© Mathias Peer



Kitsada Thammavongsa keeps Bangkok’s highest skywalk clean and visitors properly terrified.

The tourists arrive with their smartphones and selfie sticks, but Kitsada Thammavongsa, 25, comes equipped with a blue bucket, a squeegee and a telescoping pole. His workplace is certainly one of the top spots in Bangkok – a 63-square-meter deck projecting from the side of the Mahanakhon Tower, 310 meters above the ground. The glass skywalk here, which opened last November, offers visitors a dizzying view of the Chao Phraya River, the Skytrain shuttling back and forth between the highrise towers, and the taxis purring along the streets below, looking for all the world like toy cars.

“Many people lie down to take photos,” explains Thammavongsa, “and their sunscreen can smudge the glass.” So he has to clean up the cheek- and fingerprints several times a day, which is easy enough for him because he’s not scared of heights – unlike some visitors, who emerge boldly enough from the elevator on the 78th floor only to go weak at the knees after taking a step or two.

Last year, Thammavongsa was still a fisherman, plying his trade on the water instead of in the air. Today, he works on Bangkok’s second-tallest skyscraper from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. The view is most beautiful just before sundown, he says, when most of the intrepid visitors arrive. What about him? He says he can’t see it often enough; it takes his breath away.

© Xinhua/eyevine/laif


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