Some tourists are sick and tired of attractions promoted by popular guidebooks. They keep looking for something new and exciting. Fortunately, there are still some mysterious and spectacular places that will take your breath away once you see them.
#1 Wedding in a shoe
In Budai (Taiwan) there is a peculiar temple. Made of 320 pieces of blue glass, it looks like a high-heel shoe. It is 17-metre high and this is where the couples can say ‘yes’ and have their photo session. The building was inspired by a story of a woman who at the age of 24 lost her feet. As a result, she never got married and spent the rest of her life praying.
#2 Relaxing in wine and coffee
The Yunessun Spa Resort is located in Hakone on the Japanese island of Honsiu. It is famous for rather unusual treatments. The guest can have relaxing baths in red wine, coffee, green tea or ginger stew.
#3 An alley covered with chewing gum
In San Luis Obispo (California) you don’t need to throw away old chewing gum. You can stick it onto the wall in an alley called… Bubblegum Alley. It is still not clear how this weird customs started. Most probably the first gum was stuck in the middle of 20th century.
#4 Fossilized pots and bear
Near Knaresborough (north-east England) objects turn into stones themselves. It’s all because of the so-called Petrifying Well located in a cave nearby. All you need to do is to hang a selected object and wait a couple of months – the water will do the job. It’s all because of high mineral content.
#5 A temple full of rats
In Deshnok (north of India) there is a rat temple devoted to Karni Mata, worshipped there as the incarnation of the warrior goddess Hinglaj, partly due to how long she lived (1387 – 1538).
There are a few thousand rats living there who run free all over the place. There are bowls of milk everywhere as well as some grain scattered to feed them.
You can only walk in barefoot! If one of the rodents walks on you, that brings good luck, If you happen to kill one, you have to make an offering
#6 An elephant rock
The Icelandic island of Heimaey boast about a gigantic elephant with its trunk in the sea. This unusual rock formation dates back to 1973 and the volcanic eruption of Eldfell. Rivers of basalt lava flooded most of the island forming peculiar rock shapes. Heimaey is the biggest island of the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago.
#7 The last savage tribe
There is a land which is still inhabited by a savage tribe and no stranger has ever visited it. This is a tiny island of North Sentinel in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago (belonging to India). The Sentinelians have been living there for 60 thousand years completely isolated from the rest of the world. They are very aggressive and any attempts to contact them failed. Any time a boat or a helicopter approaches them, a hail of arrows is fired. Scientists know nothing about life and customs of Sentinelians. The government of India marked a protection zone and forbade bothering the tribe in any way.
#8 A cave of hands
In Patagonia (Argentina) there is a unique cave. It’s all about the hands. Cueva de los Manos (A Cave of Hands) is decorated with images of human hands. These extraordinary images are well over 10 thousand years old. Interestingly, these are only images of left hands. Why? The answer lies in the craft of making the paintings. Hands were put onto the rock and then they were sprayed with pain. Of course it was easier to do the painting with the right hand.
To spray the paint, bone pipes were used, and the paint was made of mineral pigments.
#9 Eggs on the roof
In Figueres (Catalonia), there is The Museum of Salvadore Dali. The building itself reflects the extraordinary nature of the artist. The top of the structure, built of gigantic eggs, brick wall and gypsum breads, together with a glass dome, shock you and yet tempt you to get inside. Everything is a theatre there. The visitors are directly exposed to the impact of Dali’s imagination. On the patio you bump into an old car where dummies are splashed with water. Walking on you see Dali’s wife turning into the head of Abraham Lincoln. The most important paintings of the artists are displayed in a room covered with red velvet, reminding a chest. A few steps further away there is a red mouth-shaped sofa, which in fact is a part of an installation making up a face.
There is no single way of visiting. You have to find your own way. Just like the artist did.
#10 Inside a duck
On Long Island (the east coast of USA) you can see a gigantic duck (it’s well over 6 meters tall. It was built in 1931 by Martin Maurer, a farmer. He sold… ducks and eggs inside it. The shop closed down in 1984 and now it is only a tourist attraction.
#11 A church high up in the mountains
The Las Lajas basilica (The Shrine of Our Lady or Las Rajas) is located in Colombia. It was built 3000 meters above the sea level! The most unusual thing is that it was built on rocks in a mountain canyon, near the border with Ecuador.
The history of the church is really interesting. In 1754, in one of the caves nearby, a deaf and mute girl saw Virgin Mary. Soon afterwards the girl started to speak and inside a cave a painting was found, showing Mary with the baby in her hands. At first a small chapel was built, which the church eventually replaced.
#12 A palace of stones
Le Palais Idéal is an unusual piece of architecture to be admired in Hauterives, France. The most amazing thing is that was built for 33 years by a postman, Ferdinand Cheval.
The whole story starts in April 1879 when the man stumbles upon a stone. Intrigued by the shape of the stone Ferdinand begins to collect such stones to start construction soon. The first twenty years he spends erecting the external walls. He dies in 1924 and his body is buried inside the mausoleum he has built himself.
In 1969 Le Palais Idéal was oficially entered into the register of monuments.
#13 Coffins in a museum
In Houston (USA) there is a very peculiar museum. It was set up in 1992 and the first exhibition included historical hearses.
In National Museum of Funeral History visitors can trace the evolution of funeral customs. The collection of coffins is particularly absorbing. One of them was designed to ‘accommodate’ three people! It was custom-made for a married couple who couldn’t come to terms with the death of their child. You can’t miss the bizarre coffins from Ghana. It is believed there that once you die, your soul travels to the spiritual land inhabited by your ancestors. If such a person is properly honored, then even the whole family can be saved. That is why the dead are buried in very colorful wooden coffins, referring to their trade, hobbies and personality. That is why you can see coffins shaped like a car, an eagle, a chicken, a bull, a panther or a canoe.
#14 The stone faces of monks
In Toyama prefecture (Honsiu, Japan), you will find a very peculiar place. In the mountains there you will find 540 stone statues of monks – Gohyakurakan. Each of the monks has got a different facial expression and a pose. According to the Japanese, when bells strike midnight, each visitor can find one warm statue. In the morning they will find the reflection of a late parent’s face right on that monk’s face.
#15 A beach of brocade
In the Maledives, on the Mudhdhoo island, there is a beach that glitters with all shades of blue at night. This unusual phenomena, turning the beach after sunset into a field of brocade, is caused by microorganisms, Lingulodinium polyedrum. Movement of water triggers chemical reaction that results in emission of blue light.
#16 A ghost village
Mother nature, once unchained, can devour entire houses and villages. The Chinese island of Gouqi, part of the Zhoushan archipelago, used to be a fishing settlement. As other branches of industry developed, the fishermen moved inland and found jobs somewhere else. The place soon was abandoned.
Currently the houses and paved streets are all overgrown with ivy
#17 Gigantic bells
Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. It is on the Java island. It was built at the turn of 8th and 9th centuries, and later got deserted in still unknown circumstances. The temple is on a hill and was built of stone. It consists of terraces, on which there are bell-shaped stupas and statues of Buddha. Interestingly, viewed from above it looks like a huge mandala.