Bangkok is to get its first observation Tower.
The planned 459-metre-high structure will rank sixth among the world’s tallest towers, as well as being the tallest observation tower in south-east Asia.
The tower is being jointly built by two foundations, the Bangkok Observation Tower Foundation and the National Identity Foundation, after the Thai cabinet recently gave approval for the country’s new landmark project to proceed.
The cost of construction, totalling approximately US$138 million, is being funded by more than 50 private sector organisations who are contributing to the project.
Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the Bangkok Observation Tower is set on a 6,400 square metre land plot owned by Thailand’s treasury 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 when the construction is completed in 2019.
Ittirith Kinglake, president, Tourism Council of Thailand, said: “The tower is the most important new addition to Bangkok’s rich 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 important and exciting destinations.”
He cited parallels with the Tokyo Skytree and Shanghai’s Canton Tower as powerful tourism drivers for their host cities.
He added that tourism is also one of the biggest employers of the country and creates employment for around 4.2 million people.
The location in Klongsarn District is reputedly the historic site on which a flag would be flown, several centuries ago, as a symbolic marker to foreign vessels navigating the river to tell them that they were in Siamese territory.