Travel Stories

A travel blog for a long-term expat, backpacker, traveler, ESL teacher, and photographer. 

Gaya Land


I have a strange fascination with abandoned places. Perhaps this is why history is interesting to me, the holocaust and abandoned camps, Chernoybl even. Abandoned places tell stories. In Krakow, the film set to Schindler’s List is abandoned in an overgrown quarry. The set was once an area of celebrities and is now nothing but artificial camp fencing and concrete gravestones. Going to the place today is interesting because you can find pieces/artifacts that make you constantly wonder why in the world it is left behind.

Chernobyl and the ruins surrounding it is probably the top on my list in regards to travel. In fact, I traveled to Kiev in 2011 primarily to see Chernobyl, and most of all, Pripyat. (this did not happen because the zone was closed down the week I was there, graaaaah!). Pripiyat was the town surrounding the nuclear base that housed the workers and their families. This town was evacuated in a hurry and is almost like a time capsule of sorts. This was the time of communism in Ukraine; this was the time with Soviet Union posters splattered around the city. The radiated town consists of abandoned hospitals, schools, even an amusement park. It is my dream to explore and take photos of such a living time capsule and one day I will return for that trip.The idea of abandoned territory is fascinating, so, when I heard of an abandoned amusement park in the next city over, I jumped on the opportunity and gathered a group together to explore the empty, overgrowth.

The Gimhae amusement park, Gaya Land, is only recently abandoned (2010ish). Actually, after walking around the area, I understand why it was abandoned – it was small and the rides were very limited. I don’t think many children ever looked at the park and thought “this is where dreams are made of.”The park is guarded by dogs and dogs alone. When I say dogs, you automatically think Pit bulls, German Shepards maybe, however; it was quite the opposite. Three of the four dogs were ankle biting midget dogs and were hardly scary. One of our gang threw some food to the dogs as well and they stopped barking afterward. Real scary, Korea, real scary.

Rust was evident on most parts of the park thus making it risky to explore too much. (also because I am a loser and always play it safe). We found an abandoned baby carriage, clock, overturned lawn chair, and a skull statue, but in general, it was pretty empty in regards to possessions. Three out of five of us rode a swan ride. It was operable because there were pedals. Anyways, the place is much more amazing to see than to describe so, here are the photos: