What you need to know: Trip guide to Wave Park in Siheung South Korea

Wave Park opened its doors this week for the 2021 season. Here are wave pool prices, hours, stay options and much more about the world’s biggest public surf park

Wave Park in South Korea is the wave pool du jour after spiking everyone’s dopamine levels with social media nuggets of long rides, deep barrels and new air sections. Wave Park uses Cove technology, a design that generates waves through a series of modules laid out along a central wave-making device. Urbnsurf in Melbourne employs 46 modules while The Wave in Bristol uses 40 modules. This wave pool powers its sessions with a whopping 56 modules.

If you want to surf this modern wonder you have to get here, stay here, find a place to eat, buy your tickets and generally navigate a totally new attraction. WavePoolMag will be visiting Wave Park once COVID restrictions ease and we can bring our readers an exhaustive first-hand account. To tide you over until that time we spoke with Euna Kim the Assistant Manager of the theme park division of Daewon Plus Group, the developers behind Turtle Island, to divine some much-needed insight into how one would take a surf trip to the world’s latest wave pool.

Included at the bottom of this article is a quick “Takeaways” section listing prices, times and other information to help plan your trip to Wave Park.

wave park south korea lawn
As much of the clientele is in the beginner to intermediate category, advanced sessions are fewer and book up sooner. So make your reservation well before your visit.

First off, what is the official name? We’ve heard “Siheung Surf Park”, “Wavepark” and “The Daewoo Wave Pool”
The official name is “Wave Park,” located in the city of Siheung, and built and operated by the Daewon Plus Group.
You are an assistant manager at Wave Park, but your title also says “translator” and international communications. That’s a lot. What do you do there? 
I am the Assistant Manager of the theme park division and I’m in charge of international partner communications as well as looking for new attractions from abroad. 
What advice would you give to someone who wants to visit Wave Park?
I would recommend that customers book online in advance. People can also walk-in and book your session, but many slots sell out quickly since the park provides different waves for all levels – beginners, intermediate and experts. Along with bookings, you can also top up your Surf Coins online, which operates with your RFID bracelet. Surf Coins can be used in all subsidiary facilities inside Wave Park including the restaurants, gift shops and our rental stores. 

reception desk at wave park
Most of booking and paying for your session is done online, but park employees are also there to help guide you through the process.

Do I need to rent a car to get from the airport to Wavepark?
Wave Park is located less than an hour away from Incheon International Airport. It is a 45-minute car ride from the airport, which is about 35,000 KRW (approximately 30 USD) by taxi. You can rent a car from the airport to Wave Park, this will provide you more opportunities to explore the area and the city of Siheung.
Are there hotels nearby, or can I stay on-site?
Seahi Hotel ($75 per night) is the nearest hotel to Wave Park; it is just a ten-minute drive away and the trip is 5,000 KRW ($5) by taxi. Rooms overlook the famous Oido Sea and the island off the west coast of Siheung. Right in front of the hotel, you can walk along the sea on the left while finding a wide variety of local foods on your right like sliced raw fish, noodle soup with clams and roasted clams. Wave Park is also associated with hotels in nearby Songdo City. There are five-star hotels and here, you can find more urbanized luxury hotels featuring nice lobbies, room services and swimming pools.

Seahi Hotel ($45-$75 per night)
The Seahi Hotel ($45-$75 per night) is a short cab ride away from Wave Park. The area offers a variety of stay options for the traveling wave pool surfer.

What other things are there to do at the wave pool – swim, eat, dance?
Located right next to the Surf Academy building is the festival stage where we regularly host functions such as DJ parties, holiday celebrations and concerts. Next to the stage is the Surflex which offers beer. Also, Wave Park is currently constructing a large plunge pool for swimming, tube riding, and scuba diving, and an indoor pool with virtual ceilings. Finally, there are food options galore all over Wave Park offering Western fare like burgers as well as local Korean dishes.

