From the outside, Haesingdang Park looks like any other, with the exception of the two towering phallic statues visible from the parking lot. Now why would anyone erect a park in honor of a penis (pardon my pun)? Well let me tell you.
There once was a fisherman and he and his beloved, lived in the small village of Sinnam. One day the man went off to go fishing, however, he left his love on a rock to wait for him. While he was out fishing, a terrible storm came and he was unable to get back to her in time, and so the woman drowned…a virgin. From that day forward, the village could not catch any more fish. This plagued the village for some time, until one day, a local man peed into the water. Suddenly a fish jumped out! The man believed that he had appeased the drowned virgin by exposing his genitalia, and from there, this park was created and of course according to the tale, the fish returned to the waters. Now, each year they hold a festival to honor the woman.
Here is a statue of her in the park.
So how do you get to this park? It’s located on the east coast of Korea south of Gangneung.
1852-6 Samcheok-ro, Wondeok-eup, Samcheog, Gangwon-do, South Korea
Once you arrive you will see a small parking lot and then head towards the ticket booth.
Tickets are 3,000 won per person.
As soon as you enter the park, you will be greeted by this fellow.
As you walk through the park you will encounter all sorts of phallic statues.
Including all of the zodiac animals carved into a phallus.
There are even benches for you to relax on, just kidding, sitting on these guys is not allowed or recommended.
If you aren’t into the oddities in the park, it is actually still quite nice and has really nice views of the East Sea (aka the Sea of Japan).
There is also a small Fishing Village Folk Museum that goes over the history of fishing along with the history of phallic symbols. Who knew these two topics went hand in hand?
As you continue on, you will come across the shrine that has been created to remember the virgin who was lost to the sea. They have a painting of her in there.
From there you can also see this small lighthouse in the shape of….you guessed it!
The park is indeed entertaining and if you’re in the area, I say why not! I would not recommend to do a day trip from Seoul to the park as it is 3.5-4 hours each way and Korean traffic can be extremely unpredictable. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. We definitely went on quite the adventure getting there.