Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scenes of Spring: Everland

Time to be a kid. I love amusement parks! I like rides with heights and cotton candy. That’s why I love amusement parks!

Everland is a popular attraction to both local and foreigners. Situated in a province in the mountains of South Korea, it attracts the old, the young, and the young at heart.

We followed the directions we got from from a blog. Took Line 2 (Green) and got off at Gangnam station then walked for around 10 minutes and stopped in the line where Bus 5002 picks up the passengers. The friendly conductor chatted with us.

The line
“Oh, Filipinos! Koreans and Filipinos,friends!”. Then he made a thumbs-up sign. I was munching on some Oreos and I offered him some. He gladly took one.

We swiped and Seoul Citypass and secured some seats. I made it to slumberland during that almost hour-long trip. Luckily, I was awake when it was our stop. We had to ride another bus which takes us right in front of the gates of Everland. They have these cheerful staff that greets the visitors. They did a signature Everland wave as we drove off.  

Welcome to Evahland! *insert park's theme song*
The entrance fee costs ₩ 47,000 for foreigners. But if you print the coupon from the Everland website, you can get it at a discounted rate of ₩ 37,000.

Get the English map at the entrance. We had to plot out our route. Everland is quite huge and I don’t think you can enjoy everything in one day. I wanted to see the gardens and ride the T-rex.

But first, a picture with the cherry blossoms.

Since it was almost luchtime, we were anxious to eat. We watched one 4D show with the Korean kids and then scouted the place for some food. The meals cost around ₩ 9,000-10,000 complete with all the side dishes. In Korea, they have the kimchi and other stuff on the side. I am not a fan of those so I settled for some chicken and chips and a bowl of hot rice. A filling meal for ₩ 6,800. I think the chicken is meant to be a snack or just a side dish but it warrants a full meal for me.

Kanin. Ulam. Chips. So much for food culture.
With our bellies filled, we proceeded to walk around the park. It was teeming with kids. Cute as they are, they made the lines long. We were in line for an hour in one of their “Log Jam” rides.

It was field trip season for the kids
And I got my fill of cotton candy. They offer them in a plastic glass. I got mine on a stick. Classic. Got it for ₩ 2,000. The amusement park experience is not complete without a cotton candy.

If Paris gave me autumn, Korea gave me Spring. There were lots of cherry blossoms blooming all over the place. I had to play around the settings of my camera to give justice to the beauty.

The  cherry blossoms look like white in the picture but they are actually a light shade of baby pink.

Actually, my dream is too see the cherry blossoms blooming in Japan. I was an anime fan/otaku during my teens and there were a lot of anime scenes and metaphors with reference to cherry blossoms. But the Incheon tickets were quite cheap so Korea is a cheaper alternative. I haven't discounted doing Japan in cherry blossoms season someday.

The scene above is breathtaking

The rose garden had no blooming roses at that time, but the sight of the tulips in the Tulips Festival was more than enough to make up for the missing roses. I’ve always equated tulips with Holland so seeing them in Korea made me giddy to take pictures of it, and me with it.

Half-breed. Had to take pictures at eye level or below because the top view just doesn't give them justice.

With me...and a kid in the background.

One of my fave settings in my cam: Color Accent.

Next stop: The T-rex. The T-rex has boasts the steepest angle of a roller coaster... in the world. It is plunges to almost 90 degrees - 77 degrees to be exact. It is so popular that the line is sooooo loooong. You can get this express pass which indicates what time you’ll be back so you can just proceed in the ride and skip the lines. At 2:30pm, they were already giving passes for 6pm. We should be on our way back to the city then so I had to fall in line. Since none of my companions wanted to try riding the monstrous ride, I queued of alone for an hour.

All wood.
As I get closer, I hear the wheels of the cart against the wooden tracks. Then comes the screams. Eggggciting!

Finally, it was my turn to fall and scream. The guide made us do some shoulder stretches and head rotations to prevent injury. There were also these signs all over the place, reminding the passengers to do some exercises:

And off we plunged! That steep angle is the first loop. The next curves were peanuts. I screamed in the first curve and then I lost my voice after. It was tiring.

I conquered the T-Rex! A guide managing the line took this picture.

EXHILARATING. 'Twas better than the Black Mamba that I tried in Phantasialand.  

After that whirling experience, I  had to gather my wits and make my way back to the entrance to meet my friends. I had trouble reading the map (again, of course) so I had to ask some people eventually. I found myself with some cherry blossoms again.

No shortage of these trees. 

At around 4:00pm, we were on our way back to the city. While waiting for the bus, we figured out that there were actually lots of other options going to Everland.

Some pointers:
  • Don't eat and drink anything heavy if you plan to ride the T-rex. Make sure you ate hours before the ride.
  • Check Wikitravel to see other buses going to Everland. 
  • Brink a water bottle. I refilled mine in the restaurant. One 500ml bottle costs 1,000 won inside.
  • Bring an umbrella for the heat and the rain.
  • A scarf would come handy to wipe yourself if you get wet. 
  • Print the discount coupon from Everland's website. 


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