You may have heard the saying, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page”. Well, the average Singaporean’s travel itinerary is made up of mostly eating good food, retail therapy, and perhaps some activities in the great outdoors – guilty as charged.
Going by the “pages of a book” logic, it had us wondering whether we were missing out on roads less travelled when we venture overseas. Or in this case, attractions you wouldn’t think of visiting because they don’t fit the typical tourist mould. With that, here are 11 strange attractions around the world that’ll shake up your next vacation abroad.
Heads up, there are a lot more toilet- and penis-themed attractions than anticipated…
Table of Contents
Think of Unko Museum as the poop equivalent of the Museum of Ice Cream … Now that’s a sentence I never thought I’d type. Located in Tokyo, this colourful and quirky play space is filled with elaborate exhibition rooms and themed photo setups – all decked out with cute poop motifs.
Of course, it’s not just about the IG life. There are also educational showcases here centred around – you guessed it – poop. This includes storybooks from around the world with cute cartoons introducing children to the concept of pooping, and interesting poop-themed artefacts.
Other activities include interactive games, like one where you have to race to stomp on poo projections cast onto the floor – sure to be a delight for kids and kidults alike. Last but not least, make sure to pop by the gift shop to pick up some “souvenirs you can’t flush away”, as the museum puts it.
Book tickets to Unko Museum.
Admission: ¥1,800/adult (~S$18.40), ¥1,000/child aged 7-12 (~$10.22), free for children under 7
Address: DiverCity Tokyo Plaza 2F, 1-1-10 Aomi, Koto City, Tokyo, Japan
Opening hours: Sat-Wed 10am-9pm | Thu-Fri 11am-8pm
Contact: Unko Museum website
A non-profit condom-themed eatery in Bangkok, Cabbages & Condoms is likely the first of its kind in the world.
Not only does it advocate safe sex through the use of contraceptives, all proceeds actually go towards a local Population and Community Development organisation. This in turn funds initiatives such as sexual health education and raising awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention and management.
Aside from the eye-catching condom-themed decor literally from top to bottom, their food (priced from ฿50-฿470, ~S$1.94-S$18.26) certainly holds its own. Expect an array of Thai staples like authentic rice, noodle, and tom yam or curry dishes. There are also grilled meats, fresh seafood, and traditional desserts to round off your meal.
Sticking to the “no glove, no love” theme, diners are free to pick up as many complimentary condoms as they want on their way out. If you’re not heading to BKK, there are other outlets throughout Thailand and even in the UK. Check out the full list of Cabbage & Condoms outlets around the world to find the one that fits your itinerary.
Address: 10 Sukhumvit Soi 12, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Opening hours: 11am-10pm, Daily
Contact: +66 02 229 4610 | Cabbage & Condoms website
Located in the desert AKA outback of Australia’s Northern Territory is Wycliffe Well Holiday Park, which claims to be the “UFO Capital” of the Land Down Under. This humble establishment started out as a service stop – or roadhouse as the Aussies call it – for road-trippers to get some gas, food, and perhaps a no-frills means of accommodation for the night.
Over the years, the site has apparently been the spot for so many UFO and extraterrestrial sightings that the business has become a full-fledged attraction cum themed holiday park. You’ll find murals and statues for photo ops and a well-stocked merch store for all things alien-related.
Although the accommodation aspect is simple as can be, reviews say that it’s clean and comfy. And if you know someone who has wanted to spot aliens all their life, this would be a prime vacay destination.
After all, the owners have gone as far as to say that “”UFO sightings are so common [here] that if you stayed up all night looking, you would be considered unlucky not to see anything, rather than lucky to see something”.
Rates: AU$30/night (~S$27.32)
Address: 13030 Stuart Highway, Davenport, Northern Territory 0872, Australia
Opening hours: 6.30am-8.30pm, Daily (Retail store)
Contact: +61 8 8964 1966 | Wycliffe Well Holiday Park website
Cat cafes are common in Singapore, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a pet cafe for slithering creatures. Taipei’s Pythonism is home to over 20 species of snakes, each with its own unique markings. There are also exotic reptile breeds such as geckos and salamanders which you can gently hold and pet if you wish. Plus, some regal tortoises which guests are able to feed.
Rest assured that the wildlife here are well taken care of. The cafe is run by a group of passionate reptile lovers with a keen understanding of herpetology, AKA the reptilian branch of zoology.
Besides the rare opportunity to interact with these fascinating critters, the cafe’s menu offerings aren’t shabby either.
