Water park ride at Onemount (Credit: Onemount)
One of the first things people think of when summer comes to mind is fun with water, whether it is at a river, a lake, or a beach. It’s not easy, however, to fully enjoy those activities within a city or an urban area. This article will introduce Korea’s top water parks designed to let you get your fill of water fun without having to leave town, including other options great for overnight trips.
Water parks in Seoul and metropolitan area
Caribbean Bay Water Park (Credit: Everland)
Caribbean Bay, a water park located just outside of Seoul in the city of Yongin, holds the titles of both the first and the largest water park in the country. Caribbean Bay can accommodate up to 20,000 people, and has five themed zones that include indoor pools, outdoor pools, spas, water rides, water slides, and many other amusement facilities.
The most popular attractions at the water park are the exciting wave pool that rises as high as 2.4 m and the Mega Storm, a 355 m long exhilarating water slide that offers a full minute of intense adrenaline rush that you can’t get anywhere else.
☞ Address: 199, Everland-ro, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do (more info)
View of Onemount (Credit: Onemount)
Onemount Water Park in Gyeonggi-do’s Ilsan is a four-story structure with a seven-story rooftop that lets visitors look down on the various slides and attractions in the park, as well as the nearby Ilsan Lake Park. Most of the attractions for children are on the 4th level, and rides for adults are located on the 7th floor.
One of the most popular rides is Sky Boomerango, a 50 m high ride that has tubes for two people to shoot down then back up again, then finally plunging into a water pool at the end. In addition, the next-door attraction Cola Ride is another must for thrill-seekers, which will give you an unforgettable memory of free falling thanks to its near-vertical 10 m high slide.
☞ Address: 300, Halluyworld-ro, Ilsanseo-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do (more info)
Sealala Water Park (Credit: Sealala Water Park)
Located in Mullae-dong of Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, Sealala Spa & Water Park is a place where Seoulites can enjoy water fun any time of the year. Although it is not as big as other water parks in Korea, it boasts an exotic Greece-themed décor and offers easy access, as it is directly connected to the subway.
The place is famous for its 140 m long lazy river, beach pool where visitors can splash around, 20 m long speedy water slide, and 32 m long pool mat slide. It’s also a perfect spot for family with children, as Aqua Kidsland within the water park offers kids friendly attractions such as kids water slides, piano fountain, and more.
- ☞ Address: B2, Yeongdeungpo SK Leaders View, 164, Mullae-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
- ☞ Directions: Mullae Station (Seoul Subway, Line 2), Exit 5. Walk for approx. 10 min.
- ☞ Operating hours: 10:00-19:00 (Open all year round)
※ Sauna and jjimjilbang (Korean sauna) are open 24 hours and require a separate fee.
- ☞ Admission fee: 35,000 won ~ 53,000 won (Adults)
※ Fees may vary depending on schedule and seasonality. Check the official website for details.
- ☞ Sealala Water Park website:www.sealala.com (Korean only)
Hot spring pool at Termeden (Credit: Termeden)
Historically frequented by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty, the hot springs of Icheon are well known for their excellent water quality. Located in this famed hot spring city of Icheon, Termeden is a hot spring resort complex that is popular for its high-quality water and luxurious facilities. Though the park has various pools, spas, and slides, one of the most famous attractions at Termeden is the Bade Pool. The themed hot spring pools are highly recommended, since the natural ingredients added in each spa (ginseng, rice, honey, etc.) are said to provide various unique health benefits.
☞ Address: 988, Sasil-ro, Mogamyeon, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (more info)
View Waterdoci pool in Woonjin Playdoci (Credit: Woongjin Playdoci)
Woongjin Playdoci, a very unique indoor theme park, is located not far from Seoul in the city of Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do. In addition to having basic pool facilities, Woongjin Playdoci Waterdoci, which is the central area of the venue, includes Kids Zone and diverse entertaining water slides. The Spa Zone offers bade pools with a variety of water jet massage options that help ease fatigue and provide skin benefits. Adults and kids alike are bound to get their fill of fun with the seasonal event pools and outdoor Sunny Park during the summer.
☞ Address: 2, Jomaru-ro, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon-si, Gyeonggi-do (more info)
Beat the heat with overnight trips to these rural water parks!
Resom Spa Castle’s Chunchunhyang (Credit: Resom Spa Castle)
Resom Spa Castle (Chunchunhyang) represents one of Korea’s best hot spring theme parks, thanks to the widespread fame of its therapeutic Germanium-rich water, which is maintained at 49°C. Located in Yesan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, Resom Spa Castle’s hot spring facility Chunchunhyang is open all year round.
