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Why is this Korean Park full of Penises?

In South Korea, sexuality is a topic that is not openly expressed. Thus, it might be quite alarming to learn that Korea has an entire park consisting of about 50 phallic statues. Situated along Korea’s east coast, approxiately 20 km south from Samcheok, lies a Penis Park. This unique park also known as Haesindang Park belongs to a small town called Sinnam.

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According to legend, a fisherman took a maid out to the sea and left her on a rock to harvest some seaweed. He promised he would return later and bring her back to shore. Tragically however, there was a very heavy rainstorm and the woman eventually drowned and died in the sea. After her death, the villagers were unable to catch fish. Many believed this was due to the dead virgin’s ill spirit. To please her spirit, the villagers decided to erect wooden phallic statues and hold a religious ceremony. After that, it was not long before the villagers were catching fish again.

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Interestingly, the religious ceremony for this maid still continues to be held twice a year. In this photo, the rock on which the maid was left can be seen in the far distance.

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The penis sculptures peppered throughout the park were of various sizes and shapes. Most of the penises were carved with facial expressions or unique patterns.

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Some penis statues were fairly simple.

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Others were more creative, like this fish penis.

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I found this phallic statue very interesting due to its facial expression.

Personally, I thought it was worth a trip to the Penis Park. If erect penis statues don’t make you uncomfortable, then this park is a great place to have a few laughs!

Surfing at Kuta Beach, Indonesia

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Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, is extremely touristy and crowded. The beach is teeming with locals and tourists, who are relaxing on the beach or most likely surfing.

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When we arrived at Kuta beach, we immediately decided to take a surfing lesson. Our surfing instructor taught us the basics of surfing and handed us both a surfboard.

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So, with my surfboard in hand, I walked into the water not knowing how this experience would turn out. I had no idea if I would like surfing, but I had to try. I was in the water for an hour, before I decided I was done with surfing.

Let me say it loud and clear, surfing is hard, extremely hard. It was exhausting for me to even stand on my surfboard in order to ride the waves. At one point, the wave, which was at least a 1.5 meters high, totally took me under. For a short moment, which actually felt really long and slow to me, I was struggling to surface after being hit by my surfboard in the head. It was scary.

Instead of feeling frustrated with trying to surf, I decided to exchange my surfboard for a bodyboard. In no time, I was riding the waves and having an awesome time. It was so much easier and a lot more fun with the bodyboard.

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From this experience, I learned that surfing isn’t for me. However, I do still have a deep appreciation and admiration for all those surfers, who can ride the waves so gracefully.

Wadi Rum: Jordan’s Red Desert

Some places are just so beautiful that words and pictures don’t do them justice. The desert of Wadi Rum is a perfect example.

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As we were riding the jeep through this Jordanian desert, I couldn’t help but feel capitivated by the red sand. This was the first time I had ever seen a desert with red sand. I felt incredibly happy!

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The tall cliffs scattered throughout the red desert, definitely added character to the landscape.

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Wadi Rum is a fairly isolated place. The only inhabitants, who permanently live here are Bedouin nomads and villagers. We stayed in this tent overnight, accompanied by Bedouins. We had a fun evening of listening to their songs and stories as well sharing a meal together.

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We spent the day, exploring the desert on foot. We climbed several cliffs and then sat back to enjoy the view. We also challenged ourselves to climb up the steep sand dunes.

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Climbing the sand dunes was so much fun! We did finally make it to the top.

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It was a really great feeling to be surrounded by so much space and natural beauty. Wadi Rum is a beautiful desert; one of the best I have seen.

Is it Worth Climbing the Syndey Habour Bridge?

The Syndey Habour Bridge, is one of Australia’s most famous landmarks. It is nicknamed “The Coathanger” due to its arch-based design. It stands 134 metres above the Syndey harbour, and is the world’s largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge. Tourists and locals have the opportunity to climb to the top of this bridge with an organization named Bridge Climb.

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We had only one day left in Australia and we were still on the fence of whether we should climb the bridge. It was a rainy day, and this adventure was extremely costly. It was about $220 per person for the climb. After some contemplating, we finally decided perhaps it would be worth the experience. We had never before climbed to the top of a bridge. Thus, although we were not absolutely confident about our decision, we figured it might be fun to climb such an incredible bridge and see the city from a different perspective.

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It was a poor decision. Our climbing experience was mediocre. It was a very slow and uneventful climb, not very thrilling. Of course the weather really didn’t help much either. Even though the views of Syndey from the iconic bridge were interesting, the cost of this adventure was definitely not worth it.

Barcelona’s Chocolate Museum

I had never heard of a chocolate museum, until I starting reading about Barcelona’s tourist attractions. A chocolate museum! How cool is that? Without any hesitation, I put Barcelona’s Museu de la Xocolata on our World Trip travel itinerary.

At the chocolate museum, we spent an hour or so, learning about the origins of chocolate in Europe and looking at some awesome chocolate exhibits. I was truly impressed by the details and creativity of each of the exhibits. Below are some of the chocolate displays we saw during our visit.

