I know, I know. We took a hiatus from blogging again. That’s because Andrew and I had to rush our work, plan and had a honeymoon/babymoon trip to South Korea for whopping 11 days! And of course, it took me a long time to blog about the trip because:
(a) don’t know where to start
(b) too many photos to upload, sort and edit. The usual problem when it comes to traveling.
Anyway, since we went to a lot of places and did a lot of things, enjoyed a lot of Korean food, I think I will just start with the first place we visited on the second day of our trip – Everland Theme Park.
The main reason we chose to visit the theme park first is because we wanted to get all the walking part done while we are still fresh at the beginning of the trip. It is not easy traveling while pregnant, especially when there is a lot of walking involved.
Everland Theme Park is located in Yongin, and is the largest theme park in South Korea, and is next to popular water park, Caribbean Bay. I’m sure K-Pop fans would remember the Caribbean Bay ad that featured SNSD and 2PM, looking very sexy. /drools. Here’s the ad anyway since I think it looks drool-worthy.
Since Andrew and I were staying pretty far out of Seoul city – at Hwajeong, it took us a really long time to get there. You could take a tour bus, or reserve a shuttle, which is a quicker way to Everland than what we did. If you have the time to reserve a shuttle, here are the details. We couldn’t reserve a shuttle as we arrived Seoul too late the day before our trip to the theme park and wasn’t able to call. These shuttles can be taken from 3 major areas accessible easily via subway, from Seoul City Hall station, Dongdaemun History & Culture Park station, or Gangnam station. It takes approximately 40-60 minutes from these locations to Everland.
- TO EVERLAND: City Hall (9:30am), Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (9:40am),
- FROM EVERLAND/CARIBBEAN BAY (6:30pm)
- Fare: KRW12,000 (approx. MYR36.50) per round trip
- For reservation: 82-32-322-7001, 82-31-919-1244
Well, if you are like us who woke up too late in the morning to follow the reserved shuttle bus, then you have two other options.
- Regular Public Bus from Seoul.
- Bus 5002. Route: Sinnonhyeon Station > Gangnam Station > Yangjae Station. Price: KRW2,000 (approx. MYR6) one-way. Duration: 40-60 minutes.
- Bus 5700. Route: Gangbyeon Station > Jamsil Station > Songpa Station > Suseo Station. Price: KRW2,000 (approx. MYR6) one-way. Duration: 60-80 minutes.
- Metropolitan Subway.
- Get to YongIn Everline. Last stop is at Joendae/Everland.
- Easiest way to navigate the subway. Download Jihachul Subway App from AppStore or PlayStore. It can be used without 3G data, so no problem in case you don’t have access to data.
From where we stayed in Hwajeong, it took us a good 2 hours 30 minutes to get to Everland. We switched lines 3 times to get to Yongin Everline. Amazingly we didn’t faint halfway. Hahaha. From Hwajeong to Giheung, it cost about KRW2,550 (approx. MYR7.80). Luckily, on that particular day, the trip from Giheung to Jeondae/Everland was free as they were doing construction. Lucky us!
One important thing you should get before any traveling around Korea: buy a T-Money card! It is very handy as you can pay for bus, train and taxi with it. Just make sure there is ample credit in the card before traveling.
Once you have reached the end of the Yongin Everline line, take the overhead bridge, and you can hop onto the free shuttle bus that takes you to both Everland and Caribbean Bay. The bus comes pretty frequently so if you’re tired from the long train ride, you can pop by the convenient store nearby to grab some refreshments.
So yeah, FINALLY, we are at Everland Theme Park entrance. It was a pretty sunny day at first, so sorry if some of the photos are a little too over-exposed. At the time when we were there, the main event for the season was Halloween & Horror Nights, which explains why there are many ghostly decorations scattered about the park. The park is quite big, however, because I can’t walk too much, and I am not able to go on any of the rides due to my pregnancy, we chose to visit the few areas we thought interesting. Will go through them all in a bit.
The entrance to Everland Theme Park is as follows:
- One-day ticket: ADULT: KRW46,000 (approx. MYR140), CHILD: KRW36,000 (approx. MYR110).
- Afternoon ticket (Entry after 4.30pm): ADULT: KRW38,000 (approx. MYR116), CHILD: KRW29,000 (approx. MYR88).
- Two-day ticket: ADULT: KRW74,000 (approx. MYR225), CHILD: KRW58,000 (approx. MYR177).