Feel free to get acquainted with your new reptile buddies even as you sip on a selection of drinks such as Cappuccino (NT$130, ~S$5.72) and Honey Citron Tea (NT$140, ~S$6.16). There are also desserts like Basque Burnt Cheesecake or Matcha Mousse Cake (NT$120, ~S$5.28 each).
Address: Block 1, No. 235-3, Section 2, Chongqing Road, Datong District, Taipei City, 103 Taiwan
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 2pm-8pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: +886 2 2557 8997 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Pythonism website
The toilet-shaped architecture is accompanied by none other than a golden poo.
Image credit: Osan Mom
Located in Suwon – about a 1.5 hour-drive away from Seoul’s city centre – is a toilet-shaped building which happens to be the biggest toilet sculpture in South Korea. Mr Toilet House is where you’ll find quirky exhibits both in- and outdoors. The outdoor compound is teeming with lush nature, along with various toilet-themed statues, murals, and gardening displays.
The museum is free to visit, as decided by the founder himself, Sim Jae-duck – affectionately known as “Mr Toilet”. This one-of-a-kind attraction is centred around the belief that toilets are perhaps the most important tool to humankind; hear, hear.
Beyond visually captivating displays, there are also educational components surrounding the science of lavatories. Plus, you’ve heard of Around The World In 80 Days, now the museum wants to take you around the world by way of toilets. With an impressive collection of outlandish global toilet signs, that is.
Address: 458-9 Jangan-ro, Jangan-gu, Suwon, South Korea 440-310
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Contact: +82 31-271-9777 | email@example.com | Mr Toilet House website
Image credit: Soy Bean
Insects are said to be the food of the future, and AntCicada is offering a glimpse into what could become our everyday meals decades down the line. Run by a team of chefs with backgrounds in biology, this highly acclaimed restaurant in Tokyo takes edible insects way past just fried bugs.
Their main highlight is the Cricket Ramen (¥1,100, ~S$11.26), in which apparently more than 100 crickets are used to boil each batch of broth base. Other than the cricket-infused ramen and beer which are mainstays, there is also a seasonal tasting menu priced from ¥1,000 (~S$10.24) for lunch and ¥7,000 (~S$71.68) for a fancy dinner with drinks.
Pair their house-brewed Cricket Dark Ale (from ¥400, ~S$4.11) with bugs as a bar snack.
Image credit: Nicolas Schneider
This means offerings change regularly, and return diners can look forward to new insect-based creations. Past dishes have included crunchy chips embedded with worms, a mini char siu rice bowl glazed with locust oil, and silkworm gelato to top it all off.
Take note that the tasting menu is strictly by reservation. And although walk-ins are accepted if you’re just having the ramen and other fixed menu items, prior bookings are encouraged to ensure a slot.
Address: 2 Chome 4-6, Nihonbashi Bakurocho, Chuo City, Tokyo 103-0002, Japan
Opening hours: Fri 6.30pm-9pm | Sat 12pm-3pm & 6.30pm-9pm | Sun 11am-3pm & 5pm-9pm (Closed Mondays to Thursdays)
Contact: +81 3-6881-0412 | firstname.lastname@example.org | AntCicada website
Image credit: The Icelandic Phallological Museum
Phallology means the study of the penis. And at The Icelandic Phallological Museum, you can expect to find no less than 282 specimens of land and sea mammal penises. This encompasses 93 animal species found in Iceland as well as abroad, which includes seals, walruses, whales, and even the mighty polar bear.
It’ll definitely make for a new and wildly different experience for museumgoers who’ve seen their fill of typical stuffed wildlife.
Image credit: The Icelandic Phallological Museum
The vast collection of displays are curated by a 2nd generation phallologist. While you may not hear of many scientists taking up this highly specialised study, it is the curator’s wish that this unique museum will “set the standard for phallology worldwide”.
Pay a trip to this museum and, if phallology ever catches a huge wave in Singapore, you’ll have plenty of knowledge about animal penises to wow people with.
Admission: kr25,00/pax (~S$23.53)
Address: 2 Kalkofnsvegur Street, 101 Reykjavík City, Capital Region, Iceland
Opening hours: 10am-7pm, Daily
Contact: +354 561 6663 | The Icelandic Phallological Museum website
The exhibition showcases sex workers’ tools of the trades, and setups of how a day in their life might look.
Image credit: @redlightsecrets
It’s common knowledge that Amsterdam has a thriving and open Red Light District scene. Dubbed as the first “Museum of Prostitution” in the world, Red Light Secrets offers a safe and educational glimpse into what is often referred to as the “world’s oldest profession”. The aim is to remove as much taboo surrounding the topic of sex work as possible.
