“How can our tribe capitalize on the Thai construction boom?…”
written by Wayne Brown
Hi to all of our tribal executives…
I’m feeling pretty relaxed and recharged right now, having just spent an enjoyable 1 ½ weeks on holiday with my wife. And it’s not often that I get the opportunity to kick back and enjoy my travels as a tourist. More typically, I’m roaming the world, supporting our business partners or campus colleagues.
However, this time we took a break. We decided to get away from our hectic work schedules to detox by tripping around several cities in Thailand – a country of some 70 million inhabitants.
In the past, I’ve been a frequent visitor to the country – mainly Bangkok and specific cities as the need arose. Even destinations such as Phuket (yes, we sometimes need to work in the toughest of locations – life can be a challenge, I know 😊 ).
Throughout this blog, we will include links to travel sites that hopefully assist anyone interested in taking a similar trip. You’ll find there’s no shortage of things to do and see. One dominant theme you will find is a country heavily devoted to its Buddhist beliefs and, therefore, every location lined with temples.
So be prepared to spend at least some of your time visiting and understanding this religion and practice. We learned that many Thai males would spend time volunteering as monks at some stage of their lives.
We’re in Bangkok, baby! …
This trip was purely for pleasure and to absorb the local Thai atmosphere and vibe. Our first stop was the capital, Bangkok. This city is about to reach megacity status. Bangkok had a registered population of 9.7 million in 2019, and 10 million being the requirement for megacity status).
But with a greater metropolitan population of 14 million, it accounts for roughly 22% of the countries total human count.
It’s truly a bustling, modern city with its unique local flavor. And that traffic! – there are two key factors;
- first, the motorbikes that zig-zag through, on both sides of and in front of the cars…
- second, the traffic light design, where change intervals are so long that they create a block-chain effect, and traffic backs up through several previous sets of intersections. #nightmare on Bangkok streets!
The system seems insane to all, except the locals, and yet somehow, people, bikes, and cars all manage to co-exist.
The Thai construction boom – A megacity with plenty of mega buildings..
The following statistics taken from the CTBUH’s website – The Skyscrapper Centre (Bangkok)
|150m+ Buildings||89 Completed • 17 Under Constr.|
|300m+ Buildings||3 Completed • 1 Under Constr.|
|Tallest Building||Magnolias Waterfront Residences Tower 1 (315 m)|
|Global Ranking||#11 in the world by no. of 150m+ completed buildings|
|Regional Ranking||#8 in Asia by no. of 150m+ completed buildings|
|Country Ranking||#1 in Thailand by no. of 150m+ completed buildings|
The following statistics are taken from the CTBUH’s website – The Skyscrapper Centre (Bangkok)
As you can see from the above and below, this city is bursting with skyscraper – residential, hotels, office, and commercial all claiming their share of the fresh air, high above the streets.
|1||One Bangkok O4H4||2025||436 m|
|2||Magnolias Waterfront Residences Tower 1||2018||315 m|
|3||King Power MahaNakhon||2016||314 m|
|4||Baiyoke Tower II||1997||304 m|
|5||Four Seasons Private Residences||2019||300 m|
|6||One Bangkok Phase 3 Tower 2||2024||285 m|
|7||One Bangkok Phase 2 Residential Tower||2023||278 m|
|8||One Bangkok Phase 1 Office Tower 1||2022||274 m|
|9||Mandarin Oriental Residences Bangkok||2019||269 m|
|10||One Bangkok Phase 2 Office Tower||2023||264 m|
The following images from the city’s second-tallest building but built with the country’s highest observation deck – King Power MahaNakhon.
The glass walking deck is a special treat for those that love heights and is well worth the ticket price to get up to the observation level. Also, check out the three-floor hydraulic elevator with curved glass doors – quite impressive and running well.
Heading into Pattaya – the playground for many …
I’m a “progress-centric” type of guy, meaning I enjoy seeing development, whether in people, projects, or even cities. And I was very pleasantly greeted with an immediate feeling of progress as we drove into the coastal holiday destination.
The number of the high rise is the first thing that leaps out. Closely followed by the extent to which the city has transformed since my last visit many years earlier.
Like many Asian cities, it’s a combination between the new and old, modern and archaic. I’ve grown used to seeing this balance. It’s somehow the fabric that enables the locals to survive within the dynamics of a world-changing all around them.
Pattaya is a resort city filled with a healthy mix of tourism and local business, feeding off each other. It was a great location for those like my wife and me to kick back and enjoy the water, the dining, and the sights.
