Thailand is an interesting country and it attracts millions of visitors to its busy cities, or sandy shores, each year. This is a place known for its friendly locals, its natural beauty, and also its very unique sights (some a little seedier than others).
Thailand has wonderful beaches and luxurious hotels, but it also has a resort with rooms designed in the shapes of fruit; from dragon fruit to the not-so-pleasant smelling durian (the hotel doesn’t stink though, don’t worry). And that’s not the only unusual accommodation available, because while most people follow the law so that they can avoid prison, others want to pay to stay in a prison-themed hotel.
In Thailand, it seems tourists are spoiled for choice, and that doesn’t just extend to the quirky accommodation options, but also the many unusual things to see and do. Among them is a visit to hell garden, which seems to have been designed as a deterrent, and to encourage people to do good deeds and live a good life to avoid ending up in a place like that. And then, there is a market located on the railway tracks, which is considered to be one of the most (if not the most) dangerous markets in the world.
Below are 30 strange things we can only see in Thailand.
1. People Pay Good Money To Drink A Coffee With Their Selfie On It (Some Are Better Quality Than Others)
Thailand is a country where people can have many unique experiences and one of the most fun (although also kinda weird) is drinking a coffee that has your selfie on it. According to Beyond Khao San Road, the KC Selfie Coffee in Bangkok is the place to go for a this, and if you send the company your photo via their Facebook page or their line, then you can get it printed onto your coffee, tea, or really any beverage you choose for an extra fee.
The publication notes that the best photos to print are close-ups with “bright and light” colors.
2. There Is A Prison-Themed Hotel For A Convict Experience
Most people follow the law so that they can avoid prison, other people want to pay to stay in a prison-themed hotel. According to The Independent, the Sook Station in Bangkok is a place where guests can check-in, and get their mugshot taken. They are required to then change into black-and-white pajamas and are assigned an inmate number.
The rooms are hardly luxurious (although better than the inside of an actual cell) and have metal bars, bunk beds, and bars over the window. And to get the full convict experience, the publication notes that guests are required to keep to a curfew.
3. The Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden Is Meant To Give A Glimpse Into Where People Will End Up If They Don’t Do Good Deeds
As you make your way through all of the unusual attractions in Thailand, be sure to make a quick pit stop in hell … Buddhist Hell, that is. Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden is not your typical garden. Instead of blossoming flowers and colorful shrubbery, visitors will instead find gruesome images and statues portraying the future of those who are sent to hell to pay for their sins. Buddhist Hell is located just outside of the capital on the way to Pattaya. There is no entrance fee, though donations are accepted.
4. There Is A Food Market In The Middle Of The Railway Tracks (And They Have To Move Every Time The Train Comes Past)
It’s not every day you get to see a food market on train tracks, and although this seems incredibly impractical, this is exactly what happens at the Maeklong Railway Market. Every day, the sellers and buyers meet to exchange goods for money, but at any moment a train could come (they come past six times a day), and everyone has just three minutes to move their belongings, and themselves, Atlas Obscura reports.
The publication notes that although the train moves slowly through the narrow market area, there have been some casualties over the years and the market is considered to be the most “dangerous” in the world.
5. Naga Fireballs Are Mysterious Light Sources That Occur Every Year
Every year, something special happens at night on Thailand’s Mekong River, and blazing balls of light can be seen. According to Hello Travel, these balls of light vary in size but seem to “dash over the water surface” before moving upwards and then disappearing. The balls are celebrated as part of the Phayanak Festival.
These light balls are a bit of a mystery, with Beyond Science TV nothing that there are many theories, including claims they are supernatural and man-made. Regardless of their origin, the fireballs are quite something.
6. The Scorpion Queen Is Known For Her Creepy Antics Involving Scorpions
Thailand is where the Scorpion Queen is from, a woman who has been given this nickname because of her antics involving scorpions. Her real name is Kanchana Kaetkaew and she is a Guinness World Record holder for being the person in the world to have spent the longest time with a scorpion in her mouth, The Sun reports.
Another record she holds is for spending 33 days in a container with more than 5,000 scorpions — sounds like fun, we know.
