Which Asian countries come to mind when we think of erotic destinations? Certainly, Japan comes first, the land of sexually-explicit animation and vending machines that sell porn magazines. India may also pop up in the list, though for a culture that developed the Kama Sutra, itâ€™s surprisingly prude when it comes to sex.
South Korea, however, is aching to be a player in the sexually-inclined touristsâ€™s market with itâ€™s first ever erotic park. Just 10 minutes away from Jeju International Airport, Jeju Loveland is a one-of-a-kind theme park in Jeju Island (or Cheju Island) where 140 works of art are erected for the pleasure of the paying public. Targeted primarily towards the newlyweds from the mainland, the park is stuffed with soft-core memorabilia, like statues, photographs, toys, and displays.
Visitors can immediately ogle what are in store for them just behind the entrance to Loveland. From there, a sculpture of a very flexible trio welcomes them with arched backs and reckless abandonment, giving them a taste of the spectacle awaiting them enclosed in an area the size of two soccer fields. The entire park is designed around a lake than contains a statue of two pairs of upside-down legs entangled around each other, as if suggesting the rest of the bodies are snuggling under the waters. Sensual sculptures adorn the borders of the lake, ranging from two fully-dressed lovers who are leaning over and kissing discreetly, to a collection of descriptive sexual positions seemingly based from cultures around the world. Exhibits like the nipple mountain with pink nubs at their tips and penis fountains that rise majestically from the goldfish pond can shock even the most jaded tourists with their explicitness.
There are even more surprises in the Baengnok Exhibition Halls, glass structures that resemble traditional Korean domes. Those are the only things that are traditional about these buildings: they are entirely dedicated to sex toys. From S&M paraphernalia to elaborate dildos, most of these items can demonstrate their functions by activating the switches next to them. There are also special exhibits held every month in the halls, featuring different local artists.
Every facility has an erotic theme attached to it, whether itâ€™s the phallic arrows giving directions, the his-and-her restrooms with genitalia-shaped door handles, or the parkâ€™s two mascots: Bulkkeuni, a mitten-wearing phallus, and Ssaekkeuni, a vagina with a floppy hat and bow.
Loveland started way back in 2002, when 20 artists, graduates of Hongik University in Seoul, began creating sculptures in the area. Jeju Island was already a popular destination for honeymooners, being the southernmost and therefore the warmest region in Korea. The â€œHoneymoon Ilseâ€, as its 600,000 inhabitants fondly call it, was the farthest most Korean newlyweds can travel from home, whether itâ€™s for political or financial reasons. Many marriages were arranged by the parents of couples, who would meet only before the nuptials under the strict supervision of relatives. After the wedding ceremony, the pair would be flown off directly to the island. Hotels, in an effort to relax the honeymooners, would offer entertainment programs such as lap dances and other risquÃ© activities to give them ideas on how to spend their time on the island. The gates of Loveland finally opened in 2004, as a testament to the islandâ€™s dedication in celebrating conjugal bliss.
Visitors can take a 10-minute taxi ride to Jeju Loveland straight from Jeju Airport. They should allow 40 minutes during the day and 50 minutes at night (when the outdoor displays are all lighted up) to enjoy all the exhibits. A snack bar is available to satiate certain appetites, as well as a gift shop for those who wish to bring home souvenirs that donâ€™t include a 33-foot tall stone phallus. Operating hours are 9am to midnight, and entrance tickets can be purchased straight from the ticket office for 7,000 won/person. Only adults from 18 years old and above can enter the park; however, a play area is available for minors for the duration of the visit.
Address: 680-26, Yeon-dong, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, South Korea
Official website: http://www.jejuloveland.com/html/eng.html