“This has been one of the most crazy things I’ve ever done: I got lost in a haunted 49-floor tower, downtown of Bangkok. Insanity is sometimes the best state of mind.”
Ancient ruins and lost cities are a big reason of why I keep travelling. Though the romantic lore of lost jungle cities are a thing of the past, seeing the roots of human civilization is, I believe, a sensational inspiration. To see the forgotten remnants of something once so grand, but then simply abandoned can be very fascinating.
But it isn’t only structures and memories from civilizations in the remote past that are left behind. This trend continues to the present day, even amidst our rapid growth and global expansion and modernization; or sometimes because of it.
Growing up in Michigan, I was exposed to at least 2 different forms of this. While there are no ancient cities of note in northern North America, Michigan is home to dozens of abandoned mining and lumber-industry ghost towns. And, unfortunately Michigan is also home to the dying city of Detroit, a place where nearing 1 in 4 major buildings seem to be in a state of disrepair or abandonment.
Before leaving the state, part of me wishes I would have tried taking up this activity known variously as urban spelunking or urban exploration, as Detroit, being so near, would have provided an excellent platform for it. A number of people I knew used to also make frequent trips to an abandoned (and haunted, supposedly) sanitarium; a venture I never made.
To find out more about Urban Exploration worldwide, a fantastic site Web Urbanist, who provide pictures of their expeditions to sites all over.
Bangkok, the city I live in now, also has its share of abandoned buildings, both large and small. Notorious among them is the Sathorn Unique Tower, a 49-storey building abandoned just before completion due to the 1997 Thailand financial meltdown. Urban explorers often penetrate this building to find its modern ruins and amenities strewn about in a way not often seen in a structure of such stature.
One of these urban explorers is Sabrina Iovino of JustOneWayTicket.com, who provides her experience in a written account accompanied by some amazing photographs, while still discouraging others to follow her example.
It’s something I may have to try out while I’m here.