While many of the best bits of Bangkok happen on the streets or in beautiful parks and gardens throughout the city, there is also a great selection of buildings that host everything from shopping malls and museums to restaurants and residential properties. Bangkok’s architecture has developed over the years from ancient stone temples of old to towering shiny skyscrapers that now grace the landscape of the city. While enjoying the sights, smells and sounds of the city, be sure to look up at the buildings surrounding you as you may just see some spectacular works of art.
In a country where the national animal is the elephant, it’s not surprising that the city has a whole building that’s shape is dedicated to this majestic animal! The Elephant Tower also known as the Chang Building is 32 floors high and towers over the north Bangkok business district. The building comprises of three main sections (two sets of legs and a trunk) and even has an eye and a tusk to complete the look.
Head to the intersection of Paholyothin Road and Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok to witness this animalistic architecture.
Lebua State Tower
The Lebua State Tower with its famous sky bar and restaurant is a much-loved building in Bangkok. This towering building stands at 247 metres tall and has a glistening golden dome on the top which makes it stand out across the city skyline. The skyscraper is reminiscent of Dubai and you’ll feel like a true celeb if you head up to the sky bar for a classy cocktail at sunset!
The EmQuartier shopping mall offers a new level of luxury with stylish shops, a modern metro stop and even tropical gardens and a waterfall inside! The outside architecture features quirkily-stacked white segments giving it a contemporary feel and the addition of the rainforest chandelier in the interior makes the mall really stand out against the rest.
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre
The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is perhaps one of the most famous galleries in the capital and is a hub of art exhibitions throughout the year. The white design of the building makes it feel as though it is a blank canvas, enabling visitors to connect with their creative sides as soon as they arrive. The building has also been designed with plenty of natural light which allows the beauty of the artwork to shine.
The MahaNakhon tower is one of the most impressive buildings in the city and at 314 metres it is currently Thailand’s tallest building. This cool skyscraper is known as the Pixel building thanks to its layered spiralling effect that works its way up the building giving it depth and detail. This is a real giant in the business district but is worth a visit if you have time.
The Grand Palace
It would be amiss to create a list of the best buildings in Bangkok and not mention The Grand Palace. This spiritual complex of buildings lies in the heart of the city and is probably the number one attraction for everyone visiting. With pristine pagodas and gold galore, The Grand Palace is a dazzling sight to behold. Plus, it’s home to the Emerald Buddha one of the most greatly revered statues in the country.
The Grand Palace has been bringing people joy since 1782 so it has to receive a mention!
Last and by no means least is Wat Arun. Another amazing temple, Wat Arun used to have a more rustic feel than The Grand Palace but after renovations in 2017 it is now a contender for most pristine building in the city! The temple features stunning spires and four statues of the Hindu god Indra. Known as the ‘Temple of Dawn’, Wat Arun radiates the first light of morning as it rises over the horizon. It is also lit up at night making it a star attraction as the sun sets.
Although much of your time in Bangkok will be spend with a drink or a Pad Thai in your hand try to set aside a few hours to see some of the city’s awesome architecture.