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Strange Moments in a Bangkok Temple Holy Curiosities Somewhat Perverted 

Strange Moments in a Bangkok Temple

Wat Suwannaram, a 12th-century temple, is hidden on the far side of the river in Bangkok. It’s remote — no tourists, only two praying women in short skirts (they’d left their high heels outside.) The real draw here is the mouth-dropping murals, which tell the most bizarre and glorious tales. While we tiptoed around, a couple of masked women carefully touched up the murals, many of which were fading and cracked. An old hag gets waylaid:

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Fish Head in Hong Kong Extraordinary Eats 

Fish Head in Hong Kong

I’m generally an adventurous eater, but this time… well… I was frankly completely unable to handle this. I didn’t even know where to start! The waiters here, at Lok Sau Sun (1-5 Takshing Road, Hong Hong), didn’t speak enough English for me to communicate my questions, so I ended up fudging it, and prowling the restaurant for wifi. Finally I found a google result: “how to eat fish head.” I didn’t enjoy it. A few bites (maybe it was the brain? the cheek?) were great, but I was still disgusted….

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Three (Really Huge) Wise Men Historical Wonders Holy Curiosities 

Three (Really Huge) Wise Men

An hour east of Beijing on the 930 bus, you’ll pass a couple of ominous industrial (nuclear?) chimneys. They’re real big. Springfield Simpsons bastards, if you pardon my French. Hop off the bus, and sneak behind them. That’s where you’ll find the most charmingly bizarre guesthouse, The Tianzi Hotel (天子大酒店). Apparently, business was bad. The receptionist told us they’d hoped to draw more of a crowd by resurfacing the hotel to look like the iconic Chinese superstars, Fu (the lucky guy), Lu (rich man) and Shou (Mr Immortality, himself.) I’ve…

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Mystery, Intrigue, Trans-Siberian Express Uncategorized 

Mystery, Intrigue, Trans-Siberian Express

To get from Beijing to Mongolia, you have a few choices.  A flight takes just over an hour.  The Trans-Siberian Express, meanwhile, offers a rugged thirty-hour ride through cities, towns, barren landscapes, desert, and finally the capital of Chingghis Khan. It's a famously hard ride.  I pictured drunk Russians and fiery Mongols and live chickens and illegal cargo.  Border police and bribes and human trafficking.  Vodka and filterless smokes and mystery and intrigue.  So, dressed in a t-shirt with red hearts and the huge word "KITTENS," I climbed aboard, ready…

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Old Pirate Ships in Old Japan Uncategorized 

Old Pirate Ships in Old Japan

After the insanity of Tokyo, I really needed a break. So, on the advice of a teenage stranger at a sushi bar, I bought a 3-day pass to Hakone.  And what a break it is. A mountain town, there’s almost nothing to do here. No madness, no crowds, and certainly no stress. Just groups of old ladies in hats, taking a midweek break from the city. But there is a pirate ship.

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50-foot Shaq, Towering Over Beijing Uncategorized 

50-foot Shaq, Towering Over Beijing

On the east side of Beijing’s Chaoyang Park, you’ll find some weird stuff. A dog park, for starters. Filled with statues of Santa Claus. For dogs to ride on. This is weird. But what really blew my mind was this 50-foot tall statue of Shaq, which towers over trees in the entrance parking lot. It’s in the middle of nowhere. What the-?According to assorted news stories, he signed a major deal with Li-Ning — China’s answer to Nike and Adidas — a sponsor of the park. Glorious!

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The Craziest Holy Sculptor in Laos 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…

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The Weirdest Temple in Chiang Rai Holy Curiosities 

The Weirdest Temple in Chiang Rai

An insane Thai artist, who resides somewhere between Henry Darger and Moebius the Frenchman, realized he needed to return to his hometown, Chiang Rai, and build a temple. Not just any Wat — it had to be something bigger, something bolder, something more… white. It was to be the most renowned tribute to the Buddha, yet. It was to deliver him students and followers, and scores- nay, millions- of tourists a year. It was to put Chiang Rai back on the map. And it did. Bouncing along dirt roads in…

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