Aiin's World

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August 9th 2015
Published: August 31st 2015
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A round the world trip in an hour! Go on then! I had seen some pictures, I think on the Korean Tourism Organisation website of Aiin's World and thought it looked like a bit if kitsch fun. We took the subway to Samsan Gymnasium station on line seven. Aiin's World is a short walk out of exit 5, past the Hanok Village. When we arrived we found out that there were two different ticketing options. The first was the regular day ticket for 10,000 won, which you are able to gain admittance with until 6 pm. The second was 16,000 won and allowed entrance form 6 pm. This meant that you could see the Lighting Festival, which is when they light up all the models at 8 pm. Of course, we opted to see them all lit up, so we bought the tickets for that. Since it wasn't six o'clock yet, we retired from the heat to food court and sat in the cafe, sipping on iced coffees.

The park is set out into different sections, it goes by continents if I remember correctly. First up was Europe. We saw London Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace. Buckingham Palace looked funny, as we could see the Petronas Towers in the background. There was also a model of Stonehenge. Next there was a lake/river, where we could see that Statue of Liberty and some of the skyscrapers of New York, well everything is pretty tightly packed into the park, so there is a bit of continent hopping going on. Next up were the famous sights of France, we wandered past the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Arc de triomphe, and some other famous palaces and churches outside of Paris that I had never heard of. We then saw Schloss Belvedere in Austria. We came to Italy next and saw the Vatican City, Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Colosseum. The Colosseum was pretty cool, as you could go inside of it and then had a friend take your picture from higher up. Lots of fun!

From there we saw Gaudi's cathedral in Barcelona and a beautiful replica of the Milan Cathedral. Then it was on to Germany, where we saw the ruins of a church none of us recognised. There was also a model of a traditional German castle, I think it was maybe Neuschwanstein Castle, as that is probably the most famous castle in Germany. There was some kind of ruin, which looked like it was from Ancient Greece or Rome. Our last stop in Europe was Moscow. There was a great replica of St. Basil's, the Kremlin and the Red Square. It brought back memories of visiting Moscow. In fact, the whole park did. We were like been there, or where's that? It was fun trying to guess some of the more obscure places.

With a few steps we were now in the Middle East. We toured Egypt, I think the Valley of the Kings or some kind of temple and them Abu Simbel. I had loved Abu Simbel when I had visited it many years ago. We walked through Petra in Jordan, that wasn't the greatest model, and I can't wait to visit it for real some day in the future. We took a brief detour to Africa, to visit its highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. We also visited the Fe Medina in Morocco and then it was back to the Middle East to see the Imam Mosque in Iran. I had never heard of it, but the architecture looked really beautiful. Turkey was next, where east meets west. There was a replica of Hagia Sophia, it wasn't very good, not that I have seen the real thing, but I expect it to look a bit grander. My friend was totally unimpressed by it, and even went so far as to call it the worst model in the whole place.

There was a model of the Lost City of Atlantis which I found interesting. I really should read up on this story more. We were in Central and South America next. We saw the temples, I thought that these were pretty bad models, and I really hope that they look better in real life. Then it was Machu Picchu, which I also thought was pretty lame. I think they need to up their game and have some better models to improve their Central and South America sections. The Oceania section was also very lacking as there was only a model of the Sydney Opera House, but I suppose that area relies more on natural beauty rather than man made structures. Then it was back to the Americas and this time North America. We saw the Washington Memorial, that was pretty, and the Capitol Building. We also saw a NASA spacecraft ready for take off. There was also a model of the Lincoln Memorial, which I know nothing about.

We also saw the White House, that looked a bit crappy, and Mount Rushmore. Mount Rushmore is definitely somewhere I want to visit. Then we moved across to New York, there was a lot of skyscrapers, giving us the traditional New York skyline view. Grand Central Station also looked pretty impressive. Then it was the Rockefeller Centre and Times Square. Our last continent was Asia. We saw a Japanese castle, I can't remember which one, it could have possibly been Kumamoto, but t be honest they all look the same. We also saw the Great Wall of China, and the Forbidden City. There were a few other sights that I can't remember as I either didn't photograph them or the photos looked crappy, so I deleted them. There was a nice Korean section, which house Gyeongbokgung (the main palace in Seoul) Bulguksa Temple from Gyeongju and a pagoda that none of us had heard of before. We had all commented on how pretty the pagoda was. We were shocked to learn that it was in Gyeongju. Maybe I'll have to take a trip back there.

It took us about an hour to go around the park, looking at and taking photos of all the models. We had a quick look in the gift shops, but there was nothing that appealed to me in either of them. We were all starving by this point, so we decided to grab something to eat at the food court. I ordered from the Chinese place, prawn fried rice. I love that Korean places don't jack up the prices crazily at these kind of places. The food was only a little bit more expensive than at a regular place. My prawn fried rice was really nice, I don't eat it very often at all so it makes a nice change. There was some jjajang sauce on the side and a bowl of spicy broth, which I think is what they use in jjambong, a very spicy seafood and noodle dish.

By the time we had finished eating it was dark outside and we headed back into the park. It was quite a bit busier now, although still fairly quiet. It must be more of a night attraction than a day. We just did the same path around looking at all the models that were now lit up. They all looked really cute. Well, apart from some of the crappier ones. It kind of reminded me of the Garden of Morning Calm, except it was a lot warmer. There was also a gorgeous big lighting thingy (I don't know the proper word for it), that looked like stained glass windows in a church. We did have a good laugh near the end. We were in the Asia section and the Petronas Towers looked gorgeous, all lit up. My friends started laughing and then explained to me why. They had overheard a bloke telling his girlfriend that the Petronas Towers were actually some crappy set of towers in Seoul. Poor lad obviously didn't read the info board.

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