Saturday, April 27, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - European Adventure

Dutch themed attraction in
European Adventure in
Korea Everland
             Day 6, 22/Nov/2012, 1.00 pm: We were at the Yongin Everland, South Korea. After lunch we continued on to the next attraction - the European Adventure. European Adventure has many of its restaurants and buildings with architecture that imitates different European styles. There is a flower garden encircled by a train, games and arcades. A favorite attraction here is the Mystery Mansion in which visitors can shoot at the ghosts. In March 2008, a new ride named "T Express" was added. It is the first roller-coaster in Korea to be constructed out of wood. Little M, Middle M and Kit queued up to take a ride in the T Express while Big M chickened out. The queue was quite long, so we wandered around to take a peep at some of the European architecture design buildings nearby. 
             There is an Alpine building that mimic a village building in Jungfrau Village in Switzerland which front as a ski resort, a cottage lodge made from logs from Austria, an old German building from Bavaria and even the restaurants also are designed according to the regions in Europe. The restaurants also sells ethnic European food as well. Mummy M had a field day taking pictures of herself with the European buildings while waiting for the kids to complete their roller coaster run. We also noticed many flags which we were not familiar with, hung on poles and buildings. They are regional flags from the Alpine countries in German, France, Switzerland, Italy, Holland and Austria. 
            Slightly more that half an hour later, the kids returned from the T Express ride and requested to encore. However since we were short of time we denied them and hurried them out of that area. It was a nice feeling, coupled with the cool weather that one may felt they were really in Europe. Here are some pictures we took in at the European Adventure in Yongin Everland:

Location: Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Coordinates: 37.295632°N 127.203999°E

Mummy M started her journey in European Adventure with the information board that listed out the different types of buildings in the vicinity. 
First stop - A German Alpine house from Bavaria, complete with a clock tower that chimed two times when we were there.
European's regional flags being hung on every corners. However we do not see any European countries' flag being hung up.
Signboard on T Express roller coaster schedule. We have to wait for 40 minutes for the ride to conclude but the kids loved it. 
Restaurants are plenty here, all selling many different kinds of food that one finds in Europe - sausages, pork knuckle, saeurkraut, potatoes etc. The saeurkraut, or sour cabbage is really an acquired taste and not everyone can stomach it. 
T Express roller coaster up close with its imposing wooden structure. It looks menacing indeed and no wonder Big  M chickened out.
Mt. Blanc's Swiss Alps Alpine house, modeled after a building in Jungfrau Village in Switzerland.
Mummy M, Big M and Kit's mom waited outside the T Express roller coaster entrance gate for the kids.

Caricature of penguins and a polar bear seen through the window in one of the European Adventure's building make a very beautiful decoration during the festive season. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Mummy M posed for picture as if to enter this building. Deer antlers adorned the wall, so this is definitely not Santa's home.
Trolley selling a snack called "Peanut Butter Roast Squids". What was that?? We just ate our lunch, so no snack for us yet.

Lovely cuddly teddy bears for sale at European Adventure souvenir shop.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Zootopia

Bugs Garden - an attraction in
Zootopia featuring bugs.
          Day 6, 22/Nov/2012, 12.00 pm: We were at Yongin Everland, South Korea. Now that we were done with Safari World, we spent some time to tour the attractions in Zootopia. Zootopia is an animal themed portion. We saw a petting zoo, pony rides, animal shows, Bugs Garden, Dark Forest and 3D and 4D shows. There is also a small zoo with polar bears, sea lions, penguins, bears, tigers and primates. Amazon Express is a raft ride, where most visitors get wet to varying degrees. The petting zoo provides animals such as goats and sheep to pet. Kosik, one of Zootopia's elephants, made headlines when he demonstrated an ability to imitate Korean words.
         Before lunch we attended a 4D show that featured Korean speaking cartoon characters. Apart from the usual 3D spectacle effect, the moving seats , air and mist blowing, there was also sensation of scurrying rats that touches our leg. There were shriek from visitors once they sensed some 'rats' ran across their legs. Only Little M enjoyed the show and asked to have another go but by then it was already lunch time. Lunch at Everland was a regimented affair. There were 4 menus to choose from and they came in a set of main course, a salad/kimchi, soup and drink. Well, we finished up quickly and heads off to other parks in Everland. 
          Here are some pictures I took in Zootopia and during lunch:
Location: Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Coordinates: 37.295632°N 127.203999°E
Dark Forest - another attraction in Zootopia, featuring creepy crawlies from the dark and the damp.
A stage coach on display. No information available though.
Entrance to Zootopia's 4D show, featuring cartoon characters that spoke only Korean. 
The 2 main characters from the 4D show.
Waiting for the next show to start, every eyes glued to the TV dispensing instruction do and don't.
Big M and Middle M all ready for Zootopia's 4D adventure
Little M posing at the exit door of Zootopia's 4D show.
Mummy M's fish set meal with Kimchi, same as mine.
Little M's Kimchi fried rice, his favorite.
My fish set meal, with free flowing Kimchi. Only in Korea that one gets free flow of Kimchi, even in a theme park.
Little M enjoying his Kimchi Fried Rice and he wiped it clean in no time.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Lion + Tiger = Liger

