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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Music by Vanilla Dolemite and Nine Inch Nails
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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!