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Alternative Things to Do in Thailand

After seeing all those world-famous beaches, venturing into many kinds of sports (such as doing rock climbing at scenic spots) and sampling nearly all kinds of street food, is there anything more left to do in Thailand? Well, there are lots, apparently.

If you are on the hunt for something more different, un-”mainstream” and intriguing in the Land of Smiles, you are sure to find more gems lurking along the way. Check out the following “alternative” suggestions that will make travelling in Thailand a unique and fulfilling experience:

1) Go to a fish spa.
There is a growing number of resorts and wellness centers in Thailand that offer these strange kinds of services called “fish spas” which incorporate these so-called “doctor fish.” Hundreds of these tiny fish (most commonly the red garra variety) are placed in large tanks where people dip their feet into. These doctor fishies nip around your foot, nibbling those excess dead skin away from it. The tickling sensation may send people giggling. Others are horrified just at the thought of these hungry fish eating at their feet. Although using fish as a spa treatment is still debated on grounds of effectiveness, safety and health risks, that doesn’t stop tourists and patrons from going to these fish spas.

2) Visit the Siriraj Medical Museum.
With its notorious moniker “Museum of Death,” you know you’ll be into something morbid but nevertheless fascinating. The Siriraj Medical Museum is actually a medical campus that houses six different museums. So a heads-up for those who wish to go to this museum: this is not for the faint-hearted. This museum in Bangkok features incredibly gut-wrenching and nightmarish displays such as a preserved corpse of a serial killer and cannibal (who ate more than 30 children before being executed), preserved fragments of human skins bearing tattoos, hundreds of skulls, preserved human organs and other medical oddities.

Although these things may nauseate you, remember that this is basically a medical and forensic science museum that aims to educate people, ostensibly. So needless to say, this place is a great resource for scientists as well as both medical students and professionals alike (admire them for their strong stomachs).

3) Spend a day in “hell”.
Adding to the list of unusual attractions to see in Thailand is the Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden, also known as the Thailand Hell Horror Park. It is the biggest hell garden in the country. This is not your typical garden or park, as this place aims to demonstrate what Buddhism’s idea of hell might look like. Instead of beautiful flowers and neat-trimmed shrubbery, the Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden is filled with appalling and terrifying cement-and-plaster statues and images depicting departed souls and sinners sent to hell, as well as underworld figures.

The Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden is located in Bang Saen city in Chonburi province.

4) Tiptoe at the Wat Pha Tak Suea Skywalk.
Not a few tourists are drawn to attractions that seem dangerous. If you’re into that sort of thing, you may get a thrill of a stride at the Wat Pha Tak Suea Skywalk, located at a Buddhist temple on top of the edge of a plateau flanking the Mekong River. Tourists attempt to step on the U-shaped see-through walkway, and those who dare to make it beyond the threshold will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Mekong River and into Laos.

5) Dare to explore the “Ghost Tower”.
In every city, there is at least one abandoned skyscraper that has either seen better days or is unfinished. One of them is Sathorn Unique Tower in Bangkok. The planned 47-storey condominium tower, whose construction was halted during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, is now left to rot in neglect.

As it is now popularly known as the “Ghost Tower,” most locals keep their distance from it as they believe the building is haunted. Dead bodies are often reported to turn up in that building. On the other hand, Sathorn Unique Tower has become an unexpected and strange tourist attraction. Understandably, the building’s dilapidated and post-apocalyptic appearance gives an eerie feel.

Sathorn Unique Tower is now barricaded by a corrugated tin fence. Getting to the top of the tower is possible, but not exactly a good idea, as the structure is weak and fragile. Plus, the flooring has lots of holes. It is now illegal to enter this abandoned building, although some brazen and intrepid individuals still risk their lives by trying to sneak into the premises.

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