Looking for a thrill? Try the water park’s famous water slides: the exhilarating Master Blaster and the Speed Slide, a thriller-ride that propels you down a three-story water chute in just four seconds. For some fun that’s slightly less intense, check the outdoors to enjoy over 20 hot spring water park facilities and open-air pools.
☞ Address: 45-7, Oncheondanji 3-ro, Deoksan-myeon, Yesan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do (more info)
Water park facilities at Seorak Waterpia (Credit: Hanhwa Resort)
Seorak Waterpia is the most popular destination on the East Coast. With the stunning scenery of Seoraksan Mountain serving as a beautiful backdrop, this place offers the latest in water amusement facilities and hot spring water spas.
If you are looking for fun and thrills, check out the water slides and wave pools. Popular rides in this action-packed park include World Alley, a 260 m long water slide with a sharp drop and a 360-degree turn, Torrent River, and Family Raft.
☞ Address: 88, Misiryeong-ro 2983beon-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do (more info)
Water slide at Vivaldi Park Ocean World (Credit: Vivaldi Park Ocean World)
Vivaldi Park Ocean World is situated among the beautiful ancient forests of Hongcheon in Gangwon-do. The water park has an Egyptian theme throughout, and contains replicas of the Sphinx, pyramids, obelisks, and other decorative touches. Divided into various “zones” — Indoor Zone, Wave Pool Zone, Extreme Zone, Dynamic Zone, and the Mega Slide Zone — each section of the water park offers amusement of its own. The Indoor Zone has various pools and slides, a jjimjilbang, and a therapy center. In the Extreme Zone, people can experience exciting thrills with waves as high as 2.4 m.
☞ Address: 262, Hanchigol-gil, Seomyeon, Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon-do (more info)
- * Free shuttle bus schedule for international visitors: 9:30 am at Hongik University Station (Seoul Subway, Line 2), Exit 8 → 10:00 a.m. in front of Lotte Hotel at Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway, Line 2), Exit 8 → 10:30 a.m. at Samsung Station (Seoul Subway, Line 2), Exit 5 → Arrive at Vivaldi Park at 11:45 a.m. (Online reservation required at least two days in advance)
- * Shuttle bus reservation: www.daemyungresort.com (English only)
Gimhae Lotte Water Park Zip Line (Credit: Gimhae Lotte Water Park)
Opened in May 2014, Gimhae Lotte Water Park in Gyeongsangnam-do features custom-designed, Polynesian-themed water slides and pools. The water park boasts Korea’s largest pool facilities, including the 135 m long outdoor wave pool, 35 m long indoor wave pool, and a huge 118 m long Tornado Slide, among other attractions.
☞ Address: 555, Jangyu-ro, Gimhae-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (more info)
* This column was last updated on July 2017, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official website before visiting.
Moonlight Tour at Changdeokgung Palace
Night view of the Changdeokgung Palace Huwon (credit: Cultural Heritage Administration)
One of the must-do’s in Seoul is none other than taking a visit to the city’s ancient palaces – Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon. These architectural gems were not only residences of kings and queens, but were also the center of politics and city life during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
Changgyeonggung Palace, in particular, is the perfect destination for anyone who is interested in seeing Korean palaces. Designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1997, Changdeokgung Palace is said to be the most traditional and authentic of Seoul’s five palaces. It has been praised for its architectural sensitivity to its natural surroundings and lauded as a representative masterpiece of East Asian Palace Architecture. The palace is also believed to have the perfect geographical location according to ancient philosophies like that of Feng Shui.
As amazing as it is in daylight, the palace is even more magical when you take a stroll along the palace grounds under a full moon. Take The Moonlight Tour at Changdeokgung Palace for a pleasant evening walk within the royal palace as well as discovering interesting historical facts related to the royal family.
- * Changdeokgung Moonlight Tour Route
- ① Donhwamun (Main Gate) tour meeting point → ② Jinseonmun Gate → ③ Injeongjeon Hall → ④ Nakseonjae (view full moon) → ⑤ Sangnyangjeong Pavilion (Daeguem Solo Performance) → ⑥ Buyongji and Aeryeonji Pond (view full moon) → ⑦ Bullomun Gate → ⑧ Yeongyeongdang Hall (performance and refreshments) → ⑨ Huwon Garden Trail (end of tour) (Total program takes approx. 2 hours.)
Tidbits to make your palace journey even more enjoyable!
1. Donhwamun Gate: Front Gate of the Oldest Palace
Donhwamun Gate (credit: Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation)
Donhwamun Gate is the oldest of Changdeokgung Palace’s gates. First built in 1412, it was burnt down during a period of conflict and later restored in 1608. The two-story high gate was given the name Donhwa, which means “to teach and love the subjects with compassion.” This is where the Moonlight Tour officially begins with a cheongsachorong (a traditional candle lantern from the Joseon Dynasty covered with red and blue silk cloth) to light the path.
