Experience coffee in a “death” and “painful” way at the Bangkok Death Cafe.

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Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe.
Inside the Bangkok Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe.

A coffee shop in Bangkok that lets you experience the other side of the world and experience your death through their cup of coffee.

With the rise of social media these days everyone now can be an instant celebrity, and with just one click on your mobile phone or just entering that push button on your keyboards, you can be the trending topic in the world-wide-web.

You don’t need to exaggerate things to be trendy because what people want to see are unique topics that are out of the ordinary. Like this extraordinary coffee shop in Bangkok, that lets you imagine and feel your own death.

This Bangkok new coffee shop is named “Kid Mai (Think New) Death Awareness Cafe” a loathsome cafe theme with a Buddhist spin where customers are hankered to face their own death, and understand the importance of life to love in better society.

A Thai teenager climbs out of a traditional coffin at the Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe, an exhibition space built to educate the public about death in Bangkok. – PHOTOS: AFP

“I feel like I am in a funeral,” 28-year-old Duanghatai Boonmoh said with a laugh as she sipped a chocolate “death smoothie” on a recent Saturday afternoon.

The cafe is located in the Thai Capital, where they let you experience to lay inside the coffins for a few minutes to contemplate with your final moments and you can get a discount on a drink when you do this. You can also mingle with the skeleton displays while enjoying drinks called “death” and “painful” coffee drinks.

The costumers enjoy climbing the wooden boxes and putting their selves inside to experience the feeling of death.

Duanghatai said, “The first thing that came to my mind was, what if no one opens it?”. “How you going to tell everyone that ‘I’m here, I’m still alive,’? I think that’s probably the feeling you have when you know you’re going to die soon,” she added.

A traditional Thai funeral wreath (above) and a skeleton (below) on a chair are seen at the Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe. Cafe owner Veeranut Rojanaprapa believes the concept of ‘death awareness’ – the ideas of impermanence and selflessness – is the key to ridding the Thai society of chronic problems like violence and corruption

The cafe owner says the concept of his store is not a gimmickry and different from the cute and cuddly coffee shops that are usual in Thai Capital, which caters from a cat, husky, unicorn and mermaid-themed cafe’s.

A professor and social researcher Veeranut Rojanaprapa say, “the cafe is a way to teach Thai people, some 90 percent of whom identify as Buddhist, about the benefits of, “death awareness”.

“We found that having an awareness of death decreases greed and anger,” explained Veeranut

He believes the Buddhist concept, rooted in the ideas of impermanence and selflessness, is the key to ridding Thai society of chronic problems like violence and corruption.

“When one is aware of their own death, they will do good. This is what our Lord Buddha teaches,” he explained.

The casket experience is also a way to nudge the country’s technology-addicted youth to step back and reassess their personal lives.

“When teenagers go down to the coffin and our staff close the coffin, because of the darkness, because of the small space, they will be aware of themselves … they will recall the things that they still haven’t done,” said Veeranut

A skeleton on a chair at the Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe, an exhibition space built to educate the public about death and Buddhism, in Bangkok.
PHOTOS: AFP

Kid Mai Death Awareness Cafe is the not first to offer the resurrection experience in Thailand, where a temple outside Bangkok is famous for hosting symbolic funerals for devotees looking to clear their souls of bad karma.

But what makes this cafe’ stand out is that it sits in the heart of the city that offers a unique concept for the community and tourist who is curious about not just the coffee but as well as the feeling of death.

The cafe has also spread out to a public walkway, which has signs asking questions like: “What is the purpose of your life?”

Though some of their neighbors are not happy with the concept and complain that it is disturbing, but Veeranut says he welcomes any controversy as a sign of success.

“I love all of the complaints. Because if they are complaining it means they are thinking about death, they are aware of death.”

What can you say about this death cafe coffee lovers? Do you want to experience it or you are also one of those people who find it disturbing?

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