If you’re after unique things to do in Seoul, very little tops the thrill of exploring an abandoned amusement park. Here’s everything you need to know about one of South Korea’s hidden landmarks – Yongma Land.
Once a popular 80’s attraction, Yongma Land is now a haven for photographers with 10,000 WON to spare.
There’s something retro about theme parks, but Yongma Land is different. The standstill rides, scattered broken dolls, and destroyed neon signs add a twisted sense of desirability. In other words, this past-its-prime playground will encourage you to get the camera out.
When it comes to memorable experiences in Seoul, I’m pretty sure Yongma Land will deliver for you. Whilst there’s limited information available on the web, this location has already transformed into a steady stream of income. Surely that has to count for something?
For this reason, this post goes into everything you need to know before visiting Yongma Land, following my investigation into one of the coolest spaces I’ve ever attended.
Welcome to the mysteries of Seoul’s forgotten entertainment hub…
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Things To Know Before Visiting Seoul’s Abandoned Amusement Park:
Why Is Yongma Land Abandoned?
Yongma Land was a big hit in the 1980’s, however the fairground found itself terminating licenses in 2011.
It’s said that competition from the centrally-located ‘Lotte World’ played a contributing factor to profit losses. Although, urban legends suggest the park’s closure was more unsettlingly. More on that later on…
Is Yongma Land Open To Tourists?
Yes, you can visit!
While Yongma Land isn’t particularly well-known with tourists just yet, Korean popular culture ensures the fairground won’t rot – metaphorically.
Fans of K-POP may recognise Yongma Land’s carousel in a handful of music videos. Crayon Pop’s ‘Bar Bar Bar’ is amongst the most well-known. Netflix shows also borrow the venue for production – with ‘The Sound Of Magic’ being a current example.
How To Get Here?
Yongma Land isn’t difficult to reach, but it’s also not the easiest place to find.
What you really need to know is that Yongma Land boasts free on-site parking – but driving isn’t your only route. Instead you can hop into a local taxi, or rely on the efficient – and cheaper – public transport services.
Address: 118 Mangu-ro 70-gil, Jungnang-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
How Much Is Entry?
Currently, entry to Yongma Land is 10,000 WON per person. This is roughly £6, at time of writing. Payment methods include cash and bank transfer, not card!
Prior to crossing the gates, you’ll see a number to call if nobody appears to be at the small ticket booth. Arguably, for travellers who haven’t inserted a Korean SIM, this can be quite the difficulty. Instead, you might find it easier to rock the gate back and forth to activate the bell at the top.
Once payment has been exchanged, you’re all set to freely roam around.
When Is The Best Time To Visit?
Unsurprisingly, Seoul’s abandoned theme park receives the majority of visitors during warmer months. However, stopping by Yongma Land in winter virtually guarantees the entire fairground to yourself.
If you’re keen to snap the most aesthetic photos as humanely possible, it’s worth knowing that Yongma Land looks most magical during sunset. Yes, your window to take pics becomes smaller, but there’s something undeniably spooky, yet beautiful, about a dim light amongst deserted surroundings.
Is Yongma Land Worth Visiting?
Yongma Land oozes coolness. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush from exploring rides which are technically off-limits, or perhaps it’s the chance to release your inner child for a few hours? Whatever the appeal may be, it’s fair to say this location is one you’ll remember.
And it’s just so different. Few people can say they’ve stepped foot into an abandoned amusement park, so I’d urge you to become one of them!
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, until you spot small indications of modern life that is- like a Tesla parked at the back, or a topped-up vending machine.
What Can You Do Here?
Make no mistake – Yongma Land is a spot for creatives or curious visitors to get snapping with the camera. Though, it would be inaccurate to suggest that’s the only thing you can do here.
Is Yongma Land Haunted?
When I typed ‘Yongma Land’ into Google, I clocked that a few websites referenced the tale of a young girl who lost her life here. The same pages seemed to believe the child’s presence lurks around the empty grounds. Yet, after some digging, search results came back vague and inconclusive. I couldn’t find any evidence to suggest this was someone’s reality.
Still, there’s a chilling feel when you’re standing beside broken dolls, life-size figurines, and remains from the 80’s. Even in broad daylight.
How Long Do You Need To Visit Yongma Land?
This would be dependent on purpose, but my ‘let’s capture some fun photos’ motive saw me explore the park for about an hour.
Is Yongma Land Suitable For Small Children?
In all honesty, I don’t think Yongma Land is suitable for small children.
The scraps of rusty metal and sharp edges are, albeit low-mid level, hazards for an adult, let alone an unsupervised child.
Do You Need Permission To Take Photos At Yongma Land?
For personal photos, as long as you pay the 10,000 WON fee, you’ll be alright.
Footage for commercial purposes, however, needs to be communicated with the owners of Yongma Land. This isn’t to imply you’ll be denied permission, but it’s likely you’ll be paying more than the standard rate.
Additional Tips For Visiting Seoul’s Abandoned Theme Park
So, we’ve discussed things to know about Yongma Land. Now what?
It’s worth adding a few points which don’t fit into any specific category, but were noticed during my Yongma Land adventure.
- Travelling solo? Squash any concerns – it’s absolutely safe to visit Yongma Land alone.
- There’s a fair few cats which mooch around the park. Just putting it out there for anyone with severe allergies.
- While the fairground itself feels like you’ve been transported to the 80’s, you’ll be pleased to know the on-site bathrooms are fully functioning, and regularly maintained.
- Climbing into tarnished objects, whilst attempting to touch as little as possible, is so much easier if you bring wipes…
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Yaz is the writer behind ‘The Strawberry Snaps’ and is here to make travel a frequent part of 9-5 lifestyles.
For her story, click here.