The porcelain god finally gets its altar
at South Korea’s Haewoojae, loosely translated as “a place of
sanctuary where one can solve one’s worries", but better known in English as the Toilet Culture Exhibit Hall and
The toilet park, which officially opened
on 4 July 2012, started life as the vision of Sim Jae-duck, known as Mr Toilet
thanks to his efforts to improve the city toilets at the 2002 World Cup during
his tenure as the mayor of Suwon City, South Korea, where the park is now located. He also helped found the World
Toilet Association, which is dedicated to improving sanitation around the world.
In 2007, Sim constructed the world’s first
toilet-shaped house in Suwon City, in which he lived until his death in 2009. After he passed away,
the house was converted into a museum, documenting the world’s water closet culture
through men and women’s bathroom signs from around the globe, photographs of public
toilets and information about the importance of sanitary bathroom facilities.
The museum was expanded into a
full-fledged theme park in 2012, complete with scatological sculptures and different styles of
toilets, such as squat
toilets traditionally used in Korea, European chamber pots and historical
urinals shaped like little four-legged creatures with a round hole in place of
a face. While visitors are welcome to mimic relieving themselves (making for
some fun photo opportunities), the park has its own set of modern bathrooms available
for the real thing. The park does not
have traditional rides, but guests are encouraged to interact with the exhibits
and various sculptures.
The park opens from 10am to 6pm daily, and
is closed Mondays. Admission is free, though the museum accepts donations to
continue its mission to improve toilet hygiene and education.