When you look at the skyline of Pattaya in 2015 and compare it with that of, say, 10 years ago only, the contrast couldn’t be any starker. The building boom of the past decade, fueled by growing interest in property in Pattaya not just by foreign buyers, has very visibly left its mark.
New high-rise condominiums have sprung up like mushrooms, especially in the areas of Jomtien and Wongamat beach, and yet new projects and construction sites continue to appear all over the unrecognizable skyline each month.
Leaving aside the question of economic profitability and supply and demand (we mean, who’s gonna buy and live in all these empty rooms?), have you ever wondered which is currently the tallest building in Pattaya?
Due to the confusion not just in the city landscape we’ve decided to investigate this question a bit …
If you’re still under the misconception that Pattaya’s tallest building was the 1995-built Pattaya Park Tower with a height of 180 metres and 55 floors, well, you’re obviously so last century. While the Pattaya Park Tower is still a very visible landmark in the skyline of Pattaya (and was in fact the tallest building in town until just five years ago) now it’s no longer anywhere near being the tallest structure south of Bangkok.
In 2010, Jomtien’s landmark tower was first overtaken by the southern tower of the Northpoint condominium (205 metres) on Wongamat beach in North Pattaya. Then, in 2013, with the completion of the Reflection Jomtien Beach condominium, the trophy for Pattaya’s tallest building eventually returned to Jomtien.
With a total height of 234 metres and 57 floors, the Reflection Oceanfront Tower at the southern end of Jomtien beach since holds the record for Pattaya’s currently tallest building. Rising into the sky more than 50 metres higher than the pinnacle of the Pattaya Park Tower, the Reflection Oceanfront Tower is also among the top 10 of Thailand’s tallest skyscrapers (no. 6 in 2015).
Surprised? But guess what, the now 20-year-old Pattaya Park Tower doesn’t even come third anymore – it’s dwarfed even by the “smaller” Reflection Jomtien Beach Oceanview Tower.
Here’s the top 10 of Pattaya’s tallest buildings in 2015, according to Wikipedia. Some are currently only topped-out, with completion expected by the end of the year though. Their position in the current top 100 of Thailand’s tallest completed buildings has been added in parentheses.
- (6) Reflection Jomtien Beach Oceanfront Tower, 234 metres (768 ft), 57 floors, built in 2013
- (14) Northpoint South Tower, 205 metres (672 ft), 54 floors, built in 2010
- (29) Zire Wongamat North Tower, 188 metres (617 ft), 54 floors, built in 2014
- (36) Reflection Jomtien Beach Oceanview Tower, 183 metres (600 ft), 44 floors, built in 2013
- (39) Pattaya Park Tower, 180 metres (591 ft), 55 floors, built in 1995
- (46) Northpoint North Tower, 177 metres (581 ft), 46 floors, built in 2010
- (53) Waterfront Suites & Residences, 173 metres (568 ft), 54 floors, expected completion in 2015
- (73) Cetus Beachfront Pattaya, 161 metres (528 ft), 50 floors, expected completion in 2015
- (96) White Sand Beach Mövenpick Residences Tower, 155 metres (508 ft), 37 floors, expected completion in 2015
- (97) Centric Sea Pattaya Tower I, 153 metres (502 ft), 44 floors, expected completion in 2015
For comparison: Here’s an image of Thailand’s currently still tallest completed building, the 85-storey Baiyoke Tower II in Bangkok, which is actually a skyscraper hotel. The seventh-tallest all-hotel structure in the world was built in 1997 and has a height of 328.4 metres (1,077 ft), dwarfing Pattaya’s tallest building by nearly 70 metres.
Then again, before the end of this year, the Baiyoke Tower II will be dwarfed itself by the soon-to-be-completed MahaNakhon skyscraper in the central business district of Bangkok. Upon its estimated completion by the end 2015, it will become the tallest building in Thailand at 314 metres (1,030 ft) and 77 floors.
(Update: The grand opening night of the MahaNakhon skyscraper with a spectacular light show illuminating the skies above Bangkok was actually only in August 2016. Better late than never.)
Here’s a video of the soon-to-be tallest building in Thailand:
By the way, more often than not, it’s low-rise on-site slums like this one where the construction workers – often (illegal) immigrants from Burma and Cambodia who work for less than the meagre minimum wage of 300 Baht a day – are dwelling during the construction phase of Thailand’s luxury high-rise buildings. Like it or not – that’s the other side of the coin.