A jail-themed hostel in Thailand’s capital Bangkok has got everyone talking. The prison-themed hostel, reportedly first of its kind in the world, promises the look and feel of a real jail with its narrow rooms, metal bars and bunk beds, Reuters reports. The Sook Station hostel, situated in Bangkok’s Udom Suk neighbourhood, offers its guests Pyjamas at 700 baht, also a wall with height chart, where one may want to get their mugshots clicked. Initiated by Sittichai Chaivoraprug, 55, and his wife, 49-year-old Piyanat Teekavanich, the nine-room hostel is the first foray into the hospitality industry for the couple, who were initially a part of the tech sector. The couple got the inspiration for the hostel from the 1994 prison escape film “The Shawshank Redemption”, starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Specially designed to look like a prison, the hostel’s design includes black-out doors and windows in two rooms to create the feeling of being in solitary confinement. The showers are located on a caged-in rooftop. To save the guests from claustrophobia, seven rooms have been given a small balcony.
Reuters reports that Thailand expects to welcome almost 35 million foreign tourists in 2017, a number nearly half the country’s population. Most of the visitors in Thailand either vist or transit through Bangkok, a regional travel hub. Speaking to the news agency, Sittichai said that either people love it or hate it, adding, that most bookings have come by word of mouth. Some guests like Ms Yui, a 42-year-old hotel industry professional, are repeat customers. “I feel it’s a real prison because when I arrived it was dark,” Ms Yui said. Now on her third stay, she said the hostel’s style and friendly staff “feels like home”.