Love Land: Come with a Sense of Humour
What better day of the year could there possibly be than Valentine’s Day for me to tell you about a quirky theme park that I visited on Jeju Island, South Korea? Maybe March 14th? Opened in 2004, Love Land says it’s “a place where love oriented art and eroticism meet”. I say it’s a place to look at some naughty sculptures and have a laugh. Come with a sense of humour, leave your inhibitions at the door and you won’t be disappointed.
Being only a short 10 minute cab ride from the airport made this a definite must-visit while in Jeju. If you’re staying elsewhere in the city, I’d recommend doing what we did: stow your bags at Baggage Storage in the airport then cab to and from Love Land before going to your final destination. Love Land is classified as a theme park, but I would describe it more accurately as a sculpture park. Despite one questionable looking bike, there aren’t actually any rides at this park.
South Korea is generally quite conservative – though you might not think so based on the number of love motels around – so this park really isn’t something you would expect to find, but dig a little into the island’s history and it makes more sense. Over the last 60 years, Jeju has become the hotspot for honeymooners in South Korea. Many marriages were arranged, so Jeju is where newlyweds got to know each other. In the process it became a center of sex education which might have something to do with the more liberal feeling of the island. Jeju marches to a slightly different drummer than mainland Korea.
China was all set to have their own version of this park back in 2009 but the government ordered it demolished six months before opening day. It seems they decided that giant displays of naked bodies would be a bad influence on society. Pity.
For an attraction like this you’d expect some sort of Vegas treatment upon arrival – neon lights, gaudy road signs – but there’s none of that as you pull into the parking lot for Love Land. It’s so understated and bland you may even wonder if you’re in the right place. Once you pay your admission and walk through the gate, the giant blue penis-shaped sign lets you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’re not lost.
Love Land contains over 140 naughty sculptures ranging from a larger than life couple kissing chastely to more explicit depictions of sexual positions, like a giant green hand engaging in some self-love. Despite the subject matter everything here feels pretty soft core. It’s a lighthearted look at sex rather than trying to shock you with anything obscene. Ajummas especially seem to get a kick out of all the naughtiness. Walking through the main shop on site sent them into fits of giggles. Ajummas are known for their stern looks, not their giggles so this says something.
The whole park is laid out in a path around a pond that features a pair of intertwined legs demonstrating feats of aquatic sexual prowess. Photo ops abound if you’re feeling silly. Some statues are even designed for you to pose with them. There are wooden paintings with face cut outs and crank handle interactive exhibits. Just about anything that could be made to be penis-shaped at Love Land was. Door handles, navigation signs, fountains, benches, you name it.
Love Land showed me a side of Korea I didn’t expect to see. If you’re looking for a lighthearted outing while visiting Jeju be sure to drop by Love Land and be sure to pack your sense of humour.
- Where: 680-26 Yeon-dong, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea (about a ₩10000 cab ride from the Jeju airport)
- Cost: ₩9000
- Hours: 9:00am – midnight
- Age: 18+ only
- Time: Give yourself at least 45min to look at all of the sculptures and exhibits