Let’s talk about abandoned buildings in Chiang Mai. Most people know Chiang Mai’s as Thailand’s stronghold for culture and nature. From century old temples over markets and street-art to stunning mountains and forest trails, there are plenty of reasons why you should visit Thailand’s second largest city. But when it comes to off-the-path experiences in Chiang Mai, one has to dig a bit to find the needle in the haystack.
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Being here for three years and continuously exploring every corner of the city, we found that exact needle. Well, granted, though its location is anything but hidden you may not immediately notice that the building is abandoned although it’s right next to a super highway.
We were driving past it a few weeks back, on our way to Central Festival Chiang Mai, when I attended a morning race there. It was about 05:30 am, speaking still dark, when I noticed this huge building without lights and yes, somehow spooky at first sight.
I planned my visit for a couple days, bought some gloves (that I definitely needed) put on some older clothes and solid shoes (you never know what expects you). It took me about 15-20 minutes from our house in Hang Dong to get there. As I didn’t want to park right in the front (I didn’t want others to notice me), I drove around the block a few times to find a parking lot, but still close enough to walk.
After I eventually found one, I got my camera gear together and set off to Chiang Mai’s Ghost Hotel! Of course as much excited as I was, as much careful I was. To my surprise, there wasn’t any fence or gate blocking the entrance. As I approached the lobby or what supposed to be one, I made sure that nobody was around there and perhaps keeping an eye on me. Oh boy, you never know who may be inside the building.
Once I realized that everything was clear, I walked inside and immediately upstairs to the first level. Much of the floors weren’t really finished, it seemed that the money ran out at a very early stage of the construction. There’s lots of rubble around from the hallways to the rooms, I really had to be careful where to step. Luckily the stairs seemed to be quite solid and one of the first parts of the building that was almost entirely completed. The staircase is only protected from the side, there is no wall behind; in other words you shouldn’t lean out when taking pictures, it goes straight down. An elevator shaft next to the staircase isn’t protected either.
The building is about 11 floors high and offers some of the most spectacular views over Chiang Mai against the backdrop of Doi Suthep. Needless to say, the rooms would have definitely sold at some of the city’s highest hotel rates. The very top of the building is a blue dome (or what is left/finished from it), with a terrace just below. Making it to the top takes just a few minutes, given you go straight up without stopping much. Though it was slightly exhausting to run up with long pants and jacket at noon (who would have thought?), I was rewarded with mindblowing 360-degree panoramic views over Chiang Mai!
How to get to Chiang Mai’s Abandoned Ghost Hotel:
It’s located between Big C and Central Festival, on the left side of the superhighway. Needless to say that trespassing is not only illegal but dangerous. And f**king great!! Do you dare??
Watch the video here: