Travel Ideas

When people travel, the biggest topics and highlights are often unique, funny or offbeat experiences that make great dinner party conversations. That’s the best thing about travel for most of us – experiencing something that’s unusual when compared to ones own culture.  So here are seven unique travel ideas from around the world – ranging from activities to eating and other just plain crazy stuff – and all of which will have your friends fascinated.

Unique travel idea 1: Visit the shoe fence

The Shoe Fence, Waihola
You’ll find the shoe fence on New Zealand’s South Island, on the drive south from Dunedin towards Invercargill, near a place called Waihola. The fence has been steadily collecting shoes over the years, with many travellers adding their worn out pairs. And having accumulated so many pairs over the years, the Shoe Fence is now an enormous collection that would easily put Imelda Marcos’ stash to shame. It’s not uncommon to find bizarre fence collections like this all over New Zealand – there’s even a bra fence in a town called Middlemarch!

Unique travel idea 2: Drink coffee made from cat poo

Kopi Luwak from Bali is the world’s most expensive coffee – with prices often reaching the $500 per kilogram mark. But the main reason Kopi Luwak is famous isn’t its price, it’s because it’s made of cat poo (well, the Civet isn’t actually a cat – but they’re referred to by locals as ‘cats’ or ‘weasels’). The coffee beans are eaten and digested by the Asian Palm Civet, then they’re extracted from the Civet poo, washed thoroughly, lightly roasted – and made into coffee, or Kopi Luwak (Kopi = coffee, Luwak = the Civet). There are theories as to why the coffee tastes so good; the strongest argument being that the digestive tract of the Civet removes some of the bitter coffee taste, but leaves the beans intact.

Unique travel idea 3: Paint the town red

La Tomatina, Buñol
La Tomatina has got to rank as one of the world’s most bizarre and downright infantile fiestas on earth. This world-famous summer spectacular sees thirty thousand or so participants try to dispose of the entire EU tomato mountain by way of a massive hour-long food fight. It’s an event especially appealing to repressed northern Europeans, Americans and Japanese, who swarm to the otherwise unremarkable Spanish town of Buñol each year on the last Wednesday of August, accompanied by legions of TV crews and photographers to document the carnage. Hurling 130,000 kilos of over-ripe tomatoes at each other until the streets are ankle-deep in a sea of squelching fruit is a strangely liberating experience. At the very least, it’s the one fiesta where you can truly say that you’ve painted the town red.

Unique travel idea 4: Have dinner with the devil

Tasmanian Devil
Forget the spinning, raspberry-blowing Looney Tunes stereotype – the Tasmanian devil is a famously elusive character. So if you want to get up close and personal with one on your trip to Tasmania, you’re going to need the skills of Geoff King. You’ll be taken in a small group to King’s remote fishing hut, where he’ll tempt out the devil with road kill staked to the ground. When one appears – and it usually doesn’t take long – you’ll be in the front row for a show few experience, as the Tasmanian devil guzzles down the fresh carcass in front of your eyes. You’ll literally be at dinner with the devil.

Unique travel idea 5: Cockroach racing

Cockroach Racing is a popular event that takes place every year in Brisbane on Australia Day – the 26th January. The alleged story of how these races started is that two old punters sat in the Story Bridge Hotel bar arguing over which Brisbane suburb had the biggest and fastest cockroaches – so they decided to race them. Nowadays, a jar of cockroaches is placed in the middle of the racing arena and the first cockroach to reach the outer edge of the circle wins. While it may seem silly to race cockroaches, it’s all for a good cause – proceeds from the day go to charity.

Unique travel idea 6: Tuck into a Spam supper

Filipino favourite Spam
Spam Jam is a restaurant in Manila, the Philippines, which specialises in Spam recipes. The restaurant, which you’ll find in the Makati City area of Manila, has delights on offer like the Spam burger, Spam and eggs, Spam spaghetti and Spam Caesar Salad. But whilst the menu might sound like something from a Monty Python sketch, Spam is actually part of the staple diet in the Philippines because it’s a relatively inexpensive, readily available and doesn’t spoil quickly.

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