Some of the most harrowing travel tales come from those who have the misfortune to find themselves on the wrong side of the law in a foreign country. Often cited for bogus transgressions, and at a significant disadvantage due to language barrier, it’s difficult for foreigners to defend themselves when they find themselves faced with an international arrest.
But for some, therein lies the thrill of travel, so Bangkok has opened a hotel to fulfill the needs of the cautiously rebellious. Sook Station, in the up and coming Udomsook neighborhood, is designed to give the look and feel of a local jailhouse.
Upon arrival, guests are treated to a complementary mugshot, before being presented with striped pajamas–intended as the hotels version of a robe and slippers–and taken to their “cells”. And indeed, each of the tiny 8 square meter rooms are fit with sliding bars for doors and bunk beds. There are no closets, just pegs on the wall to hang your clothing. The hotel boasts shared bathrooms only, outfitted with concrete slab benches and harsh, industrial lighting.
If that’s not enough of an experience with you, Sook Station even has one room intended to evoke solitary confinement in room 203, as it lacks even a window. Unlike a real prison however, guests are provided with amenities such as a hot tub, a work space, as well as lounge. In case the harsh prison life is too much, the hotel has also strewn comfort teddy bears around the premises for guests to amuse themselves with.
Sook Station is an ironic attraction in a country that has a notoriously brutal prison system, with one men’s complex, Klong Prem, the main men’s jail, dubbed “Big Tiger” for how it supposedly eats inmates alive. But if you want a taste of the fugitive life, it can be yours for only $30 per night.