THAILAND – Urban exploring the abandoned Sathorn Unique Tower in Bangkok

The Sathorn Unique Tower in Bangkok is probably not a place on everyone’s bucket list to see in Bangkok. There were however quite a lot of tourists the day I visited. After a long sleep and some pool time at the amazing pool of the W Hotel Bangkok (review here) I decided to head for the Sathorn Unique Tower around 3PM which was a short taxi ride away. An experience I do not regret as the view IS amazing at the top.

The history of the Sathorn Unique Tower

The Sathorn Unique Tower had to become Bangkok’s most luxury residential tower. After the start of the building process in 1990 it got abandoned in 1997 due to lack of financing during the financial crisis in Asia. There should have been over 650 apartments and over 50 shops in the building which counts a total of 49 floors. As it was built close to the Chao Phraya river you would have a great view over it from almost all the apartments. All what rests now is an unfinished building acting as a tourist attraction.

 

The location and entrance

Sathorn Unique Tower is located close to the Saphan Taksin metro station between the Charoen Krung soi’s 51 and 53 at the intersection of Sathon Tai and Charoen Krung. You cannot miss the building there! If you stand in front of it walk the road on the left to get to the building.

At the “entrance” there was actually an entrance fee to be paid. Some guys made a desk there and charged me 200 baht to enter and this is even carefully written down! These guys, and probably the police, are making some nice pocket-money there as I could see quite some lines written down. I had read a lot about the Sathorn Unique Tower before visiting it but it seems that it is cleaned up a lot and turned into a tourist attraction rather than a ghost tower. It’s still worth a visit if you like urban exploring though. The view at the top is also amazing and the best in Bangkok.

Once you are inside and explore the building be careful of holes in the floor, planks with nails and other sharp objects and uneven floors. Many places do not have any railings so do not fall down. Just watch every step you take and you will be fine.

Exploring Sathorn Unique Tower

You can divide the Sathorn Unique Tower in four parts: first floors where shops would have been, finished floors, unfinished floors and the top. The ground floor has a big lobby with open space where you will be allowed to enter after you have paid the fee. They even have a toilet for you to use 🙂 The door is locked behind you but do not worry a telephone number is written there so you can call if it would be closed when you get down. From here you can walk two staircases up. One is the one you entered through and the other is in the front part of the building but that one is much darker! I decided to walk both and move around from front to back every 3rd or 4th floor to check out more of the building.

 

The lower floors up to around the 35th floor seemed quite finished to me. They have railings on the balcony, partly wooden floors installed and even the bathrooms have tiles, toilets and baths installed. Some rooms were closed by some kind of door, maybe the home of the ghosts living in the tower. I walked probably through 10 of these floors from one staircase to the other. After the 35th floor or so the building starts to have less depth from the front side as it’s trapezoid in shape. In the front apartments you find huge balconies with great views over the river.

From the 35th floor up the construction gets less and less complete. Fewer railings on the balconies, open shafts for plumbing and no more wooden floors but only concrete with holes in it. A few floors were flooded when I visited probably because it had rained. You find also much more rubbish on these floors like building materials. There are also various great graffiti paintings on the walls of various floors; worth exploring. As I explored quite some floors it was already 2 hours that I was in the building; time to get finally to the top of the Sathorn Unique Tower.

When I finally reached the top I realized I was not the only one visiting the building. During my climb up I came across maybe 2 or 3 persons but at the top it seemed busy with at least 50 persons. Most of them walked only the stairs up for the view without exploring the building itself. At the top the garbage is cleared and except the fact there are no railings at some places it’s pretty safe. You can even climb a bit further if you want but I did not do it as I had too much camera gear with me.

After taking in the views and when the sun started to disappear I walked down the stairs to get dinner. The view at the top is really magnificent. If you are not scared of heights or an empty ghost building I highly recommend visiting the Sathorn Unique Tower. Just take care you do not get injured or fall off the building! It was a great day in Bangkok. The next day I would go to Ayutthaya to learn about the history of the Siamese Kingdom.

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Did you visit Sathorn Unique Tower too or do you have questions? Please leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Love to hear from you!

Gallery of the Sathorn Unique Tower

Check the gallery for more photos taken during this trip. If you like to use any photo for commercial, private or editorial use please contact first for permission and/or pricing.

5 Comments

  1. I never visited the Bangkok till yet but heard that it is a grat place to see the sacred places of this region. I mean the temples are main source to call a large number of visitors there. Even I have seen the images of those temples that my friend james shared with me.I was interested to go there after 2 days niagara falls tours from new york but now I have added the name of unique tower of Bangkok in my bucket list to visit.

  2. Been there today at 05.00 with a lot of camera equipment. There is a new fence and the current guard has his own living and kitchenet. Even 2000 baht gave us no access to the 2nd floor. Authorities must have made the owner clear to close the building for visitors.

    It appeared that the security was tightened up just 4 days ago.

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