The following statistics taken from the CTBUH’s website – The Skyscrapper Centre (Pattaya)
|150m+ Buildings||12 Completed • 1 Under Constr.|
|Tallest Building||Reflection Jomtien Beach Oceanfront Tower 1 (234 m)|
|Global Ranking||#79 in the world by no. of 150m+ completed buildings|
|Regional Ranking||#48 in Asia by no. of 150m+ completed buildings|
|Country Ranking||#2 in Thailand by no. of 150m+ completed buildings|
The Thai construction boom – Impressive growth for a coastal city…
As you can see from the above table, Pattaya is ranked #2 behind Bangkok for highrise over 150m. It was quite impressive from what was once just a party location for the tourist. I recall my first visit back in 1981 when the place was filled with sailors from around the world. Attracted by the climate, beaches, and allure of the beautiful locals.
|1||Reflection Jomtien Beach Oceanfront Tower 1||2013||234 m|
|2||North Point Tower 1||2010||226 m|
|3||Zire Wongamat Tower A||2014||188 m|
|4||Reflection Jomtien Beach Oceanview Tower 2||2013||183 m|
|5||Pattaya Park Beach Hotel||1995||180 m|
|6||North Point Tower 2||2010||177 m|
|7||Park Plaza Waterfront||2019||173 m|
|9||The Palm Wongamat Beach Tower A||2016||160 m|
|10||Mövenpick Siam Hotel & Residences||–||155 m|
Our time in this great location was probably a day short, but as we still had two new destinations to visit. Plus the need to return our vehicle in Bangkok, so it was onwards and upwards.
Next stop an ancient Thai capital …
Ayutthaya is the former capital of Thailand and is about 90 km north of Bangkok. Because the area is rich in ancient temples, there are no high rise or even medium rise, so a stark contrast to our previous two cities. Of course, this means there is little need for elevators traveling above 10m.
However, the temples and other structures are important both historically and architecturally, with Ayutthaya added to World Heritage List in 1991. First established around 1350 AD, the town was destroyed (including most of the architecture, art, and literature) in 1767, marking the kingdom’s end.
One of the greatest gifts I receive when traveling is discovering little unexpected gems. Those things that bring value to your life and life’s purpose. whether it’s through new knowledge, experiencing new sights, cultures, awareness, or friendships. It all adds to the moment and the memories.
So with little other than ancient temple ruins in Ayutthaya keeping us looking skyward, it was an opportunity to break from habit and enjoy the surroundings. In that environment, we experienced a tranquil, warm, friendly, and relaxing part of this country which I had not been exposed to or considered before.
And to our final destination, Chiang Mai …
It was 1981 when I last visited this city, some 38 years ago, and in contrast to Pattaya, where I witnessed significant change towards a modern world city, Chiang Mai, by contrast, appears to have changed little in that period. Except for adding more food, clothing, and craft markets to its offerings.
Of course, like every town or city across Thailand, there is no shortage of Buddhist temples. Chiang Mai does boast trees growing some of the largest mangoes I have ever encountered. However, we are all different for my wife; she enjoyed this city more than the other three places on the trip.
From a “lifties” perspective, a few buildings are sporting our products, but nothing major. Nor are there many commercial or infrastructure properties on offer where escalators may find a home.
All-in-all, it’s more your average suburban neighborhood, where you could imagine bring up your family in relative comfort. Lifestyle without the hustle and bustle of the other major locations on offer.
In its favor is a small but international airport, which means travel outside of the country is possible. Avoiding the need to travel to Bangkok before setting off on your next adventure is a major plus.
A final treat before departing…
One highlight we enjoyed during the final days was this “Dine in the Dark” experience. Highly recommend it for anyone wanting to challenge their taste buds and also establish a sense of empathy with our blind colleagues.
Capitalize on the Thai construction boom…
As this article’s title suggests, there has been a lot of development in past years to transform the major cities into true international mega city status. And rightly so, those responsible for supporting this growth in our tribe should now expect to see that transformation continue into the business’s service side.
The elevator maintenance contract values in Thailand have reflected those of emerging markets across many of the Asia countries. But with so many international large-scale business houses now enjoying the local hospitality and benefits, we see an increase across the board.
Well, all good things come back to normality, and my life is no exception. I’m now back to the grind, and my next travel takes me back to the UAE (Dubai) and then onto Germany (Essen). So expect to see my next article in a couple of weeks from one of my favorite cities in the Middle East.
Until next time, stay safe and keep learning!