Edited by Shirley Hwang
What do you do to beat the heat? You’ve tried taking cold showers, buying an extra electric fan, and escaping the afternoon sun in the theater. And you’re still drenched in sweat. Fortunately for you, there’s a solution to the dog days of summer. Thirteen water parks and plenty of public pools across the country bring you all the water slides and high dives you could ask for. This is your chance to turn the AC off and the fun on this July.
Resom Spa Castle
Yesan-gun, north Chungcheong Province
As the name suggests, this park is a spa resort. Indoors, there is a massive pool with different massage stations, where water shoots out toward different parts of the body. There’s also a shallow children’s pool and play area. Outdoors, there are several themed spas including a couples’ tub, gayageum (Korean stringed instrument) music tub, and a spa bar that serves nonalcoholic cocktails. The outdoor area has a nicer ambience in the evening.
There are three slides and a wave pool, although these attractions may not be as thrilling as the rides at other parks. The amenities and facilities are clean. One disappointment is the lack of dining choices: there is only one restaurant and it serves mostly Korean food.
HOURS: 9 am – 9 pm
DIRECTIONS: Express bus leaves three times daily from Nambu Bus Terminal
COST: W30,000 – W48,000, discounted rates after 5 pm
INFO: resom.co.kr/spa 041-330-8000
ADDRESS: 341 Sadong-ri Deoksan-myeon Yesan-gun Chungcheongbuk-do
Yongin, Gyeonggi Province
If you’ve heard of only one water park in Korea, it’s probably Caribbean Bay. Itâ€™s a part of the Everland Resort and is the largest indoor/outdoor waterpark in the world. It became even bigger in 2008 with the addition of the “Wild River Zone,” with rides including the 90-degree Tower Boomerango and tube slides. Attractions unique to Caribbean Bay are the boogie board/surfing ride and the Adventure Pool, where 2.4 tons of water pour down from a skull at random times throughout the day.
Because Caribbean Bay is the largest and best-known waterpark in Korea, it inevitably draws the largest crowds. Waits for popular rides can easily climb to an hour or two, and it can be frustrating to slide down a short ride after an extremely long wait. The worst-case scenario is when a ride has to be closed mid-queue due to poor weather during the rainy season in July. On the sunny side, facilities are kept up well despite the throngs of people. Visitors can enjoy a variety of restaurants throughout the park as well as bungalows, beach chairs, and resting “capsules” available for rental.
HOURS: Vary in July (outdoors rides generally open at 10 or 11 am). See website for details
DIRECTIONS: Bus 5002 from Gangnam St. (line 2, ex. 6) and other locations
COST: W35,000 – W45,000
INFO: everland.com/caribbean 031-320-5000
ADDRESS: 310 Jeondae-ri Pogok-eup Cheoin-gu Yongin-si Gyeonggi-do
Sokcho, Gangwon Province
Waterpia is more of a spa destination than an exciting water park. There are more than thirty different tubs to try, including hot spring tubs and others that use jets of water to give you a massage. Other than the spa areas, there are two slides, a flowing river, and two wave pools, though neither generate the large waves seen at other water parks. Because Waterpia is spa-oriented, it attracts families and doesn’t get as crowded as other parks.
Some of the tubs worth a visit are the “doctor fish” spa, where fish help you exfoliate by feeding on your dead skin; the herb spa, which is seasoned with an herb du jour; and the “well-being” spa, which has water infused with different aromas including ginseng. Waterpia is recommended for relaxing, but not for the rides. Also note that the food court doesn’t have a very large selection and what it does have can be pricey.
HOURS: 10 am – 8:30 pm (spa opens at 6 am)
DIRECTIONS: A Hanhwa Resort bus runs from four locations in Seoul buspia.co.kr
COST: W23,000 – W38,000, discounted rates for afternoon/evening passes
INFO: seorakwaterpia.co.kr 1588-2299
ADDRESS: 24-1 Jangsa-dong Sokcho-si Gangwon-do
Hongcheon-gun, Gangwon Province
You’ve seen the ads. This Egypt-themed water park is divided into three main sections. The Indoor Zone includes a kids’ pool, a water playground with smaller slides, and a spa area, along with other pools. The Indoor Zone is generally kid-friendly and has rest areas, but it isn’t as exciting as the Extreme and Dynamic Zones outdoors. Catch some waves at the Surfing Mount, a pool that creates 2.4 meter-high waves. The must-ride attraction at Ocean World, though, is the 300-meter-long Monster Blaster, the world’s longest two-person tube slide. Another cool ride is the Super Boomerango, where you’ll be tossed into the air while sitting on a tube.
Ocean World’s spa services are better than those at other water parks, offering high-end facials and massages with prices to match. The jjimjilbang area has heated rooms for sauna and relaxation, as well as sleeping rooms, though it would be anticlimactic to visit a water park to catch up on your Z’s.
