South Korea has recently gained popularity as one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. With its green, hilly countryside dotted with cherry trees and centuries-old Buddhist temples, stretches of coastal fishing villages, sub-tropical and volcanic islands, and ultra-modern cities like Seoul and Busan, South Korea has something for every kind of traveller. The country is filled with rich culture, history, and of course cult favourites like K-pop fandom sites and merchandise and world-class cosmetics. But along with all that, it also offers a plethora of other activities that are both weird and unusual, and totally worth checking out. Here are the most unusual things to do in South Korea.
Check Out All That Is Relatively Off-the-beaten Tourist Track, With This Perfect List Of Unusual Things To Do In South Korea:
1Grab A Cup Of Coffee At Themed Cafes
Korea has a huge coffee culture and is therefore known for its large number of themed cafés. But this list of the most unusual things to do in South Korea is topped by Seoul’s more weird or quirkier cafes. How about you grab a cup of Joe with a raccoon at Blind Alley (also known as raccoon café), or with a dog at Bau House Dog Cafe, or a cat and even fish. Yes, at this cafe you have to catch a fish (a real one, not VR), and get points calculated according to the weight of the fish which you can exchange for points to buy items, goodies, etc. By the way, there is even a Poop café, Ddo-ong Café, which, as the name suggests, is a faeces-themed café. So other than being decorated with toilets, miniature plungers, and smiling cartoon droppings, this eccentric coffee shop also serves up poop-shaped scones and lattes in toilet-shaped mugs.
Finally, if you prefer your café sans animal and poop, South Korea also has Princess cafés as a glorious alternative. The aptly named Princess Diary in the Ewha district, in Seoul, offers visitors the opportunity to play princess. This cute café lets you wear flamboyant dresses, both traditional Korean hanboks as well as ballgowns of all kinds. Perhaps the weirdest cafe of them all is Café General Doctor. It is a fully functioning doctor’s practice and cute café in one, and for some reason, it’s also home to a handful of cats!
2Explore The Whacky Exhibits Of Poopoo Land
As the name suggests, Poopoo Land is a poop-themed museum. This three-floor space is Korea’s one-of-a-kind ‘poop experience’ playground which dives deep (no pun intended) into the universe and science of poop, farts, and everything in between.
The theme park answers every question you may have had about human digestion, excrement, flatulence and more. An Instagram goldmine, it offers a Poo Photo Zone with stylish lighting and funny trick-eye paintings, a Dynamic Digestive Maze, an opportunity to let your hair down in Poo Party Zone, a mini poop house which has dance tracks coming from a poop jukebox, and more. Can you list a more bizarre or unusual thing to do in South Korea?
Entry Fee: 9,000 won (7.35 USD)
3Snap The Coolest Pics At The “One-of-a-kind” Trick Eye Museum
While visiting a museum might not be an unusual thing to do, a visit here will undoubtedly change your mind. The Tricky Eye Museum is a large optical illusion art exhibit in the Hongdae district of Seoul. It combines art and high-end technology featuring Augmented Reality (AR) effects and 2D/3D illusions. Therefore, instead of merely viewing the paintings, visitors here can interact with trompe l’oeil paintings. Using the newly developed Trick Eye Camera app, you can make paintings come alive or even become part of the artwork while recording it on video or taking pictures.
Trompe l’oeil is an art technique that has existed since the 1800s, where an artist attempts to create a two-dimensional image that appears to exist in three dimensions. The Trick Eye Museum is dedicated to this art form, where visitors can interact with optical illusions ranging from the unbearably silly to the classically whimsical. You can have an amusing afternoon here with not just friends but family too. Some of the museum’s most popular pieces include their version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ and Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’.
Timings: 9 am – 9 pm
Entry Fees: 15,000 won (12.25 USD) for adults, and 12,000 won (9.8 USD) for children under 18.
4Have An Authentic Korean Spa Session At A Jjimjilbang
Literally translating to heated rooms, jjimjilbang are traditional public bathhouses, segregated according to gender. They are furnished with hot tubs, showers, communal sleeping rooms, traditional Korean kiln saunas and massage tables. This is where you get to see how Koreans do not take their spa sessions lightly. As Korean baths are same-sex only, they require you to strip naked and soak for hours in tubs with strangers. If you want, you can sign up for a scrub session too, an intense Korean cleansing process called seshin. It includes soaking in hot water and then rubbing it down with a coarse towel to get rid of layers of dead skin that accumulate naturally. While definitely rejuvenating, a proper Korean scrub is also quite painful. You can see the rolls of dark, grey skin fall away as the ddemiri or scrub mistress works away, revealing soft, pink layers of skin underneath. Do remember that splashing or playing in the tub or talking loudly is considered rude at these bathhouses. If you have very visible tattoos, you might also be frowned up by older generations.
Best jjimjilbangs to visit in South Korea: Itaewon Land Sauna, Dragon Hill Spa & Resort in Seoul, and Spa Land Centum City in Busan.
