• Home
  • /
  • Asia
  • /
  • 10 weird and controversial things to do in South East Asia
Red-Light-District-Bangkok - Crazy Thailand on GlobalGrasshopper.com

10 weird and controversial things to do in South East Asia

Red Light District Bangkok on GlobalGrasshopper.com

10 weird and controversial things to do in South East Asia by Pol Mundo-Nomada. South East Asia has many wonderful places to visit and great things to do. It also offers some of the not-so-traditional and slightly crazy things to do that most people wouldn’t dream of doing back home, but hey isn’t that the joy of travelling? Here is my list (although I must say I don’t personally agree with all of them):

Fire with an Ak-47 or a Bazooka in Cambodia

Bazooka Cambodia on GlobalGrasshopper.com

If you like shooting activities you can try shooting an Ak-47 in Cambodia. It is quite popular among the tourists there. Firing an old Ak-47 is weird enough but the craziest thing is that they even offer you trying an old Bazooka.

Why didn’t I do it?
I have never been a gun lover so I had no interest at all. Also these arms are old, extremely noisy and not very safe!

Watch Ping Pong shows in Bangkok

Red-Light-District-Bangkok - Crazy Thailand on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Bangkok has some notorious shows and many people have heard of the infamous Ping Pong show. You can find these shows in Pat Pong, Bangkok’s night market and in some areas in Pattaya and Phuket. Tuk-Tuk drivers usually offer to take you to one of these shows. The usual spot for pick up is around touristic area like Khao San.

Why didn’t I do it?
I wasn’t interested at all. Furthermore, even if you don’t like it, you should be aware that visiting those places makes them exist.

Get drunk while tubing in Vang Vieng

Vieng Veng Tubing on GlobalGrasshopper.com

This activity is common in the little village called Vang Vieng in Laos. Tubing usually means starting with drinks in the bamboo bars next to the river in Vang Vieng. Most of these tourists are half naked with their bodies covered in fluorescent paint. When you are drunk enough this comes the time to dip into the river, float there for a bit and then ask the staffs to pull you out of the river with a pneumatic attached to a string.

Why didn’t I do it?
Flying thousands of miles, getting in a completely different country and culture… just to get drunk?

Join the Thaipusam in Penang

Thaipusam on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Thaipusam is a great Hindu festival held every year in Malasia, especially in Penang. What you’ll see is people shaving their heads and taking a pilgrimage along a few km routes carrying a Kavadi (a big structure with a heavy image of a Hindu God on the top). During these pilgrimages people will perform a kind of self-tortured in parts of their bodies, for example piercing a long needle from one cheek to another. You might find some travellers who also participate in this ceremony.

Why didn’t I do it?
I enjoyed that festival, it was very interesting but just didn’t fancy get that involved. 

Visit the museum of Corrections (tortures) in Bangkok

Museum of Corrections on GlobalGrasshopper.com

The Correction’s Museum of Bangkok (or known as Suan Rom) is located in a park that used to be a jail. The museum displays all kinds of torture methods during the Ayutthaya Period. Some of them are really insane. You will also be able to find out how the capital punishment has been applied along the history of Thailand until nowadays.

Why didn’t I do it?
I did visit this museum. It’s quite scary and probably that’s why there was no other visitors there when I went.

Eat bugs anywhere in South East Asia

Avoid street vendors on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Would you dine on fried bugs with some spicy sauce? You’ll find them in many parts of South East Asia. The picture was taken in Khao San Rd (in Thailand are not very popular though) but you may find them in every bus station of Laos.

Why didn’t I do it?
I haven’t got the stomach for it. 

Have a massage while peeing in night clubs of Bangkok

Some clubs in Bangkok have a few professional massage guys who will be happy to massage your shoulders while you are peeing. Be careful because they come straight from behind without warning!

Why didn’t I do it?
I did and it was great. It really helped me recover from the alcohol.

Buy fake documents in Khao San Road

Fake Documents on GlobalGrasshopper.com

If you march through one of Bangkok’s most famous street, Khao San, you will find several stands that offer fake document services. You can get anything from driving license to Bachelor’s degree certificate. It is impossible to miss them because they are only a few meters away from the tourist police station!

Why didn’t I do it?
The FBI card sounded cool but it didn’t convince me.

Visit the human zoo of the long-neck hill tribe women in the north Thailand

In northern Thailand live many tribes of Burmese refugees. In one of these tribes most women wear piles of big golden necklaces which they increase during the year as they get older. They seem to have developed longer necks resulted from years of wearing these necklaces. It is very popular visiting them although you may feel like you are in a human zoo. Many human rights activists have accused many travel agencies for abusing the human rights of these hill tribe’s people. While some of the young tribal girls want to give up with the tradition it seems that the older ones want to keep up with it because it is the source of their main income.

Why didn’t I do it?
All those ‘tribal villages’ tourist agencies advertise in Chiang Mai look more like a human zoo than a anything else. If you want to see tribal villages, better you just rent a motorbike and ride for a few days in the north.

Rent a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Motorbike on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Nobody knows how many millions of motorbikes are in Ho Chi Minh City. It seems like millions when you try to cross the street and they come from everywhere. You already know the trick, just keep walking and they’ll avoid you, don’t look at them or they won’t. If crossing the street may seem quite a challenge, imagine what would be renting a motorbike. If you want to find out there are plenty of places to rent them.

Why didn’t I do it?
Actually I have ridden motorbikes in some Indian cities that are as chaotic as Ho Chi Minh (well, maybe less), but when I was in Vietnam I decided to walk – it seemed safer!

10 weird and controversial things to do in South East Asia was written by  Pol Mundo-Nomada. Pol lives in Bangkok where he teaches Spanish in a couple of universities and from where he explores South East Asia. He ended up in Thailand after travelling for a year trough Asia and Oceania in 2010. Before that he had already been for a few months in India and Nepal. He writes about travel at his blog mundo-nomada.com

3 Comments

  • hp208

    23 July, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    There is SO much more to Laos than Vaing Vieng, and more to Vaing Vieng than tubing. I went caving and cycling around the amazing limestone karst landscape (like an inland Ha Long Bay) and paddy fields. Luang Prabang the old capital of Laos is my favourite city, worth travelling to Laos just to spend time there!

    Reply

Leave a Reply