Whether it's street racing in Tokyo, dining with the dead in India or chasing an enormous wheel of cheese in England, there's one-of-a-kind experiences all over the world. Not all of these recommendations will suit everyone's tastes — some people prefer a relaxing, uneventful vacation on the beach with a drink in hand and there's nothing wrong with that!
But if you're bored of always playing the traditional tourist, it's time to seek out adventure and plan a trip to one (or more) of the unusual spots below.
1. Icelandic Phallological Museum, Iceland
In Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, there is a museum dedicated entirely to the penis. Yup, you read that right. From elephants to whales, hamsters and even humans, there are over 200 specimens from 46 species of mammals. The museum also features penis-inspired art and sculptures to browse and even boasts an exhibit of "folklore" phalluses.
The museum's collection has been carefully curated over 50 years after the founder, Sigurður Hjartarson, was gifted a whale penis as a joke by his co-workers. If you're travelling to Reykjavík, this is a gallery you likely won't find anywhere else.
2. Street Kart, Tokyo
If you've ever wished to realize your Speed Racer dreams, look no further. Street Kart in Tokyo offers tourists and locals alike the chance to take to the busy streets of Japan's capital city, go-kart style.
Either solo or with a group, you can pick out a costume — superheroes and Pikachu seem to be popular picks — before ripping through the streets, reaching top speeds of 60 km/h! Though, you will need a valid international or local license to get behind the wheel.
3. Harbin Ice Festival, China
You may have heard of the Carnaval de Québec that takes place every year in Québec City, but it's nothing compared to the citizens of Harbin who build an entire city made of snow and ice. The impressive sculptures and statues are lit up at night in dancing neon colours.
It's considered the largest ice festival in the world and uses laser technology to construct awe-inspiring structures. Their magnificence melts away every spring and is built back up again annually. The festival usually runs from mid-December to late February.
4. New Lucky Restaurant, India
At this restaurant in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, you can have a perfectly pleasant dinner experience... dining with the dead. The restaurant was built on a cemetery, and rather than trying to cover up the property's past, the owners decided to place the graves on full display.
Creepy? Well, the owners claim the creative design concept has been great for business, believing that dining among the dead is good luck, per travel company Atlas Obscura.
5. Cheese-Rolling Festival, England
Want to chase a giant wheel of cheese down an incredibly steep hill, racing to be the lucky one to catch it? Dozens of people in Gloucester gather every year in hunt of a 7-pound hunk of the local delicacy.
The event is considered so dangerous that authorities have tried to ban it, but to no avail. If you want to partake, head to Coopers Hill in May — just try not to leave with a broken neck!
6. Alpine skiing on Mauna Kea, Hawaii
You can go skiing on Mauna Kea, a mountain that claims the highest point in Hawaii at over 4,200 metres. If you thought Hawaii was solely for summer sports, you thought wrong. Mauna Kea, meaning "white mountain," is a popular ski destination.
Possibly the coolest thing about skiing on Mauna Kea is that you can grab your après-ski drinks on the warm sandy beaches down below, experiencing a taste of both winter and summer in one day!
7. Monkey Buffet Festival, Thailand
The macaque monkey is king at this annual festival in Lopburi, Thailand. In late November, festival-goers leave 4000 pounds of food for the thousands of macaques in attendance, watching as the monkeys stuff themselves with food, climb over people's heads and even join humans in song and dance.
Hold on tight to your smartphone or camera as the mischievous little monkeys are known to grab your possessions and run!
8. Heart Attack Grill, U.S.
This Las Vegas restaurant takes its name seriously, with staff dressed as medical professionals and customers referred to as "patients." The menu offers "prescriptions" like the Double Bypass Burger and Flatliner Fries. Patients who successfully finish the famous Quadruple Bypass Burger are pushed to their cars in a wheelchair.
The food served here lives up to its name after an unofficial spokesperson for the restaurant died outside the diner from — you guessed it — a heart attack.
9. Burning Man, U.S.
Many may have heard of Burning Man by now but have yet to experience it. Ask anyone who has gone to this annual festival in Nevada and they'll tell you it's an experience difficult to describe. Every August, art installations are set up in the desert, the drugs flow free and the entire event feels like a fever dream.
The games and events offered change year to year, from human petting zoos, a life-sized version of the Hungry Hungry Hippo game or a more laid-back Bob Ross and Chill.
10. Boryeong Mud Festival, South Korea
Who would want to play in the mud? Two million people gather every year in South Korea, taking part in mud wrestling, mud slides, mud races and even mud fireworks. This summer festival in Boryeong takes place in July on the western coast of the peninsula, roughly two hours from Seoul.
Ironically enough, there is a soap-making workshop too, which should prove useful after rolling around in sludge all day. There's even a line of Boryeong mud cosmetics for K-beauty fans.
11. Dinner in the Sky, various locations
Alright, if you've got a fear of heights, definitely leave this one off your list. Originally from Belgium, this concept took off in 2006 and is now offered in various cities around the world. Basically, you are strapped into your seat, like a roller coaster, while you and a dozen other diners are lifted — table, silverware and all — above your city's skyline.
A specialty chef makes your food right in front of you, suspended 50 metres in the air. Dinner in the Sky offers views in 60 countries across six continents, including Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan, Malta, Morocco and even Canada. Check their website to see current and upcoming locations.
This article has been updated since it was originally published on October 28, 2016.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.