There are a whole array of strange guided tours that take tourists off the beaten path, allowing them to explore some unknown feature of the place they are visiting. When visiting Los Angeles, for example, you would probably expect to tour celebrity homes, beaches, and so forth. But there is a Dearly Departed Tour that focuses on the city’s tragic celebrity past – which includes visiting the places where Michael Jackson and River Phoenix died. In Amsterdam, there’s the Red Light District tour, which takes visitors on a detailed guided tour of the seedier part of Amsterdam. The Bizarre Bangkok tour is exactly what it sounds like – a tour of the bizarre side of Bangkok. The San Pedro tour was a tour that took visitors into a large prison complex so they could see for themselves what life was like behind bars. And the Historic Toilet Tour in York? Yes, it is a tour of historical toilets in the region that visitors can explore. And the Chernobyl Group tour actually takes visitors to the site of one of the largest environmental disasters ever.
If you are intrigued, then definitely keep reading to find out more about 15 of the strangest guided tours.
15. Dearly Departed Tour
For the morbid minded, Los Angeles has a Dearly Departed: The Tragic History Tour of Los Angeles. Sure, Los Angeles is the city of glitz and celebrity, but it’s also the sight of numerous tragedies, and that’s where this tour comes in. On this tour, you’ll be taken to the scene of such tragedies. You will be chauffeured to the place where Michael Jackson and River Phoenix died. You can also see where Sharon Tate had her last meal. You can even hear 911 recordings and police interviews. There’s also a cemetery stop included. So if you have a darker sense of curiosity, this tour is worth checking out.
14. Red Light District Tour
Amsterdam is a quaint city, but most of us are very aware of the infamous Red Light District. Of course there are a multitude of tour companies that will take you on a guided tour of the risqué part of the city. There are multiple sex shops, an erotic museum, and of course the workers of the oldest profession putting their wares on sale in the storefront windows of the District. Guided tours delve into the history of the district and help the tourists feel less self conscious with a guide. It is definitely a worthy — if not bizarre — tour to check out if you are in Amsterdam.
13. Bizarre Bangkok Tour
There is a tour called, fittingly, the Bizarre Bangkok tour. On this tour, visitors head to the off the beaten path sites of the city. It includes a trip to the Bangkok Corrections Museum, where you can see what torture methods were used and the towers that once held prisoners. There is also a trip to the Forensic Medicine Museum, where you can learn about Thailand’s most dangerous serial killer. There’s even a stop at a fertility shrine, which is devoted to the Goddess Tuptim. It’s a half-day, adults only tour. Visitors also get a complimentary copy of Jim Algie’s Bizarre Thailand.
12. San Pedro Prison Tour
This prison tour takes visitors into the San Pedro Prison, which was the largest prison in La Paz, Bolivia. What makes this prison different than most was the fact that it was a microcosm of a society. Inmates held jobs, could buy or rent where they stayed, and could even live with their families. Morbidly, there were elected leaders who enforced the laws of the society — by stabbing. There was even a prison hotel. The guards were also outside of the gates rather than inside — the enforcers kept order inside the prison walls. This was definitely a tour for the brave tourists out there.
11. Historic Toilet Tour
You read that right. If you’re in York, the York Walk tour has a very clever addendum — a Historic Toilet Tour. It’s about — you guessed it — the history of the public toilet. As odd as this sounds, it turns out that it has a very interesting history, especially in this region. The tour includes walking through Exhibition Square and Lendal Bridge. Tourists hear all about garderobes from the Middle Ages, Roman toilets, and Viking toilets. So, if you have ever had a deep curiosity about the history of toilets, then this bizarre tour is one you would definitely enjoy checking out.
10. Chernobyl Group Tour
Chernobyl may not seem like it would be a fun tourist highlight, but believe it or not, there is a Chernobyl Group Tour. A company by the name of Regent Holidays have tours that take you to the ghost town of Chernobyl. There, you can see close up the environmental disaster that is now Chernobyl. The tour includes two days of moving through the Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion zone. There is even a Chernobyl Hotel, originally built for international scientists and other experts who came to Chernobyl. Now the hotel serves to tourists who are morbidly curious about the town and want to stay nearby.
