I’m not sure if “waterpark” needs to be in quotes above, but it sure fits the bill for kids in early elementary school. This is no competitor for Caribbean Bay, but it is a great place for a family to spend the day and I think around one-twentieth the price of Caribbean Bay, too.
Indeed, Busan does children’s aquatic entertainment right, with free fountains and shallow pools (Samnak Park’s 60 cm deep pool is great and just a little downstream of Hwamyeong) spread throughout the city. Hwamyeong isn’t free, but plenty cheap; two thousand for the little guy and four thousand for me.
Hwamyeong consists of one large pool, most of which is eighty cm deep, plus a ‘river pool’ and water playground.
Here is the large pool:
and the playground:
and the river pool:
The parasols seen in the background of a few photos are free. They are also quite low to the ground; during the times I saw a lot of blue bathing suits, I felt like a Smurf under a toadstool.
I guess if more westerners visited, these loungers would see more action:
I went to the park with my son and we met his uncle and aunt and three cousins. I had a great but exhausting time shepherding the kids but noticed that most kids had no adult nearby. The lifeguards seemed vigilant but I just can’t understand Korean parenting around beaches, pools and waterparks.
As for me, the four kids frequently wanted to go to diverse places and I struggled to keep them all under my eye.
We all had fun in the river pool. I would hold the youngest and spin around as the current pushed us around. The water was just deep enough for me to kneel and slide my shins or feet along the bottom. When we left the park, I found my toenails had been ground down quite thin.
English Busan tells us:
Opening hours are from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. and the price is 4,000 won for adults, 3,000 won for youths and 2,000 won for children.
How to get there: Take Metro Line No. 2 to Sujeong Station then leave by Exit No. 3, or take Bus No. 15, 59, 111, 121 or 126 and get off at Sujeong Station.
For more information, please contact the Busan Nakdong River Project Executive Office at 051) 333-3238.
I want to go there again! I would describe it as a better than the Dadae waterpark I visited a few weeks ago, although the other attractions in Dadae – the fountains and beach- may give it the edge overall.