Crumbling 140-year-old Chinese mansion goes up for auction for £210,000k in Bangkok

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A crumbling 140-year-old Chinese mansion that has been abandoned for more than a century has been put up for auction in Thailand.

The Phraprasert Wanich House has become known as ‘Wang Bat’ after the fruit bats that nested in the long-abandoned structure next to the Chao Phraya River in the capital Bangkok.

Built during the reign of King Rama V in 1880, the two-storey Chinese saloon building made of masonry and tiled-roof was an architectural landmark in the capital until its upkeep was neglected decades ago.

To help maintain the property and raise funds for the community, officials from the Thai Treasury Department thought of auctioning off its lease term for 30 years to private investors who will renovate the historic building.

Treasury Department Director-General Yuttana Yimkarun said: ‘Aside from its aesthetic, the building also has historical value to it so interested people could benefit from taking the lease.

‘It could become a wonderful home, museum or restaurant while retaining its original appeal.’

The building, as it was close to the river, was later turned into a storage house by a trading company from 1907 to 1917 but after the shop closed, Wang Bat was left unused and abandoned. The Thai government later took ownership of the property.

The building will be auctioned off on September 23 and those interested should be ready to pay a rental fee of no less than 9,475,200 baht ( 210,642 GBP) for the 30 year lease.

Its location in central Bangkok next to the river is considered to be prime real estate where the land value can reach hundreds of millions of dollars. Dozens of apartments blocks and shopping malls now line the popular area of the city.

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