Max Cortesi's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »
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Max Cortesi's activity rankings
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Places visited in Bolivia
1st
Places added to Iraq
1st
Places edited in Kenya
2nd
Places visited in Jeongseon, South Korea
2nd
Places added to Ecuador
2nd
Places edited in New Delhi, India
3rd
Places visited in Thailand
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Places added to Philippines
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Places edited in Slovakia
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Huta Etelka.
Nižná Slaná, Slovakia

Huta Etelka

An abandoned 19th-century iron factory perched along the outskirts of an idyllic village.
48.7393, 20.4163
Vang Sang Buddhas.
Laos

Vang Sang Buddhas

A mysterious, hidden cluster of Buddha sculptures carved into the rocks.
18.4566, 102.4212
Buildings and sky reflected in the cistern.
Yemen

Hababah Water Cistern

A mesmerizing reservoir nestled at the heart of a pre-Islamic Yemeni village.
15.5441, 43.8761
Bin Jelmood House.
Doha, Qatar

Bin Jelmood House

This unique museum doesn't shy away from highlighting Qatar's role in the history of slavery.
25.2868, 51.5294
Al Wukair Scrapyard.
Qatar

Al Wukair Scrapyard

Some 20,000 dust-covered unwanted vehicles languish in the desert.
25.1157, 51.4690
Al `Arish.
Qatar

Al `Arish

An abandoned fishing village in pre-oil Qatar.
26.0447, 51.0472
Formerly used prosthetic limbs are everywhere in the visitor centre.
Vientiane, Laos

COPE Visitor Centre

In the world's most bombed country relative to its size, this incredible organization helps pick up the pieces.
17.9580, 102.6203
The Bahdinan Gate.
Amedi, Iraq

Bahdinan Gate

This beautiful arched gate is all that remains of the fortress the ancient mountaintop town of Amadiya once was.
37.0906, 43.4840
Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.
Beijing, China

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall

The embalmed remains of the communist leader lie within a custom crystal coffin.
39.9025, 116.3978
Ngorongoro, Tanzania

Shifting Sand Dunes

These strange piles of magnetized volcanic ash travel across the desert about 50 feet per year.
-2.9454, 35.3149
Raniji Ki baori stepwell in Bundi.
Bundi, India

Raniji ki Baori

A small town in Rajasthan has been dubbed the "City of Stepwells," and Raniji ki Baori is the queen.
25.4402, 75.6395
Qatar National Library.
Ar-Rayyan, Qatar

Qatar National Library

The enormous diamond-shaped building packs a trove of academic and literary treasures into one futuristic space.
25.3178, 51.4412
London, England

The Soho Square Hut

The Tudor-style cottage in the middle of the square is not quite what it seems.
51.5153, -0.1322
The stairway is tucked away between residential homes and a mass of trees.
Seoul, South Korea

108 Heaven Stairway

A remnant of Korea's colonial past lies forgotten in a hip neighborhood in Seoul.
37.5378, 126.9865
Tuyoq.
Tulufan Shi, China

Tuyoq

Natives of this mud-brick desert village use an ancient irrigation system to grow sweet, seedless grapes.
42.7687, 89.6069
Inland Sea.
Qatar

Inland Sea

The shallow, salty inlet was a safe haven for 19th-century pirates.
24.6464, 51.2868
Tombs of Darius I the Great, Xerxes I, Artaxerxes, and, Darius II.
Iran

Naqsh-e Rustam

The ancient necropolis houses the immense rock-cut tombs of four Persian kings.
29.9887, 52.8746
Doha, Qatar

Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

This mix of Islamic art, vintage vehicles, weaponry, architecture, and history is an ode to eclecticism. 
25.3493, 51.2611
Barzan Towers.
Umm Salal Muhammed, Qatar

Barzan Towers

These beautiful historic watchtowers were used for both scanning the desert for enemy invaders and observing the celestial world.
25.4181, 51.4132
View of Trongsa Dzong from Trongsa village
Trongsa, Bhutan

Trongsa Dzong

The largest and, arguably, most scenic fortress in Bhutan.
27.4997, 90.5050
Bhutan's national animal, the Takin, at Motithang Takin Preserve.
Thimphu, Bhutan

Motithang Takin Preserve

Strange, gentle beasts resembling goat-cow hybrids roam within this patch of forest.
27.4818, 89.6114
Kuza Cave.
Kusini, Tanzania

Kuza Cave

This sacred, circular cave is lined with pools so clear and still that it's hard to tell where the water begins.
-6.3038, 39.5349
Zanzibar Town, Tanzania

Zanzibar's Night Market

After sunset the heart of Zanzibar's historic Stone Town neighborhood transforms into a culinary playground.
-6.1606, 39.1891
Cast of Laetoli footprints Olduvai Gorge museum
Ngorongoro, Tanzania

Laetoli Footprints

Human ancestor’s 3.6 million year-old footprints.
-2.9208, 35.3905