From its climate to its landscape, Thailand is a country of stark contrasts. Offering a diverse backdrop where buzzing metropolises meet rural traditions, this is a destination of beauty and marvel. It might be easy to stick to the well-trodden tourist route and explore the common attractions on everyone’s bucket lists, but there is much more to this country than you may know. In fact, it is a hub for unusual activities. So, with plenty of weird things to do in Thailand and unusual things to try, it seems only right that we guide you through the country’s truly unmissable experiences.
Finding unique, exciting and weird things to do in Thailand is not as tricky as it might sound. In fact, the country is laden with rare and wonderful sites, unusual experiences and one-off opportunities, offering jaded tourists relief from the mundane and the chance to experience a little bit of “This Crazy Asia”. Here, we explore the 10 very best weird things to do, helping you to get off the beaten path and into the real heart of this beautiful and crazy country.
We start with perhaps one of the most unusual things to try in Thailand. What happens when two of the biggest crazes of the 21st century merge? Coffee and selfies have become a key part of daily life, so the meeting of the two seemed only inevitable. Though it may sound narcissistic, having your face placed on top of your morning caffeine hit certainly breaks up the monotony of the coffee run. Located in the heart of Bangkok, the KC Café, or KC Selfie Coffee as it is fondly nicknamed, invites you to drink your own selfie. The experience is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Thailand! Head to KC and present your barista with your self-portrait. They will then transform your coffee foam into a work of art. As well as portrait coffees, the café also serves bubble tea, decadent desserts, steaks and classic Thai cuisine, in its cosy retro-inspired interior, making it one of the most unique things to do in Thailand. The café is open every day except Tuesdays, between the hours of 11 am and 10 pm. Go on, indulge yourself!
Visit a Cursed Beach
Of all the weird things to do in Thailand, this might be the most tempting. Have you ever visited a beach and taken one of its pebbles home with you as a memento? Well here some souvenirs come with more than a lasting memory. The black pebble beach of Koh Hingham island is one destination that may make you reconsider your souvenir needs. This idyllic uninhabited island not only boasts a beautiful shoreline but an ancient jinx, put in place by Thai deity, the God of Tarutao. According to ancient legend, Tarutao’s curse affects any visitor who provokes his powers by removing a pebble from the island. Many travellers have ignored the myth and dared to take one of its monochrome stones home, only to post it back to the National Park in order to lift the omen from their heads. Visitors are invited to touch and play with the pebbles, but may the Thai Gods help you if don’t leave every stone behind! So, if you’re looking for unusual things to try in Thailand, this should definitely be on your list!
How to get there:
You can reach Koh Lipe Island from Bangkok via Hat Yai airport, before taking a shuttle bus to Pak Bara pier for around 250 THB. From the pier, take a ferry to Koh Lipe for 650 THB. Once there, find an aged Thai man, who offers round trips to Koh Hingham island for as little as 800 THB, depending on your haggling skills. The journey takes around 20 minutes.
Spend the Night in Prison
If you’re looking for truly unique things to do in Thailand, then read on. Sook Station is a quirky prison-themed hostel in the heart of Bangkok. When you check-in you’ll have your mugshot taken, be assigned an inmate number and be given stripped pyjamas for your evening in jail. For just 1,800 THB, you’ll then be taken to your cell, complete with bunk beds, iron doors and metal bars against its windows. That’s right, a night in this hostel is by far one of the most unusual things to try in Thailand! While you serve your time, make the most of the hostel’s tranquil outdoor terrace, free coffee facilities, authentic Thai food and inclusive Wi-Fi, just don’t be late for lights-out curfew! If you’re lucky enough to check-out in the morning, you’ll be given a criminal record as a souvenir of your time!
Eat a Rainbow Toastie
Making a list of unusual things to try in Thailand? Well, as far as weird foods go, this one is up there! Happy Cheese Toast is a colourful unicorn-inspired treat that looks as good as it tastes. The pop-up dining experience can be enjoyed across the county, with a vibrant yellow street food van bringing rainbow toasties to excitable foodies. As well as indulgent, stringy cheese sandwiches, you can enjoy colourful candyfloss animals, decadent freakshakes and chocolate toasties. A rainbow cheese toast costs around 49 THB and you can keep an eye on upcoming pop-up food events via the Happy Cheese Toast’s Facebook page. We believe that this tasty and unusual treat should be at the top of everyone’s list of unique things to do in Thailand! If you’re looking for more foodie inspiration for your upcoming trip, check out our guide to the 10 most uniquely themed restaurants across the country.
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Visit the World’s Strangest Temple
You will find hundreds of Buddhist temples scattered across Southeast Asia, yet none of them stand out quite as much as this one. So, if you’re looking for religion-inspired unique things to do in Thailand, make time for The Sanctuary of Truth! Positioned right on the beach at Ratchavete Cape, Pattaya, this unique temple is a fusion between art installation, shrine and community monument. Entirely carved from wood, the building reveals faces and stories taken from Buddhist and Hindu lore. Standing at over 100 metres tall, the sanctuary was commissioned by Thai businessman, Lek Viriyaphant, as a hybrid of art, philosophy and religion. Construction commenced in 1981 and the temple remains unfinished to this day. As you walk around, you’ll be able to spot large carved elephants, creepy human faces and ethereal religious Gods, all hand engraved from solid wood. You can only gain access to the sanctuary via a guided tour, which run every half an hour between 8 am and 5 pm. Tickets cost just 450 THB. Make the most of your trip to Pattaya by staying in one of our carefully curated villas and apartments.