7. Police Officers Stay Out Of Trouble, Or Else They Will Wear A Hello Kitty Armband
Via Travel Happy
Officials in Thailand need to avoid making minor mistakes, or else they will have to wear a pink Hello Kitty armband. According to The New York Times, minor mess-ups, like parking in the wrong place, showing up late for work, or littering, could result in the officer having to wear this girly armband (regardless of his previous valor with the force).
Although many of these things seem incredibly minor, the idea behind the armband is to deter officers from repeating the offense by making them “feel guilt and shame,” the acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok told the publication. And, apparently, it was working.
8. For The Nature Lover, There Is A Resort That Has Rooms Designed In Shapes Of Fruit And Vegetables
Thailand has wonderful beaches, luxurious hotels, and it also has a resort with rooms designed in the shape of fruits. The resort is called Baanphasawan, and according to Atlas Obscura, it has nearly 100 fruit and vegetable shaped accommodation (including pineapple, dragonfruit, durian, and bamboo shoots). The owner wants to appeal to those interested in horticulture and nature, the publication reports.
The 80-acre property is also interesting for another reason; the owner grows many varieties of rare fruits, including the infamous durian fruit, which is known for its unpleasant smell.
9. The Thai Water Festival Includes A Lot Of Water Fun (And Tourists Are Not Safe From It)
Via Premio Travels
If someone comes up to you and squirts you in the face, or you feel the slight sting of a water balloon hitting you and drenching your clothing, then you may have found yourself in the middle of the Thai Water Festival, which happens in April every year. According to Culture Trip, Songkran, the Thai New Year, was integrated with the water festival, and the publication notes that water, for the Thai people, is believed to be “spiritually purifying.”
The fun is joined in by both children and adults, who gather in the streets, and the publication notes that foreigners may find themselves smeared with clay or covered with water.
10. Every Year There Is A Big Buffet Put Out To Give Thanks To The Local Monkeys
Via Travel Wire Asia
Every year there is an annual monkey buffet for a group of macaques, held at the ruins of the 13th-century temple, Phra Prang Sam Yot, located in Lopburi in Thailand, Atlas Obscura reports. Banquet tables are set up with nearly two tons of fruits and vegetables, ranging from watermelons to durians, for the monkey’s to feast on.
According to Reuters, the locals believe that if they feed the monkeys they will receive prosperity, but the outlet also notes that the food is used as a sort of “thank you” to the monkeys.
11. Two Cats Got Married In A Wedding More Lavish Than Most Humans Have
Via Duke Language
It’s not every day that you hear about two cats getting married, but this happened in Thailand, and according to Duke Language School, the wedding cost $28,000. The cats, named Phet (the groom) and Ploy (the bride), had a wedding with no expense spared. The publication notes that the male cat arrived at the ceremony in a Rolls-Royce, and the female arrived via helicopter.
There were apparently 500 guests at the wedding, and the cat couple got $60,000 worth of gifts and cash.
12. The Bangkok Airplane Graveyard Is Home To Three Families, But Also Many Visitors
Via Go To Thailand
Bangkok has many unusual sights, and in the neighborhood of Ramkhamhaeng is an “airplane graveyard,” which according to Atlas Obscura, includes a disused Boeing 747 and two MD-82 planes. But when we say disused, we mean they are not being used for flight, but the planes act as a home for three Thai families.
These families live here as an alternative to living on the street, and they can make money when tourists come to see the inside of their homes. The Culture Trip notes that the entrance fee for visitors is ฿150 (which is around $4).
13. The Thai People Seem To Have A Strange Love Of Plastic Bags, Which Accompanies Everything Food-Related
Via Serious Eats
Apparently, in Thailand, there are a lot of plastic bags that get used. Best At Travel notes that it’s common to get food and drink served in plastic bags, which are then secured with a rubber band. Also, these bags can contain the most unexpected ingredients, including soda or hot soup…
Eating Thai Food also commented on this point, noting that the people of Thailand have a “heavy use” of plastic bags. And regardless of how big or small the purchase it is, it will be wrapped in a bag.
14. Lifelike Dolls Known As ‘Child Angels’ Are Thought To Bring Good Luck
Via Chiang Rai Times
Life-like dolls often referred to as “child angels” and are popular in some groups in Thai society, Reuters notes. The dolls are about the size of a real baby and can be anointed during a blessing ritual, with the individuals who own them hoping that they bring good luck.
