Category Archives: Offbeat Museums

Offbeat Museums / ,

Tokyo’s Creepy Parasite Museum

You might think it a bad idea to eat all these weird and raw meats — like diaphram. I did, too. So I trolled the streets of Tokyo until I found the world’s only Parasite Museum. Sadly, everything was written in Japanese, and I couldn’t find a single employee to translate. Not one. Just an unlocked door, and room after room of parasites, and no people. (Even the gift-shop was empty… parasite key-chains (real parasites!) stood waiting to be sold, but I left them there.)

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/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Devoted Obsession, Offbeat Museums /

The Craziest Holy Sculptor in Laos

The long, slow, dusty bus-ride cost 20 cents and took lord knows how long. But eventually it delivered us to the incredible Buddha Park.

You see, 40 or so years ago, some loony Lao was hiking along a remote mountain trace, accidentally tripped, and fell into a hole. A deep hole. It was a lot like Alice in Wonderland. But instead of meeting his quick, bloody end, he… fell into the padded lap of a meditating guru. Nice!

The faller and the padded became quick buddies, and traveled Laos and Thailand together, spreading their unique mystic word.

I’m sorry I can’t be more specific than this, but a large part of their divine message was that the world didn’t have enough outsider art. Hindu-Buddhist outsider art. AWESOME Hindu-Buddhist outsider art. It didn’t matter that neither of them had much artistic experience… they had divine tutelage! All of a sudden, out of nowhere, their inexperienced acolytes started creating hundreds of these bizarre masterworks.

Later, an eavesdropping Lao leaned in to our conversation about the temple, and interjected: “Hey, I was a monk, once. Twelve years! Twelve years no sex, no drugs!  You know what I mean?  I MEAN NO BOOM BOOM!”

/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment
Offbeat Museums / ,

Chiang Mai Insect Museum

The owner/founder/curator/resident artist calls it the quirkiest museum in all of Chiang Mai, and admission is twice the cost of my hotel room. 

And it's terrible.

A billion mosquitoes stuck on boards, some mounted spectacles (to represent our inability to see), and some Santa Fe-style paintings.  I know my quirk.  And I know my bad.  And this was somewhere on the lousy side of both.

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/ by Dean Pickles / 1 Comment
Offbeat Museums / ,

Forensic Science Museum, Bangkok

Deep in the bowels of the King’s Hospital, if you look hard enough, you’ll eventually find the stomach-churning absolutely wonderful Forensic Science Museum. I’ve a weak stomach, but the permanent exhibit here is unmissable. (Photos aren’t allowed, so I apologize for this scarce and clumsy record. You’ll clearly have to go, yourself.) It’s a cluttered mix of photos, bones, corpses, bits of corpses, larger bits of corpses, implements of murder, victim clothing, and a really horrifying stretch of “pickled punks.” Little is labeled, less is explained.

This arm, for example, is simply labeled “tattoo.”

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/ by Dean Pickles / Leave a comment