By Mr. David Mcnally (RDECOM)July 22, 2008
YONGIN, Republic of Korea -- One way to beat the summer heat is by visiting one of Korea's premiere amusement parks. Everland Resort offers a daily "Summer Splash Parade" ending with a spectacular water show.
But just a warning: if you're sitting in the bleachers, make sure you have an umbrella or raincoat. You will get drenched. The characters in the parade carry squirt guns and many spectators join the fun with their own water weapons. It all makes for a wet and fun-filled experience.
The parade is just one attraction at the park. Visitors will find roller coasters, plume rides, a giant Ferris wheel and rides for all levels of the fearless and not so fearless.
Everland is only 27 miles south of Seoul, but the trip down Highway 1 often takes an hour or more. The weekend traffic is the most challenging. Sometimes you might think everyone on the road is headed to Everland. But battling the traffic and crowds is apparently worth it if you judge from the thousands of smiling families.
One of the star attractions is a Safari trip. Would-be explorers board large "tiger" tourist buses and enter a fenced in area reminiscent of Jurassic Park. Inside, visitors come face-to-face with a pride of lions, roaming tigers and enormous bears. The large bus windows provide a first-class seat to the exotic wild life.
Other shows to catch are the bird show, the seal and dolphin show and the animal show. The animal show features dogs and monkeys doing tricks and birds flying into the audience to snap up money held by audience members.
"Monkey Valley" is home to all kinds of primates, from lemurs to orangutans. Crowds can even purchase snacks to feed to the monkeys. The polar bears are popular too, but the tigers are the most magnificent to watch - when they are awake.
Besides the parades throughout the day and night, there is a circus with stupendous acrobats and dancers. Many of the performers are from Russia and add to the international flavor of the park. If you stick around until dark, you find that each night at Everland ends with an entertaining light show and fireworks.
For information online, visit http://eng.everland.com.
Editor's note: This story is part of the USAG-Yongsan Welcome Guide. There are many things to do and see in Seoul.