Share

Bar its fortress, central Suwon carries precious little sightseeing potential, though one interesting facet is what may be the world’s greatest concentration of public toilets – they all have names, and some are even marked on tourist maps. This concept was the brainchild of Sim Jae-deok, a man referred to, especially by himself, as “Mr Toilet”. Apparently afflicted by something of a cloacal obsession (best evidenced by his house, custom-built to resemble a giant loo), Sim claims to have been born in a public restroom, but transcended these humble beginnings to become mayor of Suwon and a member of the national assembly. He then went on to create, and declare himself head of, the other WTO – the World Toilet Organization. Undoubtedly spurred on by his team’s debatable findings that the average human being spends three years of their life on the toilet, Sim desired to improve his home city’s facilities for the World Cup in 2002, commissioning dozens of individually designed public toilets – armed with the relevant pamphlet from the tourist office, it’s even possible to fashion some kind of toilet tour. Features may include skylights, mountain views or piped classical music, though such refinement is sadly sullied, as it is all over Korea, by the baskets of used toilet paper discarded throne-side.

Read More