July 24, 2009 / 4:35 AM / 10 years ago

Travel Picks: Weird attractions from toilets to boozy donkeys

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Travelers seeking a bit of novelty on their journeys can study toilets from 2,500 BC or join a red-carpet duck parade, according to a list of top 10 weird attractions by travel review website IgoUgo.com.

This annual list was compiled by editors at IgoUgo.com (www.igougo.com/) on recommendations from its readers and is not endorsed by Reuters:

1.Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, Delhi, India

Synonymous with public toilets in India, the Sulabh company also runs “Delhi’s wackiest museum.” A tour provides insight into the history of hygiene, from 2,500 BC to the present with walls of offbeat photos, one-of-a-kind toilets, and trivia.

2. Texas Prison Museum, Huntsville, Texas, USA

This museum, run by former prison employees, has a list of star attractions including “Old Sparky,” a decommissioned electric chair, a contraband exhibit, and a collection of items from the Texas Prison Rodeo and the Bonnie and Clyde death car.

3. Peabody Duck March, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Twice a day, every day, five mallards and their human duckmaster waddle the red-carpet from the Peabody hotel’s fountain to its elevator and back. What began as a joke in 1933 is now a tradition at all three Peabody locations with Orlando and Little Rock the newer additions.

4. Jellyfish Lake, Rock Islands, Palau

Even experienced divers and snorkelers call this dive site “the weirdest experience” in all their years. The water is thick with non-stinging jellyfish and swimmers can float among the normally threatening creatures and hold them without danger.

5. Beer-Drinking Burros, Isla La Roqueta, Mexico

A short hop from Acapulco by boat, Isla La Roqueta is known for beaches and burros, or small donkeys. The latter have developed a taste for cold beer and are frequent fixtures at restaurant tables.

6. Haines Shoe House, Hellam, Pennsylvania, USA

Since its construction in the late 1940s, the house of Mahlon “Shoe Wizard” Haines has been a must-see for shoe fetishists or kitschy-Americana enthusiasts. An architectural oddity built in the shape of a giant shoe, it has served as an advertising gimmick, a haven for honeymooners, an ice cream parlor, a private home, and now an attraction open for tours.

7. Joe’s Scarecrow Village, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada

This collection of scarecrows, including straw versions of Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan, is definitely unique. Located in Cap Le Moine, the dozens of figures are clever, quirky, and something a little different for those driving the Cabot Trail.

8. Christ of the Abyss, Key Largo, Florida, USA

This 9-foot (3 meter) sculpture is a main attraction of America’ first undersea park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, and a popular site for diving and undersea weddings.

9. Puzzling World, Wanaka, New Zealand

New Zealand’s South Island offers no shortage of dramatic peaks, but you can’t miss the plastic Leaning Tower of Wanaka as it tilts at a 53-degree angle in front of Puzzling World’s repository of weird and wonderful stuff. Enjoy freaky illusion rooms and a difficult maze in a place where even the toilets are a lesson in perspective.

10. Moosefest, Roslyn, Washington, USA

Picturesque Roslyn, Washington, has staged its share of quirky celebrations — years past saw the Manly Man Festival and the Wing Ding Parade — but it’s most famous as the onetime set of the TV show Northern Exposure. Every summer, devoted fans of the 1990s show arrive at Moosefest to pay homage to Roslyn.

Editing by Miral Fahmy

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