Category Archives: Offbeat Museums

See more Offbeat Museums, The Occult or more stories from ,

A Museum of Nightmares in the Shadow of the Eiffel Tower

hair6_zpsf3739b13

I don't think about hair. I mean, sure I'm losing mine. And sure, the musical is one of the greatest things of all time. But really... is hirsituity that big a deal? Big enough for the Musée de Quai Branly to brazenly devote an entire exhibit to it? Lord no! ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Historical Wonders, Offbeat Museums, The Occult or more stories from ,

The Ossuaries of Paris…

catacombs2_zps53bd2537

This was like the trip to Disneyworld I've never taken. My golden ticket to Willy Wonka's factory. Our trip to North Korea. I know you've already been. Many times. But walking these two kilometers, I realized why this was one of my mom's favorite places in Paris. Two kilometers of stacked-up ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
See more Offbeat Museums, The Taxidermy Diaries or more stories from ,

M. Deyrolle’s Lovely Collection of Taxidermy

deyrolle3_zps43de7293

At 200 euros for a simple mounted mouse, Paris' 1831 taxidermy haven is overpriced. It's also bloated with "no photos allowed" signs, and entirely short of anthropomorphic artistry, But it was also glorious. Oh yes, it was in fact Michelle's dream to go... Now if only I could have showed you a photo ...

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

My Gout, and Jules Baretta’s Wax Museum of Incredible Diseases

musee-des-moulages-1

The Bangalore doctor frowned at the printouts of my blood tests. "Do you eat innards? You know, like brains, liver, kidneys?" Well, dear reader, if you know me, you know the answer is yes. "And red meat?" I nodded. "And herring and mackerel?" Oh yes! "Well, you must stop. Your urea levels ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Devoted Obsession, Offbeat Museums or more stories from , ,

Dr Shankar’s Wonderful Collection of Brains and Other Medical Obscura

brain4_zpsdcf075c9

It came up over a bowl of brain stew at Karim's, Old Delhi's famously-dingy 1913 eatery. "Tasty," I said, wiping my mouth. "By the way, did I tell you about the brain museum in Bangalore? The architect told me we should go." Michelle tore off a piece of naan, and sopped up a wet chunk of brain. ...

by Andy Deemer / 9 Comments
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

The Quirk of Bangalore Palace

bangalore-palace1-636x310

The old Tudor-style castle in the middle of Bangalore is touted as a tourist must-see. It’s not. But there are three reasons you might want to go... See them at BangBangBangalore.com

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

Rediscovering Beijing: The Ancient Observatory

beijing-observatory-then

The author of the the 1897 guide book charts the Astronomical Observatory as one of the must-sees of Old Peking. It's his first stop on any three-day tour. I'd always planned to pay a visit. This is what you see from the highway: Almost identical, but... In 1897 it wasn't a museum. It was a working ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

The Chinese Businessman Museum

businessman-museum3

With only ten days left in Beijing, I'm realizing how many things I've left undone. The Summer Palace... Fragrant Hills... the Chinese Businessman Museum! It's ugly, so you might not notice it. It's in Sihui, so it's hell to reach. It's expensive, so who wants to enter. And it's also a lie. The museum ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from , ,

Castration Classes at the Beijing Eunuch Culture Exhibition Hall

eunuch12

The first time I ever met The Professor, he told me about the eunuch museum. He didn't say much. Just that there was one. In West Beijing. "You really should go," he said. "It's... well, it's interesting." He adjusted his glasses the way a professor should, but he wouldn't say more. ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

Speaking of Revolution at The Beijing Police Museum

"Have you heard about the coup?" "Only that there may have been one." The Professor and I were making our way through Beijing's Police Museum, a few blocks from where a coup would have happened. We'd already broken the door of a fake interrogation cell, and almost knocked over a motorcycle. We shouldn't have been ...

