Landmarks / Places

The Land of Forgotten Toys: Yongma Land (용마랜드)

When listing all of Korea’s most beautiful landmarks, an abandoned amusement park may be the furthest thing from your mind. Yet it may just be one of the most memorable palaces I’ve ever been to in Seoul.Yongma LandOctopus Bumper Cars

In an older part of Korea, near a traditional family burial ground at the base of Seoul’s eastern mountains, lies an abandoned wonderland. 용마랜드 (Yongma Land) opened its gates in 1983, but was closed in early 2011 due to poor sales. Now partially torn down, it has been taken over by its surrounding environment. It’s amazing what nature can do in just a few short years.Santa's Sleigh Dumbo Train

Though long abandoned, it certainly has not been forgotten. In fact, this place has been the shooting location for Korean movies, dramas and even music videos (Crayon Pop’s – 빠빠빠). It is often used as a backdrop for enthusiastic cosplayers and fashion models. Additionally, it serves as a muse to many captivated photographers (myself included).HollywoodCarousel Broken Lights

Despite the glaring “No Trespassing” sign on the entrance gates, there is a phone number provided to request admission. Property owner Youn Seong Gu maintains a small office on the park grounds to allow curious visitors in for a mere ₩5,000 per person! After that, he gives you free range of the park and just asks that you be respectful and careful with the property. He also shows you where you can find a working restroom (no need to do your business in nature).Space FighterDragonsToy Graveyard AI

There is just something so hauntingly beautiful about this place. Though  worn down by the elements, you can still see the small flecks of vibrancy in the faded murals, whimsey in the chipped faces of the characters and grandeur in the carousel. There are traces everywhere of the youthful enchantment that once was. In a lot of ways it’s a bit sad, like some kind of metaphor for growing up and leaving your childhood behind.Clown CarSailor MoonAnime Fan

Setting my poetic license aside (lol), 용마랜드 is a definite must see for all you photographers and travel junkies. It’s just something you don’t see everyday and it will certainly make an impression on you. While the park is not very big, it’s really easy to end up spending an entire day there especially once you get your creative juices flowing. So the next time your feeling adventurous, head on over to 용마랜드! Until next time…Love

4 thoughts on “The Land of Forgotten Toys: Yongma Land (용마랜드)

  1. Great post! I’ve been curious about this place since I’ve seen it in both Baek Ji-Young’s Hate and Crayon Pop’s Bar Bar Bar. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s