Colonial town that is home to dolphins: Kratie, Cambodia
Kratie is a picturesque colonial-style town 100 miles north-east of Phnom Penh. Set on the banks of the Mekong River, it is one of the most popular places to get a rare glance of the town’s famous residents, the Irrawaddy dolphins. The best time of year to see them frolicking is between March and August, with early morning and late afternoon being the prime time to catch a glimpse.
This is the only place to see these dolphins in Cambodia. They are incredibly endangered and the pod at Kratie is made up of only 15 to 20 dolphins. The best way to see them up close and personal is to hitch a ride on a local’s towboat, which will set you back around 3,500 riels per person. It is well worth it to be able to watch and observe these wonderful animals in their natural habitat.
Beautiful and cold: Oymyakon, Russia
Time to throw on your thermals and pack an extra warm coat! The small Russian town of Oymyakon in Siberia is officially the coldest inhabited town on earth. Home to only 500 people, the town was once infamous for being the final destination for exiled political opponents of the Soviet Union.
With average winter temperatures of – 50 degrees Celsius, it’s not for the faint-hearted. The ground here is permanently frozen but this hardy community lives a regular life despite the sub-zero temperatures. If you want to endure the chill factor and visit Oymyakon there are plenty of group and private tours available, it would not be recommended to visit this place solo.
Cursed beach: Koh Hingham, Thailand
Koh Hingham Island in Thailand is also known as black pebble beach. The uninhabited island is located off the coast of Koh Lipe, and if you want to visit and spend some time on the beach there you can pay a local to take you there by longboat. The island and pebble beach don’t look anything out of the ordinary. Thai folklore, however, says the beach is protected by the Thai deity of Tarutao who will curse anyone who removes a pebble from the beach. The National Park of Tarutao receives dozens of stones returned every year from people who believe they have been cursed by the island and hope it will lift the spell. Would you be brave enough to take a pebble as a souvenir? This is definitely one of the weirdest places on earth!
Burial urns and ancient jars: Plain of Jars, Laos
The Plain of Jars is located 400 kilometers northeast from Vientiane, the capital of Laos. The origin is shrouded in mystery as to what these jars were used for and why they are here. There are a few theories that suggest they are ancient burial urns or discarded water jars from traders who traveled along this road centuries ago. There are hundreds of jars. Some of the jars are up to three meters tall! The mystery around their purpose is what brings intrigued tourists to this spot. If you are visiting Laos and want to see this for yourself, there are regular tours from Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
While you’re in Luang Prabang, be sure to stay at Mad Monkey Luang Prabang. This lively hostel is equipped with fun nightly events, an infinity pool overlooking the stunning countryside, and a delicious onsite restaurant and bar. This is THE place to stay in the country!
One of the driest places in the world: Atacama Desert, Chile
Want to visit one of the driest and weirdest places on earth? The Atacama Desert has an outer-worldly feeling, which is probably why NASA decided to use it to test the Martian rover. The desert terrain is incredibly diverse and includes golden dunes ideal for sand-boarding, spurting geysers, and a colorful rainbow valley. It also one of the best places in the world to stargaze and take in the Milky Way. There are a few hotels in the desert to choose from, with many offering outdoor pools or spa facilities to soothe those aching joints after a day of hitting the sand.
Stunning coastal town: Mui Ne, Vietnam
Mui Ne is a popular location in its own right; the coastal town is a big draw for anyone wanting to indulge in windsurfing, kitesurfing, or relaxing on its beach. It also is known for another thing – it’s fairy streams. Fairy streams are streams that have a thin layer of water. When you stand in these, it appears you are walking on the water. The stream is set amidst a backdrop of limestone cliffs. It makes for the perfect photo op!
Home to a hippie commune: Nimbin, Byron Bay, Australia
Nimbin is located west of Byron Bay and is one of the first hippie communities in Australia. In the 1960s, a festival was held here that incorporated arts and music. After it ended, the artists stayed and made Nimbin their home. The commune is entirely self-sufficient and hosts an eclectic mix of artist shops, a hemp museum, colorful decorations, and a welcoming and tolerating community. Every year in May they host a Mardi Gras party, which campaigns for cannabis law reform in Australia. If you are looking to experience a taste of the ’60s and a laid-back lifestyle, then you can’t leave this little slice of history off your bucket list.
Coffins in cliffs: Sagada, The Philippines
Sagada is a region in The Philippines that is away from the traditional tourist spots. It is inland and the scenery is made of lush forests, mountainscapes, and rice terraces. The town is known for its rich indigenous culture and for the unusual tradition of cliff burials.
The Igorot People burry their relatives in coffins that hang precariously off the cliff-sides of many of the limestone mountains nearby. Many are painted bright colors, so you will be able to spot them out. The reason behind this tradition is to keep loved one’s bodies safe from wild animals. It is also meant to give the spirits an easier journey to the afterlife above. The tradition is slowly dying out, but there are still hundreds of coffins throughout the town perched on cliff-sides. You can take a guided tour from Sagada or venture out solo. Either way, it is something that you would not want to miss!
Death Valley, California
If the name isn’t iconic enough, then it’s the title as the ‘hottest place on earth’ will do it! Death Valley is a destination that everyone should tick off their bucket list at some point in their life. The dramatic landscape, narrow valleys, and close location to Las Vegas and Los Angeles make it an easy location to get to.
Things worth seeing include the Badwater Basin, which sitting at below 84 meters is the lowest point in America. Also worth seeing is the Devil’s Golf Course. It is here that you can hear sounds of pings from the salt popping in the desert’s heat. If you are visiting in spring, check out the Badwater Furnace Creek. You can see desert wildflowers in bloom. If you want to catch a glimpse of the magnificent night sky, you can also stay in the national park at the iconic Death Valley Inn. It is certainly one of the hottest and weirdest places on earth!
Largest sea flat in the world: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Fancy stepping foot on the largest salt flat in the world? Spanning across 4,000 miles, the terrain of Salar de Uyuni is like something you would be more likely to see on the moon. Created by prehistoric lakes that have long since evaporated, the eye-dazzling salt patterns have become a popular destination for backpackers to visit. You can create some epic photos here with the backdrop and some amazing optical illusions. Tours start from the town of Uyuni and can incorporate a day trip or a 3-day adventure with added stops at nearby deserts and mountains.
If you want to save time and energy on your travels to any of these destinations, you can also utilize a luggage shipping service like My Baggage – they will take care of it all for you!
There you have it. These are the most extraordinary, radical, and weirdest places on earth that will open up your mind and give you experiences that you will remember for the rest of your life.
More Information About Traveling to the Coolest and Weirdest Places on Earth
Did you love this article about the most radical places on the planet? Do you want even more information about the coolest places you seriously need to visit in 2020? Then be sure to check out these articles we’ve rounded up for your reading (and traveling) pleasure!
- 20 best places to visit in 2020 for by Katia Hetter for CNN
- Top 10 Unusual Places to Visit in the USA for Attractions of America
- 59 Weirdest Places Across The World You Should Visit In 2020 by Esha Dasgupta for Travel Triangle
- 23 Extraordinary And Unique Places You should Visit! for Your Amazing Places