Yahoo Travel Explorers, Israel video & next travels! Seoul’s strange indoor amusement park, Lotte World.
Announcing my next travels and writing projects, including the debut of my Israel travel episode! I’ve been hinting at some exciting destinations. In April, I’m embarking on a “Gothic pilgrimmage”:
I will be visiting Reykjavik, Iceland for the first time … followed by Manchester and Whitby Gothic Weekend in the UK!
Manchester’s not just famous for football — in fact, many of the earliest Goth and Punk bands emerged here. Joy Division, New Order, and The Smiths to name a few. Marketing Manchester is sending me on a journey to discover the city’s subculture, past and present. I can’t wait to take you around the Northern Quarter, the current hotspot for young chefs, artists and innovators.
I’ll also be stopping by Iceland, with the support of Visit Reykjavik. I’ve always wanted to see this unique and mysterious country with my own eyes — from Hallgrims Church to Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower. (Above photos via Wikipedia)
And I’m crossing off a bucket list destination: Whitby Goth Weekend! Twice a year, Goths gather in this English seaside town to celebrate dark music, culture and fashion.
Will you be at WGW festival? If so, let me know in the comments or on Facebook. I hope to see you there.
I’m also thrilled to announce I’ve started writing for Yahoo Travel. As one of the “Yahoo Travel Explorers” bloggers, I’ll be sharing my worldwide stories and videos on their site.
Finally, we’ve been able to release our Israel travel video! Watch me explore the surprisingly edgy culture found in this ancient place. Including hip Israel designers, creative fusion food, LGBT clubs, and the most fabulous drag queen of the holy land.
(See this episode above and on Yahoo Travel. Produced by Eric Bergemann and Melissa Rundle.)
Israel remains one of our most memorable trips to date. Here’s a bonus photo, from the boardwalk at Tel Aviv beach. I’m wearing a tank top and skirt from World Wide Love, the cute-ghost Tokyo brand.
I still have tons of posts to share from last summer, when I went all around Asia. Let’s go back in time to Lotte World, Seoul’s famous indoor amusement park.
This indoor theme park is the largest on the planet. The gates open up to a giant hall, framed by hot air balloon rides and roller coasters. Lotte World also has an outdoors portion with scarier rides.
On the way in, you’ll encounter the mascot, Lotty. He appears to be some sort of chipmunk-raccoon in a vaudeville suit.
Lotte World’s entrance fee ranges from 12,000 to 46,000 won ($12-44 US) depending on your age, the time of day, and whether you want full access to all the rides (try to go on weekdays to avoid the lines). You can also buy a “no riding” pass, and pay for each attraction individually (about $5-7 each).
Lotte World address: 40-1 Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A lot of families come to the theme park, as well as couples. Many of them wear matching outfits, which is a romance trend in Korea. Yes, those boys are wearing big red bows on their heads…
When the children are tired of posing with Lotty, take them to bibimbap and tour the Korean folk museum. Visitors can try on hanbok (traditional Korean dresses) and wedding outfits.
Outside, the Lotte Magic Castle looks a lot like the Disney one… Talk about a Korean Magic Kingdom.
The haunted house is a hoot, with live actors that seem to come out of a Korean horror film. These young girls were so scared. At each turn, they screamed and grabbed onto me and my photographers! We had to hold their arms and push them forward.
After, it’s all smiles and Victory-hand poses. Except for the Korean girl in the middle, who insisted on hiding her face.
The map lists so many attractions, from 3D shows to water rides. No wonder Lotte World is a popular destination for all ages.
People lined up for hours to experience the scarier rides, like a 70 meter Gyro Drop, or this Gyro Spin.
They cooled off by eating cute popsicles shaped like Lotty, or Hello Kitty. (Photography by Ken Yuen and noircorner.)
I love roller coasters, but I didn’t have the patience to line up. I was happy to visit Lotte World to see the quirky mascots and unique indoor rides.
I leave you with a ghoulish horror attraction…
… a group of stylish Korean teenage girls, doing heart hand-poses…
… and this shy youngster, who was playing with the rooster. For more adventures from Seoul, see all my Korea travel articles!
Please take a moment to watch our Israel travel video, on Yahoo Travel. It’s one of our favorites yet.
And let me know your tips for next destinations. I hope to see you in Iceland, Manchester and Whitby Goth Weekend!