, I appreciate your feedback. However please use your real name only and treat everyone with respect. Lets have a meaningful conversation!

140 Comments

  1. Guys, anyone planning to try this? I have a trip to Bangkok from the 28th April – 1st May this year. Drop me an email or something.

  2. It is captivating and impressive to be able to see these abandoned areas in Bangkok. I pretty admire your braveness on conquering this haunted building and for perfectly taking good shot. I totally love the view and the results. You really did a great job on capturing these photos. The contrast, brightness and sharpness of each photography were equally adjusted. What camera are you using, aside from GoPro? Because the result were just brilliant. Good job. Keep it up.

        1. Which part of the building did you stand around?
          Thinking about doing it tomorrow.
          So someone opened the locks for you?

        2. More info.
          The entrance is in the small road on the left side if you look a the tower. There is a locked door. Just wait and someone should show up. There is always someone there.

    1. I was inside the Ghosttower. Even talked to the security he tried to show us a way to get in the first level because the Stairs are locked with steel doors an he has no keys for it. But the ways getting up are impossible … perhaps if you have a rope or a ladder then you can make it :D

  3. There is absolutely no way to get into the building anymore. Huge signs also threatening prosecution so I really wouldn’t recommend anyone even tries…

  4. Ill be in Bangkok for 5 or 6 Days, starting on the 16th. Is there ANY way to get up there? Im willing to pay. Answer me with your whatsapp number and ill contact you, if you know a way or know someone who can get me (and if possible a friend) in. thanks.

    1. I’m right now at the ghost tower (14 July 2016) and there is no way to get in. Asking all security members, no one want to let me in even if I pay good price.
      They told me that nobody can enter anymore since the discover of the Swedish body.
      One told me that I can try to force the fence in a little street nearby but police is watching everywhere. Find no other people trying to get in…

  5. I was there yesterday (18.05.16) and there was no coming in for us. Everybody at the area was saying no. There was a guy behind the fense and we was asking him for let us in… He said the police had closed the building couse of the swedish suicide :( maybe it will be opened again sometime.

    cheers

  6. I’m in Bangkok until May 2nd and looking to climb Ghost tower before I leave, either tomorrow 28th or this weekend. Anyone up for coming wth me?

  7. I tried this a few weeks ago. everything changed now, old security found to be taking bribes, so owner fired them. New security will not take bribes, building apparently sealed from second floor. As i was leaving, about 20 other people turned up trying to get in, i filmed it all, you can watch it on my youtube channel https://youtu.be/5zQtJ8ToF4g

  8. I’ll be in BKK til the 26th, anyone fancy to try this out with me even after the latest reports that it’s not able to climb anymore?

  9. Hi all! I Peter here a few weeks ago and I’ve been following the thread, but I’m here in Bangkok and I’m will to go over and try to get up the building if anybody is here and want to try. If so I’m n whatsapp 14073611147. Make sure you mention the Sathorn Unique in the message so I’ll get back to you.

    1. Hey Thomas, we really want to go to the Ghosttower tomorrow (23th of April). Do you still want to go there? I can’t text you per Whatsapp ..i don’t know why. Please text me +4915782526692

    2. Hey, tried whatsapp but didn’t work tho. I’m in bkk til the 26th and I’m keen to try this out, need a mate though, you’re still in?

  10. I tried IT yesterday and came only on the First floor the Same like john .
    in the evening i write a friend they climbing on the top one and a half year ago they seid me you must go in the car Park their is a bridge to the tower .
    today i tried IT again but the bridge was demolished .

    i don’t finden a way inside

    sorry for my Bad englisch

    1. Hello we tried to get up The Tower today but the Gadda only let us to The ground floor for 100 baht, but After we left The Tower we saw 2 guys on top of The Building so its still possible to get up there…Thats why we will try again tomorrow! I am Open for some advise how to pass The Gate at The Stairs!

    2. hi guys, i am in bkk and wanted to visit the ghost tower this week. now all i am reading is that it is not possible. could anyone get up there? let me know how! cheers :-)

  11. Hi! I’m gonna be in Bangkok from April 20 – 28, 2016. I’m going to try and climb the tower. If anybody out there wants to try with me let me know!

    1. Hey, I am planning to go to the tower tomorrow (April 23th) with a friend. Have you tried yet ? I don’t want to be stopped at the first floor, there seems to be so much more to see upstairs !

  12. Went today around 6pm and the guard will only allow you to access the first floor and basement for 100 baht. It was accessible about a month ago but the police crackdowned on it. They destroyed the ladder in the elevator shaft and hammered the rebar down on the wall to prevent people from climbing. Even if you were able to climb to the second floor the security guard wouldn’t allow it anymore because fear of locals reporting it to police, and jail time.

