1. The toilet themepark
Just an hour outside Seoul at the “home of Samsung Electronics” – Suwon, is the world’s first (and possibly only) theme park dedicated to the ubiquitous restroom. At the centre of the estate is a toilet seat-shaped museum, which was once the home of Sim Jae-duck, the founder and first president of the World Toilet Association. Also at the Restroom Cultural Park are displays of loos of all kinds, bedpans, sculptures and lots of fun facts about poo!
2. The flying man
The N Seoul Tower, also known as Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower, is one of the most visited observation decks in Seoul, with its stunning panoramic views of the city. It is also known for its sea of “love locks”, where many an amorous couple has come to pledge their undying devotion to each other. Our favourite part of the Tower, however, is the wire mesh sculpture of a flying man that hangs by the tower. Whimsical and charming, this was created by French artist, Cedric le Borgne.
3. The teddy bear museums
South Koreans seem to have a thing about teddy bears, as seen by the number of teddy bear museums in the country. The establishment at N Seoul Tower uses these soft toys to chronicle scenes from both past and present day life in Seoul. The Teddy Bear Museum and Gyeongju, Gyeonsangbuk, is a more modern attraction that uses the figurines to depict the history of mankind, going as far back as the Age of Dinosaurs. And at the Jeju Teddy Bear Museum, the world’s largest of its kind, visitors get to see teddys as old as 100 years, some of the world’s most famous and luxury bears and even have a picnic with some colourful sculptures.
4. The medicine theme park
‘Medicine’ and ‘theme park’ are two rarely coupled items, but that’s exactly what happens at the Sancheong Oriental Medicine theme park. Opened in 2010, the free attraction is dedicated to traditional oriental medicine and is an eco-friendly facility that features natural hiking trails through forests and valleys, a medicinal herb garden and an Oriental Medicine Museum.
5. The mushroom hotel
The province of Gyeongsangnam-do is lauded for its non-commercialised, natural surroundings and home to the annual Herbal Medicine Festival. Keeping with the theme, the Sancheong Hangbang Resort built all its units in the shape of mushrooms, fashioned out of local clay and wood! It also features several ‘hangbang jjimjilbang’, local public saunas with herbal baths and sauna rooms made of pine firewood.
6. The cruise ship hotel
You’ve heard of a cruise to nowhere; well, this is one cruise ship that’s definitely not going anywhere. Perched atop a cliff, the Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht in Jeongdongjin looks like a ship that’s run aground, or a decommissioned vessel that’s been turned into a hotel. But it’s neither. The hotel was actually built to look like a ship and boasts the most stunning view of the sun rising in the country.
7. The penis park
According to the “Legend of Auebawi and Haesindang”, a woman was once left on a rock in the sea by her man, while he worked. When a storm blew in and the man was unable to save her, she drowned. From that day, villagers could not catch fish, and some believed it to be a curse of the dead woman. To soothe her spirit, they made several phallic-shaped carvings and held religious ceremonies for her. Things soon returned to normal and the site is now known as Haesindang Park, or Penis Park. Located in Sinnam, there are around 50 statues here, ranging from the real to the cartoonish, said to celebrate joy, spirituality and sexuality.
8. The biscuit bench
Entitled “Eating a Biscuit Together”, this sculpture doubles as a bench outside the Bukchon Art Museum in Seoul. Featuring the ends of two men eating either end of a long biscuit, it’s a fascinating piece of work created by Korean artist, Ku Bom Ju.
9. The chicken art museum
Kim Chogang established the Seoul Museum of Chicken Art in 2006 to promote the significance of the fowl in human history and cultures around the world. Located in Bukchon, Hanok Village, it houses paintings, furniture, ornaments, sculptures and all manner of artistic expression dedicated to the chook. There’s even a special exhibition space that hosts seasonal works from around the world.
10. The cave of funny names
At 6.5km long, Hwanseongul Cave in Gangwon is the largest lime stone cave in Korea and definitely not to be missed during your visit. Fantastic stalagmites, stalactites (including one that looks like the Great Wall of China), lakes and waterfalls will have you gasping in awe, but it's the funny named sections that’ll have you chuckling through out. There’s the “Pledge of Love (Corroded Hole)”, “Bridge of Repentance”, “Cave Popcorn” and for the ultimate photo opp – an LED rainbow!
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