Yongma Land

There are much more places in Seoul to explore than you think or have read. If you are a true explorer and want to see something that will not be in your typical “What to see Seoul” guide, then you really should learn more about the abandoned Yongma-land Amusement Park.

This place will not be mentioned as one of the top places to visit in South Korea, however, trust me, it is definitely worth seeing this old amusement park that still has all its attractions. Not to mention that the previous owner Mr. Youn will be happy seeing you and taking 5000 KRW as an entrance fee. However, I would advise you to go with a local person or at least someone who has a basic knowledge of Korean as the owners don’t speak any English and it might be problematic to explain why you have come here.

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Yongma-land closed down a few years ago due to a lack of profitability, yet it is still on a “must visit” list of many urban explorers. It is situated on the eastern mountainside of Seoul. If you like hiking then it is most likely that you will try to climb the Yongmasan Mountain. You can combine mountain exploring with checking out this mysterious amusement park. You should take the Jungang line (중앙선) and get off at Mangu station (망우역). If you take exit 1, you will be able to find the place easily as there are still some signs that give you directions. However, if you are planning to hike first and then visit the park, it is better to get off at the Yongmasan station (용마산역) on the Seoul Subway Line 7.

The neighbourhood where Yongma-land is located is quite small, however, the castle-shaped entrance gate rise at the top of the hill making it difficult to miss it. When you enter the park you will see many curious photographers, film directors that are shooting material for their amateur movies, also many cosplayers. If you enjoy Sailor Moon then it is also worth visiting this place as it is widely used among those who enjoy this Japanese manga. You will see visitors trying to recreate scenes from their favourite Japanese series and also people who just want to take extraordinary photos for their Facebook album, as well as amateur models hoping to impress agencies. The amusement park is also famous among those who film amateur K-Pop music videos. Baek Ji-young’s ballad “Hate” was filmed here a few years ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gLNqR0HjQQ).

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Even though most of the rides are closed down and don’t function in a way we expect an amusement park to function, it is still possible to climb inside and enjoy the feeling of being inside a carousel. Don’t worry, all of the rides are regularly checked and cleaned by the owners to make sure that they are not dangerous. The reason why they look rusty and worn out is because Mr Yoon does not want to repaint them as it would reduce to sense of abandonment. However, the carousel “Merry Go Round” still rotates and can be switched on if you pay some extra money. If you want to see the lights of some of the carousels you can also pay an extra fee and enjoy the scenery.

I would definitely advise you to go Yongma-land and enjoy the mysterious ambience. You can take your friends with you and recreate scenes of some of your favourite manga, or just take some goofy pictures for your Facebook page that will certainly look unique. It is not common to be able to enter abandoned places legally, so take this opportunity and enjoy your stay without worrying that you are breaking the law!

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Picture Source: http://blog.aclipse.net and http://chincha.co.uk/

 

Article by Zanda from the U.K.

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