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Tourists step out of Seoul to find new attractions

2018/10/27 07:00

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GOYANG, South Korea, Oct. 27 (Yonhap) -- Snow started to fall from the ceiling as the clock struck noon, and tourists from Southeast Asia, who were seeing snow for the first time, shouted in joy, taking photographs.

This is a scene from Onemount, an all-in-one playground that has a water park, a snow park and a shopping mall.

At the snow park, it's already the middle of winter.

Onemount is usually very popular in the summer. This year, when the heat wave was breaking records, local visitors packed the facilities.

These days, group tours from Southeast Asia can be frequently spotted.

An aquarium built by Hanwha Group is right next to Onemount, just a stone's throw away. In between them is a tourist information center for Goyang, a city just west of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province that surrounds the capital.

There are tourist spots like this that are especially enticing for visitors from China and Southeast Asia in the Seoul metropolis area.

The most popular destination, however, is Everland, an amusement park in Yongin, south of Seoul.

Inbound travel agencies offer tour packages that include a visit to Everland and trips to regions outside of Seoul. They say that Everland is the most favorite pick by visitors except in winter.

When it is winter, Lotte World, an indoor amusement park, is the place to go for its variety of programs available out of the cold.

Another all-year-round attraction is the Gyeongin Ara Waterway in Gimpo, west of Seoul.

Some travel agencies arrange a cruise on the waterway. If you go on the cruise at the right time, you get to see a romantic sunset.

Once the ride is over, it's shopping time at Hyundai Outlet. Many people coming in group tours are interested in shopping, so travel agencies make sure to include stops at Hyundai Outlet or the nearby Lotte Outlet in Goyang.

Petite France in Gapyeong, just northeast of Seoul, is also a popular choice by foreign tourists.

One of the most talked about spots is Nami Island. Tour agencies describe the island as the place that draws the biggest re-investment. Tourists who have been there will find something new every time they visit.

Nami Island first became an attraction as the background of the legendary South Korean drama "Winter Sonata," but steady investment in the island continues to draw a consistent flow of returning tourists.