Everland Amusement Park
Lonely Planet review
This world-class amusement park, less than an hour southeast of Seoul by bus, has four separate parts. Festival World follows the classic Disneyland formula and encompasses a large area filled with fantasy buildings, thrill rides, fairground attractions, zoo animals (lots of monkeys), impressive seasonal gardens, budget restaurants, live music and an ‘Aesop’s Village’. Don’t miss the wooden rollercoaster. A novelty feature is the 15-minute African Safari bus ride through wildlife zones, which offers close-up views of tigers, lions, ligers and hyenas in one area; giraffes, zebras and elephants in the next; and bears in another. The safari is a popular attraction, so be prepared to queue for an hour. The parades and festivals are always something special, and when it’s lit up at night, the park takes on a magical atmosphere. Caribbean Bay is a superb water park, designed so cleverly that a visit here is just like being at the beach. The outdoor section is open from 1 June to mid-September and features a huge wave pool that produces a mini-tsunami every few minutes. Comfortable sun lounges and huts provide places to sunbathe and relax. A body-surfing pool, diving pool, speedy and gentle tube rides and a super-scary water-bobsleigh ride are other features, along with regular swimming pools. The indoor section has a small wave pool, a few other pools, a spa and sauna. Despite the high price, the place is packed in summer. The Speedway Circuit is the only one in Seoul and sometimes has races at the weekend. The Hee Won Garden & Hoam Art Museum (www.hoammuseum.org) is a special place. The wonderful Korean-style gardens act like a Buddhist temple gateway to induce a calm frame of mind so that visitors can fully appreciate the art treasures inside the museum. The emphasis is on spotlighting select historical artworks rather than packing in as many exhibits as possible. Each one of the paintings, screens, celadon and other exhibits reveals stunning skill and craftsmanship. A free shuttle bus runs from the main entrance to Festival World on the hour (from 10am to 4pm except at noon).