- The Creepiest Amusement Park of All Time?
- 21 Amazing Bangalore Breakfast Dishes
- Why Chinese People Eat Sea Horse
- Classic Chinese Torture Methods (and their cute names)
- Learn How to Speak North Korean
- Amazing Old Bollywood Poster Shops
- Beijing’s Single Most Horrific Meal
- Castration Classes at the Beijing Eunuch Culture Exhibition Hall
- Beijing’s incredible (and completely fake) Disneyland
- The 38th Reich: Korean Nazi Cosplay
- Nazi Fashion in China
- China’s all-time favorite (and all-time darkest?) comic book: Sanmao
- India’s Incredibly Cool Hand-Drawn Movie Posters
- 18 Terrible Moments from a Taoist Hell
- This Hindu God has 1,000 Vaginas!
- Why Chinese People Eat Deer Penis
- About Andy Deemer & AsiaObscura
- Why Chinese People Eat Ants
- Beijing’s Dongyue Temple and Their 19 Incredible Taoist Gods
- What the Fortune Teller Told Me (Hong Kong)
- Outrageously Cute Korean Cosplay: The 21 Favorites
- The Poem I Can’t Find…
- Prosthetic Noses, Red Wigs, and Whiteface… American Characters in Chinese Films
- The Sick Collector and His 1000 Pairs of Shoes
- Small Children Feeding Live Animals to Tigers in a Chinese Zoo
- Why Chinese People Eat Snake as Medicine
- Whoring in Chiang Mai
- Awesomely Steampunk Portable Corn Roaster
- Another Abandoned Beijing Amusement Park
- The Disastrous Fall of Sanmao
- American Imperialist Bastards in a North Korean Comic Book
- One Ghostly Cambodian Ruin
- China’s first sci-fi movie: Death Ray on Coral Island (1980)
- The Taj Mahal… Murder, Incest, and Fratricide
- Medicinal Sea Horse Soup
- A Postcard from Erenhot
- Our Six Best China Stories!
- North Korea frightening customs declarations form
- Inspector Black Cat: China’s Gore-Soaked Answer to Tom & Jerry
- Deranged Clown Cream Biscuits
- Noel Wilson’s Awesome Soccer-Themed House
- Porn, Rats, and Antique Projectors at Sri Lanka’s Classic Cinemas
- Relive the Cultural Revolution (aka The Weirdest Dinner Theater in Beijing)
- The Great Chinese Chip Taste-Off
- Chisney & Koreansney: Local Disney Knockoffs
- Antilia: The Most Gratuitous House in Mumbai
- Beyond the Valley of the Dwarfs: The Strangest Theme Park Ever?
- The Insane Monkey Bar in Tokyo
- 13 Amazing Indian Circus Posters
- Dr Shankar’s Wonderful Collection of Brains and Other Medical Obscura
Category Archives: Strange Tourism
I've long dreamed of full Peking Opera costume and makeup. After five hours and far too much money, it finally became a reality. I have to say, this photo shoot was one of the most mind-blowingly cool things we've done in China... Book a session yourself at FMNZ.com Currently on Liangmaqiao's Anjia Lou in Beijing, ...
Most people come to Bali to Eat, Pray, Love. That's not what I came for. I was in Ubud, a town of foreign divorcees. They meditate in temples, crowd organic spas, and queue up teary-eyed outside the toothless medicine man's home. It's a town of romantic desperation. Ironically, it's also gagging with cock. The art museum ...
On using an 1897 guidebook to explore modern Beijing... My adventures begin with the elephants. A few hundred yards westward of (the Shun-chih-men) is the place for the Imperial elephants, the Hsün-hsiang-so, a large enclosure in which the elephants of the Court are kept... The intelligent animals are taught to salute the Emperor by kneeling down, and ...
Did you know that Beijing has a dozen or so elephants that kneel as the emperor passes by? Seriously. At least that's what my book says. It's a Beijing travel guide from 1897, author unknown, that Charlie Custer found on archive.org. The copy originally belonged to Herbert Hoover, China expat and one-time US President. ...
North Koreans are proud of their metro. And so they should be. It's one of the deepest, it's breathtakingly gorgeous, and we were only allowed to ride one stop. (Although I've heard tourists can now ride the entire length.) Here are some pages from a great 2004 picture-book I bought in the ...
I loved the streamlined 1950s design, like a classic car. This was the look of everything on the Air Koryo flight. This trip was about two weeks after Michelle and I started dating. (I guess you know some gal is okay, if she'll agree to go to North Korea on your first date.)
