Day 3 of our Seoul adventure heralded a trip to Everland. Strictly speaking, I am not a fan of amusement parks, but I seem to be going to one in almost every country I’ve been to just the same. Anyway, I decided to make the most of my day out, firstly by looking out for adorkable little Asian children in their fluffy winter gear.
- Getting to Everland. We took the subway again, this time to Jamsil station, after which promptly got lost inside the adjoining Lotte Mall. Thank God for the Tourist Information Booth. We took Exit 6 and crossed to the bus stop in the middle of the street (quite literally) and waited for bus #5700 to Everland (KRW2000, payable via Tmoney). After about 60-80 minutes, we were dropped off at a parking lot where we waited for another bus, this time the Everland free shuttle for the last 5-minute ride.
- Pororo, Line Friends, Safari and the Hollywood Dream Parade. Everland was supposed to be the grown up counterpart of indoor theme park Lotte World, but it felt like a kid’s playground just the same (the humongous roller coaster T-Express notwithstanding, and I didn’t even think of touching the queue for that). Maybe because it was littered with families pushing kids in strollers (wonderfully cute), maybe because of the plushy Line Friends and Pororo stores, or maybe because all theme parks really are for kids and the kids at heart. We braved only the rides in the more kid-friendly sections (note: not a daredevil), lined up for the Safari and the carousel (because why not?) then watched the parade, leaving just in time to catch the place light up like Christmas land. It was admittedly very beautiful. If you love theme parks, this is a better bet than the smaller Lotte World. But if you’re indifferent, like me, the ticket price (KRW37000) and your time could be better spent elsewhere. I loved the Line Store though. Got a shirt and all.
- An alien spaceship. From Everland we went back to Jamsil station the same way we came, taking the Everland shuttle bus back to the parking lot and then waiting for our bus. The extra effort this time was listening to the bus voice over until she says “Jamsil Station,” because they don’t translate in English like they do on the subway, so I had to listen really intently so I can catch the words. This is done simultaneously with staring the window, waiting for the Lotte Mall landmark. From Jamsil station, we took the subway to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, and exited to see the spaceship, officially known as Dongdaemun Design Plaza or DDP. The place is a fairly new installation (and no it is not really a spaceship, sadly), housing several buildings giving exhibition space for artists. We came too late to catch them open, but it was already awesome just standing there feeling like an ant to a boot at how grand the architecture is. A few meters walk is the famed Dongdaemun Market, and that, unlike its artistic neighbor, never sleeps. Sadly, our companions do, so we had to bid the night market goodbye until the next visit to Seoul.
- Tteokbokki or nothing. Begrudged of our intended past-bedtime wanderings, my sister and I took the short 15-minute walk from our hostel to Nandaemun Market instead, if only for some street food. We climbed down the hill from B My Guesthouse to Hoehyeon undeground station, crossed and walk straight past Shinsegae Department Store, a few more meters to the entrance of the market. We were at the kid’s clothes section, which was also in the wholesale section (figured out from the hacked Hangul I knew). A few more steps and we found a small cozy place and were ushered in by a friendly ajhumma. Hence, we went crazy. We ordered tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), kimbap (maki-like rolls of ham, cucumber and yellow radish), and sundae (noodles curiously wrapped in pig intestines), plus the complimentary hot soup from the fish stick stock. Why we didn’t wash down with soju, I do not know.