By Nelson Groom
These are the dusty remains of a mysterious mansion that lays forgotten on a seaside town in Thailand.
Dubbed ‘Dolphin Bay Mansion’, the time capsule home was abandoned in construction in the 1990s and is now shrouded in speculation – with some even believing it is haunted.
Urban explorer Dax Ward, 37, was riding his bike through Som Roi Yod beach in the Prachuap Khiri-Khan Province when the ethereal beauty of the building caught his eye.
The grandiose columns, lavish sculptures and gold-spiked fence are slowly being reclaimed by nature, making for an eerie look that opens a window into the past.
American Dax, who works as a teacher in Thailand, said: “This garish site is unlike I’ve seen in Thailand. I was overwhelmed by the strange beauty of this one-of-a-kind place”
“I first saw it a few years ago when on a solo motorbike trip to the south. It stuck in my mind until I went back to document it.
“It’s so over-the-top in terms of grandiosity that it seems to belong in 17th century pre-revolutionary France, rather than Southern Thailand in the modern era.
“The decor really sets it apart from other structures in rural Thailand.”
The mansion has been left to brave the elements, as plants from the sprawling garden creep towards the walls and moss invades the pool.
The circumstances surrounding its neglect are unknown, but Dax said dark rumours had attached themselves to the site, including the belief that it houses spirits.
But that isn’t enough to deter the photographer from the idea of one day snapping up the property for himself.
Dax added: “There are a number of strange rumors regarding the house, including some who say the place is haunted.
“When I was shooting I kept wondering: what was the intention of construction? Why did they stop building?
“I really see it as more of a work of art than an actual habitable abode, as it didn’t exactly strike me as a cozy or livable house. However, there it has a definitive beauty and charm.
“It’s truly special place that I’ve been told is for sale if anyone has the funds! If I had a large amount of disposable income, I’d certainly consider buying it.”