Of course, bumper cars had not been my intention that day. Had I known it was going to be a day for bumper cars, I might have planned things differently. But, who expects such things as bumper cars? I sure don’t.
Fortunately, I like surprises.
The truth? I had just been hankering after a seacoast to smell some salt air. I hadn’t known there was an amusement park there at all, or else I had forgotten. This one appears to have been renovated within the last year or so. The paint on everything is still quite shiny.
Wolmido, or Wolmi Island in English, lies directly adjacent to Incheon, and was the location of one of the three amphibious assault landings that helped to turn back the North Korean Army during the Police Action. It is the site of an American war crime, as well: in September of 1950, 93 canisters of napalm were dropped here which killed several hundred civilians. You probably didn’t know that. I didn’t. My high school history teacher forgot to mention it.
(Yes, I’m very sure the other side committed atrocities as well. Point is, you are not supposed to drop jellied gasoline on women, children and old people, not ever, but it happened and they don’t tell us about it in school.)
The island is connected to the mainland by a highway and a monorail, still not completed, and it houses this amusement park, some seafood restaurants and a small ferry terminal for tours of nearby islands. There are roller-coasters and merry-go-rounds in the amusement park also. I’m only showing pictures of bumper cars today.
If you want to take pictures of bumper cars, go during off-season on a weekday, and show up in the middle of the afternoon so that the inside lights are off and lots of indirect sunlight is coming in from the sides. This is just logical, if you are a photographer, but I discovered it by accident. And now, you don’t have to.
Do I have to tell you how to get there? What do I look like, The Lonely Planet? Heck, they don’t tell you how to get there, so I guess I better.
It’s easy. You’re in Seoul, you get on National Railway Line 1, you go to the end. If you end up in Cheonan or Soyosan it means you were going the wrong way. It’s Incheon Station, what you want. That’s where you get off. There’s a bus, but really if there are 2 people a taxi is just as cheap and just as easy. Takes about an hour and a half from Yeongdeungpo Station.
There’s an album at Flickr with some photos of that afternoon at Wolmido. Not just bumper cars, other things, too.