Vacations should be a time for relaxing and having fun, and aside from the depressing realization that you’re not going to get another one for a whole year, the only things you want to bring home are some nice souvenirs for yourself and some cheap ones for friends. But there are some vacation destinations that might send something extra home with you. Some places come with a curse.
10. Koh Hingham, Thailand
The beaches of the little island of Koh Hingham are undeniably beautiful, covered with smooth black and white rocks. No one lives there, and visitors need to find someone on the nearby island of Koh Lipe who’s willing to take them. The trip lasts about 20 minutes, and once you’re there, you’d better make sure that you don’t take anything back with you.
According to the legend, the stones and beaches are protected by an ancient curse, cast by the god of Tarutao. Anyone who dares take a stone from the island disrespects the god, and in doing so, brings upon themselves a lifetime of bad luck. Even the tiniest pebble can invoke the curse on anyone who disrespects the wishes of the gods. And when it comes to any deity that’s promising bad luck, we’re thinking it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Every year, though, people ignore those words of wisdom, and more than a few tourists are said to have visited the island and scoffed at the curse, taking some of the smooth stones home with them. Many of those stones are mailed back in an attempt to break the curse that has followed them. Thailand’s national parks departments say they receive packages every yearcontaining the gemstone-like rocks that people have taken home and later regretted.
While you’re on the beach, though, you can play with the rocks as you see fit. Many visitors leave behind messages written on the black and white stones. Others build miniature stupas and leave something behind—all their deepest wishes, prayers, and desires.