Every country has a rich history that is cataloged and presented through museums. It's one of the best ways to learn about a place and get a taste of the local culture, rich past, and unique eccentricities. While some destinations like to feature classic art and antiquities, South Korea likes to highlight elements of their culture that are just a bit...different. If you find yourself in the land of the Morning Calm, make sure to stop by these museums for some bizarre fascinations.
35-4, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Koreans love their kimchi, and chances are you will too after visiting the country. It should come as no surprise that there's an entire museum dedicated to fermented cabbage. However you'll learn kimchi isn't only made with cabbage at Kimchikan, as over sixty varieties are on display. The museum walks you through the history of this unique food, how it's made, stored, and served, as well as educate you on the nutritional benefits of the dish. And of course, you'll get to sample some at the end.
Mr. Toilet House
9 Jangan-ro, 458-beon-gil, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Officially called the Haewoojae Museum, this building is in the shape of a giant toilet. Built to celebrate the establishment of the World Toilet Association and to celebrate potty culture around the world, the unique cultural site includes a sculpture garden filled with poop and toilet art installations. Inside are various exhibits, including one where you can take your photo in a toilet bowl. Fun fact: Haewoojae is also credited as being the largest toilet sculpture in the world by the Korea Record Institute in 2007.
2894-72, Cheonbaengi-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju-do
It's not every day you go to a museum to see statues of threesomes and giant genitalia. Jeju Island's Loveland is a sculpture park and museum based around the theme of eroticism showcasing the work of many Hongik University graduates. Let's just say the art isn't subtle and doesn't leave much to the imagination, and some is even interactive, if you have the gumption. It's an interesting look into the sociological psyche of Korean romance, though it's mostly meant to be tongue-in-cheek. You must be at least 20 years old to enter (and don't miss the gift shop!).
129-7, Imosan-ro 372beon-gil, Yul-myeon, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
There really is a museum for everything. 5,000 pig-related articles from 18 different countries are on display at the Pig Museum, the first and only of its kind in Asia. Located in Icheon (not Incheon), visitors can learn all about pigs from around the world, interact with the animals, do arts and crafts, watch pig performances... and rather ironically, make sausage. Each activity costs money, so it's more of a pick and choose your own adventure.
Trick Eye Museum
20, BIFF Gwangjang-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
Located in Busan, Seoul, and on Jeju Island, forced perspective museums are very popular in Korea. Step through the doors, and you're stepping right into famous works of arts and illustrations. There are plenty of photo opportunities and tricks for your eyes, which may seem more like a roadside attraction, but they're good fun for an afternoon, especially for those with children.
Robo Life Museum
39, Jigok-ro, Nam-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Located in the Korea Institute of Robot and Convenience, the Robo Life Museum introduces you to the crazy world of robotics. Much of the museum is showcasing different kinds of robots and and how their made. However, you can also interact with the robots, as well as make your own. Don't miss the miniature guys programmed to be Psy back-up dancers.