When Visiting a Korean Penis Park ISN’T The Strangest Part Of Your Day

Several wooden penis sculptures at the edge of cliff overlooking the ocean.

This was supposed to be a post about the Penis Park in Korea.

You’re intrigued, right? Because if you go to a place like a Penis Park, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be the most unusual part of your day.

Well, much to my surprise, it wasn’t.

But before I tell you about that, let’s give the Penis Park South Korea its due.

First up, I should confess that it’s not officially called the Penis Park. I just really appreciate good alliteration, so I’ll keep calling it that. It’s actually called Haesindang Park, and there’s a little story behind it.

People don’t just erect penises for no reason, right? (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)

The Story of Haesindang Park

Statue of young girl who died at Haesindang Park
I am super uncomfortable with how just young she appears to be.

Once upon a time, there was a young girl who liked to harvest seaweed. One morning, her fisherman husband dropped her off on a rock, promising to return by nightfall to collect her.

He didn’t come back.

A raging storm hit, and the waves were too high for him to return. These same waves washed her into the ocean and she drowned.

The small village of Sinnam suddenly had a turn of bad luck as far as fishing was concerned. They traced it back to the girl’s death, and decided that there was only one way to soothe her angry spirit.

And that was to give her phallic offerings.

Miraculously, it worked, and the Penis Park South Korea was born.

Penis Park entrance arch

The Penis Park

On a nice day, Haesindang Park is a really nice place to visit. It’s just like any other park, except for, well:

Man stands next to a 12-foot-high sculpture of a squid shaped like a penis.
Wait a minute…is that a squid or is that a…
12 Zodiac signs represented as penis sculptures at Haesindang Park
The 12 Zodiacs of the Chinese calendar, penis-park-style.
man on penis shaped bench in Korea
Statement piece.

The attention to detail was impressive. It reminded me of the time I went to Hershey Park as a kid and was inordinately excited by the street lamps, which were shaped like Hershey’s Kisses.

This was, well, kind of like that:

fence posts like penis heads
Even the fence posts are penises. How sweet!
Cannon shaped like penis
This was a *very* popular attraction.

We came across a warning sign: only people over 20 years old should descend the stairs.

We descended.

At the bottom was a small cottage overlooking the ocean. Here’s what’s inside:

depiction of kid catching his parents making love.
Some things can never be unseen.

The Korean Penis Park Museum

Entrance to Korean fishing museum
The museum dreams are made of.

But wait!

There’s more.

A big fishing museum sits in the middle of the park, and it is full of satisfyingly weird exhibits.

Fake fishing suit
So convincing!
Hologram of a Korean woman in a fishing village.
This hologram lady was here WAY before Tupac turned up at Coachella.
Scary-looking stuffed baby seal at Korean Penis Park Museum
Standard reaction for most Penis Park visitors.

The brave women of Sinnam are still out there fishing for seaweed. Though these ladies do it from the shore, not a rock in the middle of the ocean.

Women fish for seaweed off the rocks at Haesindang Park in Korea
So that’s how the seaweed gets from the ocean to my lunch tray.

The Noraebus

But wait!

That’s not what I meant when I say that things got weird.

It was after the Penis Park, when we were waiting for the bus back to Samcheok, when things got weird.

A tour bus was in the parking lot behind the bus stop. The tourists, all middle-aged Koreans wearing brightly colored hiking clothes, were huddled in a circle, eating rice cakes and drinking soju.

The bus driver came over and gave us a plate of pine-flavored rice cakes.

“Samcheok?” he asked. We nodded.

He grunted and jerked his head towards the bus, indicating that he would give us a lift. There were four of us — Jared and I, along with another foreign couple who had been on our bus from Samcheok.

He returned a few minutes later with some cider. The men of the tour group waved Jared over, then plied him with soju and a pork knuckle.

Plate of pork knuckle and green rice cakes in Korea
Combo meal.

The original public bus we’d been waiting for sailed by without slowing down.

Luckily, the coach driver summoned us when they were ready to leave the Penis Park.

“Noraebus,” one of the men said enthusiastically, holding a phantom microphone to his mouth. “Norae.”

That’s when it dawned on us. This was not just any bus.

This was a karaoke bus.

In retrospect, it was really the only way to leave Haesindang Park in style.

As soon as the engine roared to life, the ceiling panel started flashing blue, green, and pink. There was a giant television screen above the driver, and a karaoke control panel to his left.

Offensively loud music pounded from the speakers, and the four waegooks were dragged to our feet and ordered to dance.

We danced frantically, flailing our arms and wiggling our hips to the terrifying music. I tried to sit down and was instantly dragged back up.

The song ended. Relieved, we moved towards our seats.

Within seconds, it started up again.

The passengers laughed and clapped us on the back. Then they shoved us aside and filled the aisles.

Karaoke bus passengers in Korea dancing in the aisle
Do it like nobody is watching.

Somebody handed us a couple of oranges. A woman started grinding her backside enthusiastically against Jared’s shoulder.

“I’m frightened,” he said.

The music played on.

Older Korean men hugging and laughing on a karaoke bus to Samcheok.

I had so many questions. How many days did the tour last? Did they dance between every destination? Was the tour centered around the Penis Park, or was there more? How long could they sustain the dancing? Did they get drunk and hook up with each other?

It was Contiki for the ajosshi/ajumma set.

The man in green produced a bottle of soju and walked up the aisle handing out shots.

Right before he could offer me a shot, the bus screeched to a halt. The music stopped. Everyone sat down.

“Waegookin,” the bus driver bellowed. “Yeogi.” Foreigners! Get off here.

The bus deposited us on the sidewalk and zoomed away.

Dynamic Korea strikes again.

Getting there: The Penis Park, or Haesindang Park, is in Sinnam, a tiny town on the east coast of Korea 20km south of Samcheok. We took the #24 bus from Samcheok’s intercity bus terminal. It takes 50 minutes and leaves on the hour. Check the tourist information booth near the bus terminal for up-to-date information.

Want to check out the Penis Park yourself? Pin it for later!

Korea penis park

Penis Park Korea

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  1. I had heard rumors of the noraebus! Jeff and I have been on the lookout, but so far, nothing. Glad to know it’s real! And it may just be too intense for me…

    1. I’d heard the rumors, too! Never thought I’d experience one firsthand, and especially not like this. It was overwhelming, and no one had even started singing while we were there. I wouldn’t recommend it.

  2. That was hilarious. What do you do the next day though? Nothing is going to produce a weirder or more entertaining day than that (at least I hope it can’t get weirder…for your sake).

    1. It was easily the highlight of the trip – forget the penises! We missed out on the caves, but that doesn’t concern me as much as I’d thought it would…

    1. Yep, here until the 25th of August. We do plan to spend a couple of days in Busan – going to Osaka for our summer vacation, then getting the ferry across for 2 nights in Busan. I had a look at your website and now I feel like 2 nights isn’t going to be enough!

    1. Just wait – there’s MORE! On Jeju Island, they’ve got an erotic sculpture park called ‘Loveland.’ I won’t get to check it out myself, but from what I understand, it’s even weirder than the Penis Park.
      Not as weird as the spontaneous appearance of an over-50 karaoke bus, though. Nothing will top that!

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