Difference between revisions of "Wikitravel:Discover/Archive"
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<!--DATE-->''Last updated on 04 Nov 2008 01:00:40 ''
<!--DATE-->''Last updated on 04 Nov 2008 01:00:40 ''
* The '''world's largest church''' is the '''Basilica of Our Lady of Peace''' in [[Yamoussoukro]], [[Côte d'Ivoire]]
* The '''world's largest church''' is the '''Basilica of Our Lady of Peace''' in [[Yamoussoukro]], [[Côte d'Ivoire]]
*Citizens of [[Inis Mór]] placed '''seaweed''' in the dirt between cracks in the rock island to revive agriculture, transforming the area from '''grey rock to green fields'''.
*Citizens of [[Inis Mór]] placed '''seaweed''' in the dirt between cracks in the rock island to revive agriculture, transforming the area from '''grey rock to green fields'''.
Revision as of 23:40, 7 September 2009
This is an archive of items that have been displayed on Wikitravel:Discover. The archive is maintained by User:DiscoverBot, which will insert old items right after the tag <!--START-->. Alas, the bot is not smart enough to create new months, so please help it out.
Last updated on 04 Nov 2008 01:00:40
- In the Museo Santuarios Andinos in Arequipa, Peru you'll find a mummy named Juanita, who was offered as a human sacrifice by the Inca.
- The world's largest church is the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire
- Citizens of Inis Mór placed seaweed in the dirt between cracks in the rock island to revive agriculture, transforming the area from grey rock to green fields.
- One of the annual "events" in Fredericton, New Brunswick is the Great Pumpkin Sacrifice, held every Halloween.
- The SkyCycle roller coaster at the Washuzan Highland Park in Kurashiki is 100% pedal-powered — no electricity is used.
- Time to kill at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport? Check out the free art museum in the transit area.
- Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium now offers intrepid visitors (with some money to burn) a chance to swim with whale sharks.
- In Rwanda, it is against the law to use plastic bags, as an abundance of loose plastic bags were causing environmental issues.
- Sumo wrestlers in Tokyo achieve their massive bulk by chowing down on chanko-nabe, a soup consisting mostly of vegetables and tofu.
- Hidden in a library in Tashkent, Uzbekistan is the world's oldest Quran, written by Othman only 19 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
- Ever wanted to take a nice strawberry milk bath? You can do just that at the Hur Shim Chung Spa in Busan, South Korea.
- Hyde Park, New York is the site of the only National Historic Site in the United States of America specifically commemorating a First Lady (Eleanor Roosevelt).
- You'll find some strangely phallic-shaped rock formations in Göreme's Love Valley in Turkey.
- Nagano's Binzuru Festival is celebrated by banging together rice scoops and rubbing down the statue of an Indian saint.
- The nation of Guadeloupe is nicknamed Butterfly Island, as the two main islands look like butterfly wings.
- The Grand Mosque in Xian was the first mosque ever to be built in China.
- Despite being located at the source of the Nile River, Jinja, Uganda is more famous as the source of Nile Beer.
- In the Hawaiian language, the reef triggerfish is called the "triggerfish with a snout like a pig", and the butterflyfish is the "long-snouted fish shaped like a wiliwili leaf".
- For spiritual travelers, you'll find the Gateway to God in Haridwar, India, while the Gateway to Hell is on Mount Osore in Japan.
- Jake and Elwood aren't always there, but the Chicago Blues Fest, held annually in June, is the world's largest free blues music festival.
- Phone books in Iceland are alphabetized by first name rather than surname.
- Among Milwaukee's artistic attractions is a statue of one of its most famous fictional inhabitants: one Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli.
- If you visit Antigua Guatemala and develop a craving for Indian food, Dabbawala Tandoori delivers curries, vindaloo, etc. -- via motorbike.
- The two monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat which make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Armenia lie atop opposite sides of a deep canyon.
- You can cross the Bridge over the River Kwai, of movie fame and located in Kanchanaburi, on foot -- and then ride an elephant (for a price, of course).
- The fence around Saint Petersburg's Transfiguration Cathedral is made from captured Ottoman cannons from the Russo-Turkish War.
- Old Sow, off the coast of the Canadian province of New Brunswick, is the largest tidal whirlpool in the world. (Try not to get sucked in if you visit.)
- Alaska's Dalton Highway includes one 240-mile stretch without services (fuel, food, etc.), the longest such no-services segment of highway in the United States of America.
- Among the attractions of Japan's Dewa Sanzan is a temple dedicated to a priest who starved to death while praying.
- James A. Little Theater, one of Santa Fe (New Mexico)'s many great venues for concerts, plays, etc., is on the campus of the New Mexico School for the Deaf.
- Auckland, New Zealand is built on an active volcanic field containing at least 48 separate volcanoes -- none of them currently active, fortunately.
- Oddly E is one of only two letters (the other being X) that doesn't have a national capital starting with it (unless you count Edinburgh, Scotland).
- The name of Rambutsiwi Temple in Negara, Bali literally means "Hair Worship".
- Le Conte Lodge, the only lodging within Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is reachable only via a 5-mile trail, and the lodge's supplies must be brought in via llama or helicopter.
- If you climb Mount Fuji via the Gotembaguchi route, you'll traverse an ash field erupted as recently as 1707.
- Opened December 2008, the Jumbo Hostel in Stockholm is a Boeing 747-turned-hostel. (Book early to spend the night in the deluxe cockpit room!)
- Ukraine is generally glad to be out from under the Soviet Union, but its capital Kiev still hosts a Soviet-themed restaurant -- called СССР (USSR), of course.
- So-called "Hotel Laurier" at Waterloo (Ontario) isn't so much a hotel as the off-season rental of residences at Wilfrid Laurier University.
- The international airport for Brisbane, Australia is at the community of Eagle Farm, appropriately enough.
- The altar at 1,700 year old Echmiadzin Cathedral in Central Armenia, the mother Cathedral of Armenians is built over a preserved fire worshiping pit.
- Holy mackerel! The fish market in Gothenburg, Sweden is called Feskekôrka (Fish Church) because of the shape of its building.
- If you buy clothes at the Chlorophylle Montréal retail outlet in Montreal's Quartier Latin, you may try them on first in a dressing room made of recycled sheds from northern Quebec.
- Tradition asserts that the Dattatreya Temple, in the Nepalese city of Bhaktapur, was built from the trunk of a single tree.
- If you're a chessplayer and are visiting Fairbanks, Alaska, look for the Aurora Ice Museum and its chess set made of ice.
- The trolley-style buses that roam Austin, Texas are known as 'Dillos -- short for Armadillo Express.
- The Terrace Hill house in Des Moines is not only home to Iowa's governor, but formerly the home of the state's first millionaire -- although he eventually went bankrupt.
- Cologne's Kölner Seilbahn claims to be the only chair lift in Europe that crosses a river.
- Flights landing in Trondheim, Norway are only two minutes away from Hell — the train station, that is.
- Tired of your boring old 4x4? Rent a llama for cruising around Mitzpe Ramon.
- Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show originated in North Platte, Nebraska and is memorialized there -- by a statue donated by the United Kingdom.
- Ughatasar Mountain in Southern Armenia has thousands of petroglyphs which are thousands of years old.
- The musical accompaniment to Mainz's culinary speciality of Handkäse mit Musik is produced by your own gastrointestinal tract.
- São Francisco de Assis Church in Belo Horizonte, Brazil has such out-of-the-ordinary architecture that the Catholic Church refused to consecrate it for a time.
