The Most Impressive Buildings in Bangkok

View from the State Tower | © Ninara/Flickr
View from the State Tower | © Ninara/Flickr
Photo of Kelly Iverson
19 June 2017

The city of Bangkok in Thailand is certainly dressed to impress: it’s urban decor, that is. From skyscrapers to galleries, malls and more, here are the most impressive buildings in Bangkok.


Architectural Landmark, Building
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More famously known as the Pixel or Tetris building, the MahaNakhon has been a head-turner since its grand opening in August 2016. Like its nickname suggests, the skyscraper’s most unique attribute is the winding, 3D pixel design that loops around the tower. Coming in at 314-meters tall, it is officially the tallest building in Thailand and covers about 3.6 acres of land in the business district of the capital. The word MahaNakhon comes from the official name of Bangkok, and it means “great metropolis”. The construction of the tower was certainly not a budget-friendly task, and it is estimated the total cost of construction was ฿22 billion, which is about $650 million.

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre

Museum, Art Gallery, Building
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Bangkok Art & Cultural center
Bangkok Art & Cultural center | © Courtesy of Wit Pimkanchanapong/Flickr
Robert G. Boughey and Associates are the designers behind the innovative Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. This art hub mainly acts as a gallery, but is also home to many exhibitions, cafes, bookstores, and other establishments designed to help visitors embrace their creativity. The building is circular in shape, with gallery spaces winding around the outskirts of the central atrium with a skylight providing ample natural light. The design of the building utilizes a strategic combination of both natural and artificial light so that all of the pieces of art can best be showcased.


EmQuartier is no regular mall. The capital of Bangkok is known for its high-end shopping hubs, but EmQuartier surely takes luxury to a whole new level. Even the skytrain platform in which visitors travel to get to the mall is impeccably designed, one of the only redesigned platforms in the city. Leeser Architecture is behind the luxurious shopping space and the mall is made up of a number of noteworthy features. One of the most memorable is the waterfall that sits at the shopping hub’s core, coming in at 40-meters in length and cascading down EM District, one of three subsections of EmQuartier. Another notable landmark is the tropical garden just adjacent to this waterfall, equipped with 3,000 square meters of lush foliage, gardens, a pond, and more.

EmQuartier, 695, 693 ถนน สุขุมวิท Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Waterfall in EmQuartier | © Courtesy of Kelly Iverson

Terminal 21

Shopping Mall
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Terminal 21 Shopping Mall
Terminal 21 Shopping Mall | © Courtesy of Terrazzo/Flickr
Terminal 21 is part-hotel, part-shopping mall, located in the heart of downtown Bangkok in Sukhumvit. The shopping mall is made up of nine floors, each of which is designed to resemble the architecture and designs from cities around the world. Rome, Tokyo, Paris, San Francisco: shoppers travel around the world as they browse the many luxury brands, boutiques, restaurants and bookstores. The mall is also home to the largest escalator in Thailand, which stands some 36-meters tall.

Sathorn Unique Tower

Crumbling infrastructure, graffiti, and relics of a would-be condominium are all that remain of Sathorn Unique Tower. Otherwise known as the Ghost Tower, this abandoned building was originally designed to be a high-end living space. Construction halted when the capital was hit hard by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, and it now remains abandoned and is a rare site in a city that continues to modernize its urban décor. Though the tower is not shiny and new, its decomposing exterior makes it strangely stunning, with curious tourists making their way to Sathorn Unique Tower in the hope of capturing an epic photograph from its rooftop.

Sathorn Unique Tower, 266/14-15, Soi Siam Square 3, Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Khet Pathumwan, Bangkok

Lebua State Tower

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Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand | © Courtesy Ninara/Flickr
Located in the business district of downtown Bangkok is Lebua State Tower. It is renowned for its role in the film The Hangover Part II, where the cast made an appearance at the tower’s stunning sky bar and restaurant. The building stands at 247-meters tall and consists of 68 floors, making it one of the tallest buildings in Thailand. The building is recognizable from afar because of the golden dome that stands some 30-meters tall on the rooftop. The building is made up of living spaces, work offices, two hotels, and more.

Central Embassy

Shopping Mall
Map View
Top view plant-in-building at Central Embassy Bangkok, Thailand
Top view plant-in-building at Central Embassy Bangkok, Thailand | © Courtesy of Nonth!!!/Flickr
Central Embassy is a six-storey shopping center filled with luxury brands in fashion, design, beauty, and dining options. The contemporary structure is designed to be both sleek and stylish, with a curving exterior displaying the names of the popular designer brands found inside. It is estimated the mall cost ฿18 million to complete. Though its exterior is certainly noteworthy, Central Embassy’s interior is almost all white, providing visitors with a luxurious shopping experience.

Elephant Building

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Arguably boasting of the most unique of designs is the Elephant Building. As the name suggests, the Elephant Building near Chatuchak is designed to look like just that: an elephant. The 102-meter-tall structure was built in 1997, and became one of the most talked about buildings in Bangkok and Thailand. The building consists of offices and condominiums, and visitors can even be seen doing some shopping inside the elephant structure. The elephant is Thailand’s national animal, which may be why the building was made to look like it does.

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