Home Highlight Dark Tourism Spots You May Not Know Exists In Asia

Dark Tourism Spots You May Not Know Exists In Asia

by Natasha Christopher

Cover image by The New Republic

If you’re an avid Netflix travel documentary freak, you’re definitely drawn to journalist’ David Farrier’s Dark Tourist. It focuses on that area of travel, known as dark tourism, in this docuseries. In each episode, Farrier travels to a different locale to visit destinations and have experiences that wouldn’t be on most vacationers’ bucket lists. He embeds himself in a death-worshipping cult in Mexico, meets vampires in New Orleans, and travels to the most-nuked place on Earth for atomic swimming and fishing. It’s an interesting show which explores a whole different part of tourism that is not for the faint of hearts.

There is some dark tourist spot that really creeps me out, and some just made me drop everything I’m doing and book a flight to the “dark” destination. Asia is known for many dark tourist spots that not many are aware of. Due to its cultural background and superstitions that is highly grounded in Asian countries, this is what makes the dark tourism in Asia thrives.

Here are some of the dark tourist spots for an extra, extra adventure freak tourist in Asia.


Bhangarh Fort, India

Image via HoliDaze

Image via HoliDaze

Deemed as on the most haunted fort in India, the Bhangarh Fort was built by the Kachwaha ruler of Amber, Raja Bhagwant Singh, for his younger son Madho Singh in 1573 AD. Located at the borders of the Sariska Tiger Reserve in the Alwar district of Rajasthan, the Bhangarh Fort is not for the faint-hearted.

There are a few different stories to what perceive this place so creepy that the ruins can only be explored during the day and no one is allowed to enter the fort premises once the sun goes down. One story claims that the King swear that the fort shadows would not touch Guru Balu Nath’s meditation spot but the King failed to keep up to his promise. Guru Balu Nath soon cursed the village to remain roofless.

Another story is about Tantrik Singhia, who fell in love with Princess Ratnavati. He used magic to win her over but the princess was aware of his evil plans and ordered to get him killed. However, before Tantrik died, he cursed the fort and its residents to die and remain roofless forever.

Of course, you’ll have daredevils who dared to stay back after dusk has reported failed to appear alive the next morning.


Soi Sai Yood Bus Cemetery, Thailand
bus cemetery
It is no doubt that Thailand presents one of the creepiest and bizarre dark tourist spots if you’ve been reading tourism article. There’s one cemetery that may not sound ghastly when you first hear it. It’s a graveyard for old vehicles. However, the story and real life encounter from visitors presents a whole new level of goosebumps.

The old vehicle that is being “rested” in this place is supposedly brought there who are met with tragic ends and fatal road accidents. The wrecked shells are now said to be home to a number of ghosts, including the tormented souls of people who died in road traffic accidents.

A few reports have stated that cars passing by late at night are often met by phantom hitchhikers and some have seen “passengers” disappearing into thin air from their seat from taxi drivers. According to local folks up in that area, cars that pass by this bus junkyard are bombarded with a flash of headlights. You definitely don’t want to be driving alone at night at this area.


Trunyan Village, Bali, Indonesia

Image via Klook

Image via Klook

Bali is known for its beautiful beaches and wonderful nightlife scene. You may just change your mind when you’ve visited the dark tourist spot in Bali where a cemetery that is filled with skulls and corpses.

Trunyanese live calmly with their very own traditions and ancient custom. This town is one of the customary towns in Bali called ‘Bali Aga’ or ‘Old Bali’ who live in an incomprehensibly unique in relation to other Balinese. The Trunyanes don’t cremate their dead. They practice leaving the deceased in the open after a grand ceremony. After a purifying custom, the dead body is put in a bamboo confine (privately known as ancak saji) under the Taru Menyan tree. Known as the “nice smelling tree”. This explains no foul smell from the corpses.

Viewer discretion is advised! 

Besides the eerie feelings of human bodies decompose for people to see, it’s also an educational way of learning the traditional custom and daily life of the Truyanese.


Mount Pinatubo, Philippines
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The second largest volcanic eruption of this century that last erupted on June 15, 1991 which caused widespread devastation in Western Luzon. With rock debris falling the same distance from the volcano, results with heavy ashfalls left about 100,000 people homeless, forced thousands more to flee the area, and caused 300 deaths.

Although the volcano eruption destroyed many lives, Mount Pinatubo is currently a great hiking place for travellers all over the world. Truly, now it serves as one of the most beautiful mother nature hikes of all time. Though the volcano has not erupted since the last time, it’s also a big risk for it to happen again. The higher authority in charge of Mount Pinatubo can be closed for safety reasons, with as short as a one-day notice.

If you love hiking, beautiful nature and don’t mind the anytime-it-happen volcano eruption then go for it!  


