Korean Museums: Sex, Drugs & Teddy Bears

On picturesque Jeju island, in Korea, visitors can hike through tangerine orchards to a dormant volcano, watch women dive for shellfish or take in the World Eros Museum. It’s one of Jeju’s three sex museums. From there, visitors can visit two chocolate museums, three teddy-bear museums and, by one count, seven museums that specialize in “trick art,” images that let people pose as if they are stuck in a shark’s mouth or having a drink with five scantily clad women. There are more than 100 museums on this island about half the size of Rhode Island, most of which opened in the past few years. The new competition has set off feuds among museum owners who accuse each other of copycatting, running lame museums and cutting deals with tour operators to bring in busloads of free-spending Chinese tourists.

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