- Bintan Resorts is a district of Indonesia, but most trade there is conducted using Singapore dollars as the preferred currency.
- Among the never-ending stream of adult oddities in Las Vegas is Bite, a show claimed to be a vampire-themed topless revue.
- If you visit the Chinese city of Lijiang, make sure to pick up a comb carved from the horns or hooves of a yak.
- Helsinki's Tin Tin Tango is a combination of café, restaurant, bar, laundromat and sauna.
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio has only existed under that name since the year 2000, but it's already the fifth busiest of all United States National Parks, measured in annual number of visitors.
- The Puppenhausmuseum in Basel claims to own the world's greatest collection of teddy bears.
- On Tuesdays, the musical selection at Fiszbah in Mainz is described as Discopogo for Punks in Pumps.
- The great Santa Fe Opera performs in an open-air theater, with scenery of the Jemez Mountains in the background.
- Northern Avenue opened as Yerevan, Armenia's first pedestrian avenue this year, linking the two main hubs of Republic Square and the Opera.
- Pecherska Lavra, Kiev's celebrated cave monastery, dates to the 11th century and still contains the mummified remains of monks.
- Bird Rock (Craig yr Aderyn), near Tywyn is the only site in Europe where cormorants nest inland.
- One of Vienna's draws is the Bestattungsmuseum, a museum devoted to coffins and mortuary science.
- One of the bits of folk history underlying the Rogers Park district of Chicago is the Cabbage Head War.
- Opened in 1900, Wuppertal's Schwebebahn is the world's oldest monorail, and they still use Emperor Wilhelm II's original train for special events.
- Don't be surprised to hear explosions when walking around Helsinki: thanks to the rock-solid granite bedrock, most new construction work involves some blasting.
- Spare change? Singapore issues a ten thousand Singapore dollar note, worth over US$7000 at current exchange rates.
- Mumbles, a seaside resort in Swansea, UK, derives its name from the French word mamelles (meaning breasts) - so called due to the appearance of the two islets off Mumbles Head.
- If you hike in the Maze district at Utah's Canyonlands National Park, you can cover ground once trod by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
- If preserved people are your thing, visit the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano; it's not only the resting place of the Iceman Ötzi, but also (through October) the host for visiting Chachapoya mummies from Peru.
- The Mauritius dodo bird is long extinct, of course, but if you visit the islands, you might still see the rare pink pigeon, the green gecko phelsuma and the Aldabra giant tortoise.
- Hankering for a new spin on the hot dog? Try one in Nokia (yes, that Nokia), where they like to replace the plain bun with a sugary donut.
- Hankering for a new spin on the hot dog? Try one in Nokia (yes, that Nokia), where they like to replace the plain bun with a sugary donut.
- The remote, jungle-covered Japanese island of Iriomote receives 100 visitors per resident every year.
- Saint Petersburg (Florida) came by its name by way of a coin toss.
- Chakhar is an 8th century castle located in the Bhutanese town of Jakar. Although now a small stone building, the original structure was said to have been nine stories high and made completely of iron.
- Zeno, Lazarus, and Umm Haram are all celebrated in sites and statuary around the city of Larnaca, Cyprus.
- The arches around the town square in Jackson (Wyoming) are made of hundreds of elk antlers.
- Travelling by KFC is common in Indonesia — it's the local abbreviation for "fast ferry boat".
- Among the hotels and other accommodations in and near Las Vegas, New Mexico is the Star Hill Inn, an "astronomy resort" featuring a 29-inch telescope.
- The quiet little town of Kamakura was the capital of Japan during the Kamakura shogunate, from 1185 to 1333.
- Dodo birds are long extinct, but you can still see the bones of one at the Naturalis museum in Leiden.
- Aberdyfi, Wales is home to Del-Boy, officially named (by The Donkey Conservancy) as Britain's best beach donkey for 2008.
- The hiking at El Malpais National Monument is good, but stay within monument boundaries; terrain nearby was a bombing range during World War II, and unexploded bombs may still be present outside the monument.
- If you get hungry while driving the Route 66 itinerary and don't care about aesthetics, pause in the semi-ghost town of Adrian, Texas (near Vega) and get an ugly crust pie.
- You can see remnants of gold and silver mines on the Greek island of Sifnos that extend more than 2500 years back in time.
- Sightseeing in Shibuya? Recharge your electrolytes at either the Electric Energy Museum or the Tobacco and Salt Museum.
- Winnipeg's signature "Golden Boy" statue is a World War I veteran of sorts: the French foundry where it was cast was bombed, but the statue escaped damage.
- During World War II, the parklands of Cuckmere Haven were dotted with lights to distract Axis bombers away from nearby Newhaven; some WWII leftovers are still visible there.
- A characteristic product of the Mexican town of Guanajuato is the confection "Charamuscas" -- figures made of caramel resembling mummies.
- In a fine display of even-handedness, the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History in Bardstown, Kentucky displays not only whiskey memorabilia, but also Carrie Nation's hatchet.
- If just bathing at Helsinki's Kotiharju Sauna isn't extreme enough for you, try their traditional bloodletting service.
- The Museum of the History of Science (Museo di Storia della Scienza) in Florence, Italy has the middle finger of Galileo Galilei's right hand on display.
- If you're a country music legend, think twice about visiting Nashville's Grand Old Opry; with more than 35 stars dying in mysterious ways after performing, some say it's haunted.
- The grand prize for the yearly Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland is the wife's weight in beer.
- Nyonya Meneer, a museum in Semarang, Indonesia, is dedicated to exhibits about the traditional Javanese drink Jamu.
- Summer highs in Saudi Arabia often exceed 50°C (120°F), but it can still snow in the winter.
- Are you fluent in nerdspeak? If not, visit Tutti Frutti in San Francisco's Avenues district and pick up some flashcards on the "language."
- The pool at Helsinki's Olympic Stadium was previously used to store potatoes and herring.
- The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw was a "personal gift" from Joseph Stalin -- for better or worse.
- It rains rather than snows at Point Reyes National Seashore, but that doesn't keep it from being habitat for the endangered snowy plover.
- Scuba divers visiting Thailand's Ko Lanta district have a chance of sighting whale sharks that's among the best such opportunities in the world.
- Decode the validity of your Saudi visa carefully; it's counted in Islamic lunar months, not Western calendar months.
- The emblem of Finland's Nuuksio National Park is the Siberian flying squirrel, but don't expect to see one there; they're nocturnal and live in the tree tops.
- The seasonal trolley service that runs around Falmouth (Massachusetts) is known as the WHOOSH.
- If you should somehow find yourself in Yakutsk, be sure to pick up some Pantoff, a vodka made with the extract of reindeer blood.
- At the Food Fusion food court in Bangkok's Silom district, you place your order using a bar-coded baton.
- The sports stadium in Novi Sad is known, locally and colloquially, as Silicon Valley -- but you'll have to read the article to see why.
- Among the bits of statuary in public places in Detroit is a sculpture of boxer Joe Louis' fist.
- Osaka's Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum offers an instant noodle workshop, where you can cook up and take away handmade instant noodles.
- Of course you know that London's Wimbledon district figures in the history of tennis, but did you know it also contains a museum that depicts the history of windmills?
- When you visit Las Vegas, take your climbing gear; in addition to the night life, there's high-quality rock climbing nearby at Red Rock Canyon.
- Kugelmugel, a spherical house in Vienna, declared independence from Austria after its owner failed to get a planning permit.
