There are some who live for the thrill of a roller coaster and can't get enough of the adrenaline rush. On the other hand, there are some whose stomachs turn at the thought of crazy twists and intense drops... But what if there was a way to ride a 'roller coaster' at one's own pace? In South Korea, this option has finally been brought to life through brilliant construction and incredible architectural design.
South Korea's walkable roller coaster, appropriately called the SpaceWalk, is a memorizing feat of modern technology. With a design intended to metaphorically transport visitors and make them feel as though they're actually walking through space, it's one of the newest attractions to come to Pohang.
The Design & Unique Experience Of SpaceWalk, South Korea's Walkable Roller Coaster
For starters, there are some major differences between an actual roller coaster and South Korea's new installment. There are no rail cars (or rails, at all) on the SpaceWalk, nor are there any mechanics that propel a person forward other than their own two feet. However, this somehow makes the ride even more enticing to its visitors - as it's their own speed that controls their adventure level.
The SpaceWalk was created from the minds of Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth, two German artists with a talent for gravity-defying sculptures. This project was designed as a follow-up to 'Tiger & Turtle - Magic Mountain,' an incredible display in Duisburg, Germany. Those familiar with that sculpture would not be surprised at all to find that the SpaceWalk is equally beautiful, featuring twists, turns, and inverted routes that make a person ponder whether or not the path is actually walkable. The good news is this: It is!
- Fun Fact: The entirety of the SpaceWalk is constructed with galvanized and stainless steel, and is outfitted with LED lights that glow after dark. This illuminated walkway makes for an incredible sight that can be seen far off in the distance, almost like a beacon calling to potential roller coaster 'riders!'
The way that the walkable roller coaster has been designed means that depending on where a visitor stands, various parts of the structure will appear to be different things. According to Mutter and Genth, "...the sculpture also references local mythology and a tradition of sky-gazing and also makes playful use of relativity."
What's It's Like To Be On South Korea's Walkable Roller Coaster
The experience of walking on the SpaceWalk is one that has received praise up and down - quite literally. By entering a central opening in the structure, visitors begin their ascent in one of two ways: a steeper route, or a more meandering, gentle slope. The gentler slope is a scenic walkway that allows for views of surrounding Pohang. The steeper route takes visitors through a helix, making for more of a challenging walk and more of a roller-coaster type of feel.
The walkable paths peak at a total height of 230 feet, with a walking distance of 1,090 feet in total. The steps that carry visitors throughout the structure are designed to mirror that of literally walking through space and time, especially at such an elevated height off the ground. At night, the lights highlight what's meant to be an otherworldly experience and, while it's not a roller coaster, it certainly can be just as thrilling for those who do decide to look down.
With only steps to guide one through the ride, visitors have the adjacent hand railings to support them as they walk. While the giant loop in the center might look intimidating, visitors don't need to worry - this loop can't be accessed by foot, or at all. While it's meant to appear to defy gravity, visitors, themselves, can't actually defy gravity to walk upside-down along its trail.
Visiting The SpaceWalk In Pohang, South Korea: Is It Worth It?
So, is the SpaceWalk worth visiting for those in Pohang? Without a doubt, the answer is an absolute yes! Not only is this structure an incredible art installment to gaze at from a distance, but it's also a unique walkable experience that allows visitors views of the city skyline as well asYeongil Bay's waterfront. While it might not be for those who have a fear of heights, it's definitely worth the trip.
If nothing else, it's a great way to get a small, mini thrill out of an attraction that's meant to emanate that of a theme park, but comes with none of the out-of-control feelings that a roller coaster does. Plus, how many people can say that they've 'walked' their way down a roller coaster? Not many, unless they happen to be visiting Pohang, South Korea.