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

Steampunk, Eat Your Heart Out in the Basement of Beijing’s Printing Museum

printmuseum3

"There's nothing like that around here," said a shoe-repair man. Two waitresses laughed at us, and a woman selling onions gasped. "A watermelon museum?" she asked, "Really?" So we tried the Printing Museum instead. It was closed. The 12-foot-tall black doors, the entire four-floor building, was firmly locked. I'd read about a great statue of ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Offbeat Museums, Theme Parks or more stories from ,

Chinese Freak Shows: An Age-Old New Years Tradition

beijingfreakshow6

Two-headed ladies! Ladies with tails! Big-headed ladies and snake-eating ladies and elephants, too! All this, for only 75 cents! Every year, for Chinese New Year, these tents appear across the country. This one was in rural Shanxi Province. Outside, an old lady counted her renminbi in the cold. ...

by Andy Deemer / 2 Comments
See more Cute & Kawaii, Devoted Obsession, Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

The Owl Lady and Her Gazillion Owls

I love obsessions, and Myong-Hee Bae is obsessed. She's a freak for owls. Her home is crammed full of 3,000 owl-y items. Clocks, quilts, paintings, stamps, cut-outs hanging from the ceiling, mugs filled with steaming hot tea, candles, toys, and rugs. It was weird. And absolutely wonderful. "Her love of owl started when ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from , , , , ,

The Incredible Dollhouse Explosion of Xi’an

Dark and modern and ultra-creepy, the Hanyangling Museum of Xi'an is empty of tourists, but crammed with pits of naked, two-foot-tall men. It's something like an explosion in a doll factory, or a scene of marionette massacre. Their silk robes and wooden swords and wooden arms rotted away centuries ago, leaving them unarmed and armless, ...

by Andy Deemer / 5 Comments
See more Devoted Obsession, Offbeat Museums or more stories from , ,

The Sick Collector and His 1000 Pairs of Shoes

shoes 8

Yang Shaorong lives in a small Shanghai apartment. He collects women's shoes. Tiny shoes. Shoes for bound feet. "That's horrible," said the publisher of my magazine, when I mentioned Yang the collector to him. "It's a disturbing part of Chinese history." I was confused. I didn't really know much about them, or why he was so upset. ...

by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
See more Historical Wonders, Offbeat Museums or more stories from , ,

America started the war, and lost it, too.

Statue outside

"Look at that soldier," said a burly Dongbei redneck, shoving past me to get a better look at the painting. "He's on fire. He's a real man." His sweaty pal leaned in, and laughed. The torched soldier was still letting loose a volley of bullets from his machine gun, mowing down a row of terrified ...

by Andy Deemer / 1 Comment
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from , , , ,

Fascinating Old Handbook for Chinese Heading Overseas

半唐番英语 4

In Chinese, hello is 你好。 What? Can't read characters? Just say knee-how (or nǐhǎo1, nixao2 or niihao3). What about the reverse, though? How do Chinese learn English if they can't read Latin alphabets? Can you use characters, instead? Can "Hello" be written as 河罗 (héluō4). Can "Who is he?" be spelled out as "夫,衣寺,希" (fu ...

by Andy Deemer / 4 Comments
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

TOTOMAN!!!

totoman5

Who is Totoman? Nobody knows. But is this Totoboy? Totoman reeks of charm, and a deadly smile. Maybe this is Totoman! Totoman likes his grapes deseeded... ...and his ladies, too... He lives on old potted meat in stew. And could this be Totobabe? Mama says it's true. TOTOMAN!!! Totoman Korean Toy Museum and Store, 169-2 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul , 02-725-1756 Admission ₩1,000 ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from ,

Chinese Tunnel Warfare and Sexual Escapades, Together!

tunnelwarfare1

Jiao Zhibing is 70 years old. He's spent his entire life in a tiny village called Jiaozhuanghu (焦庄户). As a child, he handled missives and reconnaissance for liberation fighters. Today though, carrying wood-carved grenades and a red-tasseled spear everywhere he goes, he's a living tourist attraction. Between 1943 and 1948, China was in ...

by Andy Deemer / Leave a comment
See more Offbeat Museums or more stories from , ,

The Best Stamps from Beijing’s Incredible Stamp Museum (including 3-D North Korean stamps!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Continuing on from yesterday's post, here are my six top favorite collections from Beijing's wonderful stamp and post museum.... Sorry for the spoiler above. But it's just... too weird. 6. Table Tennis What's there not to love about table tennis?  Mao adored it, so did Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai.  Plus, there's always the ...

by Andy Deemer / 3 Comments