5Check Out The K-pop Tours In Seoul For Your K-pop Heart
The influence of the Korean Wave or Hallyu on international fans has swept through the world. One of the biggest cultural phenomena, Hallyu has now led to K-pop/K-drama-based tours, with sites highlighted that will draw die-hard fans. If you are a fan, you will fall in love with a ton of intriguing experiences. While you’ll obviously find up-tempo tunes everywhere you go, you’ll get to dig a little deeper into Korean music and pop culture with these Hallyu experience programmes.
If you’re planning a budget trip and don’t have time to go on a tour, don’t be disheartened. We’ve also listed the best K-pop spaces you should pay homage to and why: HallYu-K Star Road, a tour of K-pop Idol Entertainment Buildings, SMTOWN Museum, Myeongdong Underground Shopping Mall, and multiple K-pop album and K-drama filming locations.
6Up For A Dare? Try The Weirdest Foods In South Korea
Traditional South Korean cuisine is largely based on equal portions of rice, vegetables, and meats. But along with the most basic, it also contains some of the most bizarre things that you can dream of. If you are up for a dare, get up close and personal to the most unusual delicacies of South Korea. Be warned, these dishes are not for the faint-hearted, but are actually very delicious. Here are a few of the weirdest foods in Korea: Beondegi or silkworm larvae, Sannakji or live octopus, Dakbal or chicken feet, Sundae or Korean blood sausages, and Hongeo or a kind of fermented fish. Still have an appetite for all the weird things to eat in South Korea?
7Learn About The History Of Korean Buddhism At Temple Stays
If the hustle and bustle of travel has been a little too much, you can take some time off from everything with the help of Temple stays. While you might not have thought of staying at a temple ON A VACATION, this East Asian country takes it up a notch with another one of its offbeat things to do.
It is a unique cultural program offered in several Buddhist temples around South Korea. It lets participants experience the life of Buddhist practitioners and educates them about the different aspects of Korean Buddhism. The Temple Stay program began as an experiential program in Korean Buddhism initiated by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism at the onset of the 2002 World Cup. Today, during this stay, visitors participate in a monastic Buddhist lifestyle for 2 days and 1 night, or just for 1 day. A typical schedule includes participating in different Buddhist rituals which include Yebul (Ceremonial Service), Chamseon (Zen Meditation), Barugongyang (Monastic Meal), and Dado (Tea Ceremony). While the Temple Stays are based on the teachings of Buddhism, the programs are open to visitors from all backgrounds and religious beliefs.
8Explore Nature With Railbikes
Rail biking is a popular leisure sport that uses bikes and railroads specially built for sightseeing. Rail bikes in Korea are chain driven cycles that are ridden on these rail tracks. These pedal-powered contraptions follow the tracks showing off Korea’s beautiful nature while also helping you with a light work-out session. In the country itself, there are more than eight rail bike stations alongside the river, ocean and mountains. So, hop on a rail bike and pedal your way along the railroad tracks to enjoy the many wonderful landscapes of Korea.
Here are the best rail bike facilities: Gimyujeong Railbike, Jeongseon Railbike, Jeonju Hanok Railbike, Samcheok Ocean Railbike, and Gimhae Nakdonggang Rail Park.
9Visit Korea’s Only Sex-themed Park In Jeju Island
The most popular honeymoon travel destination in South Korea, the Province of Jeju is also home to Love Land—a very unconventional, sex-inspired theme park. As it’s one of the most NSFW museums in the world, visitors have to be at least 18 years old to enter. The park was created in 2004 by 20 artists who graduated from Hongik University in Seoul. While it might not be the best spot to hit with family, it’s definitely the most unusual place to visit in South Korea.
Based on sensuality and eroticism, the theme park has 140 (40 within the gallery and 100 outside) sculptures representing various erotic themes and sexual positions. At this spacious park, you’ll find everything your pre-pubescent self might have dreamed of, from giant boobies and ‘Whack a Dick’ to a banana with its pants down.
10Plan Goosebump-inducing Thrills With Ghost Walking Tours In Seoul
How about a spooky ride around the capital city with Ghost Walking Tours? Visit the haunted side of Seoul you won’t find in tourism brochures, as your guide takes you on a meandering stroll through the city’s hidden alleyways, while recounting horrific tales and legends. These evening tours will allow you to tour Gyeonghuigung Palace which is apparently the most haunted place in South Korea, discover hidden secrets in Pimatgol Alley, explore the birthplace of Korean independence at Tapgol Park, and more. Visit the city’s most haunted sites and listen to gruesome stories that will send shivers down your spine.
So How Many Of These Offbeat Activities In Korea Are You Excited About?
While we might think South Korea is known for just its shopping, dining and K-pop, it promises to surprise you with its quirkiness as well! These activities are so unique to this East Asian country that you won’t find it anywhere else. If you like to test your limits you’re going to love all these slightly strange things South Korea is known for. So, if you have the stomach to try the weirdest and unusual things to do in South Korea, this country will not leave you disappointed. Ready for some unusual adventures in South Korea?