6 Weekend Getaways With Unusual Lodging

Most times, lodging choices are simply means to an end -- they are the jumping-off and sleeping places for fantasy and adventure. Yet it's possible they can be the ends in and of themselves; they are the journey and the destination.

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Myanmar’s Tourism Doors Are Open

Myanmar’s Tourism Doors Are Open

Myanmar was closed off to the rest of the world while under a military dictatorship. Now with democratic reform and tourism doors reopening, this Southeast Asian nation is welcoming Westerners once again to areas that were previously off-limits. 960 1280

Trafalgar  

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

Myanmar’s most visited and sacred Buddhist shrine, Shwedagon Pagoda, is one of the most mystical marvels in Myanmar, and seeing it all lit up in its gilded glory at night makes for an unforgettable experience. 960 1280

cescassawin  

Lost City of Bagan

Lost City of Bagan

A visit to Myanmar isn’t complete without exploring the Lost City of Bagan. Over 2,000 pagodas make up the 26-square-mile Bagan Archeological Zone. The ancient metropolis is best seen in the warm light of dawn or dusk, and for unrivaled views, hot air balloons are available from October to March. 960 1280

Claude LeTien  

Devout Buddhists

Devout Buddhists

Around 90 percent of Myanmar’s population are Buddhists, and their deep devotion permeates every part of their daily life. Myanmar also has the highest number of people in the monastic order – more than any other country in the world. Around half a million young Burmese men are monks and around 75,000 women are nuns. 960 1280

Kathleen Rellihan  

Buddhist Nuns

Buddhist Nuns

One of the most striking images in Myanmar is the splash of color on the streets as the pink-robed Buddhist nuns collect their daily alms. Just like their orange-robe monk counterpoints, Myanmar’s Buddhist nuns shave their heads and take ordination vows. 960 1280

Trafalgar  

Glimpse Into Monastic Life

Glimpse Into Monastic Life

Visit a nunnery in Sagaing on a Trafalgar Tour of Myanmar to get an inside look into Buddhist monastic life for women in Myanmar, which includes strict daily routines centered around prayer and meditation. 960 1280

Kathleen Rellihan  

World's Largest Book

World's Largest Book

Resting at the foot of Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw Pagoda’s white-washed Buddhist stupas (729 in total) contain carved stone slabs of sacred Theravada Buddhist scriptures that collectively form the world's largest book (that only takes a lifetime to read). 960 1280

ajlber  

Leg-Rowing Fisherman of Inle Lake

Leg-Rowing Fisherman of Inle Lake

Take a long-tailed boat tour of Inle Lake to see the iconic leg-rowing fisherman perform what looks to be ballet on water. This unique fishing style consists of standing on one leg while rowing with the other leg wrapped around the oar. This frees up the fisherman’s hands to hold their cone-shaped bamboo nets and gives them a better vantage point of the shallow lake. 960 1280

117 Imagery  

Floating Gardens on Inle Lake

Floating Gardens on Inle Lake

The Intha tribe’s entire lives are lived on the water, from their stilt houses to their incredibly designed floating gardens that are anchored to the bottom of Inle Lake by bamboo poles. 960 1280

Bartosz Hadyniak  

Longest Teak Bridge in the World

Longest Teak Bridge in the World

Walk alongside monks and market vendors on U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world that reaches almost a mile across Amarapura Taungmyo Lake on the outskirts of Mandalay. 960 1280

Nisangha  

Distinct Flavors of Myanmar

Distinct Flavors of Myanmar

Myanmar’s cuisine is as unique as the country is itself – it’s full of an array of spices and intense flavors that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Take a hands-on cooking class on a Trafalgar Tour of Myanmar that includes preparing various local dishes. Myanmar’s must-try dish? Mohinga, a fish broth noodle soup that is commonly eaten for breakfast. 960 1280

Trafalgar  

Pagodas Everywhere

Pagodas Everywhere

While skimming Inle Lake on a long-tail boat, you will see glistening golden pagodas in the remote villages. And tucked behind a covered walkway full of market stalls, lies Shwe Inn Thein Paya, an astonishing compound of over 1,000 stupas. Some are weather-beaten and crumbling from the 17th and 18th centuries and some newly constructed from donors. 960 1280