- A golden bust of Lenin rises from the flat icy wasteland at Antarctica's Pole of Inaccessibility — the terrestrial world's single most difficult point to reach.
- The Manayunk district of Philadelphia reportedly derives its name from a Native American word meaning "where we go to drink."
- Thinking of visiting the Motor Show in Frankfurt? Book your hotel early, as you'll be joined by almost a million other gearheads.
- There's smoke in the air in Singapore in August, as locals burn hell money for their relatives and chow down at the Hungry Ghost Festival.
- The World's Only Thermometer Museum (that's the name of the place) is in Wareham (Massachusetts), with thousands of thermometers on display.
- Takin, a cross between a cow and a goat, is the national animal of Bhutan, and there is a takin preserve in the capital, Thimphu.
- The leisure center in Swansea, UK (The LC) boasts among its attractions Europe's only indoor surfing center and the world's first uphill water slide.
- Ever felt like ice skating in a parking garage for some reason? Visit Arlington (Virginia); the top floor of the Ballston Common Mall's garage is a year-round skating rink.
- If you visit Trondheim, Norway, you can buy a one-way ticket to Hell -- the Hell Station on the railroad, that is.
- Among the exhibits at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan is "Leonardo's Horse," the realization of a concept originally by Leonardo da Vinci.
- The Welsh town of Tenby also bears the longer name Dinbych-y-Pysgod -- Welsh for "little town of fishes".
- For friendly games of football (soccer) in Taichung, Taiwan, check out the local expat team -- the Taichung Tubbies.
- Department of False Cognates: The Ouchy district of Lausanne may sound like the place to go for S&M, bondage, etc., but it's just a perfectly legitimate port area with normal hotels and restaurants.
- If you visit Albuquerque and hear people talking about the "Big Eye", don't get paranoid; it's not a surveillance device, but rather the intersection of two Interstate highways.
- College Park (Maryland) is the site of the world's oldest continuously operated airport.
- One of the strangest events of the summer in Nagoya, Japan is the World Cosplay Summit, where admirers of Japanese animation dress up as their favorite animated characters and parade through the streets.
- If you fly into Peoria (Illinois), you'll travel from airport to city on a road named for comedian Richard Pryor, a native of Peoria.
- One of the must-sees of Nkhata Bay, Malawi is the feeding of the fish eagle that lives high up on the cliff face south of Njaya Lodge.
- The school colors at the University of Rochester (New York) are blue and dandelion yellow.
- If you visit the island of Caye Caulker, try to catch a drink at the Lazy Lizard bar; it's next to the site where the island split in two following a hurricane.
- When visiting Finnish Lapland, plan to feast on exotic poronkäristys, and forget about its considerably less exotic-sounding English name: reindeer hash.
- North Pole, Alaska, a small town located near Fairbanks, is nowhere near the North Pole, but is famous for celebrating Christmas all year long.
- If you travel to Cincinnati during the city's Oktoberfest, you can participate in the world's largest chicken dance.
- The Neolithic site of Silbury Hill at Avebury, England is believed to be the largest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe.
- In a pleasing reversal of modern trends, the site of Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon was once occupied by a freeway.
- Of the 300 or so coral cays along Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Green Island is the only one with a rain forest.
- Boca Raton, Florida is a more pleasant city than its name -- which means Mouse Mouth -- might suggest.
- Speaking of odd combinations, Bat-o-far in the 13th Arrondissement of Paris is a lighthouse boat with a dance floor.
- How about a burger and fries with a side of fabric softener? Brainwash, in San Francisco's SoMa district, is a combination restaurant and laundromat.
- Up for a culinary feast in Porvoo, Finland? Try snails, deer carpaccio and tar-flavored salmon, then finish your meal with a Kiss.
- Venetian raiders stole the body of St. Mark the Evangelist from Alexandria in 820, but they left behind his head.
- The Leaning Tower of Puerto Morelos? The old lighthouse there was knocked askew in a 1967 hurricane, but has remained standing through several subsequent storms.
- If you go to a restaurant in Quebec City during Carnaval season and order Caribou, you may not get what you expect; in local jargon, it's an alcoholic beverage.
- Under Zimbabwean law, it is illegal to "hoard" more than Z$100 billion — or about one US dollar.
- With a population of less than 60,000, Dubuque, Iowa isn't a big city, but it's home to no fewer than six colleges with affiliations to churches.
- Moussorgsky notwithstanding, there's no Great Gate in Kiev, but you can visit a Chernobyl museum there.
- Got a hankering for iguana skin boots? You can get them at Sanchez Brothers Western Clothes, on Chicago's Southwest Side.
- If you visit Mongolia and have an adventurous palate, try a boodog, or marmot barbecue. (May cause bubonic plague.)
- The entrance to the (American) Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton (Ohio) is (unsurprisingly) surmounted by half of a giant football, but the effect is to make the building look like a giant orange squeezer.
- If you visit Malacca during Intrudu in February, be ready to have buckets of water thrown at you. (It's all in fun.)
- In Iriomote, Japan in the summertime? Stay at the pineapple-shaped Pineapple House and tuck into all-you-can-eat pineapple.
- What's that doing there? One of the features of the Frauenkirche in Munich's City Center district is the Teufelstritt, or devil's footstep.
- Among the attractions at Odessa (Texas) are full-size replicas of Stonehenge and also Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
- Skip the "city chicken" jokes: The most famous menu item at the Lung Wah Hotel, in Hong Kong's New Territories district, is roasted pigeons.
- Despite what the name may lead you to believe, the Australian town of Orange is well known for its crop of apples.
- During Japan's bubble economy, the single square kilometer under Tokyo's Imperial Palace was estimated to be more valuable than all of California.
- The temple of Wat Lan Khuad in Si Saket Province, Thailand is built entirely from glass bottles — and the frescoes are made from bottle caps.
- Public transportation in Boone, North Carolina is via a bus line known as AppalCART for its association with Appalachian State University.
- Hevimesta, a nightclub in Helsinki, features heavy metal karaoke.
- Fascinated by big money? Then visit Sudbury, Ontario and see the 30-foot-tall coin replica known as the Big Nickel.
- The official mascot of the Caribia Spa in Turku, Finland is the Posankka, a cross between a duck and a pig.
- At Tokyo Disneyland, flavors of popcorn include cream soda and curry (sold, appropriately enough, only in Adventureland).
- Blueberry Hill Restaurant, in St. Louis, is full of pop-culture artifacts, but its most notable "artifact" is Rock&Roll legend Chuck Berry, who still performs there once a month.
- Tartinijev trg square in Piran, Slovenia was once a marina, but after it silted up, it was paved over in marble.
- Ever hear of the California Bear Republic? You can see the old adobe home of William B. Ide, its only president (and that not for long), in Red Bluff.
- Guildhall in Windsor, England incorporates pillars that don't actually support anything -- but the town burgesses insisted on having them anyway.
- Of course you know that The Loop, Chicago's downtown district, contains many skyscrapers, but did you know that among them is a prison nearly 300 feet tall?
- The trams in Alexandria, Egypt are kind of slow, but at 25 piastres or around 4.6¢ a ride, you can't really complain.
- Don't overestimate how "friendly" the Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge connecting Vientiane, Laos and Nong Khai, Thailand is; you still can't cross it by foot or bicycle.
- The sound of the Arabic letter ʿayin has been likened to someone being strangled.
