All across the globe, there are monuments and tourist attractions that transform our otherwise boring reality into a gleefully tumescent fantasia. Here are the world's most otherworldly phallic vacation destinations.
Note: Nothing here is explicitly not not safe for work, but be forewarned that there are scads of sculptures unfit for your local bingo parlor. But hey, what do I know? Maybe your neighborhood bingo hall is the most libertine place around, like a reverse Footloose or something.
1.) Bangkok's Chao Mae Tuptim shrine
Located discreetly behind a hotel franchise sits Bangkok's shrine of magic dildos. Here, statues of laughing children are interspersed between piles of lucky phalluses the faithful have left behind to curry fortune and fertility with the cosmic powers. Even though dozens of colorful, circumcised statues occupy this penile pocket, it's not the most obvious place to visit. Explains the folks at Asia Obscura of their journey to Tuptim:
Known locally as the Chao Mae Tuptim, this overgrown shrine is tucked–ever so discretely–behind The Swissôtel parking lot. Apparently the staff don't like to mention it [...] It took three visits to the Swissôtel before I found the way in. The staff pretended they had no idea what I was asking about. A guard waved me to the locked gates of a park down the street. Locals just ignored me [...]
Directions: Go to the very end of Soi Sumkhit, alongside Central Department Store. Confidently walk past the guard's hut on the right, then take a quick left. Look amongst the trees.
For another phallic shrine in Thailand, mosey on over to Phra Nang Beach.
2.) Haesindang Park
Five hours outside of Seoul lies this erect nature park with a tragic origin. According to legend, a virgin was once swept out to sea while her would-be lover watched in horror.
The blight of her ill-timed passing left local fishermen with empty nets, until a fortuitous bladder intervened. From Atlas Obscura:
The townspeople were said to be cursed and wondered what to do, that is, until a local fisherman relieved himself in the sea. The fish returned and men of the town took note. To appease the spurned woman's inability to consummate, the virile statues were erected and placed in view of the shore.
You can see many more potent tableaus of Haesindang Park (like the charming shot above) at Chris Backe's blog. And know that the statues become funnier the more not-safe-for-work they are. For a more secluded phallic tourist attraction, see also Vietnam's cavernous Hung Sang Sot.
3.) The Icelandic Phallological Museum
In Reykjavík, Iceland you can visit a vast storehouse of doodles from all around the animal kingdom. The groundwork to this museum was laid in 1974, when historian Sigurdur Hjartarson came into the possession of a bull penis. This severed bovine pizzle was a lightning bolt that sparked a lifelong interest in all things phallic. Now the museum boasts...
[...] fifty six specimens belonging to seventeen different kinds of whale, one specimen taken from a rogue polar bear, thirty-six specimens belonging to seven different kinds of seal and walrus, and one hundred and fifteen specimens originating from twenty different kinds of land mammal: all in all, a total of two hundred and nine specimens belonging to forty six different kinds of mammal, including specimens from Homo Sapiens.
The museum also includes a section devoted to the genitalia of legendary creatures, so you can educate yourself on the intricacies of troll undercarriages while you're in the neighborhood.
4.) Khalid Nabi Cemetery
In hills of northeastern Iran near the Turkmen border sits this ancient graveyard of 600 mysterious tombstones, many of which resemble human genitalia. Nobody knows where these markers came from, but it's speculated that these are the eroding remainder of a lost phallus-worshipping religion. That, or the aliens who built the Easter Island golems deposited the rest of the rocky body parts around the globe, and when it came time to hide the bits around the pelvis, the extraterrestrials weren't trying very hard. (Photo: Global Post)
5.) The Hōnen Matsuri and Kanamara Matsuri
On March 15 and the first Sunday in April respectively, the Japanese cities of Komaki and Kawasaki celebrate the abundance of springtime with giant penis statues. The specifics are different — for example, the latter festival is centered around a historical shrine for "inn girls" — but the tradition of carrying magnificent, brassy erection statues is shared between the two.
6.) The Cerne Abbas Giant
In Dorset, England lies a massive ancient chalk carving that boasts a 20-foot-long loin spire. Nobody knows where it comes from, but it's been speculated that the illustration depicts everyone from Hercules to Oliver Cromwell. In any case, the giant and his topographical manhood were obscured during World War II so Nazi aircraft could not use him to get their bearing. As a promotion for The Simpsons Movie in 2007, a huge outline of Homer Simpson was drawn next to the Cerne Abbas Giant, presumably as a concept art cue for the world's strangest romantic prose. Some English pagans were not impressed. (Photo: Barry Batchelor/PA)
7.) Jeju Loveland
Say you want to visit one of the world's premier erotic sculpture destinations. You could go classic and visit the Khajuraho temples of India. Or you could go to the South Korean theme park that makes Haesindang Park look like the model of restraint. I am, of course, talking about the famed Jeju Loveland.
Built as a destination to teach newlyweds the carnal ropes, Jeju Loveland has blossomed into a cavalcade of artwork portraying people in mid-coitus and disembodied sexual appendages. Explains Der Spiegel of its history:
[In decades past] many of these marriages were arranged by the parents of the spouses. The lucky ones might have had a brief chance to meet each other — under the watchful eyes of relatives — before exchanging vows. And then, after their wedding, they were immediately flown off to the south — to Cheju Island. As they got used to the notion of being bonded for life, they spent their wedding night and the following days on the Honeymoon Isle, which thereby also became a kind of "island of sex ed."
As late as the end of the 1980s, journalist and travel writer Simon Winchester reported that some hotel employees on the island performed as "professional icebreakers." In the evenings, the hotel would offer an entertainment program featuring lap dances and others raunchy or risqué highlights. Its purpose was to help the intimidated, freshly married novices relax — and perhaps to give them some ideas for later.
8.) The Kharkhorin Rock
Outside of Mongolia's Erdene Zuu Monastery stands a prominent penis statue smack dab in the steppe. According to local lore, this statue has been erected to remind the monks not to stray from their celibacy. This the second, larger statue that has been built, as the monks apparently required a sterner admonition. The statue has also grown to be regarded as a symbol of fertility and is by no means the most amorous monument in Mongolia.