Bizarre death-themed cafe in Bangkok offers discounts for lying in coffin
A unique, if not bizarre, theme cafe is catching attention in Thailand- a so-called “death awareness” cafe where customers are encouraged to somehow confront their dreaded mortality by lying in coffins. It is hoped that through such an unusual experience, people would live “better lives” as a result.
The cafe is an open-air lunch spot in Bangkok. It puts a macabre, Buddhist spin on the themed-cafe craze. The menu has drinks named “death” and “painful.” There’s also a skeleton splayed out on a couch in the corner celebrating the meet-your-maker theme.
Dr. Veeranut said:
“We found that having an awareness of death decreases greed and anger.”
He also believes that the Buddhist concept, rooted in ideas of impermanence and selflessness, will play a crucial role in ridding Thai society of chronic problems like violence and corruption.
The cafe’s centerpiece, of course, is a decorated white coffin where customers are asked to lay down for a few minutes and reflect on their lives’ supposed final moments.
Agreeing to experience the “Kid Mai (Think New) Death Cafe” will not only allow customers to contemplate and appreciate their lives more, but that doing the once unthinkable will also entitle them to a discount on their drink.
The best part is that customers can also write their last wish, plan their future funeral rites or even write a letter that will be sent to them in 10 years! The customers write their thoughts down on a scrapbook attached to the fictitious grave.
A customer said while recounting his experience:
“Death is a wise counsellor, there is only one life and therefore we must overcome our fears and abandon our pettiness… Without awareness of death everything is trivial, ordinary”
There is still a deep-seated realm of superstition and belief in life after death, mainly in the form of ghosts or spirits in Thai society, which prompted some neighbours to go about complaining about the cafe and its macabre theme. However, no customer could forget the epitaph written on a floral wreath attached to the coffin: “Eventually, you can bring nothing.” And nothing ever made more sense.