Those looking to get a little adrenaline fix can check out Paju Kart Land (가트랜드). I’m actually a pretty big gear head myself back in the states, so I was excited to check out this place. The facilities and karts may not be (nearly) as good as their U.S. counterparts, but you can’t be too picky in a country where most people forgo fun to get an overly robotic education/job. I went there with the meetup group Karting Lovers. Check them out if you want to explore this track and others around Korea!
The address is like so:
355 Seongdong-ri, Tanhyeon-myeon, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do (경기도 파주시 탄현면 성동리 355)
Kartland (가트랜드) appears to be a chain with multiple locations. The Paju (파주시) branch appears to be the most basic. The track is really simple, consisting of 4 corners. It’s pretty much a bean configuration. They provide open face helmets, but I would much prefer full face helmets as the track was particularly dirty and dusty that day. Bring some goggles or something in case. I kept getting stuff in my eyes, which wasn’t pleasant.
Notes for Beginners:
Those new to the karting world may be a bit surprised by the rates and just how little time it buys you. I think it’s like 20,000 won for 10 minutes (we had a group discount/different race format). If you can manage to drive quickly, the amount of physical exertion and number of laps will actually make the 10 minutes feel a lot longer than it actually is. On the other hand, if you’re on the slow side, it’ll seem a lot more pedestrian and not worth your time. However, no matter what level you actually are, it’s worth a shot as you may end up being addicted to it like I am!
Notes for intermediate/pros:
So here’s the scoop on this place compared to more established places. Basically the marshals are nonexistent. You really don’t want to beach yourself because it will take a LONG time for them to even recognize you’re in trouble and by then almost a minute or two will elapse. Given that, there are only two flags, green and checkered. There are no blue flags, yellow flags, etc. Basically just pass at your own discretion and don’t expect them to pull over for you.
The karts themselves are pretty basic and they even use cushy seats, which was quite a travesty. The top of the pedals actually lean toward you, which was really awkward, but all you have to do is push them forward with your feet to be parallel.There was a lot of play in the pedals, but the steering felt okay. The karts don’t have a lot of torque or horsepower and are more momentum driven. It’s also really easy to overdrive the tires, but they’re pretty consistent.
Overall, it was a nice place to be, considering I haven’t raced in over 8 months. I enjoyed my time and will probably be going with Karting Lovers should they have another event. If you know of any more advanced karting places, please let me know in the comments below!