Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hwanseongul & Haesindang Park

On Sunday we woke up fairly early so we could make breakfast and head to Haesindang Park.

Putting the men to work in the kitchen!

This park is situated on the East Sea / Sea of Japan (debateable name depending on which country you are from) and there are beautiful views of the coastline. However, mixed in with the beautiful views are an assortment of penis statues.
 Now before anyone finds this offensive the Korean’s have a story to go along with these statues. Legend has it that a beautiful girl used to live in the village and gather seaweed. The best place to gather seaweed was a rock in the middle of the ocean called Aebawi. One day the girl’s fiancĂ© brought her out to the rock and said he would be back to get her after she gathered all the seaweed. That night a terrible storm hit and the man couldn’t get past the waves to get the girl. She ended up dying in the storm and from that day on the fisherman in the village were plagued with a bad spell of catch. They spread a rumor that it was from the girl’s soul so they decided to offer carved wooden phalluses as a sacrifice to the unmarried, virgin girl. After that the fisherman in the village started to see an improvement in their catch.

Chinese Zodiac in penis form

Obscene benches

We then headed back to Samcheok in order to head to Hwanseongul or Hwanseon Cave. The cave is situated in the mountains with breathtaking views.

We took a monorail up to the top of the mountain where the cave is located.
taking the monorail up

 It’s a steep incline and we were told it takes about 45 minutes to walk up and it was a very hot and humid day. Hwanseon Cave is one of the largest limestone caves in Asia and the largest in Korea. It has over 6 kilometers discovered and it is said that the whole cave is probably over 8 kilometers. Some parts of the cave are 100 meters high.
waterfall in the cave

It takes about an hour to walk through the entire cave
inside the cave

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