The banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya is set to get what’s said to be the sixth tallest observation tower in the world and tallest in South-east Asia in 2019, which tourism stakeholders say will mark a turning point for tourism along the river and the rest of Bangkok.
The Bangkok Observation Tower, which is being built at a cost of US$138 million, is undertaken by the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation and the National Identity Foundation, and funded by over 50 private sector organisations. It will sport a candle-like design inspired by the tradition of lighting candles on the birthday of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Ittirith Kinglake, president, Tourism Council of Thailand, said: “The tower is the most important new addition to Bangkok’s array of tourism magnets and one that will attract people from around the world. The Bangkok Observation Tower helps mark our city as one of the world’s most exciting destinations.”
Citing parallels with the Tokyo Skytree and Shanghai’s Canton Tower, Itthirith expects the tower would serve as a powerful tourism driver for Bangkok.
Parinya Ruckwatin, chairman of the Chao Phraya River Tourism Association, is optimistic the tower will reignite interest in the Chao Phraya river.
He added: “I am confident that with the arrival of the tower, businesses stretching for 10km along the length of the river will benefit, including boat operators, restaurants, hotels, retailers and convention organisers. We can also expect improvements of more than 10 piers along the river to make them safer and easier to use. It’s a true historic turning point for this part of the river.”
The Bangkok Observation Tower is set on a 6,400m2 plot of land owned by Thailand’s Treasury Department and leased to the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation for 30 years. The foundation is required to deliver ownership of the tower and all other structures on the land to the Treasury Department when the construction is completed in 2019.