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Holiday Gift Guide: Atlas Obscura Books and Calendars
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Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Mahathat (Temple of the Great Relic)

The headquarters of the Mahanikai school of Buddhism, Thailand's largest monastic order.
Beijing, China

Ming Dynasty Tombs

Ming Dynasty necropolis raided during the Cultural Revolution.
Beijing, China

The Forbidden City

The most famous location in China was home to whole dynasties worth of imperial rulers.
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Kbal Spean

This Cambodian riverbed is covered in ancient fertility symbols both above and below the waters.
Paarl, South Africa

Afrikaans Language Monument

The South African dialect's complex history is immortalized in stone, in one of the world's only monuments dedicated to a language.
Cape Town, South Africa

Boulders Beach Penguin Sanctuary

This African beach is home to thousands of rare mainland penguins that are known for their annoying voice.
Cape Town, South Africa

Bo Kaap

Formerly known as the Malay Quarter, Bo Kaap is a colorfully-painted township located in the “Mother City” of South Africa.
Ehlanzeni, South Africa

Bourke's Luck Potholes

Raging waters have created a strange geological site that looks like something off of a progressive rock album cover.
Muchu, Nepal

Rinchenling Gompa

This remote Himalayan temple is in danger of being completely washed away by a melting glacier.
Kathmandu, Nepal

Boudhanath Stupa

One of the largest Buddhist stupas in the world keeps an eye out in every direction.
Kathmandu, Nepal

Swayambhunath Monkey Temple

Sacred Buddhist home of some spiritual monkeys.
Kamakura, Japan

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

A bronze statue dating back as far as 1252, still has remnants of gold around its ears from its ancient gilding.
Kyoto, Japan

Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

The Ten Thousand "Torii" Shrine.
Freycinet, Australia

Wineglass Bay

One of the best beaches in the entire world.
McConnelsville, Ohio

Big Muskie Bucket

All that remains of a gigantic earth-moving machine.
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Medieval Crime Museum

Horrifically creative torture devices and shame punishments line the walls of this chilling museum.
Versailles, Kentucky

Castle Post

This modern castle sat empty for decades before a fire inspired its builders to complete its luxury halls.
Benton Harbor, Michigan

House of David

The remains of a religious colony, its amusement park, zoo, and baseball empire.
Saint Joseph, Michigan

House of David Museum

This museum remembers an apocalyptic cult that became more famous for baseball than religious radicalism.