Visiting King Power Mahanakhon. It is not an obsession, but I definitely enjoy visiting the tallest buildings when visiting a new city. I have admired the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Petronas Towers in KL, the Taipei 101 obviously in Taipei, the Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) in Chicago, and the Bitexco Financial Tower in Saigon. (I was a guest of Mahanakhon.)
While being a parttime resident of Bangkok I finally visited the King Power Mahanakhon in 2020 after several years of procrastination. I attended the official unveiling in August of 2016 as I perched myself on a nearby rooftop restaurant.
My camera rested on my tripod as I watched drones zip by as I admired the laser and light show christening the new building.
At the time of the Mahanakhon unveiling, this was the tallest building in Thailand, topping out at 314 meters (1,030 feet). In 2018, Mahanakhon lost its crown to the Magnolias Waterfront Residences, which added on measly three meters. This glass tower with an intriguing cubical pattern which cascades down tops out at 78 floors. It is a mixed used building meaning it is a triple threat of a hotel, residences, and retail area.
Of course, all of this was secondary, as I was most excited to see the Observation Deck which graces the top of the building. This distinction earns the building the highest observation deck in the city, beating out the Magnolia Residences, whose top floor are residences.
There is a cornucopia of competition when it comes to rooftop bars in Bangkok, whether it is old school favorites like the Skybar at Lebua Hotel or the Moon Bar at Banyan Tree contending with dozens of upstarts. Regardless, this Observation Deck at Mahonakhon is a must-visit when in Bangkok. And I quenched my thirst with the Makanakhon Dragon Sunset, a combination of orange, pineapple, and lime juice topped with some pomegranate.
As you proceed to the heights of this building you will take Bangkok’s fast elevators to the top of the tower, bringing you to the 74th floor in less than 50 seconds. A really cool feature during this ride is the 360-degree video which is projected on all sides of the elevator. It was quite impressive, and I actually wished for a longer ride in the elevator.
The 74th floor is an enclosed observation area with one unique feature that I would like to point out. It hosts the highest mailbox in the country, an old-school, red Victorian mailbox. But what I appreciated more, was the adjacent vending machine with postcards with prepaid postage.
One final elevator brings you to the 78th floor, which is an open air, glassed in Observation Deck. Besides 360 degrees of incredible Bangkok skyline, the 78th floor also hosts the highest bar in Bangkok. But the true highlight is the Glass Tray, which as you would deduce is a large expanse with a glass floor.
After I slipped on my black booties, I cautiously shimmied across the transparent flooring.
If you have vertigo definitely avoid this area.
For the first moment or two, it is disconcerting as I stared into the abyss. The Glass Tray stands at 310 meters.
Four more meters brings you to the Peak, the highest viewpoint in Bangkok. This final view point is another open-air area with a chest high glass fencing. This is a giant advantage, meaning when you take photos there is no glare from shooting through a glass window.
I arrived an hour plus before sunset and set up my camera and tripod. I gazed out at the Chao Phraya River, the major river that weaves through the City of Angels, and beyond into Bangkok’s never-ending urban sprawl. The sun sets in the west, so this provides for an excellent vantage point. I spent the next couple of hours, watching the colors of the evening change, as the sun set.
While looking to the right, you can spy both Wat Arun and the Grand Palace lit up in the evening.
A visit to the Observation Deck should be included during any visit to Bangkok. But even more so during Covid. This is a great opportunity to visit this world class building with limited visitors and some special pricing. You can click here to buy tickets. Visiting King Power Mahanakhon.
Visiting King Power Mahanakhon.