HOURS: Indoors: 8:30 am – 8 pm, Outdoors 9 am – 6 pm
DIRECTIONS: A free Daemyung Resort shuttle runs from Sports Complex Station (line 2, ex. 6) and other locations throughout Seoul
COST: W41,000 for children, W55,000 for adults, discounted rates after 3 pm
INFO: daemyungresort.com 1588-4888
ADDRESS: 1290-14 Palbong-ri Seo-myeon Hongcheon-gun Gangwon-do
Even More Waterparks
Blue Canyon Pyeongchang, Gangwon
The usual lazy river, wave pool, children’s pool, spa tubs, and slides. W35,000 – W45,000 for an all-day pass*.
Peak Island Pyeongchang, Gangwon
Located at the Yongpyong Resort, Peak Island is an indoor/outdoor park, but the outdoor section is scheduled to open in July. W30,000 – W40,000 for an all-day pass*.
Playdoci Bucheon, Gyeonggi Indoor slides, pools, and two doctor fish tubs, where bathers can soak their feet and let the fish do the exfoliating. W18,200 – W27,000 for an all-day pass*. playdoci.com 1577-5773
The Ocean Resort Yeosu, South Jeolla
Hot springs in addition to indoor/outdoor slides and pools.
W34,000 – W46,000. theoceanresort.co.kr 1588-0377
Oksum Waterpark Jangheung, South Jeolla
This is a small, family-friendly park next to the beach with lots to eat. Opening date and prices not yet determined.
Jungheung Resort Naju, South Jeolla
Hot springs in addition to indoor/outdoor slides and pools. W34,000 – W46,000. theoceanresort.co.kr 1588-0377
Biki World Busan
A huge outdoors pool with inflatable slides and tubes at BEXCO. From 7/15 – 8/16. W15,000.
Sealala Seoul No exciting rides here. Go for a lazy swim or relax at the hot tubs and jjimjilbang.
W8,000 – W20,000. sealala.com 02-2628-9000
Water World Jeju Island Soak in the salt water sauna after a day playing on the slides and in the pool. W28,000 – W35,000. jejuwaterworld.co.kr 064-739-1930
*Discounts available for afternoon passes
Dive into Korea’s Swimming Pools
There aren’t a lot of public pools out there, but we’ve compiled a terrific nationwide list of some of the nicest public pools available. It’s a pretty comprehensive list, but if you’ve visited a nice pool in Korea, let others know where to go by commenting on this article at 10mag.com!
Rooftop Pool at the Hamilton Hotel Seoul
Yes, it’s okay to get a tan in Korea. Beat back the pale at the rooftop pool at the Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon. It often gets so crowded that there’s no place to sit, so queue before opening hours to reserve a poolside lounge chair.
Hamilton Hotel near Itaewon Stn. (line 6, ex.1)
10 am – 6 pm
Weekdays W12,000 Weekends W16,000
Han River Park Seoul
There are six pools run by the city of Seoul along the Han River at Ttukseom, Mangwon, Gwangnaru, Jamsil, Jamwon, and Yeouido.
Tip: go later in the afternoon to avoid crowds and the heat.
9 am – 8 pm
W3,000 – W5,000
Sheraton Walkerhill Seoul
Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel near Gwangnaru Stn. (line 5, ex. 2),
6 am – 9:30 pm
W35,000 – W55,000
Madeul Green Park Seoul
Madeul Green Park near Junggye St. (line 7)
9 am – 6 pm
W6,000 – W8,000
Daegu Duryu Pool North Gyeongsang
Duryu Park in Daegu near Duryu Stn. (line 2 ex. 14)
6 am – 9 pm
W1,700 – W3,000
Gumi Gumoland North Gyeongsang
Gumoland in Gumi. 253 Namtong-dong Gumi-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Weekdays 10 am – 5 pm, Weekends 10 am – 6 pm,
Busan Paradise Hotel
Access to an outdoor pool and spas.
Busan Paradise Hotel near Haeundae Stn. (line 2, ex. 1)
6 am – 10 pm
Yongin Leisure Water World Gyeonggi
427 Muk-ri, Idong-myeon Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si
10 am – 4 pm
Paju Honey Land Gyeonggi
Part of Honey Land, a theme park. 402-1 Janggok-ri Jori-eup Paju-si
10 am – 5 pm
W7,000 – W9,000
Bears Town Resort Gyeonggi
Opens late July.
295 Sohak-ri, Naechon-myeon, Pocheon-si
9:30 am – 5 pm
W8,000 – W10,000
Paju Youealleisure Gyeonggi
83-10 Majang-ri, Gwangtan-myeon, Paju-si,
Weekdays 10 am – 6 pm, Weekends 9 am â€“ 6 pm,
W10,000 – W12,000
Chuncheon Yukrim Land Gangwon
316-1 Sanong-dong, Chuncheon-si
9 am – 6 pm
W4,000 – W6,000
Gwangju Kumho Family Land Jeolla
148 Saengyong-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju-si
10 am – 6 pm
W7,000 – W9,000
Aquana Jeju Island
Indoor/outdoor pools at the Kumho Resort.
2384-1 Namwon-ri, Namwon-eup, Seogwipo-si
9:30 am – 8:30 pm
W18,000 – W25,000 (includes indoor spa and sauna)
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