5 Weird and Wonderful Attractions in Thailand– Number 2 is guaranteed to give you the creeps!
There is no denying the fact that human beings have a fascination for all things strange and unusual and there is a plethora of wacky attractions to be found all over the world. The Land of Smiles has a fair collection of its own, from phallic shrines in Bangkok to temples which are the inhabitants of both monks – and fully grown tigers! iTravel has unearthed a few examples of some of Thailand’s more unusual attractions so you can add a little something special to the itinerary of your next trip! But beware – some of these hotspots are not for the faint of heart or those with weak stomachs!
1. The Secret Buddha Garden, Koh Samui
Tucked away among lush tropical foliage on the Tar Nim waterfall peak near Baan Saket is the Secret Buddha Garden, which also goes by the name of the Magic Garden, or Heaven’s Garden. Created by local fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk, this garden is populated by a weird and wonderful cast of folkloric figures, all carved out of stone. There is even a statue of Nim himself, seated on a rock among his stunning creation. This Garden is an oasis of magic and beauty, with its babbling stream and dense green foliage. It is also a unique photo opportunity, or simply a great place to relax and let your imagination soar as you admire the lovingly carved figures all around you.
2. The Bangkok Forensic Museum
If you have a strong stomach and a taste for all things creepy, make your way to this frightening museum located inside the Siriraj Hospital, on the western shore of the Chao Phraya River. There are actually 6 museums in total, but the Forensic, Pathology and Anatomical Museums are arguably the freakiest of the 6, and so the ones that hold the most interest! From parasites to preserved babies, dissected bodies and even the corpse of a child-eating madman, these 3 museums will probably give you nightmares but are guaranteed to hold your attention as you examine the exhibits. Learn more about this weird attraction, and Bangkok’s other fascinating museums, through our iTravel Thailand Travel Tips exclusive.
3. Phra Nang (Princess) Cave, Krabi
The image of the phallus is widespread in Thailand and is a symbol of good luck and fertility. From the phallic shrine in the gardens of the Swissotel Nai Lert Hotel in Bangkok, to the phallus-shaped Grandpa Rock on the island of Koh Samui and the phallic amulets worn by many Thai people, there is no denying the importance of this very male image in Thai culture. A slightly less well-known shrine can be found in a picturesque location tucked away on the eastern side of Railay Bay in Krabi. Known as Phra Nang Cave (Princess Cave) this shrine is said to be the home of a mystical sea princess and fishermen have come here for centuries to make offerings in return for protection. With around 100 phallic objects in this small cave, it is not an attraction for the easily embarrassed but is still a must-see if you’re visiting Krabi!
4. The Ghost Museum at Dansai
Dansai is a small rural town in North-eastern Thailand, home to a fascinating cultural attraction known as the Phi Ta Khon Local Museum. Every year, for 3 days, this unassuming venue becomes the host for a vibrant ghost festival. For the occasion the villagers carefully craft and paint eerie masks to represent the different kinds of spirit, and there is live entertainment, plenty of food, dance contests and colourful processions. But even if you can’t make it for the festival, it’s still well worth visiting the museum, learning more about local culture and traditions. During weekends at the museum there are demonstrations of ghost mask-making and you even have the chance to model them, as well as the costumes that go with them. You can also buy Phi Ta Khon masks and ceramics as souvenirs. To learn more about the museum check out our iTravel Destinations special, dedicated to the town of Dansai.
5. The Red Lotus Lake, Udon Thani
Quite often, nature can produce a truly jaw-dropping spectacle that takes your breath away with its mesmerising beauty. The Red Lotus Lake in Udon Thani is just such a spectacle. During the cool season in Thailand, this 600-square-acre expanse of water becomes a sea of red lotus flowers, a romantic sight which has to be seen to be believed. Thankfully the lake can be easily viewed by hiring a pontoon boat for 45 or 90 minutes, which allows you to ride right out into the middle of the lake and experience the full impact of this beautiful scene. Peak viewing time is between 6 and 11am as during the afternoons the lotus blossoms close up in the heat. After your romantic trip on the lake, head to the restaurant near the shore for some tasty dishes featuring – you guessed it – lotus as one of the prime ingredients. Dig into plates of lotus stem som tam and lotus stem coconut curry, a delicious end to a truly breath-taking experience of nature’s splendour. Learn more about the Red Lotus Lake courtesy of our iTravel Destinations episode!
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