- A statue in Simon's Town, South Africa memorializes Just Nuisance, the only dog ever to be enlisted in the Royal Navy.
- Visiting Tucson, Arizona and fascinated by organized crime? Consider the Congress Hotel; infamous public enemy John Dillinger was arrested there.
- The dessert the Trianon Cafe of Alexandria, Egypt is famous for is om Ali, a type of pudding, but the name translates as Ali's mom.
- If you're interested in World War II history and visiting New South Wales, check out the town of Cowra; it's the site of the only Japanese war cemetery in Australia.
- There are 11 separate vowels and 35 consonants in the Hindi language.
- The Fighting 69th Monument in Ballymote, Ireland hosts a piece of metal from the World Trade Center in New York City, honoring a firefighter who perished in the 9/11 attacks and had ancestors in the town.
- Travelers visiting Socorro, New Mexico in April or September might get to join a tour of the site of the world's first atomic bomb explosion, at nearby White Sands Missile Range.
- The entire Grand Shrine of Ise is dismantled and rebuilt from scratch every 20 years — counting up from 690 AD, the current incarnation is the 61st.
- If you visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan, you can see demonstrations of nautical rescue techniques performed using Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls.
- The ossuary at St. Catherine's Monastery at Mount Sinai houses the skulls of 1400 years' worth of monks.
- Having declared independence on the 3rd of June 2006, Montenegro is the youngest officially recognized country in the world.
- The ladies' restroom at the China Blue bar in Boise, Idaho has its own private champagne bar and bartender.
- The students who guide you through Durham Castle in Durham (England) aren't just employees; they're residents, as the castle contains the oldest student accommodations in the world.
- The most popular souvenir at the PLO Flag Shop in Gaza was an inflatable Yasser Arafat. (No longer in stock, alas.)
- The name of Shait Gumbad Mosque in Bagerhat, Bangladesh means Mosque of 60 Domes, but that's misleading as it actually has 77 of the structures.
- If you're fascinated by solid waste for some reason, check out 60-foot-high Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- The Pickle Factory in Bangkok's Phahonyothin district is not a factory and has nothing to do with pickles.
- Interested in really higher education? The Watterson Towers complex at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois stands nearly 300 feet high and is the tallest college dormitory in the world.
- According to the Ten Courts of Hell in Singapore's Haw Par Villa, cheating in exams merits having your body dismembered and your intestines pulled out.
- Of course, you won't find the extinct dodo on the island of Mauritius any more, but birders may catch a glimpse of the endangered Mauritius kestrel there as consolation.
- Finland is known as The Land of a Thousand Lakes, but it actually has 187,888 of them.
- The street address of the Toledo (Ohio) Zoo is 2 Hippo Way. (No information on what "1 Hippo Way" might be.)
- Singapore's Mint Museum houses a collection of... no, not money, but over 50,000 toys.
- In the mood for a luxurious train ride? Go beyond First and try Rehab Class on Saudi Railways.
- The latest craze in Akihabara, Tokyo is cat cafes, where customers can drink tea while playing with felines.
- When in Dingle, Ireland, be sure to visit its most famous resident, Fungi the dolphin, who has been living in the bay for 20 years and welcomes human visitors.
- Does ten dinars for a taxi ride in Bahrain sound cheap? At US$2.67 to the dinar, it's not!
- With the Loot of Lima worth in excess of $50 million rumoured to be buried there, Cocos Island is the perfect destination for any treasure hunter.
- One of Riyadh's more macabre sights is Chop-Chop Square, where public beheadings are carried out on Fridays.
- The head office of the Longaberger Baskets Company in Newark, Ohio is a building in the shape of a gigantic basket.
- At the Singapore Zoo's Jungle Breakfast, you get to feed yourself and elephants as well.
- The Maropeng centre in the Cradle of Humankind caters for all aspiring time travelers. In the time tunnel it only takes a few steps to walk backwards from today until 4 billion years ago.
- Spice up your sandwich with one of the more than 800 varieties of mustard available at the Mustard Museum just outside Madison
- For anyone that has ever dreamed about running away and joining the circus. The Aloft Loft in Chicago offers a Two-Day Beginning Trapeze course.
- At just 396 meters, the runway at Saba International Airport is probably the shortest commercial runway in the world.
- A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, except in Buffalo National River where harming a Ivory-billed woodpecker will get you arrested, but a photo of one will earn you $10 000.
- Some cultures require a handsome, sword-bearing prince to rescue the damsel in distress; in Kawasaki they make do with a blacksmith and hammer. Visit the Iron Penis Festival to find out why.
- The huge limestone spires of the Pinnacles Desert in Western Australia is best viewed early in the morning or around sunset when then low angle of the sun enhances the colours and contrasts of the rock formations.
- Fast food does not always have to be a burger and fries. In Barbados the fast food can do 30mph through the air.
- Miyake, a bar in Palo Alto, California popular with students at nearby Stanford University, is known for its Sake Bomb (shot of sake dropped into a glass of beer and chugged).
- For a dip with a difference, visit Yamanouchi in Japan, where you can go hot spring bathing with snow monkeys.
- The Spring of Life fresco in the Lutheran church at Rovaniemi, Finland, follows Biblical themes, but with some twists; for example, it depicts reindeer standing in for lambs.
- Ürümqi, in China, claims to be the most inland city in the world because of its distance from the (any) ocean.
- The Allen-Bradley Clock Tower in Milwaukee is the world's largest four-sided clock, with clock faces nearly twice the size of London's famous "Big Ben."
- Guadalajara's characteristic salsa is called Tapatío, but choose your words carefully when buying it; "Tapatio" also means a resident of the city.
- Bedwellty House and Park in Tredegar, a small town in Wales, lays claim to hosting the world's largest lump of coal.
- Feeling hung over in South Korea? Try the traditional remedy haejangguk, a soup made from pork spine and ox blood.
- Despite being the site of a mass Japanese POW breakout in 1944, the Australian town of Cowra is now the site of Australia's only Japanese war cemetery.
- The famed Sphinx of Giza is no lovable kitty-cat: the Arabs call it the Father of Terror, while the Greek name means the Strangler.
- Harkers Island, North Carolina, USA hosts an annual two-day festival dedicated to the art of duck decoys.
- The tiny Norwegian community of Finse is home to a railway museum (the Rallar Museum) even though its permanent population is only about 10 people.
- One of the sights of Sydney's Manly district is The Quarantine Station, preserving the city's original defenses against infectious diseases.
- Much of the Ohio River is controlled and owned by the State of Kentucky, because Kentucky became a state before Ohio.
- The symbol of the Thai town of Ubon Ratchathani is a 22-meter-tall candle sculpture and they even hold a yearly Candle Festival.
- Nostalgic for the great era of ocean liners? Visit Cobh, Ireland; it was the last port ever visited by the Titanic before that fateful day in 1912.
- The word bordello comes from the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, where ladies of night used boards to divide up their rooms.
- Feeling a little under the weather in Indonesia? Odds are you've caught wind (masuk angin), so the local cure is to either rub an oiled coin on your skin or, easier yet, just break wind.
- Taiwanese roads often feature brightly lit booths staffed by attractive, skimpily dressed girls, whose job is to sell mildly narcotic betel nuts.
- Cardiff, Wales is home to a Roman-era castle and the Doctor Who Exhibition, complete with studio tours.
- The main road to tiny and remote Regent, North Dakota, USA is called the Enchanted Highway, as it's adorned with giant sculptures of a grasshopper, a covey of pheasants, and Teddy Roosevelt, among others.