In a bit of a fit of madness, Michelle and I have decided to move to India. Instead of doing things in a long, planned out way, we've decided to jump boat asap. We decided on June 8th. For the last few days, I've been calmly insisting we have five weeks. Yesterday ...
After the horrors of the tiger park, I neglected to mention the cute photo ops at the end of the tour. I mean, how awesome is this vertical line of tigerocity? After taking the picture, the employee wrenched the doped-out cub from our cuddle. He shoved it in a medium-sized tupperware storage container. He clipped on ...
In northern China there's a tiger park. Like so many things in China, it's nothing like you might expect. To start with, there's a menu at the gate. These aren't animals to take home and domesticate. They're fodder. Victims to be released on your tour. "Let's get a cow," I said. Michelle just ...
We heard there were rats in The Liberty. That it smelled like urine. That the sound was awful. But it's the most famous cinema in Sri Lanka's capital, a 1955 Art Moderne beauty, and how could we turn that down? So we wore socks. Rats don't like socks. It's been modified, ...
I'm very happy, and a little sad, but I know Kim Jong L'il will do a fine job furthering his father's legacy of madness. In the meantime, here's some of my favorite AO Kim Jong Il pieces: - Did you know Kim Jong Il was already a master equestrian marksman at the age of five? - At birth, ...
We stopped just outside of Mammoth Cave at Cave City, a deserted row of run-down attractions. It has teepee-shaped motels, kangaroo zoos, and a hilltop theme park called Gunsmoke Mountain where a rusty chairlift rocked in the rain. "It's like we've driven back to the 50s," Laurie laughed. At the end of Cave City, I'd ...
As regular readers know, we at AsiaObscura love costumes. We've captured some incredible cosplay adventures here, here, here, here and even here. But it goes deeper. Almost every tourist hotspot across north-east Asia has a rack of costumes, a dramatic backdrop or two, and a whole boatload of awesomeness to dive into. Be ...
North Korea isn't all doom, gloom, and Kim Jong-il. Sure, there's vile propaganda, rumors of grim brainwashing, concentration camps and endless misery. But there's more!
Two small dogs are attacking a homeless man, while I'm nursing my lingering fever with sidewalk kebabs and a bottle of Yanjing beer. One of them bites at his ankle, and he hobbles away, cursing while diners beside me laugh, and the wind picks up again. I shield my face from the sand. This ...
Waldo in China sketch from Deep Thinkings I'm having a conversation (albeit one-sided) with the neighbor about a leak in our ceiling, with the cab driver about the reasons for the traffic, to the butcher about the right cut of meat. In every case, I nod my head, "uh-huh, uh-huh," hoping that I will glean something ...
Yesterday I wrote about Mr Li, the English teacher stuttering he was so excited to meet a foreigner. But this is China. Passerby, seeing me, will loudly announce, “foreigner!" Strangers stare and point, kids sometimes cry out in horror. Once, on seeing me, a migrant worker dropped everything he was carrying. Wide eyes (his, I mean ...
I gave all the juicy details of this restaurant where you can make merry, while celebrating the best of the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward, earlier this week. But here, for your pleasure, is some video of the mad show and the flag-waving audience. For China: For elsewhere:
Update: read the story below, but don't miss the video of the performance! "Two foreigners in the RED restaurant?" Reverb howled, "I think this will be more fun than the restaurant itself!" Red Restaurant, in the east of Beijing, is an opportunity to relive the passion and pain of China from the late 50s through the late ...
While we were busy on our own adventures, Chinese tourists flocked to Beijing's glorious World Park of their own accord. Some of them with entire camera crews in tow. Wedding photos, engagement photos, bff shots, they were costumed, posed, and so immaculately arranged. Here's a couple of our favorites! Even those who didn't ...
Imagine the most pristine, untouched, slow-moving river. A place that seems from a dream. It carefully wraps around banks of green, where water buffalo and cows nap in the shade, and wake to sip from small pools. Four novice monks hold umbrellas for shade as they cross a rickety old bridge. ...
Chiang Mai's an interesting town: a lot like Bangkok, but on a much smaller scale. Hundreds of coffee shops. Great boutiques. And old white men with young Thai girls. Absolutely everywhere. Old hippies with Thai women in their 40s, and adorable little hapa kids. Bald and bearded bikers with chubby teenagers. Backpackers with stunning beauties. ...