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The Chang Building - A Most Peculiar Landmark in Bangkok
Chang Building or Elephant Tower
The Chang Building is one of the most recognizable modern structure in all of Bangkok. And I have the pleasure of living right next to it. It's great too since I can easily say to the taxi driver "Took Chang" and he or she will know exactly where it's at.
At first glance it doesn't look much like an elephant at all. If no one told you what it were and you made a guess you would probably say it resembles boar. You can easily see 2 short tusks protruding outwards but there is no trunk nor big flappy ears, the hallmark signs of an elephant. Besides, Boar Building just doesn't have the same ring as the Elephant Building.
It would make more sense though since the noble elephant is an important symbol of Thailand just like the American Bald Eagle is to the United States of America. There is even a national elephant museum dedicated to this most revered gentle giant that played a pivotal role in building and defending the Kingdom of Thailand early on in the country's history.
The 32 story Chang Building stands on Phahon Yothin Road near Soi 26 just right by the Ratchadapisek Road flyover. Not too far is the bargain shopper's mecca Chatuchack Weekend Market and a few popular malls frequented mainly by local Thais. It's one of the tallest buildings in the area along with the SBC office center not too far away so you can quite easily spot the unique architecture form from miles away.
The area is not a place where most tourists would want to stay since it is a little far from the center of activity in Bangkok. Most tourist would probably prefer to stay in the Sukhumvit and Silom district. Which is a good thing since it means that the area is much quieter. For now I guess.
I say that because I bumped into a new resident in the apartment building I live in. It turns out he is a hotel manager working for Best Western. He's staying near the Chang building because the front part of the tower will be converted into a Best Western Hotel.
Chang Building Location
One of Bangkok's most recognizable landmark.
This station is near the newly renovated Central Lad Phrao Mall and the favorite teen's shopping center Union Mall.
This station is right next to Chatuchak Weekend Market.
How to Get to the Chang Building
The easiest way to get to the Chang Building is by taxi for course which are cheap and plentiful in Bangkok. This is a big plus for any guest who will eventually stay at the Best Western when it opens in the Chang Building. Because every taxi driver knows where of its location. However, you simply say "Chang Building" to the driver you will get a confused look. Say "Duk Chang" in Thai properly and you're on your way. Thai is a tonal language and if you're off just a bit the driver will have a problem understanding you.
The nearest MRT subway train station is Phahon Yothin. It will require a 15 minute walk to the Chang Building from that station. The Chatuchak BTS Sky Train station is further away so once you're out of the station it's better to take either the number 63 or 52 air conditioned buses or taxi to the Chang Building instead of walking because it is a bit far. Just be prepared for heavy traffic during the morning and evening rush hour.
The Chang Building is a mix of residential and commercial usage tenants. There is a swimming pool on the mezzanine level with a garden. Though I'm sure the pool area will be spruced up when the Best Western Hotel's construction has finished.
I've never been up there before because there is security in the lobby and would probably ask me what I'm doing. Every so often there is live music on the rooftop garden. I can hear it from my apartment ever so often at night.
As mentioned earlier the front quarters will be transformed into a new Best Western Hotel. It just goes to show that the area is beginning to see some growth as progress throughout Bangkok rushes forward like a charging elephant through a concrete jungle.
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