You may be well accustomed to whiling away an afternoon gazing at a monument. Perhaps the children love dinosaurs, and you know the inside of a natural history museum better than your own home. However, there are some truly bizarre attractions around the world that are worth seeing. Luckily, South East Asia has more than its fair share. Here we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful delights that can add an extra dimension to your vacations.
The Aeroplane Graveyard, Bangkok, Thailand
Scouting for abandoned places has long been on any hip traveller’s list. In fact, there are sure to be some in your very own neighbourhood. Located in Bangkok is a sprawling, urban waste ground, surrounded by high rise tower blocks and bordered by a canal. You would be forgiven for thinking that this was just abandoned land, but actually it has been utilized for a much greater purpose. Here is where aeroplanes go to die. The entire site is littered with aeroplane fuselages, some complete and others in sections. Many of these are older models that have long been retired from service. The park itself is not an official tourist attraction so you are free to explore at will. You can even climb inside the planes and try to imagine what they must have once looked like. There are several families that live in the park itself and they often charge visitors with a small fee, so do not be surprised if you are approached and asked to pay.
This is exactly what you have read. A town that consists of cat worship to the highest degree. The museum is enormous, and features cat related items from all over the world. You do not necessarily have to be a cat lover to enjoy a visit here, but it certainly helps. The dedication to maintaining the exhibits and love for our feline friends is apparent and it is certainly charming. The museum itself also has an extra advantage. It is located at the top of a hill which leads to the City Hall building. The view from the hill itself is spectacular and is well worth the climb, even if you do not much fancy indulging in cat worship. The museum itself is free, but you have to pay RM3 for a camera or RM5 for a video camera.
3. Siriraj Medical Museum, Bangkok, Thailand
You may already have a pretty clear idea of what this museum might contain. After you have found it down the backstreets of central Bangkok, you will be greeted by a variety of eye-watering exhibits. The museum also goes by the name of the Museum of Death, and for good reason. Here you can see all kinds of medical anomalies, some of which are still under study by doctors and medical students. From ghoulish skeletons, preserved body parts and human cross-sections, it is surprisingly interesting. There are of course some sections of the museum which may make you feel a little squeamish, but it is certainly an interesting way to pass a few hours, away from the chaos of Bangkok streets. There is also an adjoining Parasite Museum, if you this has not quite quenched your curiosity. The museum itself is cheap, around 200B and will give you something to talk about for quite some time afterwards.
4. Bokor Hill Station, Cambodia
This is haunting more than it is bizarre. Bokor Hill is isolated, atop a mountain and was originally built to house French colonisers during their rule in Cambodia. It was built as a fully functioning town, with a post office, bank, hotel and even a casino. Walking around, you can imagine the ostentatiousness of Western colonisation as the French partied ate, drank and made merry in their own private town. However, with the collapse of the empire, Bokor Hill was abandoned and has remained that way ever since. It also formed part of one of the main battlegrounds during the revolution. The walk to the site can take up to two hours, and it is challenging taken but you can walk with a guide who will be able to provide you with plenty of historical information about the area. If you do decide to visit, do so quickly because the land will quickly be renovated and the remains of Bokor Hill as it is now could well be destroyed. It is a sad testament to a bloody piece of history that may soon be commercialised.