  13. Looks like it’s becoming harder to do now… But really want to give it a go. Anyone in BKK between 9-13th April? Would definitely be up for trying with a group… Give me a Facebook message! Chris Warren – England Hertfordshire

  14. Hi, tried to get in there, got over the fence no problem but some guy pulled up in a jeep and said he was calling the police so we decided to leave. Anyone thinking of doing it today?

    1. Hi, someone want to climb today? I’m planing to try around 4pm
      Thanks to let me know, if not today then tomorow can try also

    2. Seems like people aren’t able to get up these days…I’ll be around the 9th of April for about a week. Anyone have updates about getting up to the top?

  15. Hey guys, we tried to go up 22/3/16 and failed.
    First, we asked our hotel for a taxi there and they were trying to make us not go.
    When we got there, we walked down the side on the left. There was a 2-3m high fence with barbwire at the top. All these big signs saying No trespassing + warnings about fines etc. Then around the back there is some dodgy flats which you might be able to go through one of them and jump the fence there.
    None of the shopkeepers at the front. The right side of the building is some official ?consulate that you couldn’t go down.
    We went back down the left side and some English guys came out this door. They said they had been there a year ago and did it but thought it was too dangerous now.
    Both stairwells have been blocked off and have locks on them. A guy and a crazy woman seemed to live there. We gave the guy 1000 baht. He let us in and said we could try to climb the elevator shaft. I assume that once you got to the first floor you would just be able to walk the stairs.
    Anyway he has a ladder there to get to the first floor (about 7m up) but it doesn’t go all the way. I climbed to the top of the ladder but there was still a good 1m up. If you had a rope, were pretty strong and had some (very large) balls, you might be able to do it.
    I would still be dodgy about other locals up there though from previous report. The guy kept on talking about his friends that were higher up.
    If anyone is able to do it, make sure you let us all know

  16. Tried to climb it about 2 months ago. Once we climbed over the fence we got a gun pointed at us while forcing us to leave asap! Wouldn’t recommend going in

  17. Don’t waste your time unless you have climbing gear and night vision goggles. Impossible to get in now after yet another body was found. Security on the first few floors

        1. Hey Diego, how did you make out? I am looking to go tomorrow and climbif anyone is interested let me know

  18. I tried going up yesterday but the failed said he’d get me inside the compound for 200 thb butthe gate to the stairs is locked and the owner has the key.

  19. Hey guys, I’m now in BKK and want to go up so bad. I have 2-3 fays left. Is it possible now? And who can join? Whatsapp +8613018930910

  20. I was there today at 6 pm. The doors are still closed, because a suicide. You have to climp a 5 Meter Wall to get upstairs. And this was for me and for 12 other People to dangerous… you can say it’s impossible to go up.

  21. Hi guys,

    I will be in Bangkok from 7-9 Feb 2016. I was thinking about exploring this building on the 8th. Anyone wants to join me?

    Kind regards

  22. Do tried again ?

    Today we tried at 3 pm and we also failed. In the First floor was a man, Who say that we should go…

    In 3 weeks we will try it again, but at 6 pm.

  23. Went to the Sathorn Unique today 1/3/2016 and was to no success. The gate at the entry was looked to be completely welded shut with no possible way even if you did bribe the guard. The only plausible way would to be have a ladder straight to the second floor but that would create a lot of unwanted attention. What a shame, it would have been an amazing time. Going to try tomorrow so I will post another update

  24. Awesome! But can’t say I’d take the time to do it. I’m getting more boring with every year :( Besides I’m afraid to even go close to the ledge let alone sit down like you did.

  25. Hey is it possible to get in there at the moment?
    A friend & mine wanted to go up today, but we didn’t find an entrance. Is it the best option to sneak over the fence? If someone’s in bangkok at the moment and want’s to join us at our next attemp in the next few days, write me.

    1. Hello! I tried with a friend yesterday and we failed too…
      But there is a shop nearby the main entrance which gives access to the tower.
      Are you still in bangkok? we could try again together.

    1. You can get to the top, you should pay 200 Bath to the owner, maybe after 6pm, you can go inside for free, but please take care. Good luck.

  26. Hey Guys, tried entering last night and was told no. There were around 7 or 8 guards and tried offering 1,000tbh and hung around for about but they weren’t giving in. Turns out the guy that opened up the building to everyone didn’t even own the place, someone put a video up on youtube and the REAL owner of the building saw it and released that this person was making money of his building and shut everything down over the last 2 weeks.

  27. Amazing, I would love to do this but I know that my Kids would terrified of the height involved (especially Boy – wimp). Love your photo of the sunset. I will do my best to persuade them if we return to Bangkok.
    Kluk

  28. hmm

    we are in BKK and read your post. so is it still possible? not sure if we are ready to climb 15 feet or something else. no climbing experience, just fit guys (even if fat, but fit!).

    should we dare?

  29. I tried to get in today but it’s all closed up

    I talked to a couple of Thais around the entrances ad they said its a no go area and even said I would pay 1000thb

    I was so looking forward to walking up there today :-(

    1. Don’t give up Dave, if I had a dollar for every time a local gave me advice that turned out to be wrong, I’d be a rich man. Remember to visit the ghost towner in the late afternoon, on a weekday, and use the left entrance when looking at it from the street.