Address: Moo5, Pattaya-Naklua Road Soi 12, Naklua
Tel: 66 03 836 7229
Walk Around an Airplane Graveyard
One of the most unique things to do in Thailand involves taking a walk around a field littered with broken airplanes. Home to the wreckages of numerous large aircrafts, the Airplane Graveyard was first discovered in 2010, when two Boeing 747s were found abandoned in a field. In 2014 two McDonnell Douglas MD-82 jetliners, belonging by Orient Thai Airlines, were introduced to the site, including one which was involved in a crash at Phuket International Airport in 2007. By 2015 another large Boeing 747 was added, turning the plane junkyard into a graveyard. Even more strangely, three Thai families now call these planes home and have transformed the site into a surprising tourist hit. Here, you can climb inside the abandoned planes, walk along their former aisles and witness historic in-flight magazines strewn across their floors. Admission to the site varies in price and ranges from between 100 THB to 800 TBH, depending on your bargaining skills, which only adds to the experience. Access is limited to strict one-hour time slots, but it is worth the visit, because this is definitely one of the most unusual things to try in Thailand.
Address: Soi 103 Ramkhamhaeng Road, Hua Mak, Bang Kapi, Bangkok 10240
Getting there: Take an eastbound water taxi that travels along the Klong Saen Saep canal and get off at the last stop, Wat Sriboonruang on Ramkamhaeng Soi 107.
Have a Heart-to-Heart with a Monk
One of the most unique things to do in Thailand is also one of the most rewarding. Across the country, Buddhist Monks are taking part in informal chats with eager travellers, hoping to seek spiritual or philosophical advice for leading a better life. Chiang Mai is a hub for such conversations, hosting a series of events in various temples across the city. You will sit with a group of young Monks and their teacher and are free to ask any questions that you may want answering. Monk Chats are taking place in various locations across the country, including at Wat Chedi Luang Temple daily between 9am and 6pm, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Temple daily between 1pm and 3pm and Wat Suan Dok Temple, Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 5pm and 7pm. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during your adventure, check out our hand-selected villas and apartments in the heart of Chiang Mia.
Wat Chedi Luang, 103 Road King Prajadhipok Phra Singh, Muang District, Chiang Mai
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, 9 Moo 9, Suthep, Muang Chiang Mai,
Wat Suan Dok, 139 Suthep Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai
Go Shopping in the Past
Frozen in time since its grand opening in 1966, the Nightingale-Olympic Department Store is a mysterious and odd place to spend a few hours. We suggest you scrap your travel itinerary, because this is by far one of the most weird things to do in Thailand. The mall’s dusty shelves are filled with historic items, while mannequins exhibit 1960s clothing and cosmetic counters showcase outdated beauty products. An insight into the forgotten past of Bangkok, the mall happens to be the oldest in the city. Open Monday to Saturday between 9am and 5.30pm, head here to purchase yourself a vintage tennis racket, browse historic fashion magazines or witness retro products preserved from a bygone era. Looking for more inspiration? Discover the hidden gems found off the country’s beaten track.
Address: 70 Tri Phet Rd, Khwaeng Wang Burapha Phirom, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200
Tel: 66 2 221 9733
Eat According to Your Blood-type
Of all the unusual things to try in Thailand, we may have found the winner. If you’ve ever been to the country, you’ll know that it has its fair share of weird dishes. Well, dining just got a little more unique, thanks to the introduction of the country’s first ever restaurant serving food based on blood type. That’s right, Vistakitchen was founded by Suwimon Suteesopon after Arthritis plagued her life for decades. Suwimon found solace in a blood-type diet book, which revealed the benefits of eating based on your specific blood group. Head to Vistakitchen, tell them your blood type and enjoy delicious, homemade foods to meet your individual needs. Those in group O can enjoy a range of seafood while those in group A will be served a vegetarian dinner. With curries, desserts and smoothies on the menu, you’re sure to find something to excite your taste buds – as long as it’s within your blood group, that is! We think this might just make your list of weird things to do in Thailand!
Addresses: 83/7 3st Floor Verasu Building Wireless Road, Lumpini, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330 and 3546/1 1st Floor Verasu Building Soi Ladprao 134, Ladprao Road, Khlongchun, Bangkapi, Bangkok, 10240
Tel: 0-2254-8100-8 and 0-2734-1040-7
Get Massaged by a Prison Inmate
So you’re looking for unique things to do in Thailand? Well, you may have just found the most extreme! Located right in the heart of Chiang Mai’s Old Town, the Women Correctional Institution Vocational Training Centre aids female inmates with gaining skills for their release. A correctional officer will take you to your massage room, where a female inmate will use her newly-found skills to pamper you. Don’t be discouraged; all the masseurs here are non-violent offenders. A type of community service, their massage training lasts for 180 hours, so you know you’ll be in safe hands during your visit. The Women Correctional Institution is open Monday to Friday between 8 am and 4.30 pm and weekends from 9 am until 4.30 pm. A one-hour foot massage costs just 180 THB while a two-hour Thai massage is just 360 THB. The centre doesn’t take advanced bookings, so arrive early to make sure you get an appointment. End your pampering session with true luxury and stay at one of our beautiful holiday rentals in the heart of the city.
Address: Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, 50200