The forsaken structure looms on the skyline – a decaying husk of a building that is said to be the haunt of spirits. Sathorn Unique Tower’s builders intended it to be one of the most exclusive apartment complexes in all of Bangkok. However, after a financial crisis that rocked Thailand, the ill-fated tower fell into a state of decay before it was even completed. And today, some people say that the only residents of the abandoned skyscraper are ghosts.
The continent of Asia is home to a huge range of abandoned buildings, monuments and even cities that have put an eerie stamp on its vast and diverse urban landscape. Take, for example, the Ryugyong Hotel in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. This impressive landmark was expected to represent the tallest hotel on the planet – demonstrating the power of the country’s communist regime. But the structure would never realize that lofty dream.
Construction on the Ryugyong Hotel kicked off in 1987 – and the 105-story skyscraper was soon to form a pyramid-shaped silhouette on the skyline of Pyongyang. The building’s official moniker means “capital of willows” – a historical nickname for the North Korean capital. And although the Ryugyong has become known colloquially as a hotel, the intention was actually for the edifice to serve several further purposes.