Tag Archive: amusement park


Nha Trang

No problem on the overnight train. Went to bed around 10:00pm because everyone else in my car did and ended up being good because we didn’t get in to Nha Trang late, getting in just past 4:30am. It came to one screeching halt and I was scared (as the last overnight train I took when I was 16 in China went from being 12 hours to 24 hours due to mudslides) and fell back asleep to it moving.

Got to our hotel at 5:00am and 4 of 8 rooms were ready so we shared again and slept till about 8am. On the way to the hotel we saw the beach and tons of people working out.

Went to breakfast at 9 and it took quite a long time to get our food (turns out it was because our tour guide asked for the food to come when he was done playing pool with some of the people on the tour) from the sailing club. I got a frittata which was very oily and it was $5. Here I decided to spend the rest of the day at Vinpearl Land (amusement park) and got 3 others to join me.

Taxi back for 20,000 dong again and arrived at 7 when dinner was at 7:30. We went to the party area and walked into a sports bar where the lady was quite pushy and the music was loud so we left and went to Oasis where we ended up getting 4 free shots. Salad and beer for $3.50. After we talked to Red Apple because the lady boy at Oasis said it was good and it was decent. Buy one get one on cocktails. Then back to Oasis for our free drinks after 11:00. Home by 12:30 after trying to go to the beach party but they wanted over $5.00 so no. The beach should always be free.

Woke with a bit of a hangover from all the mixes but great weather so I signed up for snorkeling which picked us up at 8:35. Breakfast was a bit better than usual but terrible compared to what other people staying at the hotel got.

Left for dinner with the group at 4:50 and went to Yen which was on Trip Advisor and some went to yesterday. Spring rolls and lemon juice for 80,000 dong. I thought they weren’t going to be fried and then they were so I was a bit sad for my health but they were so good. Drink took a while.

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To get there we had to take a taxi for 20,000 dong each then go on a cable car (4 minutes) which is the longest one over water in the world at 3km long. It doesn’t stop so you have to hop on and off. On the way there we saw something carved into the mountain and the people going down it. So we went there first. It is called the alpine coaster and was like that ride I did in Germany where you control the speed. Had to go quite slow because the people in front of me did.

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Next we went on Roller Coaster twice, once at the front and again at the back and the back was scarier. Front felt like pushing while the back felt like dragging and like you were going to get thrown off. There was no line anywhere. We were then sweating quite a lot so we went to the waterpark.

10,000 for a locker and they put the key into a crayon-looking thing which went around your neck. We did Multi-slides 3 time, racing, black/space hole, kamikaze—they went twice, I went once because it is abusive!—tsunami slide too many times to count, flying boat twice, rafting slide 5 times, body slide twice and wave pool for a bit. The rafting slide and body slide had tubes which were painted like snakes and had slits of light coming though the pitch black so I thought it was quite fun. This was all in 2 hours. I fell out of flying boat and cut my elbow–so be careful!

Next we went to the aquarium which was really good for being included. There was a mermaid show and tunnel which a conveyor belt brought you though.

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Next was lunch at Lotteria. I ate leftovers from my train ride, followed by a fashion show.

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Then pirate ship, animal circus (depressing), 4d Aladdin movie, riding a bull, some arcade games (which I was terrible at), bumper cars (where I was a bull), swing carousel which tilted and evolution which had us hanging upside down for a longgg time. One of my friends freaked out in a very monotone way saying ‘oh my god. Oh my goodness’ so I correct him to say ‘oh my Buddha’ in-between laughing. We saw the sunset upside down.

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We then raced back to the alpine coaster and waited at the top so we could go faster. Still caught up with everyone.

Caribbean Bay

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Long weekend for Buddha’s Birthday so a friend and I went up to Everland’s water park–Caribbean Bay! You can take a bus via Pusan Tours to Everland and swap the ticket for a Caribbean Bay ticket (but you need your guide with the ticket receipt). Once they start selling more tickets for Caribbean Bay I’m sure you’ll be able to buy them from Pusan Tours too.

