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Tuk Chang, Good Bad and Ugly


When you're in Bangkok, visiting the famous Chatuchak weekend market, one of the building nearby is famous and worth a visit.

It's Thai name is Tuk Chang, better known as the elephant building. It's regularly voted one of the ugliest buildings in the world, but the owners prefer to use words like 'notable' or 'iconic'.

If you imagine a 3 legged elephant drawn by a toddler on an etch-a-sketch, then that is pretty much what the elephant building is. But in a way, the terrible design makes it more appealing. The Yang to the Ying of modern life.


I was staying there for a wedding, and decided to make the most of this building and enjoy the appalling design features it offers.

This use to be an office building, but the tower nearest the road has been turned into a hotel, the Iyarin. So where is the hotel reception? The front? The ground floor? Nope, it's on the 5th of the 8th floor, at the end of the car park.

With 3 towers performing different roles, sitting on a car park, the floor numbering scheme is hit an miss. A floor on the car park is not the same height as a floor on the hotel! Drive up to the eight floor of the car park, which has 2 decks per floor, so 8A is the 15th level of the car park, and you'll find floor 5 of the hotel featuring reception!

You must park here, 8A and nowhere else, or you will have to pay the parking fee. Be sure to get the ticket stamped at reception.
I see several cars all broken down, flat tyres and covered in dirt. I'm sure the owners have simply left them here and in this vast car park who would ever notice?


This truly is s delightfully ugly building. Explore the top of the car park and look up, and you see a hole cut into the building. Marvel at how the toddler managed to draw the curves on their etch-a-sketch for a moment.

I was up on the 18th floor and the view down onto the traffic below was terrific. This building towers above the surrounding area.


Over in the junction opposite there is a Major Cineplex, with plenty of cheap Thai food available and a terrific live music venue, the Mehang where you can eat, drink and enjoy the show, only interrupted by the occasional ambulance passing by. This restaurant is on the corner *outside* the Cineplex. spent some time trying to find how to get to it, but the stairs just led to shops!


In the other direction, a Central Shopping mall is withing walking distance, and a Go-Kart track for the kids.

This is an ugly building, there's no denying it. But in a Photoshop world, where everything is beautiful, a bit of ugly can be enjoyable.It's also cheap and near the wedding I was attending.

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