Millions of people have walked through Times Square. Billions have lazed away entire days on the beach. A select number of dummies have even elected to climb the highest peaks in the world. And none of that holds any interest to you, because when you think Times Square, you think cheap tourist trap and tons of people. When you think about a beach you think of sunburn, oppressive heat, and tons of people. And when you think of climbing a mountain, you wonder why in the heck anyone would spend so much time and effort just to climb to a place where there’s no oxygen and nothing to do but come right back down and spend the rest of your life bragging about how you survived a crazily expensive, self-inflicted trauma just for a good view. No, when it’s time to get out on the road, you’re the kind of discerning person who needs something truly out of the ordinary to draw your attention. You’re looking in between the cracks of today’s travel opportunities to find something really, truly unique. Here, for your consideration, are some of the most bizarre tourist attractions from around the world. Hey, anyone can go to the Grand Canyon. It’s basically just a big hole in the ground, anyway. And crowded, too.
1. Amsterdam’s Electric Ladyland
No, it’s not a museum devoted to Jimi Hendrix. It’s more like one of his daydreams. Located in the world capital of good wee-er, fine architecture, Electric Ladyland is a love note to all things flourescent. Downstairs, there is even an interactive experience for those people who want to be literally surrounded by fluorescent stuff without having to go to a dubstep concert.
2. India’s Karni Mata Temple, or Temple of Rats
Located in Deshnok, the temple devoted to the Goddess Karni is said to house the goddess’ relatives who live an immortal life reincarnated as local rats. The rats are sacred to the locals, and perhaps since they’re so well tended, they have a reputation for being quite friendly.
3. Scotland’s Inveraray Jail
Travelers who have always wanted to cosplay as a prisoner can spend a little time at Scotland’s Inveraray Jail, where actors actually dress as prisoners to give visitors a more authentic “prison” experience as you learn all about the horrible, horrible history of prison in Scotland.
4. Taiwan’s Glass Slipper Church
For some reason, some local officials in Taiwan built a church inside a 55-foot high glass slipper. The goal, apparently, was to attract women who might find their Prince Charming in God, or something like that.
5. North Carolina’s Chest of Drawers … Really
The town of High Point in North Carolina so coveted the title of “Home Furniture Capital of the World” for some reason that, in 1926, they constructed a massive chest of drawers as a kind of gauntlet thrown down against the obvious mass of cities who would simply love to get their hands on that title. In 1996, they doubled the thing in size. So, they’re still number one, I guess.
6. Malaysia’s Upside Down House
Okay, we stop to mention this one not because it’s necessarily visit worthy so much as because it’s incredibly bizarre. In 2012, the town of Kota Kinabalu, in an open attempt to draw tourists, create the Rumah Terbalik Upside Down House. The most obvious question is “Why?” What’s the draw? Why the investment? Why do this at all?
7. England’s Gnome Reserve
Your grandma would LOVE the Gnome Reserve in Devon, England. There are hundreds of gnomes spread across four neatly cultured acres that’s also home to several dozen species of categorized wildflower.
8. Mexico’s Island of the Dolls
For those travelers with a taste for the macabre and the supernatural, there’s the Island of the Dolls, located just south of Mexico City. The story has it that, ostracized for his chronic alcoholism, a man named Julian Santana sought refuge on a small landlocked island. There, he found the body of a deceased little girl. According to Santana, the island was haunted by the young girl’s spirit, so Santana devoted himself to appeasing her by putting up hundreds of dolls all over the island. If that weren’t creepy enough, years of weather and general decay have added an extra layer of “serial killer lair” feel to the island.
9. Germany’s Miniatur Wunderland
First opened in 2001, Hamburg’s Miniatur Wunderland is essentially a gigantic model that’s constantly growing. It currently houses the world’s largest model train as well as several cities and even a replica of the Alps.
10. Japan’s Ramen Museum
Anyone who grew to love ramen noodles during those first, extra broke years of independence can learn all about the history of the ramen noodle in this museum in Ikeda, Japan. There’s even a recreation of the shack in which ramen’s creator, Momofuku Ando, concocted his first flavor of ramen: chicken.
11. Boston’s Museum of Bad Art
In today’s all-inclusive society, isn’t it nice to know that there’s somewhere even the world’s sh*ttiest art can find a home?
12. Thailand’s Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden
If you’ve never had nightmares before, you might once you visit Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden in which surreal depictions of Buddhist Hell have been rendered in graphic sculpture form. It makes the doll island look like Disney World.
13. Memphis’ Duck Parade
In the heart of downtown Memphis, the Peabody Hotel maintains a decade-old tradition. Every morning, the hotel’s famous Peabody ducks are gathered from their penthouse pen and herded into an elevator. From there, it’s down to the hotel’s lobby, where these stars march in single file from the elevator to the hotel lobby’s ornate fountain to the delight of a gathered crowd. There they stay until dusk, when they march to the elevator and return, once more, to their lavish suite.