Birthdays are always a special activity for my wife and I and we always look for something different to do. Last year, 2018, my wife intended to take me to this place, but when we enquired, we were notified that it wasn’t yet open to the public.
This building had always caught my attention when I commuted passed it. To me, it was a strange design as if certain obvious aspects of it were missing. As this building slowly got constructed, it took on a cuboid spiral appearance in design, making it look unique against the other monolithic crazy looking buildings in the Silom-Sathon district.
We arrived mid-afternoon at the Chong Nonsi BTS Station. There, next to the BTS station was this cuboid-spiral looking building, twisting itself 314 metres into the sky. Its mirror façade, advertised, the building and serving as publicity, if nothing else. Looking suave, sophisticated and looking pretty smug, we admired the design of the building. Nothing in Bangkok seemed anything like this award-winning building.
Outside the main building was a statue of an elephant with over a dozen heads protruding out of its neck. Not really too sure of its relevance?
As we entered, we looked up at this remarkable looking building that took on the appearance of having a pixelated spiral-ribbon chiselled out of it. It reflected the structures on the opposite side of the road, that seemed to be submissive towards it, as it towered above them. The King Power Mahanakhon tower had surpassed the Baiyoke Tower’s record of 304m, making it the 88th tallest building in the world.
We queued up, paid our fee and then entered the lift. The lift shot up like a rocket, as they variably do in these buildings. The interior of the lift was designed into a vast plasma screen, that advertised the nature of the building, which just added to the excitement of what might be installed for us.
The viewing gallery was thronged with people, most I suspect were tourists. Having a 360 degrees view of the haze ridden city, I’m sure if the worries of the pollution had not been as bad, we would have been able to see far further than what we could. Still, the weather was terrific and so were the views.
What caught my attention more than anything else was how the Chao Phraya River meandered its way through the concrete jungle of Bangkok, on its journey to the sea.
This was Annie’s birthday. She looked as radiant as ever, excited about the views, and happy to be here on her birthday.
We took a photo looking up at a mirrored ceiling. I was more concerned about positioning my camera correctly, than anything else. Annie just thought it was another crazy idea of mine, but went along with the idea all the same.
A spiral staircase took us up to the rooftop, which was congested with more tourists, with many more yet to follow.
A few metres didn’t seem to improve the view, but what we saw was more than satisfying. Out there, was this metropolis, a concept that I still have difficulty coming to terms with. Why, oh why do people like to surround themselves with concrete, or is it more out of practicality than choice?
We looked for the usual places in the vastness of things. Lumpini Park, Baiyoke Tower, the race course at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club Stadium and Bangkajaow, sometimes referred to as Bangkok’s oasis.
Apart from the views and the licensed bar that sold chrisps at incredibly high prices, the other main attraction was the Maha Nakhon Sky Walk. This didn’t worry me in the slightest, but looking at other people, it did.
We queued, while the staff cleaned and polished the plate glass. Then we put on some sort of fabric shoe and then placed our belongings into a fabric bag. We were instructed not to take cameras or any other digital gadget with us. All photographs and filming had to be done from the sidelines.
With my funny looking black foot coverings, I felt like I was wearing dusters, and no doubt, that was the whole purpose of the things. Thankfully, I wasn’t frightened of heights, or at least not in a situation like this. People were just having fun and larking about.
Annie sat on the glass, wondering when, if ever, it was going to give way. Below, was a site not fit for anyone that suffers from Acrophobia.
Later we grabbed the last available table and seats, and ordered drinks. They would only serve us our alcoholic beverages after 5pm. Unfortunately, I had ordered them at 4:45pm, forgetting the licencing hours, being overcome with excitement.
We waited for the sunset hoping that it would be spectacular. We knew we wouldn’t be disappointed, not having a cloud in sight, but on so many occasions, it all depended upon the haze and pollution that seemed to dampen an opportunity like this.
While we waited, we had photographs taken with the wine waiters, we took pictures of the highly polished reflecting walls. Then as the sun got lower, we took advantage of the moment.
Then as dusk took hold, we waited patiently for the Bangkok metropolis to chrysalis into a glow of illumination. Slowly, Bangkok began to transformed itself, as the lights from the buildings and cars began to intensify. From our lofted advantage point, the city didn’t let us down. The array of colour was magnificent, as it complemented the late evening sky. Bangkok’s nocturnal inhabitants were about to go out on the town. As for Annie and me, well, our time was up. We had now to consider how we were going to get back home after an intriguing day.
The King Power Mahanakon Tower is well worth a visit. One of the many places you should visit if you live or visit Bangkok.