A trip to the bathroom may be considered an enjoyable and relaxing experience for many, but South Korea has taken it to a whole other level. The "World's First Toilet Theme Park" has opened in the Korean city of Suwon.
The Restroom Cultural Park features everything that tells the history and celebrates the culture of the toilet. It has a museum with toilets from different countries and time periods and a sculpture garden of statues of people in mid-squat.
The museum offers a very educational experience as it explains the history of the toilet and provides fun facts about human waste. It also brings awareness of public toilets and sanitation all over the world.Visitors can also see WC signs from around the world, toilet-related works of art and can even take home a toilet or poop-themed souvenir at the end of the day.
The museum, which is shaped like a toilet, was the home of former Suwon mayor, Sim Jae-duck. He was the inspiration for the theme park as he was known as "Mr. Toilet." Jae-duck died in 2009, but he spent his life campaigning for better toilets in the state, according to METRO. He was supposedly born in his grandmother's toilet.
Jae-duck also formed the World Toilet Assosication in 2007.
"The toilet is not merely a place for excretion. It can save humankind from diseases," he told delegates at a World Toilet Association meeting before his death, according to The Guardian. "A place of relaxation and purging, the toilet is a place for introspection. The toilet is also a central living place that possesses culture."
Those who visit the museum have the opportunity to use his original toilet, which includes a full-length glass door that fogs up when it is being used.
Park employee Lee Youn Souk spoke to the BBC about the importance of the toilet.
"'We just focus on eating everyday, we sometimes overlook the importance of the toilet," she told the BBC. "We already know upon waking up in the morning we should go to the toilet but people don't want to talk about this. [They are] so important for health, sanitation and water conservation."
Suwon has embraced toilet culture for many years. Every year, the city holds a Golden Poop Art Festival.