  30. I went mid April and it was closed, guarded and warning of fine. Does anyone know if this has loosened? In Bangkok again and would love to go.

  31. Cool! I’m going to BKK in 2 weeks, I was planning to do this adventure! If I make it, I’ll post it in here!
    Congratulations for the post and the video!

  32. Some potential obstacles when trying to go up Sathorn:
    -The “Municipality of Sathorn” (or something like that) added a large sign near the gate saying there is a 5000B fine for entering.
    -The gate is closed even in the afternoon when a lot tourists are there, and it doesn’t seem like anyone will let you in.
    -The fence is about 9ft (2.74m) high.
    -There has been an extra section of fence added so you can’t go around (see this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYUxHhF0LZk). Instead, you have to climb/jump down the high fence. However, the area where you used to be able to easily climb the fence has had grease added to the top.
    -The area where there was a section of added fence is next to a compound with a guard and dog
    -The person(s?) living on the first floor may not approve of your ninja entry.

    How to enter at your own risk:
    -Get fit enough to walk up the 185 m (607 ft) building and do 1+ pull ups. The more relative strength and height you have, the easier the climb will be. Experience in rock climbing, bouldering, or buildering may decrease your risk of falling/slipping.
    -Bring everything mentioned in this and other articles including your travel essentials (eg. money). Also bring
    –updated tetanus vaccine (for the cuts/scrapes you may get from the rusted metal)
    –disposable gloves (for the greasy fence)
    –Low power flashlight (if your going/leaving at night. Low power so your less likely to be seen. Maybe cover it with something to dim it)
    –food (if your going for multiple hours. eg. get from 7-11 nearby)
    –lots of water (ie. 2L+. You will get thirsty after walking up, plus its hot & humid)
    –shoes with decent grip
    –Extra/Optional:
    —tissue paper (perhaps for the grease)
    —rain gear (eg. disposable coat, waterproof bags)
    —medical supplies (for cuts/scrapes)
    —5000B+ (in case you get in trouble)
    —come up with your own items
    -Go alone. Having more people increases the risk of detection or getting caught.
    -Walk around and familiarize yourself with the building and surrounding area.
    -Climb up the fence next to the compound at the NE corner (see video). Try to avoid making noise, and jump/climb down.
    -Avoid detection or being seen by the person living on the first floor. Hide somewhere or deploy a distraction.
    -Climb the SE side of the building to the second floor. You’ll have to use your imagination to see how this is possible (hint: look for a ladder). Note: The concrete may crumble. This allows your to avoid the locked gate on floor 1.5 and avoid the inhabitants. There may be someone on floor 1.5 or 2 that may spot you, and the climb is very high at est. 25ft (7.62m) with no safety measures.
    -Your in!
    -Repeat the above entry instructions in reverse order to exit. Note: Getting out is much harder as there is nothing to climb up before climbing the 9ft fence. If your short, this will be very difficult. However, if you use your imagination, you can exit/enter the building area without climbing the fence, but I’d prefer the fence.

    Alternate ways to enter/exit Sathorn:
    1. Build a temporary bridge from the car park to the building
    2. Jump from the car park top floor to the building (write a will first)
    3. Jump or build a temporary bridge from the adjacent (east) building
    4. Whatever you imagine

  33. Matthew, it was at around 3:30pm. Did you just walk down the side alley that has the car park on one side and the sathorn unique on the other side? I noticed there was a rolling gate but it was closed.

    1. Walk down the road on the left side of the building (when looking at it from the street). There is a sheet-metal door that should be open. Maybe it was a holiday or something and no one was there?

  34. I’ve just tried to get in a few moments ago with no sight of being able! Everything is boarded off with sheets of metal and trespassing signs that seem rather new also! shame as was looking forward to getting some shots up there!

  35. Great post! Enjoyed this very much. I was at the ghost tower last year and was ready to climb in and something exploded on the second floor firing a pile of dust everywhere onto me. I got a bit jittery at that moment as I wasn’t sure what caused the explosion and decided to not go in that day. Your post has me wanting to visit again!

  36. I imaigne this’d be a great place to film a horror movie! Cool pics, would love to give going there a shot while in Bangkok. Thanks for sharing!

  37. I have always wondered why that particular building is in utter disrepair whereas the luxurious Hotel and Dome/Sirrico Sky Bar at Lebua State Tower which is virtually identical thrives. The Hangover 2 movie probably didn’t hurt business either. Amazing view and will definitely get the selfie stick out and do this when I’m in Bangkok next.

    Awesome post Matt!

  38. That must be a killer view! I went to Angel island close to San Francisco, which is an island completely in ruins. During World War II, it worked as a POW camp for Japanese and Germans. It’s totally worth checking it out.