               Day 6, 22/Nov/2012, 11.00 am: We were at Yongin Everland, South Korea. When we reached Safari World, we headed straight to the main attraction - Safari World to see the vast collection of tigers, lions, bears and ligers too. Ligers? What is that? Liger is a hybrid cross between a male lion and a tigress. Thus, it has parents from the same genus but of different species. It is distinct from the similar hybrid of tiglon, where the father is a tiger and the mother is a lioness. Ligers enjoy swimming, which is a characteristic of tigers, and are very sociable like lions. Ligers exist only in captivity because the habitats of its parental species do not overlap in the wild. Historically, when the Asiatic Lion was prolific, the territories of lions and tigers did overlap and there are legends of ligers existing in the wild. Notably, ligers typically grow larger than either parent species. 
A pair of ligers in 
Safari World, Everland
         Kent went ahead of us to board Safari World bus for safari ride. A safari ride is like a zoo visit but instead of animals in enclosure, it is human that is enclosed. As we walked through a passageway to board our safari bus, we passed by an ice cream store. The young man who managed the stall did a gesture with both his hands upward and rotating all his 10 fingers to and fro. To me it seem he was indicating "no more" gesture. I was puzzled and asked him "no more ice cream", and at the same time returning to him the same gesture with my hands. His forehead wrinkled up, now was his turn to be puzzled as he does not understand English. He spoke something in Korean and flashed a big smile and did more rotations with his hands. Later when we had boarded the safari bus, Kent told us that that hand's gesture was a welcoming gesture, unique only to Everland, Korea. Ah, silly me! 
         At the bus we were not sure if the left side or the right side have better viewing, but the driver assured us that the bus will stop for a while to let us see the exhibits up close. We saw pride of African lions, Himalayan tigers, white Siberian tiger and also the lone liger. This liger was bigger than the lions and tigers and was prancing around its cage. It had faint tiger stripe against it's lion fur and was kept in a solidarity cell to protect other animal from its sheer size and aggressiveness. The setback for ligers - all of them are not able to produce offspring, meaning a pair of ligers, male and female, would not be able to breed little ligers on its own. As promise the safari bus stopped at every group of animals who are resting. We spend some 30 minutes in the big cats' enclosure before proceed to the next enclosure - the bears. 
          The safari had many brown bears as well as half moon bears - Korea national bear. The brown bears were huge and would easily towers over 9 feet when standing on its 2 hind legs. They were accustomed to visitors and would approach a safari bus that stopped as experience told them they will gets food when a bus stopped. Our safari bus driver told us there was one very special bear that had a talent. Our driver drove on and stopped the bus near a black brownish bear. The bear got up on its hind leg and then started to dance and twirl to our excitement. The driver informed Kent that the bear used to be a circus bear and had been trained to dance by its keeper. I have never seen a dancing bear before, only read about it in book and newspaper.
          This particular visit to Safari World was the highlight of our trip to Everland. We spend close to an hour here and they were well worth the visit. Here are some of the pictures I took at Everland Safari World:

Location: Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Coordinates: 37.295632°N 127.203999°E
At the entrance of Safari World.

