That’s right, there’s a public park in South Korea full of giant phalluses. It’s called Haesindang Park and there’s a tragic story behind it, but to me (and other backpackers lucky enough to catch word of this little beauty) it will always be “Penis Park“. Because pictures of cocks speak louder than a thousand words, I guess you could call this a “photo essay”, interspersed with a few lines from my travel journals from Gyeongju to Sokcho.
In the morning I was reluctant to get up. I knew I had to catch the 8.21* to Samcheok so at 7.50 I dragged myself up and set out for the Intercity Bus Terminal, grabbing bakery goods on the way. I finished One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest – good book; good ending – then slept, stretched out over all the back seats. In Samcheok I got another bus to Sinnam Harbour and lugged my bag to Haesindang Park – the Penis Park!
I had elderly strangers take obscene photos of me and the statues. It was good fun, and even the Koreans said they thought it was a strange thing to have in their country. So much dedication to the penis!
I bought a penis-shaped bottle of what I assumed was beer, to give someone back home as a gift, then got the bus back to Samcheok. I’d planned to find a “sauna” to stay the night in (jjimjilbang – Korean 24-hour public bathhouses – are the cheapest places to get a shower and a good night’s sleep in Korea…not to mention a big dose of local culture) but it occurred to me I could move on again and, as chance would have it, there was a bus. I had an hour to eat a delicious Korean meal then I hopped aboard and have been writing (feeling lost without a book to read) and stealing the occasional glance at the stunning coastline as I make my way north, up Korea’s East Coast, to Sokcho.
*Note: bus timetables are likely to have changed.