This little gem mixes the usual aspects of a theme park with attractions from a sea life center and more. The park caters for all ages and as per usual with Hong Kong the park is spotless in apperance. There isn't a lot of thrill rides, with only about three that will satisfy thrill seekers, one of which is the Minetrain. The title of the park suggests something to do with sea life and it doesn't disapoint. The park has a marvelous aquarium as well as sea animals such as sea lions and dolphins. The parks center piece is its dolphin show which is held in a stadium to which the well trained animals perform belief defying tricks. The views from the cable cars are breath taking, and thats if your not scared of heights! The young are accomodated for with a minors section which includes merry go rounds and mild rides. Older people may wish to wander the gorgeous gardens and view the pandas. All in all a magnificient day out for the family.
Everland Amusement Park is quite simply far and away the best in Korea. Opened in 1975, by the Samsung group,it features the Festival World theme park, Caribbean Bay(incredibly popular in summer and featuring numerous swimming pools, a sand beach and a giant wave pool) and the Everland Speedway(auto,motorcycle and mountain bike racing). To top it all off, the now deceased founder of Samsung, Lee Bung-chul,put together one of the finest private collections of Korean art you'll find anywhere. This collection of more than 8,000 artefacts including ceramics, paintings and sculpures is now housed in the Ho-Am Art Museum within the Everland site and is truly a must-see for any art lover. I haven't been to Caribbean Bay as yet(I've heard that it gets unbelievably busy at summer weekends) but you can find details on this by checking out www.everland.com. However, Festival Land is a very enjoyable day out. For the price of a 25000 Won all-inclusive admission(about thirteen pounds) you get an excellent array of rides(the suspended rollercoaster and the equatorial rapids ride are especially recommended), rose and tulip gardens located in a giant European-style plaza, a building dedicated to showcasing new innovations by Samsung Electronics(located near the main entrance, I particularly liked the fridge featuring a colour TV and an internet connection. Free use of the internet is also available in a small cafe area), a small zoo and a safari park. The latter, the only one of its kind in Korea, takes around ten-fifteen minutes to get around by bus with lions,tigers and bears roaming free alongside. The queues for this attraction were comfortably the longest in the park(although, considering it was a Saturday afternoon, the queues were not at all bad with our longest wait being around thirty minutes). However, if you don't mind standing up on the bus you can save a lot of time by joining another line. It's easy to see why Everland is the most popular theme park in Korea(attracting upwards of six million people every year). I would highly recommend it. Indeed, I've never heard a bad word said against the place(yet). GETTING THERE Everland is located in the small town of Yongin,near Suwon. There are a variety of ways to get there including a free shuttle bus from right outside Suwon Train station(Suwon subway station,linked to the Seoul network, is also located here). Tour companies run buses from all the provincial cities in Korea. From Seoul, you can either take the train(30 minutes) or subway(90 minutes) to Suwon or take a bus(leaving every ten minutes) from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal on subeway line 3. OTHER OPTIONS There are some other theme parks located in the Seoul area, the largest of which is Seoul Grand Park. I haven't been here so I can't tell you too much about it. However, it features the largest zoo in Korea and has an amusement park, called Seoul Land,which by all accounts is pretty similar,if not quite as good, as Everland's Festival World. This place attracts three million visitors each year and can be reached by taking Seoul subway line 4 to Seoul Grand Park station. Inside Seoul itself, you'll find Lotte World Adventure. Owned by the Lotte group this theme park is located adjacent to a deluxe hotel and a giant shopping mall(both also owned by Lotte) in the Jamsil region of the city(take the subway to Jamsil station, lines 2 or 8). I'd probably recommend the theme park to kids rather than adults but, at 11000 Won, its quite reasonably priced. The park has indoor and outdoor sites, the latter being home to the more adult rides and built on an artificial island in the middle of a lake(the Waikiki Wave pool is very good). Indoors, there is a good Folk Museum and a traditional Korean market in addition to rides and an ice rink. Lotte World Adventure is also notable for some amusingly named rides such as Lord Nelson's Armad a(a novel twist on British history) and the Londonderry Express.
The site is an old amusement park with campsite, bungalows and hostel attached. The amusements are a bit primative by Disney standards but the swimming complex with multiple long slides, waves, rides etc is top notch. We stayed in the campsite - a number of camp companies offer the site. It was typically Dutch, clean well organised without the German regimented feeling. As campers the swimming and amusments were free - 7 days does start to get boring, but the ability to let the teens wander off in reasonable safety is excellent. When the camp gets boring, it is only a short step to Amsterdam or the Hague. I would go again.