On the rooftop of Thailand at Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok

 

The Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok: Thailand's tallest tower (Image credit: http://www.baiyokehotel.com)
The Baiyoke Sky Hotel, Bangkok: Thailand’s tallest tower
(Image credit: http://www.baiyokehotel.com)

When I think of tall buildings in Bangkok, I think of that fancy bar, overlooking the city, which is frequently visited by to tourists thanks to its feature in the Hangover II. That bar is called the Sky Bar, and although it is the World’s highest open air bar, and looks like it has incredible views (I didn’t actually visit). It has a strict dress policy, and a high price tag for food and drinks.

As I didn’t have any fancy clothes or shoes with me (I travel light, and don’t take anything too fancy, just in case it gets lost or stolen), my sister and I decided that there must be other places, with less expensive price tags, to see a view of Bangkok.

A quick search online revealed that the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, and Baiyoke Tower, was the tallest in Thailand, it had a bar, but no particular dress code, so we were in.

Getting to the tallest building in Thailand: The Baiyoke Sky Hotel 

The Baiyoke Sky Hotel, and Tower is in the centre of Bangkok, and whilst the immediate area surrounding it, looks a little bit grubby, it is the views you are going for. Travelling to the hotel is easy, on the city (blue) line of the MRT (Ratchaprarop station) A 2-5 minute walk will take you to the door.

 

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The Baiyoke Sky Hotel, is a collection of hotels; when you first get off at the station, you’ll see a tall building, with colourful edges; that is the Baiyoke Boutique, and the Sky Hotel lies just behind that.

Once you enter the hotel, you’ll see a sign proudly welcoming you to Thailand’s tallest Tower. Enter through the double doors, go past the reception and towards the lift (elevator) area.

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A porter within the lift asked us where we were going, and we asked to taken to the ticket area for the Tower; I am not sure which floor this was, but we got there.

Plush marble floors, concierge wheeling about luggage, and beautifully dressed Thai woman smiled at every turn, I felt a little out of place, in my faded shorts, and baggy t-shirt, but didn’t feel like I was looked down on, or made to feel like I shouldn’t have been there.

How much does it cost to get to the top of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel?

The hotel itself has 84 floors, with a viewing deck on the 77th floor; you can get a fair way up without having to pay, but it is much better from the top.

A ticket to the revolving viewing deck will cost you 300 Thai Baht (about $9 or £5.80), perhaps a little much for the shoestring budget backpacker (seeing as that would get you a night in a hostel), but it is worth it.

Whilst we were paying, we noticed a promotion they had (I am unsure if this is always happening), but for an extra  50 Thai Baht (US$1.50 or £1), you can have a ticket for an all you can eat fruit buffet, at one of the hotel restaurants. Seeing as we felt like, we were lacking in Vitamin C, after living off rice, noddles and fried food, we thought this was very much worth it.

We got our tickets, and off we went to the top; the lift stops at the 83rd floor, and you have one small flight of stairs to climb, a step onto the metal revolving platform, and you are there; on the rooftop of Thailand.

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What are the views like?

As ever during the day, Bangkok was rather smoggy, but the views from the 84th floor of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel were pretty spectacular. Having spent the previous two days in the main touristy areas (Grand Palace, Sleeping Buddha …) and getting lost, we were surprised to see how great, big and sprawling the city of Bangkok was, and were a little gutted that we hadn’t come into the city centre earlier (we were leaving on the evening of our visit to Baiyoke Sky Hotel). However, we took in the views, and fascinated ourselves with facts displayed around the revolving deck, including distances to and from different countries.

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d2After going around the revolving deck a few times, and taking a load of photos, we headed down a few floors (floor 77), where there is a small shop area, to buy the usual tourist tack. We ended up buying some postcards (I like to buy one of every city I stop in). There you can post it from the highest post-box in Thailand; like we did (and it did end up getting to the people we sent it to!). The shop sells stamps for this purpose, and there are spare pens around, if you haven’t got one.

 A load up on fruit

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After our venture at the top, and prior to leaving to catch a night train to the Thai islands, we used our voucher for the fruit buffet. I am not sure I have ever had that much fruit in one sitting, but it was good, and I instantly felt healthier. The buffet had virtually every type of fruit; from Melons, to Mangoes, Apples, Grapes, Pomegranates, Passion fruit, Papaya, and Kiwi fruit. It even had Mangosteen’s (which I hadn’t eaten since being in Malaysia). We were given free water, and stayed there for at least an hour, making various trips back and forth.

Hoping that we wouldn’t be sat one the toilet, for the rest of the night, with the amount we consumed, we headed off back to the city to catch our train; a good end, to a few days in a busy city.

Although I have already been to a fair few tall buildings in the World, including The Seoul Tower in South Korea, The Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand (which I jumped off), and the Eureka Sky Deck in Melbourne, Australia. Most of these had lengthy queues, and were expensive to get into, but we were one of very few visitors, and it worked out quite cheap also. If you are in Bangkok, and do have the attire, or the funds to go to a plush rooftop bar, I’d definitely recommend the Baiyoke Sky Hotel for a view over the city, and a load up of fruit.

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