Included in your ticket are a booklet on the history of the Red Light District concept itself, plus a 12-part audio tour to fully immerse you into the colourful world – in all senses of the word. The audio tour is narrated by the most renowned Lady of the Night in all of Amsterdam, one with over 15 years of experience under her belt.
Image credit: @redlightsecrets
Perhaps the most unique and exhilarating part of this attraction is the chance to sit and pose in one of the iconic red-lit windows. It comes complete with a free photo for you to take home – now that’s a souvenir you’ll remember for years to come.
Note: Due to mature content, visitors have to be aged 16 and above.
Book tickets to Red Light Secrets.
Admission: €14.50/pax (~S$20.78)
Address: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 60H, 1012M DP Amsterdam, Netherlands
Opening hours: Sun-Thu 11am-10pm | Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Contact: +31 020 846 7020 | email@example.com | Red Lights Secrets website
Image credit: Loo Tours
While the London Loo Tour is not an attraction per se, think of it as a walking tour which brings you to unlikely “attractions”. Similar to the Science Centre’s Know Your Poo exhibit, this informative trail takes participants through the history of the UK’s public sanitation system.
The tour lasts between 1.5-2 hours, and brings you from the Waterloo district in Central London to the Covent Garden area over in the West End. FYI, Covent Garden is a major shopping and dining hub, so plan your itinerary wisely to squeeze in both enrichment and hedonism in one afternoon.
Image credit: Loo Tours
As humorous and bizarre as this tour is, there are also cultural insights to be gleaned from the history of toilets. For example, how places like the British Museum were built to not have female restrooms as a means to exclude women from certain public spaces.
The guides will also be sharing personal tips and fun facts surrounding all things toilets; from gadgets like the She-Wee in dire cases of no public restrooms in sight, to the secret ways that poop and pee are specially disposed of in swanky hotels.
Price: £15/adult (~S$24.48), £10/student & senior (~S$16.32)
Time: 3pm on Thursdays & Sundays only
Meeting point: Waterloo Road, London SE1 8SW, England, United Kingdom
Contact: +44 0 7835 784 730 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Loo Tours website
People usually throw their relationship paraphernalia out after a breakup, so as not to have items reminding them of their ex. But over at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Croatia, these discarded artefacts allow the stories of expired relationships to live on.
Prepare some tissues as you course through the melancholic exhibits, made possible by hundreds of voluntary contributions from all corners of the globe. Each item is accompanied by an anecdote of why the relationship ended, and what the significance of the item is to the couple.
This Instagram post by the museum is captioned: “Hugs are especially tight and warm after experiencing our museum together.” – and we couldn’t agree more.
Image credit: @brokenships
I was first introduced to this museum’s concept when I was going through the throes of a breakup, and the Museum of Broken Relationships’ online exhibits left me a sobbing wreck. On the other hand, those who are in happy relationships and marriages can benefit from visiting this museum; by gaining a deep appreciation of their partner and the love that they share.
Admission: kn50/adult (~S$9.50), kn40/student & senior (~S$7.60)
Address: Ćirilometodska 2, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Opening hours: 10am-9pm, Daily
Contact: +385 1 4851 021 | email@example.com | Museum of Broken Relationships website
Image credit: Cat Cat
Haesindang Park is a picturesque outdoor attraction situated by Korea’s Eastern coast. You may have heard of it being informally referred to as the “Korea Penis Park” due to the multitude of phallic statues that it is home to, said to be erected in order to ward off an ancient folklore curse.
Although the park is themed around penises galore, make no mistake; the place is anything but sleazy. Instead, a stroll through the premises will give you insights into Korea’s fascinating cultural beliefs. Namely, that these phallic monuments are said to preserve the land’s fertility and safeguard resources for the townspeople.
Besides marvelling at the various creative displays of the symbolic penis, visitors can also read information plaques throughout the park detailing the folk legend. To take the exhibition to a higher level, the coastal location also means plenty of gorgeous nature to enjoy. And you have to admit, it all makes for one heckuva photo to send to the family group chats
Admission: ₩3,000/adult (~S$3.17), ₩2,000/student (~S$2.11), ₩1,500/child & senior (~S$1.58)
Address: 1852-6 Samcheok-ro, Wondeok-eup, Samcheok-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm (Closed on Sundays)
Contact: +82 33-572-4429 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Haesindang Park website
A big part of the wonders of travel lie in the opportunity to experience other cultures, as vastly different as they may be from our own.
Evident from this compilation of new attractions in Singapore which opened in just 2022 alone, there’s no lack of cool new activities for us to try out on home soil. But to see impressive collections of pastel poos and animal appendages, and dine alongside reptiles or slurp on cricket ramen? Excuse us while we hop on a plane.
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