How did we live in Sokcho for almost 27 months (combined total) without going to Waterpia? Yes, it's a bit expensive (at W33,000 full adult price, with price drops later in the day) and can be quite crowded at times; however, our family had a blast! If we were staying longer, we would definitely go again.
When my friend invited us to join her family, I was a bit apprehensive. I don't have a swimsuit here and didn't really want to buy one just for a few hours at a water park. My friend reassured me that she just wears a t-shirt and shorts, so I could do the same. In retrospect, it would have been worth it to buy a swimsuit. Suits are also available for rent, but this strikes me as a little strange.
As soon as you go through the front entrance, you remove your shoes and take them to the locker with the number corresponding to a number on your receipt. You then take the key from that locker to use for the same number locker in the changing room. The key is on one of those spiral cord keychains that you can put on your arm or ankle while you're in the pool. It's all very well organized, which is typically Korean.
Matthew decided to wear his shirt, since my friend's husband was wearing his. As you can see, not everyone did this. The dads & toddlers spent most of their time in the shallow end of the wave pool, which was only on about 20 minutes out of every hour. (Matthew did get to go down the huge slide -- no toddlers allowed -- while the rest of us were having a snack. He went about eight times in a row, until his legs could no longer carry him up the stairs.)
That's my friend's nephew (her husband's second brother's son) catching a ride by hanging onto Matthew's shirt.
Rowan also enjoyed the wave pool during the brief time he was wearing his swim trunks. We ended up changing the babies back into normal clothes after a bit so they would be more comfortable in their carriers and not soak us. Also, I kept thinking Rowan was going to take his long-overdue nap. He finally did...after several hours.
I tried the "doctor fish" pool, which I'd added to my "Korean Coop List" after Mama Seoul suggested it and Kwangdong Brian confirmed that Waterpia had such a pool. It was a blast! My feet are EXTREMELY TICKLISH. INSANELY TICKLISH. At first, the sensation of dozens of little fish nibbling the dead skin off my feet and ankles (as far as they could reach) was almost unbearable.
By the time my friend took this picture, I had adjusted slightly, but still couldn't stop laughing and grinning like an idiot:
After a few more minutes, I became even more accustomed to the feeling and could hold steady enough to shoot this video:
MinJeong had tried the doctor fish briefly before, but had thought it felt too weird. When the attendant offered to let her stick her feet in for free (I paid W6000 like every other adult -- W4000 for children), she decided to give it another try. Her reaction:
Back in the wave pool, Liam rocked the pink flotation device that MinJeong borrowed from another friend:
Liam conferring with JunMin and his cousin JunHo (the H is pretty much silent):
Liam wound down a little in the kiddy pool while Matthew changed back into street clothes:
You could easily spend an entire day in the waterpark. There is so much to do (see the website for proof) and various eateries in the food court and scattered around the park, including a "well-being" Lotteria (which means it has a limited menu and doesn't serve french fries...boo!), a "Sand & Food" sandwich shop, and -- curiously -- at least two hot dog places, as well as more traditional Korean food.
We were there for about four hours, including snack time, but excluding changing time. Had we gone earlier in the day, Liam & his friend probably would have lasted longer. As it was, JunMin fell asleep on the car ride home and Liam went to bed quite soon after arriving home. (This was awesome because MinJeong and her husband came over to our place for fresh salmon and gourmet macaroni & cheese. We had a peaceful dinner with adult conversation as the babies quietly played together.)