Coming across small towns is natural when travelling to another place. And oftentimes, these settlements give you a whole new travel experience you don’t get when exploring the sprawling metropolis. From wooden towns to those hidden within the jungles, these boroughs are must-see destinations that deserve to be on your bucket list.
If you plan to go backpacking across the globe, then we suggest you visit these bizarre towns for a different weekend excursion.
Malana, India – “The Mountain Village”
Located in the Himachal Pradesh, the village of Malana has been an isolated village for centuries. Despite having no head of authority, this village of 1,500 villagers live in mutual harmony. It is also considered to be one of the world’s oldest successful democracies.
This small settlement had only allowed visitors in 2009 with one important rule: visitors must not touch the walls of houses, people and many more. The village of Malana is also known for the highest quality hashish named Malana cream.
Thames Town, China – “Europe In China”
In 2001, the Chinese government had a novel idea to help with housing their increasing population. Through the “One City, Nine Towns” project, several European-style communities were constructed. With names like Holland Town, Thames Town, and Spanish Town, these municipalities’ designs were inspired from six different countries.
What is impressive with the designs is the fact that every detail from the churches and pubs to the red telephone booths were painstakingly made to the very last detail.
Kodinhi, India – “Twin Town”
Literally the town full of twins, the municipality of Candio Godoi in India is just one of the few towns in the world where the number of twin births is very high. Historians claim that the winning rate in this particular location can be attributed to the experiments conducted by the “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele.
Shortly after WWII, during the early 1960s, he settled in the town working as the local vet and doctor for several years. Eyewitnesses recall that he always drew blood and gave them tablets and all sorts of potions. India has one of the lowest twinning rates in the world yet this town proves otherwise. A study was conducted in 2009 and it was found that the number of twins born increases with each passing year.
Drvengrad, Bosnia – “The Movie Village Set”
This small town is a haven for movie fans around the world. This particular town has been the site of several location shoots of different movies and television series. From the 2004 film Life is a Miracle to HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, you will find tons of memorable props in this town.
Miracle Village, Florida – “Sex Offender Village”
Have you ever seen a village with no kids around? Well, you just found one. Formerly a village that used to house workers for the US Sugar Company in the 1960s, this town is home to registered sex offenders in the country.
Under Florida Law, sex offenders cannot be within 1,000 ft of a minor or places where children congregate. The town was established in 2009 by a Christian ministry to offer offenders a place to live in. The town is also known as the City of Refuge.
Center for Innovation Testing and Evaluation (CITE), New Mexico – “The Test-Subject Ghost Town”
CITE was a town never meant to be inhabited. This particular town is a huge LEGO set and was built to test new sustainable infrastructure technologies. With all the trappings of a modern city, the only thing missing are the people. The town covers a 20-mile area in the New Mexico desert and will solely be used as an urban planning tool.
Slab City, California – “The Last Free Place In America”
Deep in the California desert is the remains of an old military barracks, which has been developed into a kind of RV camp. Abandoned by the state, Slab City has no running water, no plumbing, and is surrounded by the concrete slabs remaining from the barracks. Yet there are over 100 folks living here all year round. What is impressive about this settlement is that despite having no clear cut laws and head of authority, the people here live in mutual respect.
Huaxi, China – “The Richest Village In China”
Contrary to popular belief, small towns and villages do not necessarily indicate frugal living by its inhabitants. Take China’s Huaxi village. The 59th tallest tower in the world is located right in the heart of this village dubbed as the “richest village in China.”
Founded in 1961 as a farming community, this small village became the epicenter for manufacturing steel and textile under the guidance of Wu Renbao. Its citizens are well taken care of and their benefits include free health care, free brand new cars for all adults along with luxurious houses and company stocks.
The Villages, Florida – “Disney World For Retirees”
Nicknamed as the “Disney World for Retirees”, this gated retirement village in Florida is home to the largest community of retired folks: over 100, 000 from around the world. With rules like nobody under 19 is allowed to live there permanently and children are only allowed to stay here 30 days a year, you could say that the residents here are a pretty laid back bunch. They got everything from drunk driving to sex in public, which is probably why anyone under 19 are not allowed to live within its premises.
Coober Pedy, Australia
Ever thought about visiting an invisible town?
Established in 1915, Coober Pedy is the largest opal mining site in the world and a major supplier of gem-quality opal. The entire town of Coober Pedy is right there, under your feet. From its homes to its churches, the entire town is located underground. This is due to the fact that the Australian outback is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, with surface temperatures rising up to 50oC during the day.
To work in these conditions, the 3,000 miners came up with an ingenious plan. They carved out their homes and businesses into the clay hills and ground. Called dugouts, their homes are complete with all modern comforts as they do have indoor plumbing and cable television.
Check out other bizarre towns in the links below: