One of the most common requests we get is in regard to a post in our first year for Dr. Fish. People seem to be pretty enamored by the idea of this unique shop and, once it closed, our readers have been begging us for an update on possible new locations in Seoul. There’s some good and some bad in this post, but we are here with the answers we’ve been able to gather.
The good news is this: there are still establishments in Myeong-dong that have fish to assault your bunions after a long day on your feet in this shopping wonderland. At the locations indicated on the map below, you can find these establishments. The Foot Shop offers the Dr. Fish experience for about 10,000krw. These shops aren’t like the previous one that we had frequented that was more reminiscent of a coffee shop that happened to have Dr. Fish. These new establishments are massage spas that offer Dr. Fish as a novelty side offer and are more luxurious.
On the other hand, there are some definite downsides to where the Dr. Fish culture has gone. The new shops are all more expensive by a long shot. Whereas the old Dr. Fish was 3,000krw on top of a coffee purchase, now you’ll be visiting a spa and spending 10,000krw or more. The one we visited only had room for 1 or 2 people to have the Dr. Fish treatment at the same time, so the days of getting a group together to experience this oddity together is a bygone memory. We spoke to one of the Tourism Police Officers (tourist assistants/guides in Myeong-dong) who kindly explained that the concept of having fish eat your dead skin is a very old novelty that is slowly being forgotten. The cafes no longer want to offer this attraction, so spas are the only remaining establishment to keep the tradition alive in Seoul.’
So what does all of this mean? Well, we are happy to report that we’ve found Dr. Fish and it is still available for anyone wanting to experience the odd sensation of being eaten alive be tiny fish. On the downside, there are no longer, and it seems there won’t again be, cafes and relaxed environments to giggle and squirm as your feet are chewed. Now you must visit the select few foot spas that still host the hordes of hungry fish and I’d imagine that they expect you to be more of a spa-goer than a tourist. The spas were nice, but not the same environment we’d experienced before where it was a novelty.
The bottom line: Dr. Fish is alive and well (for now) in Seoul. Check out our map and video, and leave us a comment if you have any questions. We will update the post with a map to the other locations as soon as possible.