Thailand is known for its stunning beaches, delicious food and mesmerising cultural sites but if you wish to explore some of the countries lesser-seen, unusual attractions there is plenty on offer too. Come prepared with an open mind, curiosity and a strong stomach and explore our selection of Thailand’s weirdest attractions.
“Welcome to Hell!” reads the sign as you enter the Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden. Take a leisurely stroll through grotesque depictions of torture inflicted on those who go to Buddhist hell. You’ll see sinners boiled in copper cauldrons, being torn apart by hell’s dogs, and emaciated sinners with protruding ribs to name but a few of the sites’ ‘attractions’. Throughout the garden are signs eluding that if your good deeds outweigh your bad, you can avoid going to hell and therefore not live the terrifying scenes before your eyes.
If your vision of a museum is pretty shiny displays of cultural artifacts, then perhaps it’s best to give this one a miss. The Siriraj Medical Museum is a morbid and unusual treasure trove of pathological, forensic, parasitological, and anatomical specimens. There are actually six museums in the hospital complex; a museum of pathology, a forensics museum, a museum of the history of Thai medicine, a parasitology museum, an anatomical museum, and a prehistoric museum. On display are bones, preserved organs, pathological fetuses, a mummified corpse of a notorious serial killer, parasitic worms, a two-and-a-half-foot-wide scrotum removed from a man afflicted with elephantiasis, the remains of a cannibal, and a traditional Thai medicine shop. This collection is bound to peak the average curiosity but it is advised to avoid it if you are squeamish. It’s recommended those that wish to take the plunge and check out the museums-with-a-difference to come prepared with a strong stomach.
Koh Hingham, also known as the cursed island of black pebbles, is a small uninhabited island which is believed to have been cursed by the God of Tarutao. Visitors are free to play with the black pebbles and assemble them into structures, but the sacred stones must be left on the island to avoid being cursed for a lifetime. Each year the National Park receives dozens of stones being returned via post from desperate people wanting the curse to be lifted.
How to get there? Find someone to take you from Koh Lipe in a long tail boat.
The planes that were once used to transport passengers around Thailand now provide shelter and an income for the families who reside there. They would otherwise be on the street and are able to make money by bringing items to a nearby recycling station and by charging tourists an entrance fee to tour the compound.
Another slightly unusual attraction at Wat Khunaram on Ko Samui is a self-mummified monk who died over 20 years ago while meditating. Luang Pho Dang still sits today in a well-preserved lotus position, but adorns sunglasses where geckos have slowly eaten away at his eyes. Geckos also use his body cavities to lay their eggs. Thai people come from far and wide to pay respect to the deceased monk.
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