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No nudity in the nude forest

This is disappointing. And kinda stupid:

A wilderness area in Korea where one can stroll naked along with strangers might have been the image that came across the mind of most people when they heard that a provincial county had opened a “nude forest retreat” last weekend.

The opening in Jangheung County, South Jeolla Province, made many headlines, sparking much curiosity among the public.

Though days have passed since the grand opening no one has yet to wander around in the buff. Everyone knows it as a park for nudists, but officials from the county say it wasn’t intended to be promoted as a “nude forest camp,” blaming the media for much-hyped “misperception.’’

“Its official name is Vivi Ecotopia, rather than a nude forest retreat” said Park Kwang-ho, an official from the county said, adding “vivi” was taken from the English word “vivid.”

Two strikes — one for not going with the nude thing, and two for choosing a stupid English name. Even in Jangheung, you can find an English-speaker to run these name ideas past, no?

Anyway, the mayor of reportedly wanted to allow people to go naked in the forest, but backed off due to public protest:

Religious groups resisted and residents denounced the plan, arguing it will violate public morals.

“It’s unthinkable to have a nudist camp here,” said Kim Jeong-real, a priest at the Jangheung Central Church. “We think it’s ethically wrong and it only damages the good reputation of Jangheung, famous as a home for scholars and beautiful nature.”

Leaving aside for now the question of whether Jangheung has a reputation to damage, how would having closed-off, sexually segregated sections of forest in which people could lounge around naked differ from, say, the nocheontang section of your average oncheon?

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  • 조엘

    Then perhaps the mayor had a hand in the topless model they had posing at the entrance in conjunction with the opening?

    http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=003&aid=0004002340

  • chrisinsouthkorea

    That has got to be the luckiest totem pole ever.

    OR

    I’m sure the mayor would’ve loved to have a hand in that decision. Or something else…

    OR

    A missed opportunity – all 457 Chosun Ilbo photographers and their cameras could’ve been knocked out by one decent-sized firecracker.

  • bibimbong

    still time to make it a nude english camp and make bijillions.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    Do you think they had enough photographers at that opening?

  • 조엘

    If you think that is a lot you’ve never been to an auto show in Korea. :)

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Actually, a few cities have held 세미누드 사진촬영대회 over the years. And yes, like auto shows, they tend to attract a large number of photographers.

  • 조엘

    I remember the one at the sex park in Jeju Island a few years ago. It was like a mob following around the few topless models.

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  • gbnhj

    They’re hobbyists. Really.

  • YangachiBastardo

    I would never set foot in anything called “Ecotopia” it seems to be a name fit for a concentration camp

  • http://briandeutsch.blogspot.com Brian D

    Jangheung has had a semi-nude photoshoot for years in conjunction with their water festival each August.

    And that’s what there is to do in Jangheung.

  • http://www.konnectmagazine.com Moses – the bulgogi monster

    A nude forest? Wow. I can’t imagine a bunch of Korean people walking around naked in a nude forest….actually, Koreans walk around nude at a jjimjibang, but that’s different.

    I’m not sure if this nude park would actually fly in South Korea, especially in an open park. I can definitely picture random Koreans going to the park to view the scene.

  • http://roboseyo.blogspot.com roboseyo

    Thing is… if the crowds there are anything like the crowd that show up at a jimjilbang… for the most part, I don’t WANT to see it, even if naked people DO show up.

    (scroll to the last “minor difference”)
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/minor_differences2

  • SomeguyinKorea

    “Religious groups resisted and residents denounced the plan, arguing it will violate public morals.”

    Religious people are a minority here. They have no business imposing their views on the majority.

  • Arghaeri

    So, no free speech if you’re religious?

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #14,
    Oh, they can spew their intolerant views all they want, but they err when they think they have the authority to dictate what others should or shouldn’t do.

  • exit86

    Seeing that a vast majority of South Korean politicians, lawmakers, and university professors are of the Christian faith, I think that that “minority” is very significant.

  • Drifter

    “I’m not sure if this nude park would actually fly in South Korea, especially in an open park”

    agreed – not going to happen.

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/minor_differences2

    brilliant – especially the krusty with the hairdryer

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #16,

    Last statistics I saw, 60% of South Koreans have no religious affiliation…and are South Korean politicians really all that religious? My guess is they know where the money is.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    …You don’t get far in South Korean politics unless your flexible, if you know what I mean.