- You can't reach Parismina, Costa Rica by road or train, and car and bike rental doesn't exist there, but take heart: once you're in town, you can get around by rented ox cart.
- Vung Tau, Vietnam nestles beneath the cliff called Mũi Nghinh Phong -- translated as “Cape of Breeze Welcome”.
- The Stockholm Globe Arena, Globen, claims the title of world's largest spherical building.
- Each April, Tokyo's transvestites congregate at the Iron Penis Festival held by a fertility shrine in Kawasaki.
- The cuisine of Baltimore theoretically features Chesapeake Bay steamed crabs, but most crabs served in the city are imported from states on the Gulf of Mexico because of overfishing in the Bay.
- Chicken Wreck, a dive site off Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, is named after the unlucky ship's cargo: tons and tons of frozen chicken.
- If you're in Kobe and your budget doesn't stretch to the famous beef, try sobameshi — a mix of fried rice and fried noodles.
- The Ishiya Chocolate Factory in Sapporo, Japan offers tours, souvenirs, restaurants and a musical robot show.
- During Cold War days, parts of Cincinnati's never-completed subway system did double duty as a fallout shelter.
- Avoiding checking in umbrellas on flights in the United Kingdom; they're still a little edgy after one was used to assassinate Georgi Markov.
- The sundial in Rose Point Park in Singleton, New South Wales, Australia is often claimed to be the world's largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
- The small town of Rishikesh in Uttarakhand, India is often called the world's capital of yoga, not least because Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's now-closed ashram was there.
- Saudi Arabia bans all booze, but you can still get Budweiser beer — although it's non-alcoholic and apple-flavored.
- The term hanging judge derives from Judge Issac Parker of Fort Smith, Arkansas, who sentenced more than a hundred criminals to death by hanging.
- In Jeddah's old town of Al-Balad, the teetering seven-story houses are made from coral.
- The origin of the poker term Dead Man's Hand comes from the murder of Wild Bill Hickok, who was holding a pair of aces and eights when he was shot from behind in Deadwood, South Dakota.
- Hungry? You will find Lobster Salad Rolls and Fried Scallop Rolls in the town of Sandwich, Cape Cod.
- It's relatively easy for visitors to Indonesia's Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park to see two volcanoes active at the same time (Bromo and Semeru).
- In the tropical city state of Singapore, feeding monkeys is punishable by a fine.
- A popular restaurant in Kilgore, Texas, USA, is the Jalapeño Tree, even though jalapeño peppers don't grow on trees.
- In Bergen, locals refer to the seven mountains surrounding the city, but there's no agreement on which mountains these seven really are, as there are in fact nine mountains in the area.
- At sukiyaki specialist Mishima-tei in Kyoto, the premium beef retails for the equivalent of US$ 700 per kilo.
- Ever had a desire to take a donkey for a walk, for some reason? You can do it at the Nerja (Spain) Donkey Sanctuary.
- A bar in the University City district of Charlotte, North Carolina bears the provocative name Tipsey McStumble's.
- Among the artifacts displayed at The Gordon Highlanders Museum in Aberdeen, Scotland is a flag from Hitler's staff car. (Don't ask how they got it.)
- In Saudi Arabia, you can try authentic apple-flavored Budweiser. (Non-alcoholic, of course.)
- UPC Arena in Graz, Austria was renamed in 1997 to honor native son Arnold Schwarzenegger, but the old name was restored in 2005 over the governor's support of the death penalty.
- For an "authentic" experience in getting around Havana via public transportation, try El Camello, a split-level bus pulled by a semi-truck, and resembling a 2-humped camel.
- In the celebrated art colony of Santa Fe, New Mexico, you can of course get paintings of the scenery of the southwestern United States, but did you know you can also get original paintings of Daffy Duck and Wile E. Coyote?
- The Hall of Skulls at Monsopiad Cultural Village outside Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia features 42 skulls of enemies, all killed by the warrior-hero Monsopiad.
- Among the objects on display at the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, Texas, memorializing the city's favorite son, is a giant-size replica of the rocker's trademark glasses.
- Fans of spicy fermented cabbage from all over Korea flock to the Kimchi Museum in Seoul.
- The Norwegian city of Bergen is famously rainy, but the locals say there's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
- On your way from Takaoka to the Vladivostok ferry? Take a look out the window: the name of the Himi train line means Ice-Watching.
- If you visit Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada and crave a dinner of alligator meat, you can get it at K's Amazon Eatery -- even though the Amazon and its gators are thousands of miles away.
- A cypress tree outside Kurje Lhakhang monastery in Jakar, Bhutan is claimed to have grown from Guru Rinpoche's walking stick.
- When you visit Vicksburg (Mississippi) National Military Park, you can see one of the first ironclad gunboats, dating back to US Civil War times.
- Good things come in threes — and in Japan, the list includes views, castles, gardens, mountains, hot springs and giant Buddha statues.
- Medieval frescoes in the Church of St. John the Baptist in Bohinj, Slovenia often show figures with large swellings of the neck (goiters), caused by lack of iodine in the local diet.
- Don't look for nightlife in Saudi Arabia: alcohol, dancing, movies and mingling with the opposite sex are all prohibited.
- Want to visit the Northern, Western, Eastern and Southern Capitals? Book flights to Beijing, Xian, Tokyo and Nanjing.
- Chippewa Square in Savannah, Georgia was the site of the bus stop in the movie Forrest Gump, but don't look for the famous bench; it was just a prop.
- When eating at Houston's restaurant in Kanab, Utah, tip the servers well; they pack pistols, although it's just for show -- allegedly.
- A bullet train ride on the Hakata-Minami Line in Fukuoka, Japan costs just ¥290 (under US$3). Alas, the end-to-end trip lasts just ten minutes.
- If you somehow find yourself visiting Clipperton Island and lack things to do (understandably), try running around the island and timing yourself; the record circumnavigation time is one hour and 17 minutes.
- The interior of the Phnom Sombok temple in Kratie, Cambodia is decorated with torture scenes for the edification of the non-virtuous visitor.
- If you visit Fort Caroline National Memorial in Jacksonville, Florida, don't expect to see the eponymous fort itself; it's now beneath the waters of the St. John's River.
- The Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn, Estonia was built for Tsar Peter the Great, but the tsar actually preferred to stay in a small house nearby.
- With a population of 800, Gili Trawangan off Lombok, Indonesia claims to be the world's smallest island to host a full-fledged Irish pub.
- Lasting just three minutes, the flight between the Japanese islands of Minamidaito and Kitadaito is the shortest Boeing 737 service in the world.
- Need directions to the May Natural History Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado? Just turn at the 7-foot-long statue of a beetle; you can't miss it.
- The Grand Hyatt Shanghai, in a skyscraper in Shanghai's Pudong district, houses the world's longest laundry chute.
- Tired of the usual drinks? Try a black pepper and grilled pineapple martini at hip nightspot Ku dé Ta in Seminyak, Bali.
- If you travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, make sure to see Yanar Dagh, a mountain riddled with natural gas vents that have been on fire for a thousand years.
- Tradition calls for visitors to Nobel Laureate William Faulkner's grave in Oxford, Mississippi to leave a pint of whiskey -- although he'd probably prefer Scotch.
- A characteristic beverage of the Vercors region of France is walnut wine (vin de noix), made from walnut stain (not the nut itself).
- The Kumbh Mela, an Indian festival held every twelve years, may have drawn as many as 70 million people to Haridwar in 2003.