Please enlighten us. Most people know about Kimchi and the supergroup BTS, please share with us a few cultural surprises about South Korea so our readers can be prepared when they visit.
It is so remarkable how much Korean contemporary culture has become known outside our country in recent years. As many know, the Korean movie, Parasite, even won Best Picture at the Academy Awards earlier this year. I think most first-time visitors to Korea know about Seoul, which is our political, economic and entertainment capital of our country. But if you have more than a few days to spend, please take the time to explore other places in our country.

Korea is small but very mountainous. This means that many cities and villages of Korea have a distinct culture, cuisine, and even dialect apart from its neighbors. I am from Busan, which is the second-largest city in Korea and one of the largest port cities in the world and is known for our beaches, hot springs, nature reserves and events like the Busan International Film Festival. Another place to visit is Jeju Island which is a volcanic island filled with waterfalls and is popular for honeymooners. Finally, Korea keeps changing—Siheung was just a small city two years ago before Wave Park was built. So one of the biggest surprises of our country is that you need to visit again and again in order to see everything!

Getting into wave park south korea
The hottest ticket at the moment in the wave pool world. Getting into wave park at the grand opening.

Finally, What’s your favorite wave setting at Wavepark?
Personally, I love the Malibu 2-3 settings, which provides perfect waves for cruising, longboarding and easy surfing. Here is a video clip for you to see our Malibu waves

(Editor’s note, prices are rounded to the nearest US dollar.)
[Basic] Entry tickets to Wave Park      
15,000KRW Adult  ($14.00)       12,000KRW Child ($11.00)

[Free Surfing] Reef Advanced: Malibu 4 and Turns 1 Cove Setting (1hour)            
70,000KRW Adult ($64.00)         67,000KRW Child ($60.00)                            
Board/Suit rental fee not included

[Free Surfing] Reef Intermediate: Malibu 2 and 3 Cove Setting (1hour)        
55,000KRW Adult ($50.00)       52,000KRW  Child ($47.00)
Board/Suit rental fee not included

[Free Surfing] Bay Beginner (1hour)  
45,000KRW Adult   ($40.00)      42,000KRW Child ($38.00)      
Board/Suit rental fee not included

[Surfing Academy] Beginner (Lv.1)    
75,000KRW Adult ($68.00)        72,000KRW Child ($65.00)
Board/Suit rental fee included

[Surfing Academy] Beginner (Lv.2)    
75,000KRW Adult ($68.00)       72,000KRW Child ($65.00)      
Board/Suit rental fee included

[Surfing Academy] Level up   
75,000KRW Adult ($68.00)       72,000KRW Child ($65.00) Board/Suit rental fee not included

[Surfing Academy] Advanced: Malibu 4 and Turns 1 Cove Setting   
125,000KRW Adult ($112.00)     123,000KRW   Child ($110.00)

Once completed, the whole development will resemble the above artist rendering.

Lessons from the Surfing Academy for beginner level and up include all the surfing gear like soft surfboard and wetsuit, while our free surfing sessions and advanced lessons do not include such gear.

Surf board: 16,000 KRW ($14.00)        
Wetsuit: 8,000 KRW ($7.00)
Hard board: 40,000 KRW ($36.00)

9:30-17:00 Sunday-Thursday
12:30-21:00 Fridays
9:30-20:00 Saturdays

-Easy to get to from the airport ($30 taxi ride)
-Book early as expert sessions have limited times
-Hotel options in Siheung range from modest to five-star luxury
-All transactions within the park are done through an RFID bracelet loaded with “Surf Coins” which you can do online or at the park
-Hours labeled “Surfing Academy” include lessons. “Free Surfing” hours don’t include lessons or guides.
-The grand, overall Turtle Island complex is still under construction, but there are lots of food options both in the park and next door along the beach.
-Spend some time taking in nearby attractions like Jeju Island and its waterfalls

Endless Surf 2023A