The plastic dolls can be bought online or in shops, and a doll owner and seller told Reuters that her doll helped her to win the lotto, by informing her of the numbers in her dream.
15. If You’re In Need Of Protection Or Good Luck, There’s An Item To Be Found For That At The Amulet Market
The Amulet Markets are not your normal market. Rather than food and souvenirs, you’ll be shopping primarily for good luck. Spend some time browsing the markets flaunting charms, talismans, and traditional medicine – each of which is believed to bring luck. Join the crowds each Sunday and watch potential buyers studying the amulets with magnifying glasses hoping to find one that will bring them good fortune.
16. The Robot Building Was Inspired By A Kid’s Toy
Via Thailand Travel Explorer
In comparison to some of the other things on this list, a robot building may not seem too strange, but there is a building in Bangkok that is designed to look like a robot. The building serves as the headquarters for the United Overseas Bank, and according to Renegade Travels, there is even a coffee shop on the ground floor.
Visitors may be attracted to this location to pose for photos in front of the unusual structure, which was designed in 1985 by one of the country’s most popular architects, Sumet Jumsai. According to Mimoa, Jumsai got his inspiration from one of his son’s toys.
17. The Fish That Swim In An Abandoned Mall Have Become A Tourist Attraction
Via Daily Mail
The New World Mall in Bangkok was left empty after a fire caused damage to the roof, and it was later flooded by rainwater. The disused building started to attract mosquitos because of the stagnant water, and in an effort to rid the area of these annoying insects, the locals in the area brought freshwater tilapia into the mall, Daily Mail notes. Now, the abandoned building is filled with hundreds of fish, and it’s not often that you get to see a broken escalator with fish swimming next to it.
These fish have breathed new life into the building, which is now visited by tourists who come to marvel at the fish (locals even sell food to feed the fish).
18. Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew Is Beautiful, It’s Also Made From Beer Bottles
Via Mark Fischer/Wikipedia
The Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple is an example of recycling at its finest, and according to Scoop Whoop, the structure was designed entirely from beer bottles.
Located in the Khun Han district of the Sisaket province, this beer bottle creation serves as a Buddhist temple, and the publication notes it was created by the monks in the area who grew tired of removing the bottles from the sea. Their solution was to ask the community to instead bring them their empty bottles, which they used to create a brilliant building, which also raises awareness for the effects of litter on the environment.
19. There Is A Village Dedicated To The Making Of Paper Umbrellas
Via Take Me Tour
The village of Bo Sang is a beautiful one because it is filled with paper umbrellas of various shapes, sizes, and beautifully hand-painted designs. According to Atlas Obscura, the village is visited by tourists who want to get a better understanding of how these paper umbrellas are made, and the publication notes that the town has “united in the proud creation of lovely paper umbrellas.”
The paper in the umbrellas has been made using bark from mulberry trees, while the handles are bamboo struts, and there is a gift shop which sells the pretty end product.
20. It’s Kung Fu… Chicken? – Suan Aharn Kraton (The Flying Chicken Restaurant)
Photo Via Alec_rotunda,Nurreis
This is definitely not your regular restaurant. Why wait for your food to be cooked behind closed doors, when it can be tossed around by dancers as it’s scorched to perfection?
No, seriously. First you order, then an acrobat will set your chicken on fire and toss it over the heads of other customers onto a spike… In a waiter’s mouth. Or a plate, or a helmet of spikes. Oh, and he does it on a unicycle. Then, it’s bon appetite!
21. Lalu Is A Natural Phenomenon And A Very Unusual One
Via Amazing Thai Tour
Lalu is a natural phenomenon and a tourist attraction in Thailand located in the Ta Phraya National Park in Sa Kaeo, Take Me Tour reports. The site has been created by rainfall, which has caused erosion of the soil, as well as the collapse of soil, and together, has formed to create a truly beautiful, albeit unusual, attraction.
Bangkok Post notes that the wind has molded the structure to almost look like a wall or a cliff.
The red and brown soil formation makes for an interesting site to explore (and a great photo opportunity).
