Haesindang Gongwon (Haesindang Park) is known as the Penis Forest in South Korea. It’s either because the real name is way too long and complicated or because you can find totem poles shaped like different penises with faces all over them.
It’s way on the east coast of South Korea in a ridiculously small town called Sinnam. It’s a dreadfully long 5 hour bus ride from Seoul to Samcheok. Then a local bus ride for about 50 minutes to Sinnam. We asked the nice lady in the Tourist Information Booth at the bus station how to get to Haesindang Park and she showed us where it was on a map and also told us exactly which bus to take. We took bus 90. But I’d suggest you ask the human in the Tourist Information Booth as well instead of going by the exact bus numbers that may be changed on the exact day that you decide to check out the penis forest.
We got there in the late afternoon and decided to eat before we headed out even further away from civilization. By the time we caught a local bus to the park, it was twilight.
We told the bus driver where we wanted to get off because we knew we wouldn’t know it when we got there. He told us but it was pitch black by that time. We didn’t see any place around with light or any other signs of life so we stayed on the bus until the very last stop.
We hopped in a taxi there and asked the driver to take us to a motel (by saying “motel motel” over and over until he started driving).
He took us about two blocks and wanted us to pay the minimum fare. My friend stormed out in anger! I gave him 1,000 won so he wouldn’t call the police or who knows what else. It’s quite country out there.
We got the crappiest motel I’ve ever stayed in which tried to rip us of on prices. Good thing my friend heard them tell the couple before us the real price and she demanded that price.
Besides all that, once you make it to Haesindang (penis) Park, it’s well worth it. Besides all of the amazingly weird and awesome penis totem poles, it’s located right off the East Sea. You can walk along an almost unnatural beach with rocks galore that you can walk along into the East Sea if that’s your thing.
When we got there the next day, we realized that if we got off at the stop and went down the hill, we would’ve found plenty of minbaks to stay in right outside of the penis forest. But it’s pitch black and looks like no one lives anywhere near that place. So if you get there at night, feel free to hop off the bus at the correct stop and find a minbak. Or do like we did and go to the end of the bus route and walk a few blocks to the nearest motel.
Here’s a few pictures from our time at Haesindang Gongwon aka Haesindang Park aka The Penis Forest.