Destination: BK Plastic Surgery Museum (Seoul)

Finding weirder destinations require a different kind of research than learning about mainstream palaces and temples. In some cases, a tourism organization is kind enough to offer some information about the place, while in other cases a couple of searches in Korean is required. In this case, it was just dumb luck – I stumbled across an ad for the hospital and plastic surgery museum while returning from the recently visited Simone Handbag Museum.

Located on the second floor of a fifteen-story building dedicated to plastic surgery of all kinds, the ’museum’ is essentially an extension to the waiting room, complete with chairs and magazines throughout the floor. Since the hospital serves international patients as well as locals, virtually every exhibit has more than enough English to go around.

The dozens of panels lining the walls simultaneously inform and amuse. While they aim to explain how a given procedure is performed, some also show the ’ideal’ nose, or the ’ideal’ proportions one can have through the doctor’s skills. While part of me wondered who determined these ’ideals’, I didn’t ponder it for too long. While occasional, the typos weren’t exactly reassuring, although I have to believe whichever doctors speak good English are probably too busy to proofread these things.

Yes, these looked like real bones, and they looked really odd. On one hand I don’t see too many people asking the doctor for their removed jaw bone back, but why it isn’t disposed of with the rest of the medical waste is beyond me.

Silicone or saline? Whatever your gender, you know you’ve wanted to do a hands-on comparison, and this may be the easiest (or least creepy way) to do it. It’s not fair to focus on the appearance here, by the way – the implants themselves don’t seem to be fastened the same way within the harness.

Fun mirrors? Well, we’re not at the carnival, but… How this is supposed to help someone’s body image or perception, I couldn’t tell you.

Even with the area taking up the majority of the floor, you’ll be finished in 15-20 minutes – it’s worth a quick stop if you’re looking to kill a little time. It’s far from an extensive look at the industry, but it’s an oddball site that’s lesser known – and within a few meters from a Seoul subway station.

Ratings (out of 5 taeguks – How do I rate destinations?):

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Name: BK Plastic Surgery Museum (BK 성형 박물관)

Address: Seoul-si Gangnam-gu Nonhyeon-dong 1-2 (2nd floor)

Korean address: 서울특별시 강남구 논현동 1-2 2층
Directions: Sinsa station, line 3, exit 2. Walk 10 meters and look right for the BK Hospital. Walk in and to the elevator, or just take the stairs up to the second floor.
Hours: 9am-7pm Monday-Thursday (until 9pm on Friday); 9am-5pm on Saturday, and 10am-2pm on Sundays and holidays.
Admission: free
Phone: 02-544-0404