It would be a platitude to say that tourist courtiers usually try to attract tourists and travelers by loud titles like “The best restaurant”, “The most expensive hotel”, “The best polar lights”, etc. Well, I’ve been to the best restaurant of Berlin and the best restaurant of Madrid, and I can’t tell for sure which one is better. Both are good. Assuming that there are 194 countries in the world, there should be at least 194 “best” restaurants.
If you’re looking for a really unforgettable experience, you should look for places that are not overcrowded with people. Special places with restricted access. Abandoned places, places with unique look and feel. Places that will make your knees turn to jelly.
So here’s a short guide about really unique adventures. Adventures that will make all your friends envy you. Trips to the most creepy and frightening places of the world.
1. The Ghost Island of Japan (Hashima Island)
The Ghost Island of Japan, or Hashima Island, or Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) is a completely abandoned island that is located about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki . The island was a coal mining facility long time ago, 5,200 employees lived on 15-acre (6.1 ha) island. The island was a perfect example of modern industrial architecture: skyscrapers, concrete, narrow streets, etc. Nowadays the city looks like surroundings of any post-apocalyptic computer game: empty streets, ruined buildings, everything is grey and aged. Note that the island was opened for public access only in 2009, it took Japanese government a few years to make the island safe for visitors. Landing on the island is feasible for fewer than 160 days/year.
2. Prypiat amusement park (Chernobyl)
Post-apocalyptic landscape. The park is located in Ukraine. It was ruined after the Chernobyl disaster back in 1986. The city was evacuated and it became a favorite place for stalkers and thieves. So the city has its own unique air today: aged buildings, tangle, chaos and clutter everywhere. Some parts of the park still contain high levels of radiation, though it’s absolutely safe to visit the park with a guide. A personal/group guide is obligatory.
3. Island of Dolls (Xochimilco)
Like horror films with live dolls and clowns? Then you should definitely visit this place in Mexico. The legend goes that an old man called Don Julian Santana found a drowned little girl with a doll nearby in the canals south of Mexico City. So he started gathering broken dolls and rubbish tips and hanging them up on all trees on the island to keep her from haunting the island. You really get into a scene of a horror film when you enter the island: hundreds of dolls watching you all around. The dolls are very old now, most of them are broken: without eyes, legs, etc, time and weather made them look frayed. I don’t know any other place in the world that would made you feel something similar.
4. Chateau de Miranda (Noisy Castle)
An ancient castle built in 1866 that was uninhabited for a dozens of years since World War II. The castle is located in Celles, Belgium. The walls, ceilings and floors of the castle are ruined now. It makes you feel yourself a hero of middle ages, a conqueror with a sword. I guess this is how the castles looked long time ago during wars.
5. Ghost cities in China
Trying to win in a fight with overpopulation in China, Chinese government launched a project of founding completely new cities. The new cities look very modern (skyscrapers, avenues, traffic lights, etc), but they are uninhabited. China is facing a new real estate boom in the country at the moment, so most of apartments and buildings are purchased by real estate brokers and other reach people with a purpose to sell them in a few years at higher prices. So despite the fact that all apartments are sold, they are always empty. Want to feel yourself like Will Smith in the I Am Legend movie? Then pack your bags. Who knows what will happen with the cities in a few years?
Max Statham is Marketing Director at GlobeLink Travel Insurance.