- Rick's, a popular nightclub complex in Bergen, Norway, was the quarters of the Gestapo, the Nazis' secret police, during World War II.
- There is a street in Warsaw called Ulica Kubusia Puchatka -- or "Winnie the Pooh Street".
- Among the oddities at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium in Orlando, Florida is a 3/4-scale model of a 1907 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost automobile -- made of matchsticks.
- Some of the principal architectural attractions in Kobe, Japan are 19th-century foreign traders' homes, known today as Ijinkan (異人館) -- meaning Barbarian Houses.
- How's that again? Huangpu Park, at the northern tip of the Bund district of Shanghai, was the home of the legendary "No dogs or Chinese" sign — which in fact never existed.
- The San Francisco Bay Model in Sausalito, California shows the San Francisco Bay area at 1000/1 scale and occupies 2 acres of land.
- The Scandic Hotel at Helsinki's airport is located under one of the runways.
- Montpelier, capital of the state of Vermont, is the only state capital in the United States of America that doesn't have a McDonalds restaurant.
- Maibacherl, in the Austrian town of Villach, is a rare example of a seasonal hot spring -- it only flows in springtime.
- Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio was the site of General William Tecumseh Sherman's famous "War Is Hell" speech.
- If visiting the Italian town of Sperlonga, try the local mozzarella cheese; it's made with water-buffalo milk.
- Here's an oxymoron: the Santa Barbara (California) Museum of Natural History contains the world's most complete skeleton of a pygmy mammoth. (It's pony-sized.)
- A small plaza/park in the Brazilian city of Salvador bears the name Largo do Pelourinho -- "Place of the Pillory," which is exactly what it was formerly used for.
- Among the items on display at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland are the golden track shoes worn by sprinter Carl Lewis.
- Several of the hiking trails connecting scenic Santa Fe (New Mexico) with the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains have trailheads thoughtfully located at a college that hosts a noted search and rescue team.
- Highways through gorges in the French regional park at Vercors are known as les routes du vertige -- vertigo roads.
- Rauma, Finland has its own drink, Puksprööt, made of juniper-rowan liqueur and white wine, served with a tar-infused rope.
- It won't surprise you that Sleepy Hollow has tourable sites related to Washington Irving's eponymous short story, but did you know that you can tour some of them via kayak?
- South Tyrol is the only region in Italy in which the majority of the population speaks German as their mother tongue.
- Extinct in the park for 150 years, northern elephant seals began re-colonizing Point Reyes National Seashore in the 1970's, and the population has been growing at the astounding rate of 16% annually.
- A dish characteristic of Ghent, Belgium is "Gentse waterzooi" -- "boiled water from Ghent." (It does have other ingredients.)
- Portland, Oregon received its name as the result of a coin toss -- with the other possibility being Boston.
- The permanent population of the Pitcairn Islands numbers only about 50 people, but they still rate their own Internet top-level domain (.pn).
- Among the culinary "treats" you can experience on the major Japanese island of Hokkaido are asparagus, corn, or squid-ink ice cream.
- Scuba divers visiting Paihia, New Zealand can dive the wreck of the Rainbow Warrior, the Greenpeace ship controversially sunk by French agents.
- The cobbles paving the ground in Moscow's famous Red Square are black, not red.
- If you visit the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine, you can learn to drive a streetcar.
- Among the attractions of the Argentine city of Cordoba is the Museo Paleontológico de la Universität Nacional de Córdoba, featuring the largest fossilized spider in the world.
- Nanjing, China had the world's longest city wall. Large parts of it are still standing, though much of the modern city is outside them.
- A dam in Switzerland's Verzasca Valley was featured in the James Bond movie Goldeneye, and is used for what's claimed to be the longest bungee jump in the world.
- Where did that come from? Solvang, California is best known for its Danish theme (architecture, cuisine, etc.), but also included among its attractions is an ostrich farm.
- Competitors in the North Bay Triathlon, in the Canadian town of the same name, are allowed to wear wet suits for the swimming part of the competition, because of the cold waters.
- Mr. Bean fans visiting Portsmouth in Hampshire, England should stay at the Queen's Hotel - the episode Mr. Bean in Room 426 was filmed there.
- The Bahamian Junkanoo festival, celebrated on Boxing Day and New Year's Day, involves dancing in disposable crepe costumes while clanging cowbells.
- The Wheels O' Time museum in Peoria (Illinois) features a mechanical barbershop quartet in which all of the figures bear faces of former US presidents.
- The Bolivian mountain Chacaltaya is the site of the world's highest-elevation Alpine ski area, but it's threatened by global warming.
- The minor-league baseball team in Charleston (South Carolina) is known as the Riverdogs.
- If you're allergic to bee stings, be careful when visiting Parque Simón Bolivar in Guaranda, Ecuador; the park's statue of the hero harbors a bee's nest in one of its armpits.
- It's possible to go scuba diving at Crater Lake National Park, but only if you can carry your gear up and down the mile-long Cleetwood Trail to the eponymous lake.
- The Grenada Chocolate Factory, on the island-nation of the same name, produces chocolates with machinery powered by solar energy.
- Red Hook Ale Brewery in Portsmouth (New Hampshire) is located on the grounds of a former Air Force base.
- If you go scuba diving in Lake Atitlan near Panajachel, Guatemala, be careful: you can burn your hands on the lake's bottom, which is heated by volcanic activity.
- Walkie-talkie, a dish from Cape Town's impoverished townships, is made from chicken beaks and feet.
- Arachnophobic? Just wait until you see the holographic projection of a 3-foot-long, crawling tarantula at the Museum of Holography on Chicago's Near West Side.
- Bandung's prison has been turned into a shopping mall — except the one cell where Indonesian independence leader Sukarno was held.
- In Honolulu, escape from the hot weather to the last place you'd expect to find - an ice rink.
- The holes in Swiss Cheese - known locally as Emmentaler in its native Switzerland - are made by gas-excreting bacteria.
- The replica of Independence Hall in Buena Park, California is so accurate that the original structure in Philadelphia borrowed the blueprints for its restoration.
- The $50,000 honeymoon suite package at the Peninsula Hong Kong, a hotel in the Kowloon district, includes a helicopter tour of the city.
- A Salzspeicher (salt warehouse) in Lübeck, Germany was the lair of the title villain in two movies featuring the vampiric Count Nosferatu.
- The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina is the largest single-family home in the United States.
- Among the exhibits at Egri Vár, a castle-museum at Eger, Hungary, is an ancient, makeshift motion detector that uses peas.
- A memorial in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA honors World War II's most decorated battleship (the USS South Dakota), even though the town is hundreds of miles from any ocean.
- The volcano on the eponymous island of Vulcano is hiker-friendly, and is one of the few places in the world where you can view droplets of molten sulfur.
- Laos derives its roots and its name from a 14th-century kingdom with the name Lane Xang -- meaning "Million Elephants".
- The English town of Woking was the landing place for the aliens in H. G. Wells' original "War of the Worlds" fiction, a fact commemorated by art work around the town.
- The Aloft Loft on Chicago's Far West Side is home to a theater group composed entirely of trapeze artists.
- Ketchikan, Alaska is one of the rainiest cities in North America, with just over 150 inches of average annual precipitation.
- The Nongae Shrine in Jinju, South Korea memorializes a courtesan who seduced an invading general and then killed him (and herself).
- The Liberty Hotel in Boston occupies a former prison.
