South Korea’s phallic-themed park is an Olympic hit

Travel Wire Asia
By Travel Wire Asia February 15, 2018 01:58

South Korea’s phallic-themed park is an Olympic hit

SOUTH KOREA’S obscure Haesindang Park, better known as “Penis Park”, is drawing curious crowds of visitors from the nearby Winter Olympics.

The park, a monument to fertility, was born from a legend about a virgin and fish. Even the bright red lighthouse in the tiny South Korean port of Sinnam is shaped like a penis.

There are penis totem poles, penis benches and penis wind chimes. There is even a penis-shaped cannon, with a warning to tourists that it should not be mounted.

“I’ve been all over the world and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Keith Childs, a Londoner who was visiting the park along with other people working at the Pyeongchang Olympics, being staged about an hour’s drive away.

A statue is pictured in South Korea’s Haeshindang Park, also know as “penis park”, a shrine to fertility dedicated to the legend of a local girl who died a virgin, in Sinnam, South Korea, February 12, 2018. Picture taken Feb 12, 2018. Source: Reuters

The legend behind the park has been painstakingly chiselled into a row of stone penises. It tells of a virgin who died in a storm as her boyfriend collected seaweed from a rock in a nearby cove.

According to one version of the legend, the village was unable to catch fish after she died until one fisherman urinated into the sea. The fishermen later erected a shrine and a phallus on the cliffs of the village to satisfy the virgin’s spirit.

Confronting and unusual to some eyes, the penis park is less of an oddity in a country with one of the lowest fertility rates in the world. Among the 35-member club of mostly rich nations, the OECD, South Korea has the lowest rate.

The country now has several “penis parks”, so many that Haesindang markets itself as the “only one on the east coast”.

Tourists look at statues in South Korea’s Haeshindang Park, also know as “penis park”, a shrine to fertility dedicated to the legend of a local girl who died a virgin, in Sinnam, South Korea, Feb 12, 2018. Source: Reuters

Just 1.17 babies per woman are born each year in South Korea, according to the latest government data, for 2016.

That is set to hit an historic low of 1.04 babies per woman this year, according to a government official.

“Young people face a harsh reality which includes high unemployment rates and an unstable job prospective so individuals choose not to have a child to sustain their own lives,” said Ryu Yang-ji, director at the Presidential Committee on Aging Society and Population Policy.

Additional reporting by Reuters

The post South Korea’s phallic-themed park is an Olympic hit appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Source: Travels travelwireasia.com

Travel Wire Asia
By Travel Wire Asia February 15, 2018 01:58
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