Unreliable Bangkok 8: Henge

Photograph of abandoned railway structures in Bangkok

When the Thai economy was booming in the early 1990s, construction started on a 60km high-speed elevated train and motorway link from central Bangkok to the international airport at Don Mueang. However when the currency collapsed in 1997-98, work was abandoned.

These stained concrete fragments (pictured) are all that remains of the Bangkok Elevated Road and Train System (BERTS) or Hopewell project. They line the old diesel-fuelled railway through northern Bangkok like a modernist Stonehenge.

Photograph of abandoned apartment building in Bangkok

Meanwhile the new international airport has been built at Suvarnabhumi and the Suvarnabhumi Airport Link is under construction, currently expected to be completed in November 2008.

Bangkok is filled with abandoned building projects from the late 1990s.

One (pictured right) reached a height of around 40 storeys, and many of the curved balconies were completed, before work just stopped. Since all of them were abandoned around the same time, all these abandoned buildings have their concrete stained to exactly the same shade of dark grey.

However there is growth in Bangkok, plenty of it. I shall return to this theme…

This post is part of my series “Unreliable Bangkok”. Why not explore the others?

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5 comments

  1. GED’s avatar

    I loved that building when i was there. I took a picture of it but couldn’t remember its location. Anyone know it was situated? i remember it was a near a sky train platform.

  2. Stilgherrian’s avatar

    @GED: That abandoned building is just south-west of Saphan Taksin station on the Sky Train’s Silom Line. We only took photos from the Sky Train platform, so don’t know the exact address. Next time in Bangkok…

    As an aside, the current home page on the BTS website is way kitsch. Worth a look.

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