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At the end of our tour, we treated ourselves to hot chocolate. We were given a spoon with our cup of hot chocolate. It felt like I was drinking melted chocolate. The hot chocolate was nothing like I had ever tasted before; it was extremely thick and sweet.

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If you decide to visit this neat little chocolate museum, you must try at least a spoonful of their rich hot chocolate and judge for yourself.

Clean and Green Singapore

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Even though we only visited Singapore for a few days, I was left with a great impression of this small island-country. Now when I think of Singapore the words: shopping, food, clean, and green immediately come to mind.

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Singapore is a mecca for shopping. There are countless plazas, malls, and shops. Ubiquitous signs for sales and discounts are displayed on sidewalks. When locals and tourists are not shopping, they seem to be relishing in Singapore’s other treasure, food.

International cuisine is very easy to find in Singapore, one only needs to walk into a food court to find a handful of different cuisines. While we were in Singapore, we tried all sorts of food, including Korean, Thai and Taiwanese dishes.

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Besides being a paradise for shoppers and food lovers, Singapore is a very attract country due to its cleanliness. Its downtown streets are extremely clean compared to other cities I have visited. I also noted, there were a lot of green manicured trees, plants, and bushes decorating the city.

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Similar mascots were found throughout the city, expressing different ideas and thoughts. I thought these mascots were great!

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I also loved how subway stations were named after little places within the city.

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Although Singapore may be small, it definitely has character. The cleanliness and green vegetation, particularly the palm trees, were the two factors that really set Singapore aside from the other countries.

Craving Korean Food during our Travels

The first time we ever tasted Korean food was in Seoul. The introduction into this world of spicy Korean food that consisted of red pepper paste and kimchi was a delight for our palates. After two years of thoroughly enjoying Korean dishes, we knew we would miss this savory cuisine during our travels. So, before leaving for our one-year World Trip, we made every effort to get our fill of Korean food. But, it was only four months into our big trip that we began deeply craving Korean food. At that time, it was New Years’ Eve and we were in Cairo, Egypt! We were just wandering around hoping to eat at a decent restaurant since finding a Korean restaurant would be highly unlikely. At least that was what we thought, until we actually spotted a Korean restaurant! We were surprised and thrilled. What were the chances of finding Korean cuisine in Egypt! We ordered kimchi bokkeumbap and it was delicious. What a way to bring in the New Year!

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The next time we had the chance to try Korean food was seven months later in Singapore. Even though it was extremely expensive, we couldn’t resist. We ended up ordering dolsot bibimbap!

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Jet Skiing and More in Ko Samui, Thailand

Once Jason and I started living abroad, Thailand was the first country we visited during our vacation period. I had always had a deep desire to travel to Thailand. I had heard Thailand was amazing and so exotic with beautiful beaches. It sounded like paradise. During our initial visit to Thailand we stayed in Bangkok for a few days, and then took a one hour flight to Ko Samui.

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Ko Samui was our first real beach experience and it was wonderful. The sand was soft and the water was great for swimming.

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It was at Ko Samui, we did jet skiing for the first time! Driving the jet ski in the deep waters away from the shore, was thrilling. I must admit however, the ride was also very bumpy and a bit scary for me. But, I survived our very first water sports adventure in Thailand!

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In the evening, tables were set up on the beach for dinner. Having a candlelit dinner and hearing the sounds of the ocean, on a warm summer evening was so romantic and relaxing.

For me, Thailand was and continues to be a slice of paradise! It definitely is one my favorite countries in the world.

Paddling around Phewa Lake in Pokhara, Nepal

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Our first stop in Nepal was in Pokhara. It is the second largest city in Nepal. Pokhara was a quiet city surrounded by a beautiful fresh water lake named Phewa Lake.

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Jason paddled us around Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in Nepal, for a few hours.

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We took the boat across the lake and walked up to this stupa. This Buddhist stupa, which is named the World Peace Stupa, serves to inspire peace throughout the world. From the top of the stupa, we were able to see beautiful views of the Annapurna ranges in the Himalayas.

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After visiting the stupa and some other smaller temples, we spent the day paddling around the lake until early evening. It was a very pleasant and relaxing way to spend a day.

Drinking Mint Chocolate Martinis in Hong Kong

For us, traveling isn’t just about checking off a list of countries we have visited. It is more about the experiences we encounter during the trip. Sometimes the experience can be as simple as trying a new drink at a local bar.

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While we were in Hong Kong, walking around the city exploring, it started to rain. It wasn’t just light rain, but a sudden downpour. We were almost about to be drenched in water, when we quickly took shelter. We were riding up Hong Kong’s outdoor escalator. It is the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator that extends over 800 metres in distance and elevates up to 135 metres. Pretty impressive! Anyhow, it was while riding this impressive escalator, we spotted a bar advertising a mint chocolate martini.

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I like martinis, and I had never tried a mint chocolate martini before. So, Jason suggested, perhaps we should just order a few drinks, sit back, and relax. For the next few hours, we enjoyed a couple mint chocolate martinis and conversed about our Hong Kong trip. We decided to sit by the open windows, since they gave us a beautiful view of the heavy rain pouring on the streets. Outside while everyone hustled around with their umbrellas, we sat back comfortably trying to take in this beautiful moment!