Korean knows how to let go and get crazy. Of course, there are many temples and museums in this country worth a visit. Besides temple and the severity of the history museum, you need to visit some of the lesser-known sights in Korea which offer fascinating insights into its unusual cultural and historical sides: K-pop music videos and ancient trinkets of days gone by.
If you feel a bit tempted, choose some of these fun places, which are among our favorite (and oddly weird) places in South Korea.
- Toilet House
One big toilet museum in Gyeonggi-do. A competitor for a strange sight in Korea (and perhaps the world) is this toilet-shaped house museum. Shaped like a giant porcelain deity, Toilet House is dedicated to toilets and potties of all kinds. Housed in the former home of a mayor known for building city public toilets, the house contains funny cartoon sculptures alongside a more serious section on public health and issues affecting toilet sanitation around the world.
- Yongma Land
Amusement park abandoned from K-pop video in Seoul. On the edge of Seoul, almost nudged from memory, is an abandoned amusement park that is frightening and amazing. From the gate, go in and expect goosebumps when you see the rides laid out before you like the toy town, ready to be explored. There’s no queue, it’s yours; Yongma Land (69-1 Mangubon-dong, Jungnang-gu) is very calm and smells of weeds. Sit on a squeaky carousel, look at the tarpaulin covered by holes and leaky sunlight, and you may feel in a post-apocalyptic world. No wonder K-pop music videos have been filmed here. Another great thing is the octopus arms, flying elephants, dodge’em cars on the roof of the park, and pirate ships that may still be filled with rain from the last showerhead. The guard from Yongma Land looks from a small building above the park and will approach you for a entrance fee of 5,000 if you enter through the gate to the left of the main castle entrance. At night, they sometimes turn on the lights, adding more charm.
- North Korean Spy Submarine
A piece of North Korea in South Korea at Unification Park, Gangneung, Gangwon-do. In 1996, a North Korean submarine collapsed while spying on South Korea – where the sub is now high and dry. Today you can explore the narrow confines that North Korean soldiers live underwater as they look around a nearby military facility. Duck your head to put 35m-long sub and claustrophobia hits you right away. It’s narrow, dark, moist and full of amazing old-fashioned and fast-paced technology.
- Goseong Unification Observatory
Take a look at North Korea from South Korea near Sokcho, Gangwon-do. If a submarine is not enough, North Korea, you can get to the northernmost point of DM Zone (Zone Demilitarization), Goseong Unification Obsession, and enter North Korea through binoculars from the scenic deck. At the kiosk you can store liquor, stamps and other souvenirs from North Korea.
- Animal Cafés
Cats with coffee in Seoul and all over South Korea. Placing pets in cafes is only made to make people smile. Many Koreans can not afford the time or place to get pets in their tiny apartment, but still want to meet some of the sweet furry friends. Contains dogs, cats or sheep (depending on the season) that roam freely in the Korean animal café. Most of these places have no petting rules. Just sit down, order a smoothie or coffee and enjoy the animal’s antics. Cats are often given high edges to escape when they are finished with humans.
- Chamsori Gramophone & Museum Edison
Old Korea in Gangneung, Gangwon-do. Filled with old school charm, Chamsori Gramophone & Edison Museum keeps a large collection of antique gramophones, music boxes and the invention of Thomas Edison. The spoils of interest are spread through the cabinets on several levels and include retro TVs, toasters, Mickey Mouse watches and ‘I have one of those collections!’. Childhood nostalgia makes it popular among children, children at home and design or history of boffins. The free rides may be only in Korea, but everyone is not given a word when a decades-old gramophone is played directly into the hand and a cross recording snatches into the room from the past.