Have I ever mentioned before that I looooove theme parks?! Yeah, well, Everland is no exception. I love, love, loved this place. It’s quite different from all the theme parks I’ve ever been to before because of the scenery. And within the park is a mini zoo, cable cars, ski lifts and the largest wooden rollercoaster in Asia! When we visited, they were preparing for the tulip festival that happens during Spring. The place also has Ski Sledding services during winter. It was unfortunate that we came at an awkward time, because the ski sled area was closed already but spring hasn’t started yet. Anyways, even so, I still enjoyed this place.
Everland, the largest theme park in South Korea, is located in Yongin City, in the province of Gyeonggi-do, about an hour to an hour and a half away from Seoul. Early monday morning we made our way to Gangnam Station (subway Line 2), and exited through exit 10.
How to get there:
1. Express City Bus: BUS 5002
– Make your way to Gangnam Station (subway Line 2), exit through exit 10, turn left and walk for about 300 m until you reach the bus stop in front of Krispy Kreme. There is a separate queue for bus 5002, which is the public bus that goes directly to a bus terminal in Gyeonggi-do and from there you can take the shuttle bus going to Everland.
2. Express Bus
– There is also an Express Bus from either City Hall or Gangnam round-trip for 12,000 Won, but this requires advance booking much like the express bus to Nami Island. Other info can be found here.
We chose the first option, which was quite convenient and also cheaper than the other option. After almost an hour, we arrived at the Bus Terminal and a few steps away is the Shuttle bus terminal going to Everland. During our bus ride we saw snow on certain areas along the road and on mountainsides, and once we reached the entrance to Everland, we also saw patches of snow on the trees and plants. As mentioned, Everland is the largest theme park in South Korea, or the Disneyland of Korea. The entrance fee is 44,000 Won for adults although we were able to avail of discounts by showing the coupon I printed from their website. We paid 33,000 Won instead. (Note: there is an apparent increase in entrance fee from 44k to 46k as of writing this post).
As with most theme parks, Everland is divided into 5 zones. Believe me when I say that the place is huuuuge! They have a festival train, cable cars and ski lifts to easily transport people from one section to another. What I love most about this place is the surrounding scenery, the lovely trees, the view of the snow-capped mountain from not so far away. They have a wide variety of rides for both adults and kids. It was a good thing that we went on a Monday, the place wasn’t so crowded! I’ve read that on peak days the queue could be as long as an hour or more for one ride.
The first thing we did when we entered was to find a restaurant since it was past lunch time and my mom needed the nourishment. She was also craving for the veggie Bibimbap again so after asking from the info counter, we went our way to European Adventure section to look for the Alpine Food Fair. It was quite a long distance so we made use of the Cable car.
After lunch we started going to the attractions nearby such as the Amazon Express (similar to USS Jurassic Park Rapids ride), the Safari World and Animal Wonder World (which was like a mini zoo). I liked the Safari World and Animal Wonder World wherein we were to board a bus that would go around the premises. The interesting part was that the tour guides (no English though) would engage one of the animals in an ‘impromptu’ presentation while rewarding them with food. There was one bear who kept on following us and showing off, kinda reminds me of Yogi Bear.
After going round the Zootopia zone we went straight to European Adventure where the T Express is located. The T Express is a wooden roller coaster with the steepest slope at 77 degrees and the longest one I have ever ridden at 3 solid minutes of roller coaster fun. haha. We had to queue for 20 minutes but on peak days it can take as long as 80 minutes (or more). But the ride is definitely worth the wait.
So after that thrilling ride we had to cool down and so we just walked around to enjoy the place. We stumbled upon the Garden, where they are preparing the place for the upcoming Tulip Festival. Though it looked bare, it still offers an amazing view of the mountain behind it.
We had a few more rides while exploring the place, but my camera ran out of juice so I just let my sisters do the photo taking. This place is an amazing addition to my favorite theme parks, and I would return here if I do get the chance to go back to Korea. If you plan on going, it is advisable to stay until 9pm for the Fireworks. We would’ve stayed longer if it was just the 3 of us. haha. Plus we were planning to do some shopping in the evening since I was going back to SG early the next day so we decided to head back to Seoul early. The bus ride on the way back to Gangnam was full, so we were standing during the whole ride.
Once we reached Gangnam, we were all starving again, so we went around the area to find a place to eat. I don’t know why most of the time I was in charge of looking for food, haha, but it was also a nice thing to be able to explore the local food that Korea has to offer. While we were in Hongdae with my friend, she pointed to this restaurant that serves Dak Galbi (Korean dish which simply means Chicken Fried Rice). I only remembered the photo of the food so when I saw a similar photo outside one shop in Gangnam, we checked if they also serve a veggie meal and went in. I wanted to order one with cheese but it was a challenge to get my order across them so I just pointed at the menu and we waited for our meal to come. haha. First they put this large pan in the center of the table and heated it up, then the waiter proceeded to add in onions, some marinated chicken, and rice cakes, then after a while added the rice and mixed it together.I forgot how much this cost but it was quite cheap. My dad enjoyed it even though it was soooo spicy. It was really good, but yeah I was sniffing while eating. We kept on asking for water from the waiter (‘Mul Juseyo’) as it was super hot. After the dinner my parents and I went back to the Subway station to go back to the hostel while my sisters went to another exit in Gangnam station for some Running Man related experience.
So that would be the conclusion of my Korea series. This has been a very memorable first quarter of 2014 for me. I think the rest of the year would be quite dull in comparison. Oh wait, if all goes well, I have August to look forward to. Haha..