Discover some of South Korea's weirdest and most wonderful attractions!
8 weird and wonderful things to do in South Korea
You may know South Korea for its booming K-pop scene, or perhaps for its delicious cuisine, or maybe even as the hosts for last year's Winter Olympics. Yet Korea also offers many weirdly wonderful, and sometimes just outright bizarre, attractions for you to enjoy (or not!) that every tourist should know about.
You may have heard of various cat and dog cafés cropping up all over cities around the world after the concept blossomed in Japan, but South Korea takes it that one step further. Whilst Korea does have its own fair share of adorable cat and dog cafés that you can visit, it is in South Korea's capital where they have introduced their very own raccoon café. Patrons can sit and take photos with these naughty critters here while sipping on their delicious hot beverages.
If raccoons aren't really your thing, then do not worry as Seoul also boasts its own sheep café! The Thanks Nature café in the city is the first of its kind and invites customers to have tea, coffee or a beverage of their choice in sheep themed surroundings. There's also a large selection of sheep shaped items on the menu for you to choose from too (they have adorable, fluffy sheep faced ice-cream and waffles that are a must!). At the same time, customers are welcomed to interact with the resident free-roaming sheep - your free afternoon in Seoul is now sorted!
Trick Eye Museum
The Trick Eye Museum in Seoul is a unique and interactive art exhibit that celebrates the weird and wonderful art form of trompe-l'oeil. Trompe-l'oeil is an art technique that creates optical illusions, making the flat paintings in the museum appear 3D and jump out from the wall. From reimagined and rescaled famous classical paintings such as Da Vinci's classic Mona Lisa and Edvard Munch's The Scream, to outright silly and bizarre wall-sized art pieces, the museum invites guests to snap some amazing and incredibly goofy photos with their friends and family. Defy all laws of gravity by walking on the walls and ceiling, swim with giant model dolphins, or get eaten by a ferocious sea monster! You'll be sure to leave the museum with plenty of photos to take home and share.
Gamcheon Culture Village
Although perhaps lower down on the weird scale, the Gamcheon Culture Village in the Korean town of Buna is nonetheless a wonderful place to visit. Its amazing array of pastel and brightly coloured houses lining the hillside and its winding alleyways and steep steps leading to fantastic coastal views have earned the village comparisons to both Santorini and Machu Picchu. Art shops, small galleries and cute cafés dot the streets for visitors to explore and enjoy. Countless colourful murals on the homes of residents and sculptures created by local artists in the streets mean that this village is also one of the best spots in Korea to snap the perfect Instagram photo.
Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital
On a creepier note, the Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital is believed to be the most haunted place in South Korea. Long since abandoned, many visitors and tourists have been exploring the deserted halls and rooms for two decades. Rumours are that the owner went insane and kept the hospital's patients as prisoners. Unexplainable deaths, however, led the owner to frantically flee the asylum and he soon left for America in the 1990s. Other reports state that it was simply a downfall in economic fortunes, unsanitary conditions, and serious problems with the sewage system at the hospital that made the asylum what it is today. Revengeful ghosts or not, the dirty mattresses, dark and dingy passageways and the discarded medical equipment at this abandoned asylum still massively add to the creep factor!
However, it is important to note that despite its popularity with tourists, Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital is technically closed to all visitors (and locals are loathe to give out any directions). Whether you decide to go explore the haunted hospital is therefore entirely at your own risk and discretion. Perhaps the better option would be to simply watch the film Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum that was made in 2018, inspired by the history and lore surrounding the abandoned hospital.