A Perfect 10-hour Layover in South Korea Part1 – Incheon

“Music saves the soul.” Play softly while you read. 🙂

I finally decided to explore the world further by booking a trip to US last August 2014. Apart from my body’s very need to travel, I felt like I needed some time alone, to ponder on things, to breathe, to breathe heavily. But before I made my American dream come true, I strategically booked a flight that will have a long layover in one country so I could have at least a day to explore the country of stop-over. I picked a Singapore-Incheon-Las Vegas flight via Korean Air. The stop in Incheon/Seoul attracted me the most as it also had the cheapest fare on the date and time of flight I preferred. And the soul searching of the restless firefly started in Incheon around 9AM.

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the complicated but very organized subway map of Seoul. I literally got crazy upon seeing this the first time. hehe. . I guess I’m just not used to places with many trains (considering Singapore and Manila)

I didn’t really prepare an itinerary for my day-long tour in Incheon/Seoul. I found that the tourism in Incheon International Airport offers a free packaged tour for tourists with long layovers. Yes, free! 🙂 I browsed thru the Tripadvisor app in my phone while I was waiting for the boarding time from Changi airport and just listed in my head some attractions that I hoped see if ever I decided to diverge from the free tour bus. I arrived Incheon International Airport past 9 AM and I hurriedly looked for the free tour kiosk. Little did I know that most tourist who’re stopping over Incheon are reserving slots online for the free transit tour ahead of their arrival date. Sadly, I was not able to join the 8-hour long trip that showcased most of the attractions I desired to see. I was, I guess, days too late. There was one slot left though for a 3.5-hour Incheon City tour and since it was free, I grabbed it to give it a try. After registering, I went to 3rd level of the airport at the end of Rows A (and M) where I left my heavy backpack so I can enjoy light maundering with just my camera on my neck, passport, wallet and face tissue in my purse (and cellphone and earphones and hand sanitizer, haha! Them women!). I think I paid not more than 20 USD for the whole day safe-keeping of my belongings. 🙂

The free transit tour package I got included a sight-seeing of the Incheon grand bridge (which I was not able to take a photo since we just looked at it while in the bus), the Wolmi Park and the Shinpo Market. The bus headed back to Airport after the visit to these 2 attractions.

“Wolmi Park was formed into a natural eco-friendly park from historic park at the edge of the neo-modern period. You can see here various facilities, traditional garden with Korean style houses, walking way surrounded with nature” , as written on my free transit tour brochure. The attractions didn’t really knocked me off my feet but it was quite nice to see, better than drilling myself in one of the airport seats. Hehe. .

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this used to be the ancient Korean people’s backpack when they need to carry (or get) something from the mountain. This empty backpack alone is already way heavier than what I left at the airport, what more if they put food or something inside. brr. .
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trying to be a photographer. . haha. . sorry!

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“Shinpo Market is famous as a place where many of the unique foods of Incheon originated, including the dak-gang-jeong (fried chicken), jjolmyeon (chewy cold noodles), mandu (dumplings), golgalbbang (bread buns with an empty space inside), and others.” again, as quoted on the tour brochure I got. The tour guide recommended us to try their famous fried chicken with unique Incheon sauce. I was about to buy one for me but the serving was too huge and the sauce was too spicy. Luckily I bumped unto a father and daughter European tourists, on the same tour as with me, who delightedly shared to me their fried chicken purchase coz they cannot finish it. It was indeed deliciously spicy that it made me go gaga looking for a convenient store to buy a can of coke. I guess i have very small tolerance on chilies. But the spice on the fried chicken was so unique that I have not tasted it even on chili loving countries like Malaysia and India. Too bad I didn’t find any rice around. Hihi. . Shinpo Market is my most favorite among the 2 attractions I saw in the morning as it showcases the everyday living of people of Incheon. And oh, I must not forget, this is the first time I’ve seen kimchi being sold in huge tubs, and I can’t imagine how are they gonna sell those for the day. I guess that clearly tells how much love Koreans have for kimchi. . 🙂P1030064

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I’ve tried this and it was delicious. . The smooth cylindrical stuff is cheese, to be wrapped with a flour mixture then will be deep-fried. all good. . 🙂
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different kimchi spices. and those that are in clear bags are chilies of different sizes. . I’ve never been so scared of chilies until I saw this. Haha. .
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kimchi using different veggies. . I’m actually not a fan of kimchi but i love pickled vegetables. I tried one (not cabbage, i think it was green chilis) and really fell for it, I guess I should try all so I know which kimchi suits my taste buds perfectly.
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and more Kimchi!

The bus ended the tour back at the Airport, I ran to a food stall to have lunch and hastily looked for the train to Seoul. And the restless firefly’s Seoul searching continues.

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4 thoughts on “A Perfect 10-hour Layover in South Korea Part1 – Incheon

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