Anatomy 101 at Haeshindang Park – 해신당 공원

This weekend I finally made the short trip to Samcheok, one of our neighbouring cities to meet up with some friends from orientation. The coastal city is about an hour by bus from Taebaek and is well-endowed with exciting treasures: a massive Homeplus, a beautiful waterfront and beaches, all the amenities of a decent size-city, and of course the famous Haeshindang Park, known in English as the Penis Park. And damn, this park was packing. Its hard to say what my favourite part was: the massive statues of wood, or the the beautiful rocks poking out of the water, perfect for climbing to the climax.

Scrambled up to the top of this rock and nearly lost my life! (Not actually but maybe if  I did they would build penis statues for me).

To my surprise, the Penis Park has a deep cultural history surrounding its erection on the shore of the East Sea. Known as the Legend of Aebawi and Haeshindang, the story goes that a young woman’s husband dropped her at a rock off-shore to harvest seaweed. Her husband was supposed to bring her back to shore later that day, but the weather turned for the worse and she was left stranded, and doomed to drowning. After her death, the community was not able to catch any fish, supposedly because she died a maid and raged for the nasty. Local men put their heads together to come up with a solution: first they attempted to relieve her sexual frustrations by jerkin’ their junk into to the sea. When this didn’t work, they began carving wood statues to please her. The statues seemed to finish the job and stand tall and proud to this day.

Haeshindang doesn’t get too hung up on the phallic statues through: the park also offers Korea’s largest aquatic museum which provides a rich history of the fishing industry in Korea as well as the ways the sea has influenced life here. There is also a small but mighty (and hopefully growing) portion of the museum dedicated to exploring the meanings and portrayals of sex and sex organs around the world.

It wouldn’t be Korea without a farm in the middle of a penis park!

What’s all that white stuff gathering at the rocks?…

… Oh that explains it.

Lady of the hour.

Goldmember.

Of course, the park wouldn’t be complete without Ajimas selling fish at the end!

Korea’s fascination with phallic statue’s does not end here. It would be stiff competition to provide the same excitement as this park, but Jeju’s Pleasure Park is another worthy destination for particular thrill-seekers.

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