Aokigahara Forest, Japan

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#aokigahara #forest

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This forest is typically known all over the world as the Suicide Forest. It’s one of the world’s most popular places to commit suicide or die there. The rise in suicides carried out in the forest has been said to taint the trees with paranormal energy that permeates throughout the entire forest.

Due to its vastness of the forest, visitors may not be able to encounter anyone but volunteers who clean the woods finds dozens of corpses laying there. It is estimated that as many as 100 people take their own life in Suicide Forest every year. What makes this a creepy place beside the fact that it’s the second most popular places to die is the backstory of it. At first, the yurei, or the Japanese ghosts, claimed that this Aokigahara was presumed to be the vengeful spirit of the old who had been abandoned to starvation and the mercy of elements.

Viewer discretion is advised! 

If you are planning on visiting this place, it’s always the highest priority to respect the forest and the bodies and also to remember to bring a local tour guide there with you. Many have reported lost in the forest while visiting on their own.


Siriraj Medical Museum, Bangkok, Thailand
If you’re a medical curious person at heart and knowing more on the human body, then this place where the King Of Thailand used to go when he was ill, is the perfect spot. Siriraj Medical Museum comprised of six different museums: the museum of pathology, forensics, history of Thai medicine, parasitology museum, the anatomy of the human body and a prehistoric museum.

What makes this a dark tourist spot is a detailed extent they are willing to go to showcase on the medical world. You’ll be seeing the mummified corpse of a notorious serial killer, two-and-a-half-foot-wide scrotum removed from a man afflicted with elephantiasis. Let’s not even go to the standing wax filled with remains of a cannibal.

It combines elements of the supernatural with Buddhist compassion. Today, this place is increasingly better known as a tourist destination.


Rat Temple, India

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(Polski poniżej 🇵🇱⬇️) Le temple de Karni Mata se trouve au nord de l’Inde🇮🇳 dans le Rajasthan. Il est surtout connu pour ses 25 000 rats🐀 qui y vivent et qui sont vénéré. Tous les jours de nombreux croyants🙏 viennent dans le temple🏰 pour y déposer de la nourriture🧀 et des boissons destiné aux rats. Si vous avez pas encore vu notre reportage sur ce lieu insolite😍 on vous invite à voir notre vidéo sur YouTube🎥. Le lien est dans la bio👈. Et vous ? Auriez-vous osé visiter ce temple ?🤔 . . Świątynia Karni Mata znajduje się na północy Indii🇮🇳 w Radżastanie. Jest szczególnie znana ze swoich 25 000 szczurów🐀, które tam mieszkają i są czczone. Każdego dnia wielu wierzących🙏 przychodzi do świątyni🏰, aby nakarmić🧀 i błogosławić szczury. Jeśli nie widziałeś jeszcze naszego reportażu z tego niezwykłego miejsca😍, zapraszamy do obejrzenia naszego filmu na YouTube🎥. Link znajduje się w bio👈. A ty? Czy odważyłbyś się odwiedzić tę świątynię?🤔 . . #indiatourism #indedunord #inde #india #indie #inde2019 #indiatour #visitindia #rajasthan #karnimata #rattemple #rat #szczury #swiatynia #templedesrats #mleko #lait #angelika #voyage #podróże #zyciewdrodze #vienomade #instaanimal #bikaner #incredibleindia #rats #animals #zwierzęta #photodujour

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What can elevate the dark tourist in you? Face your fears in a temple full of rats. The Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan is a very famous holy shrine dedicated to Goddess Karni is home to over 20,000 black rats that live, eat and are worshipped here.

You must be wondering why are these rats lurking around every corner of this temple? Legend has it that the early 14th century, the youngest son of the Goddess Karni has drowned and she asked the God of Death to bring the son back to life but their descendants would be reincarnated as rats.

You can witness rats engrossed in eating the sweets, drinking the milk from huge bowls. If you nib on sweet that the rat has eaten, it is considered holy. 


Penang War Museum

Home to one of the best Malaysian food ever, Penang has an attraction of its own. Another attraction of Penang brings a darker side than usual. The Penang War Museum is located at a hill called “Ghost Hill”. With the name being eerie enough, it was one of National Geographic’s top 10 most haunted places in Asia.

A preserved fortress that was built in the 1930s by the British to protect the island from an invasion. Although the invasion did not happen, the Japanese launched a series of aerial bombardments forcing the British to withdraw.
In the museum itself, you get to witness the fortress, dark tunnels, how the prisoner was tortured too. However, besides the educational background of this historical place, what makes Penang War Museum is the ghost elements in it. You’ll find scary model creatures and ghost appearances hanging on the trees. Plus, a grim reaper billboard with a charred corpse.

Feeling the goosebumps already? Does all of this list awaken the wander-dark tourist- lust in you? All I know is all of these places requires a strong stomach. Which would you go for?

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