Chiang Mai, Thailand — A small Chinese dormitory in the middle of a lush jungle has been turned into the first-ever touristic attraction in Thailand, turning it into the center of an international tourist industry.
The Chinese-designed complex is called “Dormitory 4” in honor of its founder, Liu Shufeng, who started the resort with a Chinese student and three other foreigners in 1989.
The four students who stayed at the dormitory, which has a courtyard and a swimming pool, now live there, as do the other residents.
Their home was built to accommodate a total of 40 guests and about 20 staff, including a nurse, cook, maid, and security guard.
Liu’s daughter, who also lives in the hotel, told NBC News that the dormitories were the first Chinese resort she had visited.
Liu and his three friends had lived in the dorms in China for four years and were eager to try it out.
They had visited Thailand and Cambodia before, but were also eager to take a tour of the country, said Liu, a retired teacher.
Liu spent about $15,000 (about $25,000) to build a replica of the dorm where he lived with his students and friends, which was completed in only five months.
“It was very comfortable, very peaceful, with the people,” Liu said.
The dormitory has been open to visitors for a year and is now on display in the Chinese Embassy.
Liu said he hoped the Chinese visitors would come to learn Thai about the history of the region and to experience what life is like there.
“The experience of Thailand is not as easy as it is in China, where they can get the same things at home,” Liu added.
“I hope they come back and have a good experience, even if it’s only a small tour.”
The hotel was designed to house up to 40 guests, including the nurses, cooks, maids, and other staff, said Cheng Hui, the director of the hotel and tourism department at the Chinese embassy in Bangkok.
Cheng said that the hotel is a symbol of the progress Thailand has made in its development.
“We’ve always said that Thailand has been an innovation in tourism and that we have the capacity to attract more visitors to Thailand,” Cheng said.
Liu is known as the father of China’s modern economy, and he has been a champion of developing Chinese culture and infrastructure.
He founded the resort in 1989 in order to make the resort a destination in itself, and to attract tourists to his homeland.
It was only in the past 10 years that the resort has been able to attract visitors, he said.
“As the first hotel in China to open in China and the first in Thailand to have a swimming facility, we hope the guests will be able to experience a little bit of the beautiful surroundings,” Liu explained.
“This is the best chance we have to promote the tourism industry.”
According to Liu, it is a good opportunity for Thai people to see the country for themselves.
“People will not forget the culture and the beauty of the island and their heritage,” Liu told NBC.
“If we continue to grow, we will have a wonderful legacy.”