If you’re traveling to Bangkok and want to book a unique lodging and face any fears you might have of prison, there’s really only one option for you: Sook Station. This amazing prison themed hostel is the dream made real by Khun Lek, the owner. The iron doors, bars, gray walls, and lighting were all inspired by the movie “Shawshank Redemption”.
Guests are issued black and white striped pajamas when they check in, and can also have their “mugshot” taken when they go to their rooms. It’s all in fun. There’s no need to worry about all of those bars, as they can easily be opened up to balconies overlooking the street. Nor do you have to worry about being locked in; all guests can come and go as they please and are issued keycards that allow 24 hour access to the building. You also don’t have to worry about the other prisoners messing with your stuff–as you can lock your “cell” with the key issued to you.
There are two types of rooms available: small rooms for 2 persons with a bunk bed, small cubby for sitting/working, and shared community bathroom, and family rooms that have a large bed for 2 and a bunk bed for 2 , and private bathroom. As the hostel is only 6 months old and much of furniture and decoration appears to be from IKEA, everything is very new, very clean, and quality appointed.
Sook Station is 4 stories tall and equipped with an elevator. There are two floors dedicated for meeting spaces ranging from 20 up to 100 participants. These meeting spaces veer away from the prison theme, so that it can accommodate a more professional engagement environment. But there is one meeting room that has decor inspired by the movie “The Intern”. The rooftop is equipped with a small hot tub, and plenty of wide open space (much of it with artificial turf) for social gathering.
Sook Station is a family run business with Khun Lek’s elder sister operating the full service business center. Guests are able to use the computers for Internet access, and printing and copy services are also available.
Unlike a real prison, you will love the food here. The prices are incredibly reasonable and they have a very expansive menu. For lunch I had Tom Yum Goong Namsai (Tom Yum soup with shrimp and clear broth), Moo Kua Phrik Kleu (stir fried pork belly with garlic and chillies), rice, and a coconut shake.
The Tom Yum Goong Namsai was an incredible value at 120 baht ($3.60). The broth was clear, yet it was rich in flavor with lots of chewy mushrooms and a very generous serving of 7 large shrimp.
The Moo Kua Phrik Kleu is slow roasted pork belly with lots of garlic and finely chopped chili peppers. An amazing value at 75 baht ($2.25), it’s also accompanied with a fiery fermented fish sauce if you really want to turn the heat up!
I saved room for dessert. I had their special (not normally on the menu) Japanese Mochi for 35 baht ($1). It was a cold gelatin dessert with brown sugar on top. The gelatin didn’t have much flavor, but it took the flavor of the sweet brown sugar and cleansed my palate from the spicy meal.
One of the big surprises for me was that they had a cold brewed coffee system. I’d never seen one before. Basically the coffee is “brewed” by ice melt. The ice above melts at a rate of about one drop per second. This drop filters through pressed coffee and slowly makes its way down to a large glass decanter looking bottle. It takes a full day to make 2 cups of coffee! But what a treat! I’ve never had coffee like this before–you can really taste the intense full flavor of the coffee. At 100 baht ($3) it’s a bargain, and accompanied with a fresh waffle (99 baht ($3)) you have a perfect pick-me up that will last you all day–that coffee is strong!
Sook Station is conveniently located an easy 400 meters walk from the Udom Suk BTS station. If you are looking for a unique Instagram lodging opportunity in Bangkok that is actually comfortable and a good value with great food, I highly recommend you consider this hostel!
If you are a Bangkok local, it is also worth exploring to see if their meeting spaces meet your needs and or grabbing a bite to eat or coffee to keep you going ALL DAY.
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