Scene Unseen: The “Cannot Be ‘Unseen'” Korea

You know what my life was lacking here in the big city? Open space. I mean, it’s very nice here in Busan, and in my Dong (neighborhood, although that’s some pretty stellar foreshadowing), although there are many parks and some open space, it’s no Ireland, where one is never further than 10Km from the nearest farm.

In order to combat this longing for the countryside, I signed up for the Korean Bus Tour Adventures trip to Samcheok.

Samcheok is about 5 hours bus journey through much of Korea’s arable land as well some pretty lofty, yet completely forested mountains, which is unsurprising given that the World Bank quotes a massive 64.08% of Korea is forested!

Why go 5 hours away to see green land if you are driving through fields and forests the whole way there anyway? Well… Samcheok is very well know for its sculptures as well as it’s parks. As I’m sure you can see below.

IMG_0198

All credit goes to Matthew for this picture. Really captured the spirit of the art!

Me and my birth animal, channeling my inner K-pop star

Me and my birth animal, channeling my inner K-pop star!

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve brought to you yet another of the less than wholesome parts of Korea (the first being the motels seen in this post). This is the Penis Park in Samcheok. At which there are literally hundreds of magnificent photo ops for adults of all ages!

This park is, however, not just some decadent tourist trap, or so I’m going to tell you so I don’t appear quite as depraved as some of the pictures will have you believe.

The park was built following the tragic death of a local virgin, who drowned in a storm, having sat down on a rock to watch her boyfriend catch fish. The region’s main industry is fishing you see.

Following the death of the wanton virgin, the fish fled the waters of the area, leaving the residents of the nearby town bereft of their livelihoods.

So in order to tempt the fish back the people of the village erected the statues in order to sate the virgin’s ghostly thirst for the carnal knowledge she never garnered in life. A solid plan by any measure I’m sure!

Park top Crop

That big black one is even motorized for further explanation of anatomy to the virgin.

However, this plan did not work quick enough to satisfy the villagers, as the fish began to return only in low numbers. I’m not sure what is in the water in this place to make everyone need over-supply of everything rapidly, but I can guarantee it wasn’t fish!  Thus they devised another plan to calm the fill the void of the virgin’s raging spirit.

In accordance with the new plan, on every voyage, the fishermen gathered on the sides of their ships in an ancient ceremony to sooth the hymen-ally challenged spirit. And one by one they added their own burst of salt to the water.

Sailors

Guess I have more than the mouth of a sailor after all!!

The plan came to fruition, and the fish eventually returned to Samcheok’s coastline. Although it could have been due to migratory patterns and an increase in available protein in the water rather than the satiation of the watery tart. But who am I to judge fisher folk?

The trip also included a trip to the nearby Hwanseon Cave, one of the largest limestone caves in all of Asia! But that’s another story as they say!

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