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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

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


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)

[su_box title=”Travel Planning Resources For Bangkok” style=”noise” box_color=”#333333″ title_color=”#FFFFFF” radius=”3″ class=”resource-box”]
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Cost: 200 Baht ($6 USD)

Packing Guide

Check out my travel gear guide to help you start packing for your trip. Pick up a travel backpack, camera gear, and other useful travel accessories.

Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights on Skyscanner. This is my favorite search engine to find deals on airlines. Also make sure to read how I find the cheapest flights.

Rent A Car

Discover Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies.

Book Accommodation

Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. Or rent apartments from locals on Airbnb. Read more about how I book cheap hotels online.

Protect Your Trip

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term trips. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance.

Thailand Travel Guide: Lonely Planet Thailand
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Ghost Tower: Climbing Bangkok’s Abandoned Skyscraper! More at expertvagabond.com
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READ MORE TRAVEL TIPS

I hope you enjoyed my guide to Bangkok’s abandoned skyscraper! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

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

skomde

Thursday 6th of August 2020

June/July 2020 - tried 4 times during the couple of months I was in Bangkok. Twice there was no one there to offer the ‘entrance fee’, one time the guard didn’t speak English (or me showing him 1000thb), and another time I met two Russian guys there, it was my last time and we put our money together and had around 5000thb but the guard (this one spoke English) did not want to let us in. Hopefully someone else has some luck as I will be back next year.

George Fox-Edwards

Sunday 8th of December 2019

*DON'T BOTHER* Just tried yesterday (Dec 2019). Snuck into the building but found both doors completely closed; one welded shut and the other has three different padlocks on it. There is a guy living there but he doesn't speak any English, tried to scam me for 5000 Baht (yes, 5K!) to get up there when he clearly wouldn't have all three keys. The building is being used for a giant advert (latest iPhone in this case) so someone clearly owns it and is profiting, so they'll have the key. Save yourself the trouble and go check out all the other cool weird stuff like the penis shrine and husky cafe!

Stefan

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

Hello guys,

Does anyone have any information if its possible to climb up the tower. With or wothout an entrance fee? Want to try my luck in the next 3 days.

Greetings

Arturo Oliveira

Wednesday 1st of May 2019

Don't look to be climbing the Ghost Tower anymore , it was bought by Chinese and is a completed building now as of May 1st, 2019

Cindy

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

I will be in Bangkok between 23 and 27th and would love to climb the tower. If anyone is keen and available on those dates please drop me a mail.

Ben

Thursday 8th of November 2018

I want to try Dec 20-24-2018 if anyone is interested in going up together reply to this post ill check in back before i go. Names Ben From USA.

Jamie

Tuesday 11th of December 2018

Hey! I'm working in Bangkok right now and will be around until the 23rd.

I tried to go today but after 30 minutes of pestering the "guards" or whatever you want to call them, I got nowhere. I offered 500 baht but nop they wouldn't bite. Just kept saying the police were coming in 30 minutes and then they started taking photos of me...

I want to try again so I'll join if you're up for it sometime between those dates.

I've been recommended that it is better to go in the morning ~10am.

Leave me a message on my IG.

All the best,

Jamie

Richard

Monday 10th of December 2018

Hey, Franck and Richard here, from OneDayOneTravel (french travel blog). We'll be in BKK at these dates and also wanna go up there. MP on our Insta.

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