- The written language of Thailand is notoriously difficult to read because of a complete absence of space between words.
- A move is afoot to rename Volusia County, Florida to NASCAR County (note the caps) because of its main attraction, the Daytona International Speedway.
- In Bangladesh, don't miss the chance to have a bony bite of hilsa, the officially designated national fish.
- Access to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, USA is occasionally interrupted by missile tests launched from a nearby Air Force base.
- The beach at Pantai Sabak in Kota Bharu, Malaysia doesn't have much sand any more due to erosion, but it still features pillboxes left over from World War II.
- The "living ghost town" of Chloride, Arizona is named after the ore silver chloride, formerly mined nearby.
- Hotel 1929, a boutique hotel in Singapore, is famous for its collection of chairs.
- Seattle used to have a district called Sodo -- "South of the Dome" -- but the term is now largely obsolete because the Kingdome has been demolished.
- Sculptures in Sligo commemorate the town's importance as a port of embarkation during the Irish potato famine of the mid-19th century.
- Place Maréchal-Foch, in Nantes, contains one of the few existing statues of Louis XVI left in France.
- Traveling through Chicago's O'Hare International Airport with time to kill? Spend it staring at the complete fossil skeleton of one of the world's largest dinosaurs.
- Trapizza in Singapore is simultaneously a pizzeria and a trapeze school.
- A part of the table service at the Wuji Rib House in Harbin, China is plastic gloves to keep the rib eater's hands clean.
- The Druid Hills district of Decatur (Georgia), United States of America provided the scenic setting for the movie Driving Miss Daisy.
- Malaysia may be an Islamic country, but its Genting Highlands casino is so popular, it has the world's largest hotel.
- Don't worry too much about the morality of The Annual Hookers Ball in Chatham, Massachusetts; it's by, for and about fishermen -- rather than other kinds of hookers.
- Brasilia, capital of Brazil, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site even though it's less than 50 years old.
- Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico, USA features not only the remnants of a supervolcano but also scenic, abandoned movie sets.
- Now there's one less reason to get caned in Singapore — on October 26, 2007, oral sex was legalized. (Unless you're gay, that is.)
- The Little Rock Zoo is home to the world's only waving carousel.
- The two distinct sections of the Old Town district of Quebec City are connected by the Escalier Casse-Cou -- "Breakneck Stairs".
- Nha Trang, Vietnam contains a museum dedicated to the memory of Alexandre Yersin, who discovered the bacterium that causes bubonic plague.
- Fort Denison, a complex at Sydney Harbour that tourists can visit, was originally built to guard the city against Russian attack.
- Parkersburg, West Virginia, USA holds an annual Volcano Days Festival, even though there has been no volcano (apart from an extinct town by that name) nearby for millions of years.
- The theoretical net worth of every citizen of Abu Dhabi is $17 million.
- On historic Route 66, look for the world's largest cross and a leaning water tower in the small Texas town of Groom.
- The house from the film A Christmas Story is in Cleveland, Ohio, and is now a museum dedicated to the film.
- The name of Mexican city Guanajuato means place of the frogs, but it's also a place of tunnels, with many roads running under its sloping surface.
- One of the exhibits of the pint-sized museum in Hydra, Greece is the embalmed heart of Admiral Andreas Miaoulis.
- The ivory-billed woodpecker, long believed extinct, might still exist near Buffalo National River in Arkansas, USA.
- Built at a cost of over $3 billion, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is probably the most expensive hotel in the world.
- The luxury Volkswagen Phaeton car is contructed in Dresden's Gläserne Manufaktur, a transparent factory.
- The most visited grave in Buenos Aires's Cementerio de la Recoleta is that of Eva Perón.
- The Singaporean district of Bugis, named after pirates and once infamous for transvestite prostitutes, is now a shopping mall.
- Kalimotxo, trademark drink of the Basque Country town of San Sebastian, is made of equal parts wine and Coca-Cola.
- The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago was founded in 1874 with the $10 purchase of a single bear cub.
- The false morel mushroom is considered a delicacy in Finland, but it's so poisonous that eating a single one raw can kill you.
- Much of New Zealand's capital city Wellington is built on reclaimed land raised up by a major earthquake in 1855.
- The 110,000 people that crowd into Beaver Stadium during Penn State football games are claimed to (temporarily) make State College the third largest city by population in Pennsylvania.
- The Maldives forbid importing pork and exporting sand.
- The fur seal colony that lives on Montague Island, Australia during spring months is an all male colony: the seals that live there have been unable to assemble a harem.
- Waterloo, Ontario has the second largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the world, after those in Munich.
- If you venture out from Iriomote, Japan to nearby Yubu Island, you'll ride in an amphibious cart pulled by a water buffalo.
- Sahti, a traditional Finnish type of beer, is flavored with juniper berries.
- The USS Razorback submarine in Little Rock, Arkansas, is named after a whale, not the University of Arkansas mascot.
- According to local legend, the bauru sandwich, a trademark food item in São Paulo, was invented by a law student.
- The classic photo of Harry Truman with the incorrect "Dewey Defeats Truman" newspaper was taken at St. Louis Union Station.
- Nostalgic for Cold War days for some odd reason? Then visit the Polish city of Szczecin, and go on a tour of Poland's largest fallout shelter.
- There are five million people in Finland... and two million saunas.
- The Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run, starting in Silverton (Colorado), is often called the toughest endurance race in the world, yet is so popular that would-be runners must enter a lottery to register for it.
- In a bit of national one-upmanship, the Parliament building in Budapest is claimed to be one meter longer and wider than its English counterpart.
- The Sink, a bar in Boulder, Colorado, USA, once employed a janitor named Robert Redford -- yes, that Robert Redford.
- Salmiakki, a popular Finnish candy, is flavored with ammonium chloride.
- The Unsichtbar, a bar/restaurant in Cologne, is designed to let guests experience blindness; patrons get a private butler, who is a blind person, and eat in total darkness.
- Hot Doug's, an eatery in the Far Northwest Side of Chicago, specializes in sausages, with ostrich sausage among its offerings.
- The Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is responsible for over one tenth of the country's gross national product.
- The San Fernando Valley in California is home to over a thousand exotic wild parrots descended from pet-store and theme-park escapees.
- The shrine at Phra Nang Beach in Rai Leh, Thailand holds offerings to a legendary princess claimed to have drowned there: carved, red-tipped phalluses.
- The city of Tenney, Minnesota bills itself as the smallest statutory city in the United States, with a fully functioning government and six full-time residents.
- Atolls in the Maldives all have handy code names: instead of Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi, you can just say Baa.
- Most of the animals at Star Eco Station, a rescue center/teaching zoo in Culver City, California, are illegal animal immigrants seized during Customs operations.
- Among the events of the Indy Irish Fest, a September festival in Indianapolis, is a mile race in which all contestants must wear kilts.
- A centerpiece of the September Fiesta de Santa Fe (New Mexico) is the ceremonial burning of Zozobra, a huge animated figure also known as Old Man Gloom.
- The original church at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Dubrovnik, Croatia was said to have been built using funds donated by Richard the Lionhearted.
- The city of Kagoshima in Kyushu, Japan was recently given a grant of several billion yen for the purpose of covering its streetcar tracks with grass.
- The old hangar at the Pearson Air Museum in Vancouver (Washington) once housed not only airplanes but prisoners of war.
- Festivals in the Finnish city of Oulu include Garlic Night and the International Air Guitar Festival.
