Bangkok gets its first glass skywalk on top of its tallest building. Why we are obsessed with dizzying heights

Sanghamitra Baruah
Sanghamitra BaruahNov 20, 2018 | 15:31

Bangkok gets its first glass skywalk on top of its tallest building. Why we are obsessed with dizzying heights

Thailand's first glass skywalk in Bangkok — the Mahanakhon SkyWalk — is not for the faint-hearted, many are claiming. Some believe the rooftop observation deck, which is now open for tourists after many delays, is terrifying. Yet a lot of others feel it is a "thrilling addition" to Bangkok's tourist attractions.

They are all right.  

A view of the world from such a dizzying height of human excellence could be both terrifying and thrilling.


After all, when has the human heart not aspired to conquer everything/everyone else around us?

Located at Thailand's 'tallest completed' building, King Power Mahanakhon, it is a 314-meter-high (1,030 feet) observation deck and rooftop bar that offers 360-degree views of Bangkok.

Not everyone's faint-hearted, some are just oblivious: A boy plays on the glass at Thailand's first skywalk in Bangkok. (Credit: Reuters)

The scary part reportedly comes in the form of an enviable glass floor, jutting out over the edge of the building.

Visitors have to slip protective fabric booties over their shoes before stepping onto the platform, apparently to protect the glass.

The latest fad in creative constructions or what we call architecture, the first-ever glass skywalk was built in China on the 1,400 feet tall Tianmen Mountain back in 2011. It was named "the Walk of Faith". Led by the Chinese, a number of glass platforms, walkways and bridges soon followed in spectacular locations across the world.

Walking into the sky: Tianmen Mountain Glass Skywalk. (Credit: YouTube)

But what is it that the human mind wants to scale? What is this obsession with height? 

From glass skywalks clinging to high and rugged peaks to the tallest buildings almost kissing the blue skies and bigger than the biggest statues shadowing our own existence, humans have always aspired to stand tall-est. We have, over the centuries, constructed tallest of the tall edifices to celebrate various aspects — sometimes our culture, sometimes our nation, sometimes our own existence. 


Historically, tall structures have been a part of the great legacy bequeathed to us by our predecessors, only to leave us aspiring for more. They thought they scaled those heights for posterity — and we proved them how wrong they were, every time we came up with taller structures to dwarf their flight of imagination. 

A migrant, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the US, climbs the border fence between Mexico and the US, in Tijuana, Mexico. (Credit: Reuters)

The daredevils among us would perhaps shuffle confidently onto the glass floor in Bangkok while looking down at the world. The not-so-valiant would perhaps squeal in horror and go weak in the knees. The 'faint-hearted' would perhaps give it a skip — but none of us can deny that we aspire to reach greater heights. We would be lying if we say no. Yet, we are not ready to let others do the same. Why?

While it sounds thrilling and adventurous for skywalking ethusiasts, physical structures of great height have often been turned into iron walls by us to stop someone else from reaching the same height as us. 


But, as they say, there is no top. There are always further heights to reach. 

And you are not the only one aspiring for that.


Last updated: November 20, 2018 | 22:09
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