Sunday, December 6, 2009

Lotte World

When we first got up this morning, we weren't sure if we were going to go to the amusement park or not.  I hadn't slept very well.  So, we crashed for another hour and decided that we would go.  It was raining and hailing and slushing outside, so we got really bundled up and hopped on the 9 o'clock bus.  We got to Seoul around 11 (where it was sunny, but pretty cold) and decided to find somewhere close to the meeting place for breakfast.

We found a  Krispy Kreme and had some coffee and a donut.  The coffee was decent, until we got to the bottom of our cups where it tasted like 7/11 Cappuccino.

Our meeting place was the "big fountain" outside of the Lotte World entrance.  There were a few fountains to choose from, but luckily we chose the right one.

The correct fountain.

I never got a photo of the group (or anyone, actually) because there was just never a good time to do it without it being awkward.  So, my apologies.  But, we met Asia (our recruiter from ESL Park, though she no longer works there as of a few days ago), Andy, Jessie, and then five other people (two guy friends, a girl who didn't talk much, and two girls who disappeared early in our adventures ) whose names escape us.  All nice folks, but it's tough to get to know people at an amusement park and we didn't spend much time introducing ourselves.  Luckily, I can just go back to the Facebook event for today and refresh my memory.

We were about thirty minutes early so we checked out the area near the entrance.  You don't technically leave the subway station to get to the park, it just turns into a shopping center.  It's amazing how many things the Lotte company has it's fingers in.

Happy Christmas from Ian and Lotte World.

Lotteria, Lotte's version of McDonald's, only with crunchy squid rings.

LotteCard, a mini bank inside the shopping center.

Lotte Mart for all your shopping needs.

Lotty's Plaza (the L is covered) for your souvenir specific needs.

Lotte World Famous Goods, a skincare shop.

And last but not least, Lotte World.

The park has an indoor section and a smaller outdoor section (where the better rides are).  We went through the indoor section first and took the monorail hoping it would take us outside, but it didn't.  At least we saw what the indoor part had to offer. 

Some shots of the inside:

We went on this pirate ship, it was pretty stellar.

We never actually made it on this one.

We went outside to check out some of the better rides.  The outside is a pretty typical nice themepark, but it's not set up so that it's easy to photograph.

Ian the contortionist prisoner.

Inside the queue area for one of the roller coasters.  The best ride was definitely the Lotte Comet.  It's like Space Mountain with the seats from the Haunted Mansion, only they spin more.  Most of the other rides were relatively lame (there was one called Gyro... something that was a little frightening.  It swung 90 degrees and spun slowly as it did it).  I just wish the rides were longer.  The wait time was not proportional to the fun time.

The castle from an escalator.

The castle (with Ian) up close.

When we were all popsicles we decided to go back inside.  We all sat in a "tourist restaurant" and chatted for awhile before walking around again.

Santa band!

We found this "Magic Donkey" and were really confused about it at first.  Then we realized you could put 1000 won in it and it does something.  So, we tried it.  When you put your money in, it lifts it's tail and poops something out for you.

Candy.  Or, as Ian named it, ass candy.

There's also an ice skating rink in the park.  You can see kids speed skating in the middle.

While we were in line for a coaster, Asia got a phone call and left suddenly.  The other people said she had to go pick up a friend.  After we got off the coaster, everyone went their own way.  I texted Asia to make sure everything was alright and say it was nice meeting her.  She texted me back that she was still in the park, so we found each other.  A teacher that ESL Park brought over was arrested for shipping in cocaine.  Not the brightest move.  So, Asia had to go over to the jail and talk to him (she still felt she had a responsibilty to him even though she doesn't work for ESL Park anymore, because her old boss intended just to hang him out to dry.  I'm guessing that Asia's visit wasn't very fun for either of them.

She fold us and told us this right as I was planning to get a picture of Ian on one of those walking animal rides.  So, sorry Rob, no photo this time around.

We were done with Lotte World at about 4:30, so we decided to head over to Itaeeon (the neighborhood where the military base is). 

A "ghetto" alleyway in Itaewon.

We had excellent felafel at a tiny Jordani place and then we went to the Foreign Food Mart. 

I've been wanting cilantro for so long.  Luckily, they restocked it while we were there and we have some in a glass of water in our fridge.  We also got tortillas and naan, so it was a good trip.

A Christmas tree all by itself in the Itaewon subway station.

It was a good trip, well worth fighting through feeling sick.  There might be snow on the ground tomorrow (there's a bit now and some in the hills).  If so, I'll take pictures of the landscape.

Good night!


  1. Awesome photos! It looks like you had a great time! The theme park looks like so much fun! Thanks for explaining the "Lotte" phenomenon. Rob and I were actually talking about that last night. He was wondering if LotteWorld was any relation to LotteMart and what lotte means anyways. :)

  2. Looks like you guys had great fun. Looks like a fun place to visit. Glad you found the foreign food mart. Your cilantro should last quite awhile stored that way. Did you see more of the military base, Tell me more about that.
    Oh and love the Donkey handing out "ass Candy"

  3. Well, I don't think anything can beat ass-candy. So was it tasty?

    I think LotteWorld looks like fun! It sounds delightfully cheesy.

    So what did you think of Asia? Did you have a chance to visit with her much? Did she give you any idea of feedback she has heard about how Julie thinks you're doing? Or do you not even care? ;) Is there a replacement for Asia if you need help from them?

  4. Danie- There's also a Lotte Department store and a hotel. I'm sure there are many others, too. I have no idea what "Lotte" is supposed to mean. :)

    Mom- We didn't see any of the base or anything. But, we plan to go back to Itaewon next time we're in Seoul. There's a war memorial there and everything.

    Judy- We didn't eat the ass-candy because it looked disgusting. :) Asia was pretty awesome. She grew up in Korea, but moved to the states when she was 17 and finished high school in Chicago. She's been going back and forth ever since. The employers don't usually contact the recruiters unless something REALLY bad happens, so Asia doesn't know much about her. We told her some things while we were all just chatting, but there isn't anything that she can do about it, so we didn't want burden her too much.

  5. There are some epic typos in here because I was too tired to proof. Sorry!