The Hollywood film, The Hangover: Part II, featured Bangkok’s very own State Tower, located in the district of Sathorn, situated on the proud banks of the Chao Phraya River. This building is a shining example of what a high-rise in Bangkok, hosting a 5 star hotel in Sathorn and Sirocco; the world’s highest open-air restaurant, on its 64th floor. Appropriately, the State Tower is surrounded by other high-class structures like it.
The State Tower’s sister building, the Sathorn Unique Tower, is located half a kilometre down the road, another magnet for tourists, this time of a more adventurous sort. The State Tower’s sister building, is, unlike its sibling, dilapidated and derelict, even after 27 years has passed since the beginning of its construction. The building is guarded by security, whilst the hollow flows cast their shadows. What was once set to hold luxurious developments hosts only billboards now.
The Sathron Unique Tower was a development that was part of Bangkok’s 90s high-rise boom, but got cancelled and forgotten following the Asian financial crisis of ’97. Unlike the other high-rise projects around it, it was never re-continued.
The building has become the primary target for copper wire thieves, graffiti artists and bold, daring urban explorers looking for a new place to take pictures from.
The building has been the subject of numerous legal battles due to the issues brought upon by its decaying state, while RanganTorsuwan, owner and architect of the building, was once found guilty of plotting to assassinate the Thai Supreme Court’s president. He was later acquitted, but his incarceration, combined with the incident of a Swedish backpacker found dead on the 43rd floor of the building has cast its shadow on the structure.
PansitTorsuwan, son of the architect Rangan, is now in charge of the Sathorn Unique, and is currently working on finding a buyer who can buy the building and complete development. According to him, there have been some investors interested in the building, and that the building will be completed, that it has to be completed, one way or the other.
For the meantime, the Sathorn Unique Tower remains as it is, a hotspot visited only by those looking for something different from the standard 5 star hotel in Sathorn, a hotspot only for the bold and daring.