Chris Caldicott / Design Pics  

Museum of Food & Drink

Museum of Food & Drink

In Brooklyn, the Museum of Food & Drink enables visitors to explore all aspects of food and drink, including food production, distribution, history, even food challenges and solutions. Make “Flavor: Making It and Faking It” your first stop inside the museum for a sniff of all different flavors created by the flavor industry. The museum offers monthly events for a deeper look at segments of the food industry, like the history of ice cream. As a bonus, look for free tastings. 960 1280

Francis Dzikowski  

Cologne Chocolate Museum

Cologne Chocolate Museum

Chocolate lovers, hop the next Germany-bound plane to spend the day at the Cologne Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum Koln). Several guided tours share the story of chocolate, ranging from a typical bean to bar tour, to guided tours that focus on chocolate advertising and fair trade programs. When you arrive, take a few moments to be awed by the nine-foot tall chocolate fountain filled with Lindt chocolates that are free to visitors. You can also make your own chocolate bar or learn how to pair beer and chocolate. 960 1280

Schokoladenmuseum Koeln  

Cite du Vin

Cite du Vin

Cite du Vin is a brand new wine museum in Bordeaux, France that has everyone talking, but even better, the cultural facility serves up wine to visitors (even grape juices to the youngest guests). The museum is dedicated to the culture of wine, sharing an inside look at wines from across the world and the role they played throughout civilization. Sign up for “Upside Down,” a workshop that teaches visitors how to taste and experience wine with all their senses. The workshop concludes with tastings in the Belvedere space. 960 1280

La Cite du Vin  

Gingerbread Museum

Gingerbread Museum

In Poland, the Gingerbread Museum (Muzeum Piernika) gives visitors a first-hand look at the rituals and traditions involved in the baking of gingerbread. More than walking around to look at exhibits, the museum is interactive and guests learn about gingerbread from a storyteller. Museum guests also make, bake and eat their own gingerbread. They can even ice their gingerbread creations or take part in a gingerbread decorating workshop. Delicious fresh-baked gingerbread is for sale in the gift shop. 960 1280

Muzeum Piernika  

Idaho Potato Museum

Idaho Potato Museum

In Blackfoot, Idaho, you’ll want to pose for a selfie with what may be the largest baked potato in the world that sits just outside the Idaho Potato Museum. Inside, look for multiple displays on the history of the potato, a short video on how the potato industry developed and lots of potato-themed memorabilia. You’ll even see the largest potato chip made by the Pringle’s Company. At the end, every guest receives a free packet of Hungry Jack instant potatoes and an Idaho Potatoes lapel pin to mark their visit. 960 1280

Erin Gifford  

Currywurst Museum

Currywurst Museum

Currywurst may not be a dish known to many Americans, but this fried Bratwurst seasoned with curry ketchup is a top fast food pick by many Germans. So it comes as no surprise to see a Currywurst Museum in Berlin. Start your visit with a stop in the Spice Chamber, which has sniffing stations, a sausage-shaped couch and ketchup bottle audio stations with Currywurst songs. Each ticket includes a complimentary “Currywurst in the Cup.” 960 1280

Deutsches Currywurst Museum   

Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture

Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture

Known globally for its wines, Spain’s Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture seeks to explain it all from grape to glass at this winemaking museum, which spans across six exhibition halls. You’ll find a garden with more than 220 wine grape varieties, as well as short films that address the ins and outs of winemaking, the history of bottling, marketing and wine transportation. Learn how to open a bottle without a corkscrew before settling in for a couple of tastings or a two-hour class with a world-class sommelier. 960 1280

Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture   

National Mustard Museum

National Mustard Museum

In Wisconsin, you’ll find an entire museum dedicated to one of the most popular condiments. At the National Mustard Museum, you can view more than 5,600 jars of mustard from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. You’ll also find vintage mustard ads, memorabilia and a Great Wall of Mustard. Visit the Tasting Bar to sample mustards of all kinds, from sweet to alarmingly hot, with the help of a Confidential Condiment Counselor who will help you find your most compatible mustard. 960 1280