9. Helter Skelter Tour
We all know about the terror the Manson family let out during their crime spree in the ‘60s — but most of us would certainly not want to relive it. The Helter Skelter Tour, however, focuses on the crimes of the Manson family. The tour takes visitors to the Manson murder locations, even following the exact route they took when fleeing the crime scene. Morbidly, the tour makes a stop where you can see the water spigot one of Sharon Tate’s murderers washed his hands with. It also details the lives of the victims and the murderers in the time leading up to the gruesome crimes.
8. Illegal Immigrant Tour
Being an illegal immigrant is not something that immediately comes to mind when you think of guided tours to participate in. But Caminata Nocturna actually offers a four hour nigh trek in which tourists get to act as migrants, attempting to cross the border, all the while avoiding border patrol agents as well as immigration officials. The “tour” includes avoiding low hanging trees, climbing under fences, and falling to the ground whenever you see a flashlight. This all takes place in the town of El Alberto, Mexico. It’s been around since 2004, and strangely enough, it’s popular.
7. Ganja Tours
In addition to its natural beauty, Jamaica is well known for marijuana. So well known that there are tour companies that offer Ganja tours. These tours go to the areas of Jamaica where Rastafarians live, Nine Mile, and also features a tour of an actual in use marijuana plantation. Visitors can even purchase marijuana at the Bob Marley Compound, where he is buried. Understandably, the marijuana aspect isn’t displayed openly on the company’s websites or brochures, but there is a reason these tours have an age requirement of 18 and over. These tours are tucked away throughout the island.
6. Underground Flood Tunnel Tour
Want to head to Tokyo to explore the underground flood tunnels? Given that there are loads of things to do in Tokyo, this may seem like an odd thing to want to do. But the G-can tour in Tokyo is a popular tunnel tour. The underground tunnels in Tokyo are over four miles long, and their purpose is to keep the city dry and prevent floods. It is 50 meters beneath the city, and includes a massive metal fish bowl, 59 large pillars, over seventy large pumps and other tanks. For those wishing to do something off the beaten path, this tour is for them.
5. Crop Circle Tour
Crop Circles have fascinated many of us for years. What do they mean? Aliens? Something else more sinister? Well, there’s Crop Circle Tours, which takes those of us who are fascinated by them on focused tours. There are tours like these in England where many of the crop circles have been found. While many visitors come to England to explore its history, these tours fly over the mysterious crop circles and walk through them as the guide tells them tales about the potential UFO connection. One company’s website even warns that there are strange energies around the crop circles, which will affect laptops and cameras.
4. Paramotor Tour
If you don’t have a fear of heights, you’ll enjoy the paramotor tour, which takes you over Thailand. This tour is part of Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi Resort and Spa’s Gourmet Gliders. The tour has a culinary aspect to it as well; this fascinating tour includes a stop to pick up produce, and even a class on learning how to cook Thai dishes in the traditional way. And then comes the fun part — gliding over parts of Thailand in a paramotor. You can even enjoy a tour around the bay, and the pilot takes visitors down to check out the catch of local fishermen.
3. Day of the Dead Tour
There is a Day of the Dead Tour, a tour that takes visitors through the celebrations of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. This holiday is a remembrance of loved ones who have died, and includes celebrations as well as honouring the dead. Altars are built with marigolds and sugar skulls. The tour includes walking through cemeteries with local guides who tell visitors about the rituals, and they can join in. While this may seem morbid, it is actually quite festive, a time of celebration and respect rather than mourning, and something that visitors often partake in.
2. Voodoo Trail
The company G Adventures allows visitors to explore West African voodoo culture by taking them into the villages, forests, and hills on a Voodoo Trail. Voodoo is the native religion of countries like Togo, Burkina Faso, and Benin. On the tour, visitors meet African royalty and watch tribal dances. It is a thoroughly immersive experience and one that many visitors enjoy. If West African voodoo culture is something that intrigues you, it is definitely a worthwhile venture to take. Visitors get to experience details of the culture and enjoy an experience that is off the beaten path and unique.
1. Vegas Mob Tour
Many of us know that Las Vegas has a rather seedy past. Sin City, aptly named, was the site of many illegal activities during its heyday. Well, the Vegas Mob Tour explores this heyday. Visitors are taken by bus to the locations where criminal activities, including murders, occurred. The guide tells visitors about the tales of the city, and they are also taken to the spots where hit men and their bosses spent time. It focuses on the mob’s association with Las Vegas from 1945 to the 1980s. The guide is even decked out in a pinstripe suit and a fedora, putting you in the era.
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