The inside part of Caribbean Bay opens at 9:30 and is open year round but the outside part (which opened when I went–MAY 17th!) opens at 11. Not all the rides were open, some open June 1st, but I’m not sure if we would have had time for all that!

Overall, you have to take off all jewelry (or anything that can fall off) and earrings–for your safety which I call b.s. because they just don’t want to have to find your necklace at the bottom of a pool. Many people wear life vests, but have them not buckled, so its competently a fashion statement. 90% of the water is not deep enough for adults to drown in (I could stand everywhere and I’m only 5’3″).

You can put money onto a wrist band to pay for things, but I don’t suggest doing that because the line for a refund is HUGE around the time people start leaving (and you don’t wanna spend half a day there, right?). What we did was take some money and put it in a mini locker with shoes, jewelry and shorts so we could access it easier than going back to the big lockers.

We started heading for the Wild River area right away but got detoured in Fortress by the Surfing Ride! Some people are basically professionals (at the ride–I don’t think they’d be good at a real beach). They brought their own bogy boards, wetsuits (yep wetsuits at a water park), hats, sunglasses, Roxy gear, Volcom gear, etc. and were in the line almost the whole time. We went for our first ride and last and saw the same people. There are many ways to fail at this ride. You can go left or right and get Lazy River’d–aka fall into another ride called Lazy River which goes around Fortress–or you can do what I did every time and get pushed over a bump and into a pool. I guess I was too light because the same thing happened to the little kids. Still fun.

Next we went to Wild Blaster which is a two person raft ride which was tons of fun! Lots of tubes to go though and splashing water.

Next we tried for Aqua Loop but if you have any jewelry you can go…so I couldn’t. My friend went and said it was basically water up your nose and a wedgie.

Next we tried to find food…but all the lines and restaurants were super packed and not veggie friendly. Lots of meat on a stick. I did get something similar to a snow cone though, with real fruit! Well, syrup and real fruit. They had churros which were dry and seemed like something new that year.

Next was Tower Boomerang Go and Tower Raft. They are right next to one another and Boomerang will probably have the longer line as it is just a massive drop. I felt my but in the air on this ride. While in line you can watch people and that is half the fun. Looks of fear and screaming…from grown men while their children laugh is always good. Raft had lots of turns and no big drops  but I went more than 50% up the curved walls which was terrifying. Screamed like a little girl (and not little girls on rides because they just laugh).

Next we went to the Wave Pool, where there is a green part where no one is allowed to stand EVER. If you don’t have a life vest you can’t be on the far side, even though with waves you just go up and down….the green part is the crash area which is the only ‘danger’. I still had fun. My friend who was on a swim club in school was pretty pissed though. There are a few pirate ships in the area and I got yelled up for going up it but then when the lifeguard saw my face he let me go…very strange.

We then went inside and did the Quick Ride which wasn’t that quick compared to the other rides. Maybe it’s quick because of the wait if you want a raft. For going without a raft there is a huge wait, but waiting for a solo or double raft was not too long and the wait at the top was not too long either. Fun ride, beautiful inside just because of the run shining though the tube. That’s on the 5th floor. The floors inside are pretty confusing. It’s all about 1/2 stair cases.

The 3rd floor is the best way to get on the Lazy River (depending on time, I’m sure). Lots of empty rafts are there and being collected so you can grab one and jump on going outside and back in. I’d say do two rounds and ignore the kids splashing and be lazyyyyy. It’s hard. But at some point you’ve gotta give up and stop saying ‘don’t push me!’

Their spa is pretty nice with 2 hot rooms and a hot pool.

Shanghai in 8 hours

On my way to India, I had a layover from 12:55pm to 8:30pm–taking the time to get out of the airport and to where my friend wanted to meet plus the time to get back to the airport and the 2 hours to check in….it was really from 2:50pm to 6:30pm, and 3 hours and 40 minutes in Shanghai.

