[Korea Travel] Picnic Cafe & Relaxing at the Yeongjin Beach

In recent years I have noticed the growing interest in picnic cafes all around Korea and really wanted to check it out for myself. Even though there are many picnic-like cafes in Seoul already, I thought that doing it at the beach would be much more interesting and unusual, so as we visited Gangneung earlier this month, I could not resist myself and took Gyu to the “Essay Cafe” next to the Yeongjn beach, which is mainly known for being a shooting location for hit Korean drama “Goblin”.

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[Korea Travel] Getting the adrenaline boost at the Suspension bridge in Wonju!

Wonju Sogeumsan Mountain Suspension Bridge (원주 소금산 출렁다리) also known as the swinging bridge of Wonju is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Wonju city. The bridge itself is 200 m long and 1.5m wide, which makes it the longest suspension bridge in Korea.

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[Gangneug Travel] Deungmyeongnakgasa Temple

Deungmyeongnakgasa Temple (kor. 등명낙가사) in Gangneung city, Gangwon province was a refreshing find during our last trip to this beautiful coastal city. it is located 41 kilometers away from the Gangneung station and is also reachable by public transportation. A single bus ride will take you around 50 minutes to go there, but if prefer being time efficient, you can also take a taxi to get there under 20 minutes instead.

I would recommend dropping by there if you are on your way to Jeongdongjin, as it is the closest station you can find around, even though we came from the Gangneung Station, as taking the KTX was much faster for us, coming from Seoul.

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[Korean drama filming locations] Goguryo Blacksmith Town in Guri

While looking for some interesting place to visit not too far from Seoul, I have stumbled upon a small traditional Korean village, which was originally built as a filming location, but as it attracted some visitors back in a day, it became one of the less known tourist locations just outside of Korea.

If you are a fan of South Korean TV shows, also known as K-dramas, there is a big chance you might have seen this place in one of your favorite series.
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[Yongma Land] The not-so Abandoned Amusement Park in Seoul

There are two types of people in the world – those who like abandoned creepy places and those who don’t. Fortunately enough, in Seoul, there is a place, where both types would be satisfied.

Yongma Land (kor. 용마랜드) is an abandoned amusement park in the northeastern Seoul, which is now opened to visitors as a photo studio and a cool outdoor location for your best shots!

It was built back in the 1980s and was supposed to be a family-oriented amusement park,  but after the opening of Lotte World – the most popular Amusement Park in South Korea, Yongma land started losing its’ profits, which resulted into the park closing down in 2011.

As for not, the park is considered to be abandoned, but it still is offering visitors unique dilapidated atmosphere, where they can take pictures or just wander around.

It has become a filming location for such Kpop artists like B2ST (Ribbon, 2016),  BAP (1004 Angel, 2014),  Twice (Like OOH-AHH, 2015), Crayon Pop (Bar Bar Bar, 2013) and many others, so if you are into Kpop, you would recognize many places from the Music videos of your favorite K-pop stars.

It is also used for photo shoots, both by Kpop artists (IU and EXO went there most recently) and by regular people. Many Korean, Chinese and Japanese visitors are also having their wedding photoshoots taken here.

In 2017 Yongma Studio was opened there, so people who are willing to pay an extra fee could be shooting in the newly renovated studio as well.

This place is both, creepy and cute at the same time. Even though there were no accidents that happened in the park, potentially causing its closure, the unused rides and broken parts of various cartoon characters might make you feel uncomfortable, if you come there at a late time.

Therefore, the park is under the constant renovation and is changing as we see it. I have visited there in late 2016 and it looked fairly different from what it looks now. So, even if you have visited once, going again would not hurt you. Therefore, if you are interested in a specific ride or specific area of the park, I would recommend checking in advance, if they are already done with its’ renovation, since when we visited, we could not go on the rooftop bump cars, even though we really hoped to the best view from there.

The entrance fee is 5,000 won (~5$) for regular visitors and 10,000 won for photoshoots.  We came in with cameras, but as we were not professional, 5,000 was the price we paid. In my opinion, it is a fair price, considering the fact that there is always someone checking on the safety of the old rides, which might cause some accidents if unattended.

The park might get crowded during the weekends since most of the photoshoots are being held either on Saturday or Sunday, so I would totally recommend going there on a weekday if only possible. It takes quite a walk from the nearest bus station, so bring your comfortable shoes and get ready for a small hike.

The owner has some beverages for sale in case you might get thirsty, but I would recommend getting some water of a drink of your choice before you get there. Once you are in – enjoy the fun! But don’t forget to wash your hands after that, because all of the equipment in the rides is really old and full of bacteria.  They have bathrooms, so you can do it there as well.

On the final note, I would say – don’t miss the upper part of the park. Many people just look around the main area and don’t even bother going up, but there is some cool stuff there as well! In addition – it opens you a full view of the whole park as well.

Adress: 69-1 Mangu-dong, Jungnang-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours:  9:00 – 18:00
Entrance fee: 5,000 won (Professional photoshoot: 10,000 won)
What to bring: Camera, water, good friends and a smile!
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