Exploring An Abandoned Building in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Meeting of Styles

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Exploring An Abandoned Building In Chiang Mai | Meeting Of Styles

This is 100% the creepiest thing we've done.

We love graffiti, and off the beaten path experiences.

So, when our friend Sanchai chaiyanan recommended we check out this abandoned 7 story building outside of Chiang Mai we were so down.

Back in 2015, this structure was the venue for an international graffiti festival called Meeting Of Styles.

Today, the building still stands as a creepy (and dangerous) street art museum.

For awesome photos and more information about visiting this spot check out our blog post: https://localnomads.com/abandoned-building-chiang-mai

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Posted by Local Nomads on Monday, April 2, 2018

What is Meeting of Styles - Chiang Mai?

 

So, our friend described the place as an abandoned building, just outside the city, where a bunch of street artist had met and painted. The event was called “Meeting of Styles.” He told us that the building still stands, the art still remains, and you can just drive out there.

 

We really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into before heading out to the site, but an abandoned building filled with graffiti sounded cool so we decided to do a little research.

We’re always in the mood for some alternative adventuring wherever we travel, so when our street artist friend recommended we check out this 7 story abandoned building in Chiang Mai we were so down.

 

Chiang Mai is known for its colorful local street art scene. But graffiti lovers looking for something a little more unique, and a little less mainstream may want to consider a quick day trip out of the city to Meeting of Styles.

Street Art at Meeting of Styles Chiang Mai Thialand

A few quick google searches later we learned that Meeting of Styles is an international graffiti festival held in different countries every year. The 2015 event was held here in Chiang Mai.

Over 70 street artists from around the globe met here for a 2 day festival which included live performances by local DJ’s. You can find some pretty cool videos of the event on Youtube.

Meeting of Styles 2015 Chiang Mai Thailand

Today the building stands as a 7 story abandoned street art museum. Level after level, higher and higher, each floor brings new surprises. As you search around you’ll notice art by many of your favorite Thai artists from Chiang Mai and Bangkok mixed with international artists from places like Ukraine, Vietnam, Italy, and Australia.

What to know about urban exploration in Chiang Mai

 

Here’ s the thing...coming out here isn’t exactly legal...

 

However, this is likely one of those scenarios where forgiveness is more easily obtained than permission. We’ve found that if you just relax and act like you know what you’re doing, you’re less likely to be questioned.

 

If someone asks what you’re doing there your best bet is to be polite and play tourist. Just say you’re taking some photographs and that you’ll be on your way soon.

Is exploring this abandoned building safe?

 

Definitely not!

 

You never know what you’re going to find when you enter an abandoned building.

 

There are all sorts of potential dangers and hazards around.

 

Empty elevator shafts, stairwells with no sides, and exposed rebar mean you really need to pay attention when you’re walking around. There’s plenty of rubble, industrial garbage, and random shit left behind by previous visitors.

 

You could really fuck yourself up pretty bad out here...but let’s not focus on that. You promise you’ll be safe. Right?

 

What you probably shouldn't wear when exploring Abandoned Chiang Mai

What to bring to Meeting of Styles

 

Bring your camera/drone whatever you’ve got. You’re going to want some pictures as proof.

 

Don’t forget safety gear. There’s a lot of random junk around. You may want to bring a pair of work gloves and a decent pair of shoes for protection.

 

We came well prepared with sandals, and bare hands. Don’t follow our example.

 

Rope? I really can’t see why this would be necessary, but it worked out for the best in Boondock Saints, right? You never know.

When is the best time to go to the Meeting of Styles building?

 

We definitely wouldn’t recommend visiting Meeting of Styles Chiang Mai at night.

 

We drove out here in the middle of the afternoon and had a couple of good hours to explore.

 

During the daytime the sun shines in and illuminates some of the rooms, while others remain in shadow.

 

After 4:00 the sun started getting lower, and the spine tingling shadows started to creep in adding another level to the already unsettling atmosphere of this place.

How to get to the abandoned building

The building sits alongside a highway in Mae Jo District. 20 minutes outside of Chiang Mai

 

The best way to get out there is to rent a bike in town and take highway 121 north out towards Mae Jo. Red Trucks and Tuk Tuks are not going to drive you out there.

 

Put the address in your phone and follow your GPS. The building sits on the opposite side of a divided highway so you’ll need to make a u-turn once you pass the building on your right.

We were stopped by police along the highway and fined for not having a proper driving license. If you happen to be stopped don’t panic, pay the fine, and be sure not to mention that you’re headed to explore an abandoned building. Best to play dumb and say you’re out sightseeing for the day.

Parking

 

Be cool and act like you belong there.

 

Enter the parking lot and park your motorbike out of the way along the right side of the building or around the back to the right. The front “parking lot” area is very bumpy and a bit tricky to cross by bike. Proceed with caution.

Be on the lookout for anyone else who may be around.

 

Both times we’ve visited the building we’ve encountered other individuals.

The first time we could hear voices coming from other parts of the building, but never saw the people.

 

The second time we encountered a group of teenagers smoking cigarettes and hanging out underneath the structure.