**IMPORTANT: Unless you are Korean, do take advantage of the foreigner discounts offered by the park. We only paid KRW37,000 (approx. MYR113) per person, hence saving about MYR27 per person to spend more on food. Hahaha. You can either print out the discount coupon from their website, or just bring a copy of your passport. (We advise not to bring actual passport to avoid it being lost/stolen). Also take note that the discounts change from time to time, so check out their website!
Make sure you take a guide at the main gate. This way, you can avoid getting lost. Here’s a copy of the park map. Hope you can see it as it was really too big to capture the words clearly.
Basically, our plan to explore Everland without killing my feet and back in the limited time frame we had before having to rush to take the bus/train back home, was to visit Global Fair, Zoo-Topia with its new Lost Valley and Safari World, Four Seasons Garden, and whatever we can on the way back to the Main Gate.
This area is basically a shopping area where you can buy knick-knacks, snacks, cosmetics, and many other random stuff. Unfortunately we totally forgot to buy the most popular thing couples in Korea do when visiting Korean theme parks: cutesy headbands of animal ears and such. Anyway, this area looks really charming and colourful, and mostly decorated with a Halloween theme.
To get to Zoo-Topia area, instead of walking all the way around the park, we took the Human Sky skylift. It was a short ride, a little scary for someone who don’t like heights like me, but it was not too bad. Haha. Our advice is take the skylift down first, then work your way upwards back to the Main Gate to save time.
Lost Valley, Zoo-Topia
The Lost Valley is a large safari where you can ride on an amphibious car that travel on both land and water, to experience how it is like to be in an open safari where wild animals roam freely. Other than the wild animals you see from the car, you can also see other animals in their enclosures, all looking really cute doing their own thing! What amazed and impressed us was that most of the animals in enclosures are kept in a group, and you can see how they interact with each other, not feeling lonely like how many zoos tend to keep their residents. Here are some of the animals we saw at the Lost Valley, although there were loads more.
**TIP: You would need your Everland entrance ticket stub to enter the Lost Valley for free, as annual pass visitors need to buy extra tickets.
Safari World, Zoo-Topia
The next area not to be missed is Safari World. We actually got a little confused as the entrance to this part of Zoo-Topia was written as ‘Horror Safari’ instead. I thought it was a horror house initially, which of course made me apprehensive in entering it, but Drew managed to persuade me that it shouldn’t be a horror house. Haha. Thankfully we went in, and it was an awesome experience! It isn’t everyday we get to see beautiful predators walking around the compound like how cats and dogs roam our neighbourhood parks.
Other parts of Everland
Since we started our visit to Everland a little late, and of course since I am not able to get onto any rides due to my condition, we wandered around the rest of the park quickly. I was also not able to walk all that much so had to do a quick look-a-bout. Since we headed straight down to Zoo-Topia on the Human Sky, we decided to walk back to the main entrance the long way.
Other parts of Everland include:
- European Adventure
- Carnival Square
- Madagascar Live
- Four Seasons Garden
- Magic Land
- American Adventure
- Aesop’s Village
- Friendly Monkey Valley
- Special Bird Paradise Exploration
We wanted to catch Madagascar Live show but didn’t know that we had to buy the tickets for it way earlier as it gets full very quickly. So, we headed to Four Seasons Garden instead and spent the rest of our evening there enjoying the beautiful flowers and the weather which was quickly turning chilly.
To get back to the main entrance, you would have to walk uphill all the way to Magic Land to slowly walk back downwards. A hilly climb is not fun when pregnant and tired at the end of the day. We managed to get back to the Main Gate in one piece to take the shuttle bus back to the train station to head back home.
And of course, the wefies we took around the Four Season Garden was quite a number since we had time to kill. Trust me, people may laugh and tease you, but the selfie monopod is extremely handy especially when travelling. (^_^)
Don’t forget to grab some souvenirs before heading home. We bought some cute stuff, especially my favourite fennex fox magnet, neck pillow, Everland magnets (since the hubby collects them from travels) and a white tiger sleeping mask.
The trip back to our place in Hwajeong took the same amount of time as getting to Everland since we took the same route. Just make sure not to leave Everland too late and make some concessions to catch the train on time! It would be very, very expensive to have to pay for a taxi all the way back to town.
Will be slowly updating our entire Korea trip but taking some time since we took too many photos. Will be updating our itinerary shortly so you can see the things we did during our 10-day trip in Korea. 🙂