The Penis Park
If you’re not amused my large phallic statues, look away now. If you still have a bit of childishness to you, though, South Korea’s bizarre ‘Penis Park’ might be right up your alley. So to speak. Something of an expat pilgrimage, the park is located in the Donghae (quiet at the back) district along the East coast of South Korea. That can make the park a touch inaccessible, but you’ll probably find the comic side of things well worth the hassle.
There’s a great story behind the place, too. A beautiful young seaweed collector is said to have become stranded on a rock after her fisherman husband to be couldn’t collect her on his boat. The girl is said to have died in a storm that evening, and the villages fishing success waned, with local believing the girl’s distraught soul to be responsible. The wooden phalluses offered in the park near the village were to ‘console’ the soul of the bitter young girl, and the successful catch returned soon afterwards. To this day, a ceremony is still held on the first full moon of the near year, with the unveiling of further huge wooden penises.
As a tourist, though, this is pure comedy, and features huge ornate bronze penises, wooden smiling penises and statues of men complete with oversized members posing over rocks. Some even have phalluses growing directly from the top of their heads, while others form penis/ benches. It’s not big (okay, it’s pretty big) and it’s not clever, but for us the penis park – for sheer oddity and bizarre mythology – is an essential stop off during your time in South Korea. As a souvenir, you can grab a bottle of wine topped with a clay phallus or simply snap up a carved wooden member – life sized or garden gnome sized – of your own. Enjoy!