2. Injeongjeon Hall: The Venue for Royal Ceremonies
Injeongjeon Hall (credit: Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation)
Located at the center of the palace is Injeongjeon Hall. Injeongjeon Hall was used as a banquet venue for foreign diplomats and as well as for King’s coronation. Inside this prestigious room, visitors will be able to see the King’s throne and folding screen behind, called Ilwoloakdo byeongpung (partition used as a decoration as well as to block strong winds from outside), embroidered with the sun, moon, and five mountain peaks. One can see Seoul’s modern cityscape looming in the background.
3. Nakseonjae: The King’s Quarters
Nakseonjae (credit: Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation)
Nakseonjae was built as the study and sarangchae (living quarters of the head of a household) of King Heonjong (24th king of Joseon, 1827-1849). Literally meaning “to enjoy virtue,” Nakseonjae implies that a king should serve his people with virtue so that both the people and the king himself will be happy. After King Heonjong passed away, the compound was used by King Gojong (26th king of Joseon, 1852-1919) and King Sunjong (27th king of Joseon, 1874-1926) to carry out state affairs.
4. Sangnyangjeong Pavilion: A perfect spot to view the full moon
Sangnyangjeong Pavilion (credit: Cultural Heritage Administration)
A hexagonal pavilion is located atop the hill of Nakseonjae Huwon, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding garden. Participants of the tour will be able enjoy the mood of a moonlit night with a daegeum (traditional Korean instrument) performance here.
5. Buyongji and Aeryeonji Pond: The Majestic Royal Backyard
Scenic view of Buyongji Pond (credit: Cultural Heritage Administration)
Buyongji Pond and its surroundings are the most beautiful and tranquil area inside Changdeokgung Palace and is one of the finest examples of landscapes designed during the Joseon period. This garden where kings would take leisure walks in the past consists of small but pleasant Buyongji Pond and the striking Buyongjeong Pavilion with its pillars steadfast in the pond. The surrounding trees that have endured hundreds of years create cozy and elegant scenery. Next to the pond is Yeonghwadang, a venue once used for holding state exams during the Joseon Dynasty.
Aeryeonji Pond and Aeryeongjeong Pavilion (credit: Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation)
Another pond as beautiful as Buyongji Pond within the palace is Aeryeonji Pond, a charming pond with a name meaning “a pond where lotus flowers blossom.” To the north of the pond is Aeryeongjeong Pavilion, with its half standing over the water, which is known to offer a gorgeous view of the pond’s scenery from inside the pavilion.
6. Yeongyeongdang: A Stage Fit for a King
Yeongyeongdang Pavilion (credit: Cultural Heritage Administration)
Yeongyeongdang Pavilion is a wooden building built in the same style as the houses of the noblemen during the Joseon Dynasty. The building was built in the 19th century and was used as a venue to hold ceremonies and performances for the royal family by the best performers at that time. During your moonlit journey, Yeongyeongdang Paviliion will serve as the venue for an array of gukak (traditional Korean music) performances. The building’s expansive yard and temporary stage are complete with enough seats for the audience. Korean tea and snacks are served as well.
7. Huwon Garden Stroll: Soak into the Twilight of Seoul’s Past and Present
Night scenery of Huwon Garden (credit: Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation)
After the performance, visitors will be led into the forest of Changdeokgung Palace, known as Huwon. For centuries its access was strictly limited to the royal family. Now open to the public, guides dressed in hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) lead visitors through the trees using the light of the cheongsachorong. Guided by the delicate glow of this traditional lantern and the serene light of the full moon, visitors are guaranteed a unique and unforgettable evening.
- Moonlight Tour at Changdeokgung Palace
- ☞ Address: 99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- ☞ Monthly Schedule (First tour takes place from June-August; second tour takes place from late August-November)
- – First tour: June 1, 2017-August 27, 2017
- – Second tour: August 31, 2017-November 5, 2017
- ☞ Number of People: 100 per tour (first-come, first-served basis)
- ☞ Programs: Changdeokgung Palace night stroll, traditional Korean performance, teas and snacks as refreshments
- ☞ Admission: 30,000 won
- ☞ Ticket Reservation:ticket.interpark.com (English, Japanese, Chinese)
- * First round of tickets are no longer available as of June 2017. Second round of tickets are available for reservation on August 17 at 2 p.m.
