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First toilet theme park opens in South Korea

Friday 23 Nov 2012 10:52 p.m.

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By Ali Ikram

There's a theme park for everything. What Disneyland did for mice, Napoleonland did for Napoleon, and you can even watch the crucifixion of Jesus at Holy Land in Florida.

But here's one to rival them all.

At the theme park in South Korea, they don't just love the humble toilet; they've gone completely potty for it.

“I think it could change someone's perception, particularly if they're a little uptight or embarrassed about toilets or because it makes them laugh,” says American tourist Malissa Sheets-Nygard.

According to the internet, we'll all spend around three years of our lives sitting on the can – this being the longest relationship many of us will ever have.

Quite how to honour this vital function has remained a curly one until the world's first toilet culture park opened recently.

“For our generation, a toilet was very dirty place where we really didn't want to enter,” says park-goer Kim Gye-Soon. “I actually used to poo on the front yard and my grandmother cleaned it up. A toilet was a very dangerous place, too. I fell into the toilet bowl. But this place is different, which made me think afresh about toilets."

The centre piece of the tourist attraction is a $1.6 million museum shaped like a massive throne.

It is all the brainchild of the town's late mayor Sim Jae Duck, who was born in a toilet after his mother was told anyone born in a lavatory would live a long happy life.

The man dubbed Mr Toilet died a couple of years ago, but not before founding the world toilet association and saying, "the toilet is not merely a place for excretion. It can save humankind from diseases. A place of relaxation and purging, the toilet is a place for introspection."

It started a movement that lingers till this day.

"We opened the place with various humorous sculptures related to toilet,” says spokeswoman for the park Lee Youn-Sook. “This has emerged as a place where many foreigners can be familiar with toilet culture of South Korea."

The museum features toilet signs from around the world, many of which leave little to the imagination, and hosts the annual Golden Poop Art Festival.

It is all in the name of getting going number ones back at the top of the charts.

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