A little background information on the Sathorn Unique Tower in Bangkok
As a lover of urban sites and abandoned places I was pretty stoked to finally check out the Sathorn Unique Tower in Bangkok better known as the ghost tower of Bangkok. The tower was built in the 1990’s with the intention of beholding the city’s most luxurious apartment buildings. Unfortunately at 80% completed due to the financial crisis that hit Asia in the 1997’s construction was stopped and it was left completely abandoned.
After doing a bit of research I’ve learned the following facts; it is in no way legal to enter (to me that also means lurking). There are a group of squatters who live in the Sathorn Unique and, depending on how much flack they’re getting from the police at the time, and how much you intend to bribe them for, they may or may not let you enter. If you make it inside you probably have to climb over, under and around lots of obstacles and dirt, so you have to be prepared for this. None of it all sounded too complicated so I decided to give it a go.
Arriving well-prepared to get myself a leg workout of climbing 49 stairs, with some bribe cash in my pocket and a flashlight in my hands I could hardly wait to shoot some amazing pictures of what supposedly is one of the best views over Bangkok. My over enthusiastic and with adrenaline filled mood was soon met with disappointment when I discovered the access to go up is now completely shot down. Or at least it was at that moment, for me. Even after trying to bribe the security guard with lots of cash he wasn’t going to give in claiming he did not have a key to open the metal gates securing the staircases. This may or may not be true but at least it wasn’t going to happen for me. Maybe with a bit of creativity, and meeting the security guard in a good mood you can manage to break in and get up there although I would not advise you to do this as it is dirty and dangerous. But in a weird way, I’m really into this kind of stuff..
The 5 most spooky facts on Bangkok’s ghost tower
Because I wasn’t able to explore the tower a little more than just the 1st floor the obsession with it, of course, instantly grew some more. So I dug into the history of the tower and the spooky image surrounding it and I found some pretty spooky facts that I would like to share with you.
1. IT WAS BUILT ON AN ANCIENT BURIAL GROUND
This is why it has gotten it’s name “ghost tower” Although this may not be confirmed as an official fact it’s what the local people in Bangkok are firmly convinced of. Even though it’s attracting many lurking tourists and urban site explorers these days the local people avoid being anywhere near it.
2. IN 2014 THE BODY OF A SWEDISH BACKPACKER WAS FOUND HANGING ON THE 43ST FLOOR
In 2014 the body of a Swedish backpacker was discovered by a Thai photographer who sneaked into the building to take pictures. It actually took him 2 days to convince the local authorities to go up and remove the body as nobody believed him nor did they care. It was later ruled as a suicide as the boy apparently killed himself by hanging, although nobody was there to really confirm this.3. IT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AS IT IS LITERALLY FALLING APART
Although it might sound exciting to go up there it is in fact quite dangerous to do so. You have to keep in mind that this building has been abandoned for almost 20 years now with nobody taking care of it,so now slowly it begins to rot and crumble. On stormy days debris from the abandoned skyscraper literally rain down on the Bangkok streets.4. THOUSANDS OF BLACK SPARROWS NEST INSIDE THE BUILDING ON THE UPPER FLOORS
When looking from the ground up you can see thousands of black sparrows flying in and out of the upper floors of the tower. Although this might seem beautiful rather than scary it is actually very dangerous when entering those upper floors. I met a German guy when I was visiting the tower who was once brave enough to go up there and now lives with a glass eye as a sparrow flew into his eye. Just bad luck or might this have something to do with the tower being haunted? Who knows…
5. IT COMPLETELY OVERSHADOWS THE NEXT DOOR TEMPLE, ANGERING THE GODS
Next to the ghost tower lays Wat Yannawa. Ever since the tower was built it completely overshadows the temple, making the locals believe it is angering the Gods who are haunting the tower and its visitors. Not sure about all of this, but I’m sure of the fact that I don’t want to anger any Gods in any way!
As mentioned before I still feel very bummed I wasn’t able to go all the way up the tower myself, but I will try it again sometime I promise you that! If you are also into adventure like me and are thinking of visiting the tower after reading my article I would kindly like to remind you that it is very much illegal to go inside this building as you are trespassing private property and I would not in any way encourage you to do such a thing..
And for those who’ve already been up there I would love to hear your experience! Share with me your story in the comment box below this article.