Just when I thought I’d seen practically everything there is to see in Seoul, I stumbled across Yongma Land. A true hidden gem — it’s not a destination that comes up when you Google things to do in Seoul or when you flip through a travel guide book — I came across it on a few blogs. So, what is Yongma Land?
It’s an old, abandoned amusement park located just a few minutes’ walk from Mangu Station. I don’t know the full story of when it closed, why it failed, or how the current owner came by it. When you walk up to the gate you see a sign forbidding trespassers, but listing the phone number of the older gentleman who owns the property. You can call him and he’ll let you in for 5,000 won/person.
Once you’re in, you pretty much have free reign. Walk around and explore, step into the rides, climb, run, jump, whatever you please (at your own risk, of course). You can get some of the rides to move with a bit of manual effort, and apparently the owner is kind enough, sometimes, to turn on the merry-go-round lights. The park is also a popular photo shoot location. We were there on a Saturday, and there were multiple people taking photos — from a nine-person group of friends (or pop group?), to two guys in their 30s meticulously posing and taking photos of their expensive dolls (um, yeah), to other couples and visitors simply taking advantage of the warmer weather and the unique backdrop.
We explored Yongma Land for a couple hours. It’s a weird feeling walking around a place that’s frozen in time. Sure, there are piles of dismantled rides strewn here and there, but like I said, many of the rides are practically intact, just waiting for visitors to hop on. It was cool. I only wish I had a better camera, iPhone pics continue to not do some of these places justice.
In addition to photo shoots, the abandoned amusement park has served as the backdrop for K-Pop videos such as Crayon Pop’s “Bar, Bar, Bar.” Check it out!
You can bet I took more photos of Yongma Land. Head to my Flickr album to see them!
Up next: Ewha Womans University and Sinchon shopping area