Samcheok is a great weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Our primary goals were to take a ride on the the Yonghwa Ocean Railbike and (of course) pay a visit to Haesindang Park! We also intended to visit a cave or two, but the local bus schedule was very challenging (to say the least) and we simply didn't have enough time!
We decided to leave Daegu at 8:30am on the Saturday morning. The trip took about 4.5 hours and we arrived in Samcheok just in time to seek out a motel and find the main bus stop in-town. We chose Star Motel (it was the first one we looked at) and were satisfied with the room and rate. We shared a standard room for 60k won and had a good size bed and all the amenities. You may be able to find cheaper elsewhere, but we were happy with it and wanted to get started on the fun stuff!
TIP: Haesindang Park is relatively easy to get to. You can hop on bus #24 from Samcheok and get off at the park. There are 2 entrances and I recommend getting off at the first! 3k won entry fee! BE AWARE: The buses are VERY infrequent, so you may be waiting a while to get picked up!
We found our bus stop and headed to our first destination: Haesindang Park (also known as the Penis Park). This is a very popular destination for foreigners and locals alike and these giggle-inducing sculptures are nestled among some gorgeous scenery!
You may be wondering Why in the hell is there such a thing as a Penis Park? Well, there is a bit of interesting history behind it. The legend goes: a young woman was left waiting on a rock each day as her lover went to work. She had to stay there and wait for him until he returned for her. One day a storm rolled in, he was unable to save her, and she drowned. Shortly thereafter, the local fisherman’s catch kept getting smaller and smaller. Being a fishing village, this was of great concern to the locals and they weren’t sure how to remedy the situation. One day, a fisherman noticed the fish coming back after he relieved himself into the water. The news spread quickly and it was believed that the fish came back because the virgin beheld the man’s penis. The townspeople then built phallic sculptures to pay respect to the woman. The fish continued coming back and the community has had plenty of fish ever since.
TIP: Bus #24 also will take you to the railbike....Make sure you arrive at the correct starting point. Tickets are 12k won for a 2-seater and the trip lasts about 1hr 45min. You will stop part of the way through for refreshments and a bathroom break. This MAY NOT be suitable for young kids (who are afraid of the dark) or for those who have difficulty with strobe/flashing lights.
The next day, we took a trip on the Yonghwa Ocean Railbike. Though the weather was overcast, the railbike tour was lovely. It required very little effort on our part, and was super relaxing! I hear there are some nice places to take a railbike in the autumn and I’ll be sure to check it out if I can!
After taking the railbike, we headed back to Samcheok to figure out how we were going to get home. Though Samcheok isn’t super-close to Daegu, it isn’t a bad weekend trip! If you do visit Samcheok–drive if you can. If you can’t drive and must rely on public transport–plan ahead to make sure you do everything you want!!