Destination: Love Castle (Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do) (NSFW)

GYEONGJU is known for having plenty of touristy things to see within a bus ride’s distance. Bulguksa, Seokguram Grotto, and plenty of tombs make the area a worthy destination for as long as you have to visit.

Not mentioned on most of the area maps, I only heard about the Love Castle (성박물관 러브 개슬 – seong-bak-mul-gwan leo-beu gae-seul) through a fellow foreigner on the bus (a tip of my hat to Erica), yet as soon as I heard about it, I had to go.

While most elements aren’t blatantly sexual, you’ll know you’re at a sex park from the very first outdoor exhibit (seen above). If you’ve been to Penis Park in Gangwon-do or Loveland in Jeju-do, you already know what to expect: plenty of displays to bring out the giggles or chuckles in the locals. While Penis Park focuses only on the male genitalia and Loveland tends to be more silly, Love Castle is much like a proper museum, complete with exhibitions well-sorted by country – starting with the Koreans, of course. Not every explanation is translated into English, but some general descriptions are.

This guy has a problem. Called toewoo (literally, a clay doll), they originate from the 5th and 6th century (during the Silla Dynasty). They had plenty of meanings, but in the (recreated) case above, it’s pretty clear what’s going on.

Another interesting look at Korea – called chunhwa (춘화, 春畵) literally translates to ‘spring picture’, but pictures some of the fun positions Koreans got into. Shin Yun-bok and Kim Hong-do are two of the more famous painters in this genre.

Psychedelic, man! This room looks big, but there’s enough mirrors to outfit at least five bathrooms. This is oddly the ‘propose room’ – head behind the curtain for a bit of privacy from the rest of the museum.

A peek in the women’s side of the jimjilbang (a Korean bathhouse / sauna) – while I wouldn’t see them freaking out over a boy in real life, it’s hilarious to see the unusually perky figures.

Before heading out to an outdoor section, head through another psychedelic section with plenty of lights and mirrors.

Plenty of phallic symbols around and plenty of photo opportunities coming up.

Entitled 황홀경 (hwang-hol-gyeong, or ‘Ectasy’) – props if you (and your partner) can handle this one in real life.

Entitled 프로이드의 性 (Peu-ro-ee-deu-ui seong), or ‘Libido of Sigmund Freud’. I’ll leave the artistic interpretation up to you, dear reader.

Entitled 다음은 나다 (Da-eum-eun na-da, or ‘I am next time’). This one’s quite similar to a statue in Loveland.

Entitled 여친 몰래 (yeo-chin mol-lae, or ‘A Flirtatious Boy Friend’) You’ll alternate between going inside for the museum side of things and outside for the Loveland-type of colorful displays. Some of them demand that you take their picture, especially the girl in the proper sweetheart kiss pose (not pictured), and the flirty boyfriend that will appear to hold you. (Don’t put ALL your weight on him, though – he’s not anchored into the ground.).

Entitled 카마수트라 (Ka-ma-su-teu-ra) – where do you find contortionist girls like that?

The first exhibit of the next indoor section – again, plenty of photographic opportunities here. It’s just the warm-up to the Japanese section, which features many of the same positions you’ve already seen elsewhere.

A curious poster on the wall – not sure where they found all of these, but they’re hilarious.

Perhaps this is the first clean part of the museum…? It’s just a tea cabinet with dishes in it, right?

A Chinese flask of some kind picturing a threesome – not pictured is a plates with an outdoor scene and a couple’s pants pulled down.

A little Indian flavor.

Woah, momma! Watch out for the over-sized organs on these guys. There’s no indication where they’re from, but they’re an intriguing part of the tour.

The third indoor exhibition room has a ’no pictures’ sign, but makes up for it with displays of dildos, strap-ons, and other fun sex toys. This is similar to Loveland, but nice to see elsewhere. Also here are a couple of TV’s repeating videos with some frank sex talk in English (there are Korean subtitles, if you feel like practicing). Just past that is an good selection of stuff to purchase for your own – or your partner’s – use. Another outdoor section awaits!

Just like it says, except for the ‘every country’ part. While a mere handful of countries are represented, it’s an interesting alley to walk down.

Be sure to get on the correct side of the seesaw.

It’s graphic, but not dirty; raunchy, but not overly so; partially copied from Loveland, but with enough distinct elements to hold its own. If you manage to keep a straight face throughout the entire exhibit (including what happens when you pull the penis in the second exhibition room), you probably need to get laid.

Ratings (out of 5 taeguks – How do I rate destinations?):

Ease to arrive:

Foreigner-friendly:

Convenience facilities:

Worth the visit:

Directions to the Sex Museum / Love Castle: get to Gyeongju, first and foremost. Buses and trains come here on a regular basis from Seoul, and frequently from Busan.

If you arrive at Gyeongju’s Express Bus Terminal, turn right and go around the corner for the intercity bus terminal. Look for yellow bus 10 or 11 and get off at the 하동점마을 (Ha-dong-jeom ma-eul) bus stop. A taxi from here costs about 17,000 won.

From Gyeongju train station, go out the exit and walk straight to the intersection. You’ll want to cross the LEFT crosswalk near the IBK bank. Walk 50 meters to the bus stop. Look for yellow bus 11 and get off at the 하동점마을 (Ha-dong-jeom ma-eul) bus stop.

From Singyeongju station, it takes a bit longer. Catch bus 700 towards Gyeongju Bus Terminal and go from there. This new station is somewhat outside the normal routes, so expect the journey to be a little over an hour.