A penis park!? In Korea?! Sounds crazy right? I thought so too, but I knew from the first day I found out about it that I had to make the pilgrimage to see the penises. Haesindang Park is located in the in the outskirts of Samcheok in Gangwon-do province. It was quite a trek for me to come here from Cheorwon, but I knew I had to pay a visit before winter comes.
The fact there is even a penis park in Korea is shocking to most, but there’s a legend behind this place. According to the legend and Wikipedia, the story goes something like this:
A woman was once left by her man on a rock in the sea while he worked, the man was later unable to retrieve her because of a storm, and the woman drowned. After that, the village people were not able to catch any fish. Some said that it was because of dead woman. One day a fisherman peed into the water and afterwards he was able to catch fish, so it was thought that exposing the deceased virgin to male genitalia pleased her. To soothe her spirit further, the local village people made several phallic wooden carvings and held religious ceremonies on her behalf. After a while, the fish slowly returned and the villagers were able to live comfortable again. The place where the woman died was named Aebawi Rock and the building where the religious ceremony is held twice a year is named Haesingdang. The ceremony is still honored today as a traditional folk event.
Some may dismiss this park entirely just because …well it is a park full of dick statues but there is more to this place than what it’s known for. The park itself is situated along the coast line overlooking beautiful blue waters and jagged rocks jutting out of the sea. The walkways lead to well manicured landscapes of colorful flora surrounding these unique phallic structures that are really works of art.
You can also step foot inside the Samcheok Fishing Village Folk Museum (included in the admission price of 3000 won) and learn about traditional fishing, modern fishing, and sexual folklore.
There are plenty of interesting structures to lay your eyes upon both inside the museum and outside the park. Haesindang park is, without a doubt, one of the most charming parks I have ever walked through for apparent reasons and less obvious ones. Besides, what lady…or man doesn’t need some good D in their life?