Visit prison Bangkok Thailand
Asia, Countries, Thailand
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Visit prison Bangkok Thailand

{GUESTBLOG} If you planned to go to Bangkok and want to see something different from the Grand Palace, the floating market or the bridge over the River Kwai, then think about visiting a prisoner of your own country in the Bang Kwang prison! Visit a prison in Bangkok Thailand is not your first inspiration when you think of excursions in Thailand, but it’s a very impressive experience. One that you’ll remember more than all the parades of temples, palaces, shopping on the weekendmarket or a biking trip through the outskirts of the city.

Out of the box excursion: Visit Prison Thailand

Bangkok was the place where I finished my first world trip. I visited this lively, chaotic city before and I had already seen most of the highlights from the travelguides. Therefore I was looking for something else to do. I met a stewardess, who gave me the advice to google if there was a Dutch person in Bang Kwang at that time. This was the case, so I decided to take the risk and visit Rien Parlevliet in Bang Kwang prison in Bangkok.

I was a bit nervous on the way to Bang Kwang in Bangkok. It’s not really an everyday trip and I had no idea what to expect. When I arrived at the building, I had to hand a note with the name of the person I wanted to visit. They ask what your relation with the person is. Always tell them you’re relatives, otherwise they can make it a problem.

When you have issued your bag, are searched and have passed a number of heavily guarded gates, you arrive in a kind of hallway with numbered counters. You look for the assigned number and take place at the window to your ‘counter’. About two meters away sits the prisoner with whom you have an appointment in front of you behind bars. You don’t talk to each other directly, but via the telephone. A strange experience, but you get used to it quickly.

The story of Rien Parlevliet

By the time, Rien was in prison for 7 years already. “At the airport I struck up a conversation with a man in line at customs,” he says. “What I didn’t know was that he had a bag full of heroin with him. Because I was talking to him, I automatically became co-defendant. And then you suddenly end up in a Thai prison from one day to another.”

And that isn’t pleasant, if I have to believe Rien. “You sleep with 60 man in a cell on the floor, you don’t get enough food and have to sit in the scorching sun most of the day. It happens regularly that someone is beaten up. But the women’s prison is even worse; the conditions over there are totally inhuman.”

 Visit prison Bangkok Thailand - Bang Kwang prison We talk for a while about little things and before I know the 30 minutes are passed and time is over. It’s common to send the prisoner a package with personal wishes in it. Rien says he’s craving for some shampoo, coffee and cigarettes. After my visit, I go to the shop to buy this stuff and send it to prison.

What is true about his story and what isn’t, is hard or maybe impossible to check. But does it matter? I was quite impressed with his story. It made me realise that our life isn’t that bad in Europe and we shouldn’t complain that much. For me it was a once in a lifetime experience, one that I won’t forget very soon.

 when you visit a prison in Thailand

Are you interested in visiting a prisoner from your own country in Bang Kwang in Bangkok? Here are some tips:

  1. Don’t go to prison without knowing who you want to visit. You will probably be refused then.
  2. Some hostels and guesthouses have a noticeboard where you can see the names and nationalities of the prisoners at that time.
  3. Do you want to build a relationship with the person you are going to visit in advance? Consider to become pen pals with ‘your’ prisoner.
  4. Dress like you would do at a temple; shoulders and knees covered.
  5. Take a copy of your passport.
  6. Check the website of the Thai prison before you visit

About the writer Karin

Since she visited Thailand in 2006, Karin is hooked on traveling the world.
She has quit her job twice to make a worldtrip and nowadays she works as a teacher en uses her schoolholidays to discover the world. Karin describes her stories and experiences on

Become a guest writer on this travelblog

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  • Josh Oxley

    Is this safe to do? Me and my friend and visiting and have thought about trying to get in touch with a British prisoner out there.

  • Jim

    Any prisoners from Australia I can visit in bang Kwan ?

    • Paul

      I have no idea Jim, I think best way to find out is to contact the Australian Embassy. Hope you can find someone. Have a great day.

  • Austine

    Hello, please i have a brother who has been in Thailand prison for over four years now and his jail term was for 3 years. Till now we have not heard anything from him. His mother died thinking about him and now his dad is sick cos of his case. Please if anyone can help in will be grateful.

    • Paul

      Hi Austine, I think in this case the best is, to contact your Embassy and request information from them. I wish you and your family the best!

  • Mabelline

    Hw do u get the name list of the prisoners? Cause i would like to go visit one.

    • Paul

      I think you can get it at the embassy. Not sure though.

    • eva Rose

      hello! I am also looking at seeing someone that is locked inside the prison, but don’t seem to be getting anywhere.. I will be in Thailand for two months from jan to march 2018.. would like to get a name or two of a prisoner from England or Ireland and take things further.. they need a bit of outside recognition!

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