We regrouped and Kent briefed us the do and don't when o the safari bus prior to safari ride.
Two wooden full size giraffes guarded the entrance to Zootopia, welcomed us. 
Petting zoo close by but we did not get a chance to enter and pet some of the 'pets' there.
Along the passage way to board our safari bus decorated by ornamental from Africa to make one feels like one was in Africa itself.
Initially I though this guy way gesturing "no more ice cream". In fact we was welcoming us.
Signboard showing how many of each animals in Safari World. Only 1 liger was around that day.
A female attendant all bundled up due to the cold, told us to keep our hand in the safari bus. Yeah, right.
Kent pointed out the tigers. Everyone craned their neck to see what he was pointing at.
A pride of lions resting and watching the next meal goes by - us!
White tigers, a type of mutant Bengal tiger, basking on a rock in the morning sun.
A majestic Bengal tiger purring at us on seeing our safari bus approaching.
The lone liger at Safari World, prancing about in it's cage. It had stripe on its legs and it was big.
Big M stole a moment to snap a picture with the lone liger.
This brown bear easily towers over 9 feet high when standing on its 2 hind legs.
When bears were on all 4 legs, they does not look big. They may appears sluggish but beware, they can out run human anytime. By the way their diet do consist of meat too if they can lay their paw on.
Half moon bear playing hide and see. It had a distinctive white half moon symbol across it's chest.
The dancing and twirling bear from Safari World, Everland, Korea. The more it dance the more foods it gets.
At the end of the ride, it was wallet opening time.  
At safari gift center, but we came out empty handed.   

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Asian Eyes' Korea - Yongin Everland

Everland Resort, Korea's  
          Day 6, 22/Nov/2012, 10.30 am: After a 2 hours journey out of Alpensia Ski Resort, we arrived at our next destination - Everland Resort. It was rather chilly and we headed straight to the restroom while waiting for our transit transportation to the Everland's entrance. Everland Resort is a theme park in Yongin, a city in Gyeonggi-do province, South Korea, just south of Seoul and it is Korea's answer to USA's Disneyland chain.  Everland is operated by Samsung Everland, which is a subsidiary of the Samsung Group. This park was formerly called "Jayeon Nongwon" which roughly means "Natural Farm". Everland is South Korea's largest theme park. Along with its main attractions, Everland also includes a zoo and a water park known as Caribbean Bay.
        Our transit bus took us to gate number 4, and Kent was there waiting for us. He must have gotten in the earlier transit bus when we were busy relieving ourselves. Once everyone had arrived, we followed him to the entrance gate where he bought tickets for all of us. We waited under an umbrella fitted with heater for warmth. Armed with a ticket each in our hand, Kent led us into Everland Resort and stopped near a tall Christmas tree at Main Street. Here he briefed us the itinerary in Everland, "first we will visit the zootopia and hop on a safari bus for a safari tour, then followed by lunch and then it is free activities until 4 pm" he said in one mouthful. "If no question, then follow my flag", he continued. With that he handed to us each a map of Everland and led us the way to the Safari World at Zootopia section.
        Since it was nearing Christmas, most decoration colors were yuletide red and green. Along the way to Zootopia we met with some Everland's mascots, but unlike those that we were most accustomed with at Disneyland or Warner Brothers. Sorry, no Mickey or Goofy, or Pluto, or Donald or Spongebob Squarepant here. We took a skyline down to Zootopia area. The skyline is just a ski lift with our feet dangling in the air. It was only a short 10 minutes lift but a nice ride with the cold air rushing through our hair as we ascending from the upper station. 
          Here are some of the pictures that I took on the way to Everland Resort and on the way down to Zootopia:

Location: Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Coordinates: 37.295632°N 127.203999°E
Along the way to Everland, we passed by many hills grown with scrawny and thin forest trees - a result of Korean war in the early 1950s when the forest was set on fire to flush out enemy that use the forest for cover.
Finally after 2 hours journey ride, we arrived at Everland's bus parking place. Brrrr, it was cold, and once there we headed straight to the loo.
Bus stop for shuttle bus to Everland full of vending machines selling drinks.  
Here comes our shuttle bus that take us up to Everland's entrance.
It was crowded in the shuttle bus, but everyone was in a happy mood.
We alighted at stop no 4. We were asked to remember it as it will be same stop for the shuttle bus when we make our exit 
The entrance to Everland - Not much different from some theme parks in USA.
A customer buying entrance ticket at the counter. Luckily for us Kent got our ticket.
Mr. & Mrs. Cheng took the opportunity to snap a picture while waiting for our entrance ticket.
One for the family album against the backdrop of Everland, Korea.
The heater from the stand help to warm us up in this chilly weather
A female gate attendant manning the entrance gate ushered us in. 
Notice board showing the park operation time, and attractions that were open or closed.
The big tree at the middle of Main Street, Everland all decorated up as one big giant Xmas tree
Little M tried to get Yogi Bear to stop so that I can take his picture. However Yogi Bear did not understand English and continued on walking away. Poor Little M.
Not sure what is the name of this mascot as I had never seen her before.
Skyline ride down to Zootopia - legs were left dangling. The ride was quite similar to a ski lift ride.
Little M at the entrance at a gift center at the end of the skyline.