Yahoo Travel Explorers, Israel video & next travels! Seoul’s strange indoor amusement park, Lotte World.

Reykjavik iceland bloggers trip

Announcing my next travels and writing projects, including the debut of my Israel travel episode! I’ve been hinting at some exciting destinations. In April, I’m embarking on a “Gothic pilgrimmage”:

I will be visiting Reykjavik, Iceland for the first time … followed by Manchester and Whitby Gothic Weekend in the UK!

manchester goth bands

Manchester’s not just famous for football — in fact, many of the earliest Goth and Punk bands emerged here. Joy Division, New Order, and The Smiths to name a few.  Marketing Manchester is sending me on a journey to discover the city’s subculture, past and present. I can’t wait to take you around the Northern Quarter, the current hotspot for young chefs, artists and innovators.

iceland peace tower, white church

I’ll also be stopping by Iceland, with the support of Visit Reykjavik.  I’ve always wanted to see this unique and mysterious country with my own eyes — from Hallgrims Church to Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower. (Above photos via Wikipedia)

whitby gothic weekend, uk seaside goth festival

And I’m crossing off a bucket list destination: Whitby Goth Weekend! Twice a year, Goths gather in this English seaside town to celebrate dark music, culture and fashion.

Will you be at WGW festival? If so, let me know in the comments or on Facebook. I hope to see you there.

yahoo travel explorers, bloggers, travel writers

I’m also thrilled to announce I’ve started writing for Yahoo Travel. As one of the “Yahoo Travel Explorers” bloggers, I’ll be sharing my worldwide stories and videos on their site.

Finally, we’ve been able to release our Israel travel video! Watch me explore the surprisingly edgy culture found in this ancient place. Including hip Israel designers, creative fusion food, LGBT clubs, and the most fabulous drag queen of the holy land. 

(See this episode above and on Yahoo Travel. Produced by Eric Bergemann and Melissa Rundle.)

tel aviv beach, israel sunset

Israel remains one of our most memorable trips to date. Here’s a bonus photo, from the boardwalk at Tel Aviv beach. I’m wearing a tank top and skirt from World Wide Love, the cute-ghost Tokyo brand.

lotte world mascot, lorry

I still have tons of posts to share from last summer, when I went all around Asia. Let’s go back in time to Lotte World, Seoul’s famous indoor amusement park.

seoul indoor amusement park

This indoor theme park is the largest on the planet. The gates open up to a giant hall, framed by hot air balloon rides and roller coasters. Lotte World also has an outdoors portion with scarier rides.

lotte world exterior sign

On the way in, you’ll encounter the mascot, Lotty. He appears to be some sort of chipmunk-raccoon in a vaudeville suit.

lotte balloons, seoul theme park rides

Lotte World’s entrance fee ranges from 12,000 to 46,000 won ($12-44 US) depending on your age, the time of day, and whether you want full access to all the rides (try to go on weekdays to avoid the lines). You can also buy a “no riding” pass, and pay for each attraction individually (about $5-7 each).

Lotte World address: 40-1 Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea

korean couples wearing matching clothes

A lot of families come to the theme park, as well as couples. Many of them wear matching outfits, which is a romance trend in Korea. Yes, those boys are wearing big red bows on their heads…

korean folk museum

When the children are tired of posing with Lotty, take them to bibimbap and tour the Korean folk museum. Visitors can try on hanbok (traditional Korean dresses) and wedding outfits.

seoul magic castle, korea

Outside, the Lotte Magic Castle looks a lot like the Disney one… Talk about a Korean Magic Kingdom.

korean haunted house halloween

The haunted house is a hoot, with live actors that seem to come out of a Korean horror film. These young girls were so scared. At each turn, they screamed and grabbed onto me and my photographers! We had to hold their arms and push them forward.

young korean girls posing

After, it’s all smiles and Victory-hand poses. Except for the Korean girl in the middle, who insisted on hiding her face.

lotte world map, attractions

The map lists so many attractions, from 3D shows to water rides. No wonder Lotte World is a popular destination for all ages.

gyro spin, jamsil amusement park

People lined up for hours to experience the scarier rides, like a 70 meter Gyro Drop, or this Gyro Spin.

lotte popsicles, hello kitty

They cooled off by eating cute popsicles shaped like Lotty, or Hello Kitty. (Photography by Ken Yuen and noircorner.)

lotte world interior

I love roller coasters, but I didn’t have the patience to line up. I was happy to visit Lotte World to see the quirky mascots and unique indoor rides.

korean horror building

I leave you with a ghoulish horror attraction…

seoul halloween party

… a group of stylish Korean teenage girls, doing heart hand-poses…

little korean girl

… and this shy youngster, who was playing with the rooster. For more adventures from Seoul, see all my Korea travel articles!

tel aviv beach sunset ocean, israel

Please take a moment to watch our Israel travel video, on Yahoo Travel. It’s one of our favorites yet.

And let me know your tips for next destinations. I hope to see you in Iceland, Manchester and Whitby Goth Weekend!



  1. Charlie
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    I live in Manchester! what days will you be in the city centre?

  2. Hiten
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Black sand beaches and Blue Lagoon are a must!

  3. Jenny
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    When are you going?! I’m going back there in August!

  4. Derek
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Amazing! Great job!

  5. Ian
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink


  6. denise
    Posted March 30, 2015 at 10:35 pm | Permalink


  7. Raivyn dK
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Wow, that’s awesome! I’ve never heard of WGW Festival until now, and that’s one more thing to add to the ‘bucket list’! Same with Reykjavik – I always thought it would be so cool to visit one day!

    <3 K

    • lacarmina
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 1:34 am | Permalink

      I’m excited because it has a more traditional Goth focus, and the band lineup will be amazing. So excited!! <3 We'll be shooting tons of photos there, of the various bands and fashionable people :)

  8. Michelle
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Whitby is a lovely quaint town. Hope you have a great time

  9. rockawaysiren
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    say hi to @AmysArms guitarist Justin-he will be playing bass with the Sex Gang Children!

  10. azealia
    Posted March 31, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    love it azealia

  11. Lydia
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    I’m so jealous, i wish I could visit Reykjavik too :D i’ve been dreaming about going to Iceland ever since i was a kid. can’t wait for your travel adventures there ^^
    Lotte world is one of my favourite amusement parks, because you’re not fully dependent on the weather. and since it’s not that~ big, you won’t get tired from walking all day ^^

    • lacarmina
      Posted April 1, 2015 at 1:35 am | Permalink

      It’s been one of my most-coveted countries for a long time! I’ll be with a pro photographer and we are planning some epics shoots there :)
      In fact, I went to Lotte World when I was a child too – it never grows old!

  12. Erin
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Cute La Carmina)

  13. Nobu
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink


  14. Cecilia
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    you look so pretty!

  15. Laura
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    ~in spirit~ #undeadundeadundead

  16. Barry S
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    COOL jealous

  17. Lyllka
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to see yr pics and read yr blog! Have a fangtastic time!!!

  18. Jo
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait to see pictures!

  19. Leah
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    take me with you

  20. Ellen
    Posted April 1, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be missing WGW this time. I so wanted to meet you.

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