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Emily and Adrian’s Korean Adventure, Sponsored by Lotte

with 5 comments

Lotte is everywhere in South Korea. Literally everywhere. What began life as a fledgling enterprise selling chewing gum to schoolkids in post-war Japan is now South Korea’s biggest conglomerate, employing more than 60,000 people.

What amused us was the way in which this company – which is still run by its founder’s family – has managed to grab a slice of just about every market. Sort of like Virgin, but much more ubiquitous. If you go to South Korea, you can stay in Lotte Hotel, shop in Lotte department store, watch a movie in Lotte cinema, eat a Lotteria burger … and pay for all of it with a Lottecard. You can even watch the Lotte Giants play baseball, and buy some Lotte insurance in case you’re unlucky enough to get smacked on the head by the ball.

By far the best Lotte money-spinner, however, has got to be Lotteworld, in Seoul – South Korea’s answer to Disneyland, and in some ways very reminiscent indeed (see photo!). Lotteworld is an indoor theme park set over 4 floors with an ice-rink in the basement and a bridge leading to an outdoors ‘island’ with yet more exciting rides.

Magic Kingdom, anyone?

Magic Kingdom, anyone?

We were astonished that Lotteworld was in fact a proper theme park – being indoors we assumed it was probably more like a fairground, with a waltzer, a carousel and not much else. Well, it had a waltzer, it had a carousel … but it also had some seriously impressive rollercoasters, a ghost house, several ‘gyro drop’ contraptions, an indoor boat ride through Pharaoh’s temple (yes, really) and, possibly best of all, a balloon ride suspended from the ceiling which circled the perimeter of the park.

Look down for ice rink, up for balloons!

Look down for ice rink, up for balloons!

Even though we visited on a Friday, Lotteworld was packed with schoolkids who were clearly having a marvellous time. A group of them even cajoled us into posing for a picture for them outside the Ghost House. [Directorial instructions: “Make a scary face. No – more scary! No – even more scary!”]

By about 4pm, the kids were marched away and we enjoyed an evening of many rollercoasters with reasonably short queues. Unlike the UK, Korea has the sense to keep its theme parks open until 11pm, because there’s nothing quite like strapping your exhausted body into a motorbike-style coaster seat and plummeting face-first into a terrifying abyss … go Lotteworld!

Written by Emily

October 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I want to go there now!

    David Robertson

    October 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

  2. Hi Emily and Adrian. No idea if I’m writing my response in the right place or if you will ever see it. Just wanted to say am much enjoying your blogs. I know it is very wrong of me but I fell about with your description of the Tale of Two Tours of the Great Wall. Amazingly in just over a week’s time we too shall be experiencing the Wall. Have checked where and needless to say it is the Badaling overcrowded bit. However it is intimated we will do this in a part-day and will have “plenty of time” to walk along the ramparts. From your experiences I am expecting that plenty of time will be a max of 20 mins!!! No doubt there will be jade, pearl and silk factories nearby that we will manage to visit! We are on an organised, having our hands held at all times tour which packs in all the main China tourist action. Nothing wacky or unusual for us thank you!!!!

    Was most interested in Lotte World. The indoor theme park sounds absolutely amazing. Mind you I guess it’s like these cruise ships which have full size theatres and ice rink. I can see that if you are having a big impressive leisure entity you absolutely MUST have an ice rink.

    Anyway happy travelling! Lots of love Cathy xxx

    Cathy I'Anson

    October 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

  3. Dave – definitely go there, it’s worth the cost of the flight to Seoul!

    Cathy – yep, you’ve commented in the right place. Welcome to the world of blogging! Have an AMAZING time in China. For all our complaining, the Wall is awesome and even if you spend 5 hours in pearl factories and 5 minutes at the wall, it’s still worth doing. From what we’ve heard you should have at least an hour on the Baladaling tour, and it will be an hour well spent!

    Where else are you going in China? We’re actually heading back this weekend (double entry visa!), and we’ll be heading overland from Shanghai to Hong Kong. It would be super-cool to meet up if we happen to be in the same place at the same time!


    October 14, 2011 at 1:23 am

    • We will e-mail your findthehill e-mail with our dates/locations to avoid boring other blog watchers to tears!

      It would be utterly wonderful to meet up with you in China, or perhaps more realistically Hong Kong, if the timings work out, Fingers crossed.

      Anyway hope your overland from Shanghai to Hong Kong is great.

      All the best Cathy xxx

      Cathy I'Anson

      October 14, 2011 at 7:51 pm

  4. You might not be surprised to hear that Lotteworld sounds like my idea of hell – what’s its carbon footprint I wonder. But it’d still be hell even if it produces nothing but oxyen. But there, you are the children of the 21st century. x


    October 14, 2011 at 8:13 am

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