- ☞ Websites
- Changdeokgung Palace:www.cdg.go.kr (Korean, English)
- Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation:www.chf.or.kr (Korean, English)
- ☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
See, Rest, Play, Eat; Four ways to Enjoy Seoullo 7017
Seoullo 7017 at night (Credit: Seoul Metropolitan Government)
The recent new attraction Seoul citizens are going crazy for is Seoullo 7017. Originally a road built in the area of Seoul Station in the 1970s, the space has been transformed into a pedestrian walking path, earning the romantic nickname “sky garden.” Seoullo 7017 connects Namdaemun Market with Seoul Station Square and Malli-dong, providing plenty of opportunities to see the many attractions in the surrounding area. The perfect spot to see, rest, play, and eat, visit Seoullo 7017 to find out what all the fuss is about!
TIP) Main route of Seoullo 7017Namdaemun Market → Seoullo Terrace → Magnolia Square (Magnolia Stage) → Seoullo Travelers’ Café → Sky Garden Rest Area → Bangbang Playground → Rose Square (Rose Stage) → 7017 Seoul Hwaban café → Garden Classroom → Malli-dong Square * There are many entrances and exits to Seoullo 7017, so feel free to start and end your trip at any point according to your travel plan.* Information pamphlets are available at the information center and Travelers’ Café for free. (Travelers’ Café also has coin lockers and free internet service for all visitors.)
Five attractions within the 1km-long sky garden
Seoul Station, Sungnyemun Gate, and Seoul Square – Attractions along Seoullo 7017
Seoul Station Square as seen from Seoullo 7017
Seoullo 7017 covers a rather short distance, taking on average only 30 minutes to walk completely. However, within this concentrated area are some of Seoul’s landmark attractions, including Namdaemun Market, Seoul Station Square, Namsan Seoul Tower, Sungnyemun Gate, and Seoul Square. These attractions take on a whole new look when seen from the observation points spaced throughout Seoullo 7017, despite being only one floor higher than ground level.
Strongly recommended – Seoullo 7017’s best photo zones
Recommended photo spots
The best place to take a souvenir photo on Seoullo 7017 is Seoul Station Square, with the active hustle and bustle of Seoul Station in the background. Other popular photo spots include the observatories of the nearby Rose Square and Ivy Theater.
Take a break from the hot summer sun – Seoullo 7017’s relaxing spots
Outdoor garden space of Seoullo 7017
Seoullo 7017 has over 50 types of flowers and 228 tree species, resembling an outdoor arboretum. The vibrant roses planted at Rose Square in particular make for a romantic ambiance.
Tree named after a K-POP idol
Some uniquely named trees have been planted in the direction of Namdaemun Market. By reading the small black plaques, you can find trees named after 2PM’s Junho, EXO’s Suho, Twice’s Sana and other K-pop stars. These trees were all gifted by the support of each idol’s fan club.
Jump, jump, now look down – Playgrounds of Seoullo 7017
Fun facilities of Seoullo 7017
Visitors to Malli-dong Square will be delighted by the large exhibition Yunseul (top photo). This work of art uses a series of mirrored crossbeams to reflect sunlight on the uneven floor, creating an illusion of rippling waves (“yunseul” means rippling waves in Korea). Located at the halfway point of Seoullo 7017 is BangBang Playground (bottom left), featuring trampolines incased in mesh for children to freely jump in and play. Also, don’t miss out on the interesting Curiosity Treepots (bottom right) placed along Seoullo 7017. These round viewing ports are placed along the large pillars and offer various views of Seoul through videos.
Transformation into the Milky Way Galaxy – Fantastic nightscape at Seoullo 7017
Seoullo 7017 nightscape
When night falls, Seoullo 7017 transforms into a beautiful imitation of the Milky Way Galaxy stretching overhead; the floor lights and street lamps become a star-filled night sky. The view is enhanced by the lights of Seoul Station, Seoul Square, and Sungnyemun Gate. Create a romantic memory walking hand-in-hand along Seoullo 7017 on a warm summer night.
Fill your belly with yummy treats – Seoullo 7017’s delish delights
Food served along Seoullo 7017
Suguk Sikppang is a food stand on Seoullo 7017 that sells Korean-style toast, a toasted sandwich filled with an egg fried in creamy butter, fried ham, chopped cabbage and other ingredients. This street food has been loved by locals for years and is still commonly purchased by busy workers as a breakfast-on-the-go. At Malli-dong Square, visitors can try acorn-shaped manju filled with a sweet jam and sprinkled with peanuts, perfect for filling a small stomach! For those looking for something a bit sweeter, try the pure milk ice cream served at Magnolia Café.
More Info☞ Visit Seoul website: www.visitseoul.net