National Mustard Museum   

Cupnoodles Museum

Cupnoodles Museum

In Japan, you’ll want to reminisce the good old days at a museum with exhibits that are all about instant ramen, a staple among many a college student. At the Cupnoodles Museum just outside Tokyo, museum visitors can check out more than 3,000 different packages of ramen noodles before entering the Chicken Ramen Factory to make their own ramen noodles by hand to take home with them. Visitors will also learn all about Momofuku Ando, the founder of Nissin Food Products and the inventor of Chicken Ramen. 960 1280

Amy Gustafson Mitchell / Adventures with Amy & John  

Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum

Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum

In Santorini, Greece, the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum is located underground, inside a natural cave. Life-size figures tell the story of winemaking in Santorini through the eyes of a winemaking family that spans four generations. Visitors learn about the history of wine through the ages before tasting four leading wines produced by the Koutsoyannopoulos Winery. Those who really want to get hands-on (maybe, feet-on) can sign up for the Grape Stomping Experience to crush grapes in an outdoor vat. 960 1280

Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum  

Ning Xia Market in Taipei

Ning Xia Market in Taipei

This goose is cooked and ready for sale at the Ning Xia Market in Taipei. 960 1280

  

Ning Xia Market of Taipei

Ning Xia Market of Taipei

Food guide Theresa Lin shows off the plump oysters in the popular oyster omelet at the Ning Xia Market of Taipei. 960 1280

  

The Chiang Kai Shek memorial

The Chiang Kai Shek memorial

The Chiang Kai Shek memorial sits in the heart of modern Taipei, Taiwan. 960 1280

  

Sweet tofu with cold beans

Sweet tofu with cold beans

Sweet tofu with cold beans and pumpkin make for a popular and healthy dish in Taipei. 960 1280

  

Ning Xia Market in Taipei

Ning Xia Market in Taipei

Chinese pancakes filled with cream or bean paste are a popular street eat at the Ning Xia Market in Taipei. 960 1280

  

Seoul food guide James Yoo

Seoul food guide James Yoo

Seoul food guide James Yoo shows off the snails he's about to eat on the streets of Myeongdong. 960 1280

  

Balinese chilies

Balinese chilies

Balinese chilies are a key ingredient in sambal, a popular sauce served with most street eats. 960 1280

  

A street eat stand in Ubud, Bali

A street eat stand in Ubud, Bali

This street eat stand in Ubud, Bali, sells as many as 6 roasted pigs each day. 960 1280

  

Jimbaron Beach in Bali

Jimbaron Beach in Bali

At Jimbaron Beach in Bali, buy your fish from the fishermen and locals will grill it for you, each adding their own special spicy sauce. 960 1280

  

The terraced rice fields of central Bali

The terraced rice fields of central Bali

The terraced rice fields of central Bali are one of the island's most alluring sights. 960 1280

  

A street vendor in Delhi

A street vendor in Delhi

A street vendor in Delhi makes jalebi, a sweet dough fried in oil. 960 1280

  

A Tibetan immigrant in Delhi, India

A Tibetan immigrant in Delhi, India

A Tibetan immigrant has her daily bowl of fresh noodles on the streets of Delhi, India. 960 1280

  

Chandni Chwok in Delhi

Chandni Chwok in Delhi

Amazing street eats can be found in the narrow alleys of Chandni Chwok in Delhi. 960 1280

  

Singapore street eats

Singapore street eats

Singapore street eats are more than simple snacks; they’re delicious whole meals that can be bought for under $5. 960 1280

  

Shaved ice topped with green tea

Shaved ice topped with green tea

Shaved ice topped with green tea and red beans is a cool and refreshing treat during the hot summer days in Kyoto, Japan. 960 1280

  

Kiyomizudera Temple

Kiyomizudera Temple

One of Kyoto's most iconic locations, the Kiyomizudera Temple, sits in the lush hills above this ancient city. 960 1280

  

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