Tuk Tuk Tours
Explore Bangkok by the iconic tuk tuk
Halloween is on the way and, while Bangkok might not put on as much of a show of pumpkins and ghouls as other cities, it does have its fair share of scary, weird and just downright disturbing destinations. Take a look at some of our favourite spooky spots to visit in Bangkok this Halloween.
Just inland from the banks of the Chaophraya river sits Charoenkrung soi 36 – now officially known as Rue de Brest, or Brest street, to reciprocate the naming of a street in the northern French city of Brest as Rue de Siam following the arrival of a Thai ship in the 17th century. Bangkok’s Rue de Brest is also aptly home to the riverside French Embassy and the residence of the French Ambassador. More pertinently to Halloween, Charoenkrung 36 also houses Thailand’s old Customs House (indeed, the street’s original name was Trok Rongphasi Kao, or Old Customs House Lane). Today the building is used as Bang Rak Fire Station, and it’s both a romantically attractive and eery-looking building that is frequently used as the background for wedding photo shoots. Built in 1890, the fire station is a crumbling piece of architectural nostalgia, with disintegrating wooden shutters flapping in the wind like something out of a horror film.
Rue de Brest (Charoenkrung Soi 36) (BTS Saphan Taksin/Sathorn river boat pier)
We should be clear from the beginning that we don’t encourage you to venture inside the Sathorn Unique tower – apart from entry being illegal, the tower itself is a dangerous place, with risk of injury or death from the unsafe structure, as well as there being numerous unfriendly wild dogs inside. All that said, there’s no denying that this place has a certain intrigue about it. A victim of the 1997 Asian economic crash, construction was promptly halted on what was meant to be a luxury building of high-end offices and condominium units. The project stands today exactly as it was left, with some floors near completion but others barely started, with exposed raw infrastructure giving an almost post-apocalyptic impression. The 49-storey tower is believed by locals to be haunted and, while officially sealed off to the public, some adventurous (read death-wish-bearing) types have managed to bribe guards into granting them access, and have admittedly been rewarded with stunning views from the rooftop. The sheer abandonment of the whole place is enough to give anyone the chills. Once again, we don’t recommend you endanger yourself by going inside.
Charoenkrung Soi 51 (BTS Saphan Taksin/Sathorn river boat pier)
In 1997, Thailand’s supreme court ordered the demolition of the upper seven storeys of the 11-floor New World department store in Bangkok’s Banglamphu area, which had been constructed without panning permission. Following the demolition, the remaining four storeys were left abandoned and without a roof in place, causing rainfall to flood the basement and leading to an infestation of mosquitoes. Locals used the pool to raise carp, which would eat the mosquitoes, but over time the fish population grew massively, and the flooded basement became an attraction for tourists and locals alike to feed the fish. Bearing many similarities to the Sathorn Unique tower, the building’s decaying structure and exposed escalator wiring gave off an eerie feel. As of early 2015, the building had been declared unsafe by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and slated for demolition, with the fish being caught and released into the wild.
Chakrabongse Road (Phra Athit river boat pier)
Just off Ramkamhaeng Road in eastern Bangkok is a place where aeroplanes come to die. Here, countless planes, stripped of their valuable metal components, lie disused and decommissioned, and have become makeshift homes to those who cannot afford to rent elsewhere. Residents here eke out a living by collecting and sorting recyclable waste like plastic bottles, and supplement their income by showing interested locals, visitors and photographers around their homes. Peering around the interior of a long-since abandoned aeroplane is as eery as it is an unusual insight into the lives of those on the other side of the vast gap between rich and poor in Thailand.
Ramkamhaeng Soi 101 (Bang Kapi canal boat pier)
Exploring Wat Pho by darkness is more stunningly beautiful than scary, but there’s no denying that there’s something just a little bit eery about wandering grounds that are usually thronging with tourists, when there’s not a soul around. With the temple’s structure beautifully lit up until fairly late in the evening, you’re not completely in the dark – but it’s still somewhere a little bit different to spend an evening and, all the same, we would probably get quite the fright if someone jumped out from behind a stupa to scare us. You can see the beauty of Wat Pho in the evening for yourself on our Bangkok Night Lights tuk tuk tour.
2 Sanamchai Road (Tha Tien river boat pier)
For something that’s bound to creep you out, look no further than the Bangkok Forensic Museum. Located at Siriraj hospital and in fact separated into six separate museums, you’ll find everything here from the preserved corpses of babies affected by genetic disorders to oversized human testicles affected by elephantiasis. You’ll also have the chance to get up close and personal with the preserved bodies of accident victims and serial killers, if that’s your kind of thing. One thing is for sure – if you’re looking for a Bangkok attraction that will give you nightmares long after your visit is over, this is it.
Monday-Saturday, 9am-4pm; adults 40 baht, children under 120cm free; 2 Pranok Road (Pranok river ferry pier; take the ferry from Tha Chang river boat pier)
Which are your favourite creepy spots in Bangkok? Let us know in the comments!
Photos by Chris Wotton; Nico Caramella; Chris Wotton.