I found Mario Kart! Sort of...

Enough said.

Actually, I guess I could mention that they do this pretty often...

I have to get ready for work! See you tomorrow.

Gyeongju World Amusement Park, Gyeongju

 Located on the southeast side of Korea, not too far from Busan, Gyeongju World serves as the region's biggest amusement park.
 While the park has four coasters, it suffers from the same problem Korea's other parks have.
 The theming is nice but the rides are old and pretty tame.
 Three of the coasters opened over 20 years ago (one is nearly 30 years old) and they certainly don't deliver much of a thrill.
 The usual Ferris Wheel gives a good view of the grounds and the surrounding countryside.
 Phaethon was built in 2007, and is the park's best attraction by far. I can't really say much about it though, as it was closed during my entire visit, due to the cold temperatures (note the snow on the ground).
 Space 2000 (or Atomic Coaster) was built in 1991 and has a couple loops. It's not terribly painful, but I didn't ride it a second time.
 Tornado is a fun ride at other parks, but it, too, didn't run while I was there.
 Here are the entrances to Phaethon and the river rapids ride, called Grand Canyon Adventure. Of course, the water rides were closed, but that's to be expected when it's snowing. I really wish Phaethon had been open, though.
 There is a decent collection of carnival rides and attractions.
 I really enjoyed walking through the children's section. They did a good job with some theming here, which you'll see a little later.
 Space Tour is a small wild mouse-style coaster, which was enclosed and rethemed as a spaceship-type of ride in 2006. It was closed on my visit as well, so there are two coasters I still need to ride here.
 Phaethon's lift hill behind a water ride.
 So, back to that kid's area. The theming here looks pretty new, so a recent renovation might have spruced up a bunch of the rides. There's a walkthrough area called Wizard's Garden with some great scenery.
I tried to return to the park on my second visit, but due to expected rain all day, the park's rides were essentially closed. I suppose the third time will be the charm here to get all four credits.

Also at the park is a full-on water park and a "culture expo" of some sort; I haven't checked out either.

Park hours can vary greatly depending on the season; in July they ranged from 9:50-18:15 to 8:50-20:45. Admission is 20,000 won ($20) and a free pass is 35,000 won ($35) for adults.

Access isn't too hard, though it can be a little bit tricky. From Seoul, take the KTX to Singyeongju Station. From there, catch bus 203 (or others) to the intercity bus terminal, where you'll need to catch bus 100 (faster) or bus 10 (slower, but can be more frequent) to the park. Keep your eyes open - bus 10's stop is just after the park, but bus 100 approaches from another direction and you'll need to listen for the correct stop (보문매운탕앞 - good luck with that one); you can basically see the park on the left side just as you reach the stop.

Google Maps has good bus information for Gyeongju (and most of Korea) so routing from Seoul can be done through its directions feature. It's also possible to take an intercity bus to Gyeongju and skip some of the steps above; ask at the visitor's center for whatever city you're in.

There is a visitor's center with minor English ability (enough to get directions and such) at the Gyeongju intercity bus terminal. The bus terminal clerks don't really speak English. As always in Korea, I recommend having your destination's name and address written in Korean characters to point at when asking directions or taking taxis.

North (N) Seoul Tower: Korea's Space Needle at Night

 Japan loves its observation decks; Tokyo has about a dozen between office buildings and the two iconic transmission towers. Korea has one of its own, lit up beautifully in the evening, which goes by the name N Seoul Tower.
 However, the North Seoul Tower is less about the view and more about being a romantic destination for a date. Koreans seem to like to go places on dates, like amusement parks, museums, and the zoo.
 Seoul doesn't have an iconic skyline outside of the tower itself, so being unfamiliar with the city means I spent my time up at the top looking at nameless buildings and random city streets. During the day I possibly could have identified some of the landmarks I had visited or would later see, but at night it's just a lot of city lights. That's not to say it was a waste of money; I just wish I had known more about the city or had visited during the day.
 The tower itself is pretty short but it's placed on top of a mountain in a park. There are some very dark areas in a few of the above photos which outlines the edges of the park; it's possible to walk up or down the mountain. My visit was in winter and I wouldn't advise trying it at that time of year. If time allows on a future visit, I would like to hike the mountain too. The base of the tower and the top both have souvenir shops and places to get food.
In winter you could have hot chocloate, though I'd prefer hot chocolate. The 3800 won price is about $3.80 in US money. While you're up at the top of the mountain, look for the thousands of padlocks where couples have professed their love by, well, locking a padlock to something.

There's also a teddy bear museum at Seoul Tower, and a few historically significant points in the vicinity.

To get to the tower at the top of Namsan Mountain, you can take a shuttle bus from Myeong-dong Station exit 3, Chungmuro Station exit 2, Seoul Station exit 9, Itaewon Station exit 4, or Hangangjin Station exit 2. It costs 950 won in cash, but it's cheaper if you use a transportation card and transfers are available.

From Exit 3 of Myeong-dong Station, you can also walk a ways to a cable car (8500 won round trip, 6000 won one way); this route includes using a free slanted elevator that is pretty slow. The shuttle buses are cheaper and faster. If you really want to walk up/down the mountain, it looks like the shortest route is from Seoul Station, though finding good details online is pretty tough.

North Seoul Tower is open daily, 10:00-23:00 (10:00-24:00 Fridays and Saturdays). The six restaurants open by 11:00 and close at 23:00 (22:00 for the snack bar). The observatory costs 9000 won ($9) for adults.

The National Museum of Korea, Seoul

 Japan's national museums aren't that large; I can think of only one real national museum in the country. Korea, on the other hand, really piles the artifacts on at each museum. As you've seen, the Agricultural Museum, Police Museum, and War Memorial and Museum all have significant collections and detailed information about their subjects of focus.
 The National Museum of Korea is an art history museum, and it, too, is simply massive. There are several floors in the gigantic building, each with several exhibition galleries.

 The exhibits are arranged generally by time period, with similar objects grouped together in most cases. There are so many objects that a true art lover could easily spend a whole day or more here!

 My interest lies in realistic, intricate works - usually, beautiful painted ceramics, statues and sculptures, and paintings of unique landscapes or scenes.

 However, I also enjoy seeing the art and beauty of science, industry, and society, so old writing, furniture and architecture, maps, and official seals also catch my eye.

 Three years ago, I had very little interest in Asian art. However, living in a country that creates it and visiting several others has brought me a greater appreciation for this genre. With that also comes a better (though not good) understanding of Eastern religions and, thus, enjoyment in religious works.

 It looks like the National Museum has a small collection of two-dimensional works, though there is a greater percentage than pictured. I like the styles of art for paintings you see here. But the collection of three-dimensional materials is outstanding!

 There is a large cafeteria serving local, Asian, and Western dishes that was crowded but good.
The museum opens daily (Tuesday through Sunday) at 9:00, closing at 18:00 Tuesday/Thursday/Friday, 21:00 Wednesday/Saturday, and 19:00 Sundays/holidays. Admission is free, though for 3000 won (~$3) you can rent a PDA or 1000 won you can rent an MP3 audio guide to really enhance your visit. There is a limit to the number of people who can visit the museum at the same time, though there are no tickets required. Special exhibitions might have an admission charge.

Take subway Line 4 or Jungang Line to Inchon Station and use Exit 2. There is an underpass from the subway to the museum called "Moving Museum" that was a nice addition.