By Jason Moore
Want to get away from it all? Need a break from your shitty job? Want to relax for a bit and not be stressed out?
Then don't go on any of these vacations.
Cost: $3 Per Day
Paris isn't all poodles and Eiffel Towers, and it goes without saying that there's more to see than the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. In fact, after taking a dump in one of the city's fine restrooms, you may find yourself saying, "Man, I wish I could see the part of Paris where my shit goes." You're in luck, you sick bastard, because you can actually pay to take a tour of the Paris Sewer System.
The tour will take you through 500 yards (which, by the way, is 500 yards way too many) of actual Paris sewer lines. You'll get the chance to see tools and equipment workers use as well as a brief history lesson on the past, present and future of the Paris Poop Management System.
You'll also see that the tunnels are a work of art, especially if you consider the effort that must have gone into building a system 1300 miles long, that's able to hold the waste of over 2 million French people. Your amazement will likely not be powerful enough to distract you from the river of human excrement flowing nearby.
It's like the Chocolate River in Willy Wonka!
If they notice you're not quite upset enough by this, tour guides will actually show you numbered pipes which correspond with the houses and buildings above you. Then you can walk the streets for the rest of the day, staring into the faces of French strangers and thinking, "Look down on me all you want, sir, but I believe I saw your shit today."
Cost: $18 Per Day
For a tourist looking to have a good time, Mexico has it all: margaritas, enchiladas, senoritas and an assortment of other things that end in "-as." And for the tourist that's interested in having a shitty time, there's the Illegal Border Crossing Experience Tour.
It's kind of like camping, but with less s'mores and more illegal border crossing.
Actually crossing a border, being that it is illegal and very dangerous, isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea. But, apparently it is interesting and exciting enough to want to try out without any legal consequences. That's when the folks at Parque EcoAlberto decided to fill a void no one knew existed and began offering guided "crossings" over an imaginary border. The company is run by local natives, the Hnahnu Indians, on about 3000 acres of land they own. These are folks that should know about the whole illegal crossing business since approximately 1500 members of the 2200 person tribe live in America.
The typical adventure will put you out in the desert with a group of other people just like you; complete with a guide, the stars above and angry border patrollers threatening to send you back to Mexico.
"Get back or I'll kill you! Also, visit the gift shop!"
You'll spend the evening hiding in bushes, hiding under bridges, running through the dark and wading through creeks. It will almost be like an awesome game of hide and go seek, except that you have gun shots (blanks) fired and curse words (real) being shouted at you. That's all while you are hiding next to donkeys in cornfields with mud up to your ankles.
Some cynical types will say the whole enterprise exists only as practice for aspiring border crossers. But all the drama sounds like it would dissuade people more than anything (we're pretty sure that on the real border there are long stretches where you can just walk across if you want).
Cost: $50 Per Day
When you travel to a strange city, do you fear taking a wrong turn and winding up in the "bad" part of town? The problem, of course, is that you don't have a friendly tour guide to show you the sights. Fortunately when you travel to Rio de Janeiro, you can take a Ghetto Tour.
That's right, you too can take a walk on the wild side and experience a world not your own. According to tour guide Marcelo Armstrong, founder of Favela Tours, it is an "illuminating experience if you look for an insider point of view." The tours have been taking place since the early 90s and Armstrong considers it an honor to share a part of his hometown that few get the pleasure of seeing.
Thrill seekers will be disappointed to find that most of these ghettos aren't all that dangerous. During these Favela Tours there are armed men stationed as guards (they don't work for the police, mind you, but for the drug traffickers that run the neighborhoods).
You'll have a chance to shop at local markets and street vendors and sample the local food and wares. A portion of the proceeds of these tours always goes back into the community. But, not too much mind you. Because if you give poor people too much money, they won't be poor anymore. And that'd kill business.
Cost: $240 Per Day
There are few things more relaxing than sailing aboard a cruise ship. It's just a little dull, that's all. So how can they liven it up?