22. A Corgi café for all the dog lovers
If you happen to be fond of unusual places and are a dog lover, then Thailand knows how to entertain you. Start with this adorable Corgi café! Originally 2 of the owner’s dogs had 7 puppies, and their number just kept growing. The owner wanted to share this fun and joy with other people, so he decided to open this heavenly place. Adorable, friendly corgis and tasty meals are waiting for you!
23. You can create your own eco-souvenirs out of elephant poo.
Elephant poo has never looked so good! Chiang Mai’s Elephant Poo Poo Paper Park is the epitome of sustainability. Take a tour around the park and learn how the droppings of these magnificent animals are recycled into everyday paper. If you’re willing to get your hands dirty you can pull up your sleeves and take part in the process, otherwise we’ll see you at ‘The Poo-tique’ gift shop to buy unique souvenirs made from – well, we’re sure you can guess.
24. Samut Prakan — an ancient city with breathtaking buildings
Samut Prakan (also known as Pak Nam) is a great place to head for a day away from the hustle and bustle of central Bangkok. Located 29 kilometres south of the Thai capital – and very close to Suvarnabhumi Airport which is served by flights from the UK – Samut Prakan is home to some fascinating historical sights and makes for an enthralling day trip away from the well-beaten tourist path.
The Ancient City was the brainchild of late millionaire Khun Leck. Leck used the millions earned from Thailand’s Mercedes-Benz operations to create lasting legacies for future generations to enjoy. This 20 acre open air museum covers a range of architectural styles and even features reconstructions of destroyed buildings such as the impressive Sanphet Prasat Palace.
25. There are treehouses where you can feel like an exotic bird.
Spend the night in your very own treehouse tucked away in a forest at Keemala. The lodge has several rooms built in the shape of bird’s nests with private pools and sun terraces, all of which are connected by jungle walkways to the toffee apple shaped main lodge.
26. Cabbages and Condoms — a restaurant with an unusual name and even more unusual decorations
Cabbages and Condoms is a restaurant outreach program, with – obviously – a very weird name, where “the food is guaranteed not to cause pregnancy”. The aim of the restaurant is to promote better understanding of family planning and push the idea that people should be comfortable buying condoms alongside everyday items such as cabbages. There is plenty of condom themed merchandise too, such as keyrings, mugs, and several life-sized mannequins made out of latex.
27. “Happy Cheese Toast” — a chewy-gooey rainbow in your hands
Photo Via Milmilky_,Genderrebel_
The world is strangely obsessed with unicorns and rainbows lately. If it isn’t pastel, it isn’t good enough. What has this got to do with food? Well, if you’re at Happy Cheese: EVERYTHING. You must pick up one of their rainbow cheese toast! It really is all the colors of the rainbow.
28. Stay inside a piece of fruit in Thailand.
It seems like Thai people are really into unusual hotels. This time they went for the food — pineapple, dragon fruit, durian, mushrooms, and even bamboo — tasty looking, but totally inedible. The owners grow durian and other interesting fruit nearby and attract nature lovers from all around the world.
You can also enjoy the view of a beautiful waterfall and mountains from there.
29. Make yourself feel like Eleven from Stranger Things at the Bangkok Float Center.
Not sure if you’ve watched the hit series Stranger Things – it’s a show about a lot of stuff, but mostly centers around a mysterious little girl with supernatural powers… who enhances her powers through floating in a total sensory deprivation tank.
Well, now you’ll be able to be like Eleven and enjoy a weird sensory deprivation bath in real life. While we’re not sure if it’ll enhance any dormant supernatural powers – it’s said to alleviate stress and provide certain health benefits. We’ve got to admit, it is pretty cool and worth trying once!
30. Take your best guess about whether things are real or fake at The Museum of Counterfeit Goods.
Photo Via Thebrickasaurus
A question that you’ve heard at least once: is it real, or fake? At The Museum of Counterfeit Goods, you’ll be able to learn the difference between genuine and imitation.
You’ll have to make a booking at least 24 hours beforehand, but it will be well worth it. They have everything from designer knockoffs to an actual motorbike.
But, fake or not, at least they’ve earned a spot in a museum and that’s saying something!