Modern and Contemporary Bangkok

The Coolest Architecture and the Trendiest Spots to Visit

Bangkok’s 20th-century architecture was dull and functional, creating a jungle of concrete towers, but the new millennium has given it more exciting constructions, designed by visionary architects. Modern resort hotels now incorporate more interesting local touches, and even the grand shopping malls try to stand out for their design, both inside and out. To experience the contemporary side of Bangkok, head here:

Mahanakhon Tower

Mahanakhon Tower, Bangkok

This irregularly-shaped sculptural building with a “pixelated” façade (created by protruding oversized terraces and skyboxes), was completed in 2016 as Bangkok’s tallest. Its name means “Great Metropolis” in Thai, and stands 314m (1030ft) tall. It combines apartments, a hotel and an observatory overlooking the city (the “Skywalk”).
See the Mahanakhon Tower visitor’s guide.

Central Embassy

Central Embassy, Bangkok

An investment of over half a billion US dollars created one of Bangkok’s most opulent buildings. Standing on the former gardens of the British embassy, it houses a high-end mall and the 5-star Park Hyatt Hotel. The sinuous design of the exterior may bring to mind the architecture of Zaha Hadid, but this is actually the work of Amanda Levete, the British architect who worked on London's Victoria and Albert Museum and Lisbon’s iconic Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT).

Rosewood Bangkok

Rosewood Bangkok, Bangkok

One of Bangkok’s most recent skyscrapers added some edgy architecture to the city’s skyline. Housing the ultra-luxurious Rosewood Bangkok Hotel, it’s a striking building just a few feet from Central Embassy (see above), with a form inspired by the wai, the traditional Thai gesture of greeting. To see it from inside, you don’t have to book a room in the hotel, you may simply go for a meal at the restaurants or a drink at the bar.
If you do book a room, expect views of Bangkok’s modern business district from the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Baiyoke Towers

Baiyoke Towers, Bangkok

The Baiyoke Tower was the first major skyscraper in Bangkok, completed in 1987 and the city’s tallest building for the next six years. The adjacent Baiyoke Tower II was added in 1997 as the Baiyoke Sky Hotel, the tallest hotel in Southeast Asia and one of the tallest in the world. Although the interior is now a little dated, it has a public observatory on the 77th floor that still offers some of the best views over Bangkok. You may get your tickets to the observatory here: Baiyoke Sky Hotel Observation Deck Tickets


IconSiam, Bangkok

A huge success with locals and tourists alike since day one, this riverfront complex is currently Bangkok’s must-see shopping and entertainment complex. Behind a zig-zagging all-glass façade is not one but two shopping malls, a variety of restaurants, and a recreation of a traditional floating market, plus a museum at the top. Outside on the pier, everyone takes selfies with the Bangkok skyline behind them, and waits for the “dancing fountains” show in the evening.
See the ICONSIAM visitor’s guide.

Millennium Hilton Bangkok

Millennium Hilton Bangkok, Bangkok

Built in 2006, this riverfront hotel has since been surpassed in height by neighboring towers, but remains an eye-catching landmark due to its “flying saucer” on the roof. That’s home to a bar from where guests and tourists enjoy a view over the river as they sip cocktails.
For more details about the hotel, look here: Millennium Hilton Bangkok