By combining cruises with the thrill-a-minute excitement of crossword puzzles. At least that's what Stan Newman, Editor of the nationally syndicated Newsday Crossword Puzzle, thought. So he formed up the Crossword University Cruise to bring together all of the word puzzle enthusiasts of the world. All of em! It's genius really, the perfect combination of seasickness from being on a boat combined with the frustration of working a crossword puzzle, and throw in a dash of depression because you spent $1600 to do it all.
"No, you guys go ahead and surf, I'm working a puzzle!"
But don't think your Crossword Puzzle Cruise is all crossword puzzles... oh no. Stan Newman has all kinds of fun planned for you. You'll get to take part in puzzle solving exercises that you can do at home to help grow your brain. Why? Because right after that, it's back to the crossword puzzles, the center of all life and enjoyment! The curriculum at the Crossword University Cruise will include "Puzzles: 101" to help you learn from each puzzle you do, also "Tackling The Toughies," your personalized guide down the road to being really good at word puzzles.
Is she on vacation? It's impossible to tell.
As you sail through the Caribbean on the beautiful MS Statendam, you'll be excited to find out that not only can crossword puzzles be great for passing time while you're taking a dump, but the skills you've honed filling in all of those little white boxes can also be applied to "real-life puzzles." Sounds crazy right? Well, it probably is... but don't tell Stan that, he's watching.
Cost: $400 Per Day
The majesty of winter has a certain effect on people. It reminds us of Christmas and other fond memories. The Ice Hotel is the embodiment of this idea in building form. Just look at it, it's so beautiful. And ball numbingly cold.
The Ice Hotel is located just north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. The latest incarnation (they've been building these since 1980) has 31 rooms, a main hall, a church and a bar. It's the pride of Sweden and the artists who lovingly sculpt it out of ice.
Having trouble picturing a structure made completely from snow and ice? Well, imagine that snowman you built last year, now imagine that it is living in a giant hotel made of ice. Got it now?
The average temperature in the Ice Hotel is 17 degrees and temperatures can drop down to negative 5 degrees at night outside its walls. Of course, that's all necessary because the whole thing is made out of fucking ice. And it all needs to stay frozen.
Wait a second! We think we've found the flaw in the whole "ice hotel" concept! The entire time you're in the hotel, whether it's high noon or the middle of the night, it's still going to be below fucking freezing. There is no heat, there are no fires and the toilet is a hundred feet away in a trailer. Is there any hope of getting laid in such a place?
"So, do you come here often, or just when you're ready for death?"
It's cold enough to make a solid block of ice out of any liquid you want to drink and cold enough to give you frostbite if you aren't properly dressed. Meaning a stay at the Ice Hotel could potentially kill you. But it's all good right? At least there's a bar!
Cost: $400 Per Day
Hold on, now. How did this wind up on a list of bad vacation ideas?
For the Rambo in all of us, Cambodia offers up a taste of awesomeness by allowing tourists to fire off heavy weaponry at barnyard animals. There are testimonials from tourists who found out that it's all about knowing who to ask.
A brief example of who not to ask.
Not unlike sitting down at a 24-hour diner, they were handed a price list. On the menu: machine guns like the AK-47, a variety of sub machine guns, hand guns and even hand grenades. All the weapons were refurbished and most likely used during the Vietnam War. Meaning that most of the weapons have probably killed before. Wanna do the same? Well, if you've got the money, you can do just about anything. And like all good patrons, our tourist asked about the "Special of the Day," which just happened to be a rocket launcher and a cow for $400 USD. "You get $200 back if you miss the cow" he was told.
Apparently Cambodia has had little to no tourist traffic in some time (we wonder: Why?) with one particular exception being the Killing Fields and their huge masses of human remains.
Enterprising locals figured tourists who've come to see fields filled with dead people would probably want to shoot things right? You know, since they're in the mood and all. Who doesn't get revved up about killing after hearing a bunch of genocide stories?
They're actually kinda beautiful, up close like this.
Not up for killing beef? Maybe you prefer white meat. No problem. Just grab a chicken. They're faster than cows, and less expensive at just $15 USD a piece.