It was Luciano Balestra's first day in Bangkok, visiting from Amsterdam and a fellow freerunner we met up to explore the city with some rooftops in mind. Bangkok is not the best for freerunning; their standards can be less sturdy (as Luciano found out for himself later that day) but, the people are kind, the weather is warm, and there are endless places to explore. I am not a freerunner; I am a photographer, so sometimes my motivation is finding interesting places to shoot with people brave and strong enough to go there.
We had seen a cool roof top through an Instagram post in Bangkok and identified where it was. We were still unsure if we could get in. It was a hotel, and a wedding was going on the top floor, so we didn't seem too out of place. However, once we got to the top floor, the room was occupied by their guests. We were escorted down, but we thought we would give it one more try. Finding our way into the fire escape stairwell, we began the climb from the 6th floor. Only 24 flights to the top. It was hot and exhausting; this is how I get my exercise and win Fitbit challenges. I just focus on climbing and not thinking about whether it will be open or not when we get there. Once we got there, it was not open, and there was a sign that said the fire alarm would sound. We had never seen an alarm set up like this before. We debated it for a while and looked at the worst case and best case scenario. Not wanting to disrupt the hotel and the wedding party we started to make our way down. A few floors down we heard an announcement taking place over a loud speaker. Just our luck, they were conducting a fire alarm test for the next 13 minute! Back up we ran, and when the sirens were being tested we opened the door and made it onto the roof!
I had to wait a little while because my legs were shaking from all the adrenaline and running up so many flights of stairs. But all in all, it was a success. We had about thirty minutes on top of the world shooting up there. It was quite dirty and dusty, but the photos come out nice. It was a unique background over the city. Then the security came but, the good news when you get caught is it means you don't have to walk all the way down the flight of stairs. We had to show identification, and we were on our way.
Watch the vlog for more insight. The rooftop mission starts around 3:50.