 

Sometimes people pull up with trucks and unload random garbage behind the building. It was obvious that we were there and nobody gave us a hard time.

Abandoned Chiang Mai Meeting of Styles Street Art

Entering the Meeting of Styles Building

 

The easiest entrance is around the back, go around on the right side of the building.

 

In the back you’ll see a small trail through some bushes that leads to a few makeshift steps up to the first level.

There's a lot to explore on the upper levels of this abandoned building in Chiang Mai

What to expect when you get inside. 

 

We really never anticipated this building would be so large. Our friend somehow left out the fact that this was a 7 story goliath.

 

We were able to spend a few good hours moving from room to room level by level. In addition to the art, you can get a pretty decent view of the surrounding area and the mountains from up high.

 

We’re really not sure what this building was originally intended to be, but it’s clear that construction was never completed.

 

walking through the halls of this creepy abandoned building in Thailand

The levels are in various states of completion. The higher levels are much sketchier with tons of rubble on the floor, and fewer walls.

 

There are at least 3 staircases and a few empty elevator shafts. The main staircase in the middle of the building has walls on either side for the first few levels. Above the 4th floor you’ll have to trust yourself not to trip and fall over the edge.

 

This might be rough if you’re afraid of heights.

As you wander around, pay attention to the precarious locations of some of the art pieces. Envisioning the way some of these artists would have been perched may lead to some tight butthole moments. You wouldn’t catch me up on that ledge with a spray can. Hell no. That’s commitment.

Leaning over this open hole to paint would scare the pants off of us.
Abandoned Chiang Mai Local Nomads

Conclusion

Helpful Tips

 

  • Come earlier in the day
  • Bring a buddy
  • Wear good shoes
  • Tell a friend where you’re going
  • Rent a motorbike, red trucks are not going to take you here.

 

 

For 2 days after visiting MOS we couldn’t stop talking about how crazy it was to explore that shit. We quickly found ourselves planning our next trip out there so we could photograph some of the pieces in better light.

Don't explore abandoned buildings at night

Seeing this building and all of the art provided some additional context for the rest of the art around town and enhanced our enjoyment of the local street art scene.  

 

Since visiting MOS we’ve started to recognize some of the same artists works in other places both locally in Chiang Mai and in other countries too.

Street Artists from Ukraine painted this at the Meeting of Styles in Chiang Mai

This was one of our first experiences with urban exploration. We managed to take some amazing photos, and the video we shot came out really cool, so you can bet we’ll be doing more like this in the future.

Have you entered any cool abandoned buildings you think we should check out? Are there any other weird alternative experiences you’d like to see us dive into? Let us know in the comments!

Pin this bad boy for later!

Meeting Of Styles CNX Local Nomads
Local Nomads Urbex Chiang Mai
Abandoned Chiang Mai Meeting of Styles

Curiouser and Curiouser? The more you know...

6 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    This is the kinda stuff I LOVE! One of the main reasons I travel – I am street art mad. Amazing images you captured, the art looks insane. If you’re in Europe I could definitely recommend a few spots!

    • LocalNomads says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Lauren! We love street art too <3 This place in Chiang Mai is amazing and has so many great pieces inside and we couldn't even come close to showing them all. I hope you can visit Chiang Mai at some point and see it for yourself! Next time we're in Europe I'll definitely look you up for some great recommendations. If you like this video you should check out our other one about one of our friend who happens to be a local street artist in Chiang Mai!

  2. Anna says:

    Oh wow! Finally some new ideas what to see and do in Chiang Mai. Despite coming to Thailand for some 20 years I’ve still never made it there. Oooops! Every time I plan it and end up saying I’ll do it next time. I made my Master’s in street art so this would definitely be on my top 3 list what to do in Chiang Mai. Really fascinating!

    • LocalNomads says:

      Wow! That’s awesome that you can get a masters in Street Art. I had no idea. Next time you’re in Chiang Mai you really must make it a priority to visit MOS. If you have interest in Chiang Mai street art you should also check out our other video about a local street artist and his cool environmental message. I think you would really love it! I had a look at your blog. I see you’re also a fan of Koh Phangan. We spent 3 months there last year and really loved it. We didn’t do the hike to bottle beach while we were there, but we may visit next month and give it a try! Thanks for stopping by our little corner of the internet!

  3. Dave says:

    I was very interested to read your write up on this place. I visited it back in August, a few days after passing it on the way to San Sai. I had no idea of the back-story.
    Having not read your advice in advance, I visited alone, didn’t wear particularly good shoes, had one run in with a snake in a lift shaft (I was out of its reach, but it definitely noticed me) and a more significant run in with a buffalo when I was trying to find a way in, and then again on the way out! (It was flooded when I was there, so I had to go around the back…)
    Good work and great pictures!

    • LocalNomads says:

      Hey Dave! Sounds like your visit was much scarier than ours! I’m terrified of snakes…honestly the thought of snakes never even crossed my mind while I was there so I’m glad you brought it up. The run in with the buffalo sounds like an interesting story. I’d love to check out the urbex section on your site, it’s a new hobby of ours and we’re excited to try some new places! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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