- The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, California is the largest Buddhist temple in the Western Hemisphere, measuring over 2,000 acres, and has a hall filled with 10,000 golden Buddhas.
- The Matsuyama youth hostel in Matsuyama, Japan runs courses in spoon-bending and aura imaging.
- The figures of angels and saints that once adorned the Astronomical Clock in the Czech town of Olomouc were replaced during Warsaw Pact days by depictions of scientists, laborers and athletes.
- A jewelry store in the arts-and-crafts district of Santa Fe (New Mexico), one of the world's great art centers, recently suffered a midnight break-in -- by a mountain lion.
- The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Akron, Ohio, USA is constructed from old grain storage silos from a former cereal factory.
- The surface area of Saint Martins Island in Bangladesh varies from 5 to 8 square kilometers, depending on the tides.
- The river running through Hue, Vietnam is named Huong Giang -- translating into English as Perfume River.
- Casa Peralta in San Leandro, California is a former adobe built by the Spanish during the state's missionary times.
- Sado Island drummers Kodo once performed in Boston — immediately after running the Marathon.
- The Rustic Nirvana spa in Singapore's Chinatown offers a Kung Fu Bouncing Herbs treatment.
- The House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin features the largest carousel in the world, with 239 carousel animals — not one of which is a horse.
- Cafe 100, an eatery in Hilo, Hawaii popular with locals, has been destroyed twice by tsunamis.
- The first of the Big things in Australia was the Big Banana, which you can still see today near the city of Coffs Harbour.
- Novelist Natsume Soseki and haiku poet Masaoka Shiki lived together in a Matsuyama house called Gudabutsuan, or Stupid Buddha Hermitage.
- Zeche Zollverein in Essen, Germany has been called the most beautiful coal mine in the world, and in fact, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The statue of Will Rogers and his horse Soapsuds at Texas Tech, a university in Lubbock, Texas, is oriented so that the horse's rear end points at Tech's collegiate rival, Texas A&M University.
- The name of Tōge-no-Yu Bihoro (峠の湯びほろ), a hot spring in Bihoro, Japan, translates as "Pass Hot Water Bihoro".
- The average annual temperature in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, exactly matches the world average temperature to within a tenth of a degree Centigrade.
- Part of the cuisine of Huaraz, Peru and vicinity is cuy, better known in English as guinea pig.
- The authentic Sopwith Camel aircraft in Little Rock, Arkansas is the only one in the United States.
- The women of Kochi, Japan are known as hachikin, or Eight Testicles, as they reputedly hold their liquor better than four men.
- Every floor of The Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is a "ground" floor.
- By tradition, members of the crews that finish last in the annual Punt Boat Race in Tübingen, Germany must drink a half liter of cod liver oil.
- Los Alamos, the "Atomic City," is sited on the slopes of a slumbering supervolcano.
- The Cube, a sculpture by Tony Rosenthal in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, is a 15-foot-tall, 2400-lb glossy black cube that spins on its axis when pushed.
- Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa, California is also known as "Snoopy's Home Ice", because it was once owned by cartoonist Charles Schulz.
- Okhotsk Ryūhō Museum in Abashiri, Japan is devoted to the meteorological phenomenon of pack ice.
- The Church, a popular bar and dance club in Denver, is housed in a former Episcopalian church.
- The Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman claims to house the largest hand-made Persian carpet in the world.
- It is said that there are 365 ponds in Plymouth, Massachusetts -- one for each day of the year.
- You can take a land-and-sea tour of Dublin, Ireland in World-War-II-vintage amphibious landing craft.
- Where did they get that name? Travelers flying to Dehradun, India land at Jolly Grant Airport.
- Ever felt like joining the circus? You can come close at the ¡Explora! Science Center and Children's Museum in Albuquerque, where one of the "hands-on" exhibits is a high-wire bike.
- The water from Devi Falls, one of the scenic attractions of Pokhara, Nepal, drops into a cave and is lost from sight.
- Ichiran, a famous noodle restaurant in Fukuoka, Japan, forbids cellphones, children and conversation.
- Juneau, capital of Alaska, is not connected by road to the state's other major cities (Anchorage, Fairbanks, etc.), even though they're all on the mainland.
- Visiting Montreux, Switzerland? Make sure to see Marmots' Paradise, with specimens of the little squirrel-like animals from all around the world.
- Kugleralm, a beer garden in Munich, was the birthplace of Radler -- beer diluted with lemonade.
- One of the thermal areas at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California bears the curious name Bumpass Hell.
- The Brew Kettle, a microbrewery in Cleveland, Ohio, allows some customers to brew their own beer.
- If you're capable of some acrobatics, when visiting the Öpfelchammere (Apple Chamber) bar in Zurich, you may win a glass of wine and the chance to drink it while hanging upside down.
- The Marzipan Museum in Szentendre, Hungary has a life-sized statue of Michael Jackson made of marzipan.
- In the Bahamas, you can get three-dollar bills and 15-cent coins.
- Miss Tiffany's Universe Pageant, held every May in Pattaya, Thailand, is a beauty queen competition with a difference - all the contestants were born as men.
- The Kowloon district of Hong Kong is the most densely populated place in the world.
- One of the events in the Yankee Homecoming Festival in Newburyport, Massachusetts is a bed race, where beds with occupants are pushed along a main street.
- May 5th is Coronation Day in Thailand, in tribute to the world's longest-serving current Head of State.
- In Singapore, chewing gum is available only in pharmacies -- and you need to show ID to make a purchase.
- The visitor center that welcomes newcomers to Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA is located in a former bordello.
- Popular nightspots in Turku, Finland include a former nursery and a former public lavatory.
- At Karim's Restaurant in Kebab Lane, Old Delhi, the most famous dish is Tandoori Bakra — an entire stuffed goat.
- One of the attractions of Bilbao, Spain is the Museo de Reproducciones Artísticas -- dedicated to copies of the world's great art.
- In South Korea, roasted silkworm larvae are a popular streetside snack.
- One of the many museums in and around Tucson, Arizona features a disarmed but formerly nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
- Up until the 1980s, Singapore's anti-hippie policies required that all male visitors get a haircut and a shave before entering the country.
- Songkran, the Thai New Year, is celebrated in mid-April with a three-day nationwide water fight.
- The remote Shimokita Peninsula of Japan is famous for squid ink noodles.
- Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a pub in Nottingham, claims to have been founded in 1189, making it the oldest inn in England.
- New Zealand's Bay of Islands has fine natural scenery, but it also boasts not-so-natural but scenic(?) public toilets designed by architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
- In Turkmenistan, the month of April and the word bread were renamed after the mother of former President-for-Life Saparmurat Niyazov.
- The Cooper Skull, a 10,000-year-old bison skull on display in a museum in Norman, Oklahoma, is the oldest known painted artifact in North America.
- Namibia isn't a dictatorship, but its capital, Windhoek, contains streets with names like Fidel Castro St. and Robert Mugabe Ave.
- The pilgrimage route to the summit of Mount Ishizuchi, Japan involves climbing up 166 meters of metal chains.
- Exhibits in the Lao National Museum, Vientiane include socks worn by Politburo members during a prison escape.
- The dome of Mills Observatory, a free, public astronomical observatory in Dundee, Scotland, is made of papier-mâché.
- Chateau Louis Liquor Store in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was the scene of a whiskey kidnapping, as a bottle of rare malt was stolen and held for ransom.
- A church in Almaty, former capital of Kazakhstan, was built in 1870 without using nails.