11 September 2010
Yesterday we ignored the rain and trekked out to Everland with the step-sons. Everland is basically Koreas answer to Disneyland, right down to the fairy tale castle and strange rodent-like mascots. I read somewhere that it's the 6th most visited theme park in the world, and it also has the worlds steepest wooden roller coaster, the 'T Express', which I would never, ever set foot on but which looked quite beautiful from a safe distance.
I find theme parks rather surreal at the best of times, and Everland definitely did not disappoint in this regard with a ton of halloween tack, grand Roman-esque fountains, a faux Amsterdam (minus the ahem 'coffee shops') and a haunted house 'ride' whose grand finale was a ghost farting goodbye. If it were up to me I'd probably never visit a theme park - I'm a complete chicken when it comes to rides which doesn't help - but when I'm dragged to one by the rest of the family I do find myself having a most enjoyable time riding the mini roller coasters (yep, the ones built for 6 year olds. I'm totally hardcore) and soaking up the strangeness of it all.
Everland also has a large 'Zootopia' section chock full of the most amazing animals, including an incredible owl that I could have watched all day. As with most zoos, it's a strange mix of super clean cages with entertainment that house happy looking animals, and those heartbreaking tiny compounds where large animals pace about. Some amazing sights (especially the bears in the safari section - wowee!) but also some that make you a bit sad (like the postage-stamp sized enclosure for the lions).
Anyhoo, Everland got the thumbs up from all involved - good kid-friendly fun an hour out of Seoul.