You CAN leave the airport in Shanghai if you are from certain countries if you have a layover that is less than 48/72 hours–if it’s longer I’d imagine you went there on purpose…really after 12 I think you’re there on purpose but on my way back it was 22 hours to make the flights super cheap. You can’t be coming from Hong Kong, stay in Shanghai for 48 hours and then go back to Hong Kong, have to go somewhere else so its really a layover and not a short trip. I don’t understand why the government doesn’t promote this more, since it really is just a great way for the country to make some tourism money. I’m not sure why else it exists.

Anyway, after you leave the airport, you can get on the metro easily and go anywhere! Both airports are on the green line and I went to Jing’an Temple to meet my friend (another English teacher) as she lives near there.  This took about an hour. At the airport stop (at least at mine, Pudong International) there are some weird decorations to let you know you’re in China. They were all in bad lighting, so my flash always popped up.

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Once getting off I could see that China was still all decked out for the Lunar New Year

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We went to lunch at Din Tai Fung which is famous from dumplings so we got the Mushroom ones and the Vegetable ones. My friend is a meat eater and said she liked the Mushroom ones because they were more ‘meat like’. We also got the most popular side dish which was sauteed greens in garlic. So good. There is a reason it’s the most popular. Service was a bit odd as we got everything separate, but it was busy. They have soy sauce and vinegar on the table for you to mix, and deliver very pretty ginger for you to use in your mix as well. You can watch the dumplings being made, but I’m not sure how anyone would know which are theirs.

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After that we walked though new Shanghai which is filled with sky scrapers. There was also a knock off market. I was quite surprised at how people just yelled what they were selling at you. We didn’t buy anything, but we went back on my return layover.

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We ended up at Peoples Square where parents advertise their unmarried ‘old’ children for wed. I put old in quotes because by American/Western standards they are not old, only about 25. The signs will list their age, height, likes and dislikes and other parents will make notes of things to show their children. I don’t think I saw any of the kids actually there. There is a separate area for people who are willing to accept non-Chinese nationalities.

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There is also an amusement park with some really unsafe looking rides…

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And of course Cherry Blossoms!

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Next we decided to walk to the waterfront to see the skyline. While we were walking it started to rain, but hardly enough to need an umbrella, but of course everyone pulled them out. I have a horrible fear of getting hit in the ey by an umbrella.

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When we got to the waterfront I remembered being there when I was 16 and we did a boat cruise. I was hoping my mom could go though those old pictures (not on my computer) and find one of me in Shanghai but she couldn’t. I guess I didn’t take many pictures of myself on the trip and relied on others, but if we had shared them, they would have sent them and we would have saved them, right?

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Realistically, the photos below was the only reminder that I was in fact, in China which is a ‘communist’ country.

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Next was the subway back to the airport, where my friend told me that I had, realistically, seen all of new Shanghai in one day–less than that!

Everland: Christmas Fantasy

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There was/is a deal to go from Busan to Everland for their Christmas Fantasy for 55,000KRW (bus one way and entry to the park) and since Everland entry is 40,000KRW anyway–why not?

Everland seems like a nice try at making a Korean Disney–as you can even see from the animals on the ticket.  They have a It’s a Small World After All ride (Global Village), Dumbo, etc and areas devoted to different parts of the world like Epcot.

We took the first bus from Busan (5:20am) and got there before 10am which is when they open. There were about a million kids there on school trips!

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There were some great decorations and other areas that were just beautiful because of the snow.

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When we arrived, most of the rides were closed because it was ‘too cold’ for them to be open. As that morning had not been any colder than other mornings around that time of the year, I thought it was a rip off because if it did not get warm enough they would not open the rides. I understand the safety aspect, but why would they not say this on their website? I would have wanted money back if all the roller coasters and fun rides had stayed closed all day–I don’t want to go on kiddie rides all day! After lunch all the rides opened though! Well, all but the steepest wooden roller coaster in the world–T Express. (I don’t think their website is correct in saying it is the steepest ride in the world because a few years ago a roller coaster in Florida opened with a 90 degree drop in it.)

Hurricane: The first ride we went on. I had low expectations since they let us hold our backpacks but it went A LOT higher than I thought. Good ride. With some odd signage.

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Championship Rodeo: This ride was very ‘Americanized’ and turned into a wild-west themed rodeo with posters of Western movie heroes riding horses and trying to catch bulls and the like. The ride itself was quite good, spinning in a car which spins on an access which will throw you back and forth so it is like you are at a rodeo.

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Global Village: copy of It’s a Small World After All. Creepy dolls galore with mostly European countries represented (only 3 from the Americas, 1 from Africa and 4 from Asia).

Flying Rescue: A kids ride, but a fun one. You control the up and down of it while it spins around (but we were never sure who were were supposed to be rescuing). I’m trying to look mean in the picture below because both sides get a control and we were saying that it was going to be “I want to go up” “WELL TOO BAD I WANT TO GO DOWN” and then you slam on the lever.

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Peter Pan: Don’t understand the name of this one as the carts were all attached to a viking style ship, not a captain hook looking one. That is what I originally thought anyway, looking at the picture below, I’m not sure why I did. But alas, it was a bit boring as you did just go in a circle with a few up and downs that did not go that high. The only bit that amused me was when I noticed the only thing making us go around is one wheel on the track–which I thought was odd because there could have just as easily been more.

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Magic Swing: The lady who locks you in slammed the bar on my leg and when I let out a yelp she just looked at me, pulled the bar up and when I moved my leg put it back down without looking sad or saying anything. You slide back and forth and spin (not all the way around, just like 90 degrees).

Rotating House: trick on your mind: you sit and the room spins. I expected that, and then still freaked out a bit, grabbing onto the bar for dear life before realizing my hair and scarf were not starting to hang above my head and I didn’t move at all. There are goblin creatures speaking to you the whole time, seemingly fighting.

Mystery Mansion: shooting game! You have a speech by an old man about ghosts and how you can shoot them with a lazer gun (it was in Korean, but there was a sign in English before entry), then sit on a cart which goes though a tunnel and you shoot green dots. I got second place and my friend got 1st.

Pororo 3D Adventure: don’t let the fact that there are English subtitles in the entry fool you–there are none inside the actual theater itself. That being said, you don’t really need them as the story is pretty easy to figure out–cute, and a good way to sit inside and away from the cold.

Racing Coaster: kids roller coaster, but don’t dismiss these. They can be quite fun and this one did not disappoint! Never a long line and the rides are just as long as the ‘adult’ ones.

Rolling X-Train: Good roller coaster, longggg line (at least when I was there). Two loop-d-loops!

Let’s Twist: I have never seen a ride like this and I loved it! Lot’s of 50s American music playing and lots of flips. During the ride I worried about how well others had tied their shoes on….

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Double Rock Spin: Standard ride that I love. This one spun a lot more than any I had been on before–if you get to the top the main operating it will just spin you in circles which was awesome to me!…but made my friend sick.

Top Jet: Another fun kids ride! You go in circles and control if you spin more and go up and down.

Petting Zoo: sheep, chicks, bunnies, roosters, and hamsters–the sheep were really interested in my popcorn!

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Safari World: It’s….interesting. The bears have been trained which I don’t think is a good idea…what if people get too comfortable with them, forgetting they are wild and they kill staff? Or the kids who see them doing tricks think they area always like that and approach one in the wild? Was pretty cool to see white tigers, but they also have lions which were not in the right setting–snow with 3 male lions in the same pride. Not sure if two were young ‘uns but they didn’t look small…I think there were some ligers too (they were advertised but I’m not sure if I saw a liger or a big lion).

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Moonlight Parade (~12/31): Beautiful parade! My friend did say that it did not change in 10 years though, which would be a bit dull if you went every year (either in it or had kids who couldn’t remember that it was the same everytime). The floats were amazing and one had fire coming out of it!

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Magic in the Sky (~12/30): Since when is Santa a pyro? He was conducting fire and fireworks in this show.Also, the fireworks go off pretty close to you and are angled to not go directly off, but go towards the audience, which made sense of the message to ‘look out for falling debris’. Pretty good show for 10 minutes.

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