Difference between revisions of "Yeongjong Island"
Revision as of 19:27, 29 November 2010
Formerly separate islands, Yeongjong and Yongyu have been joined together by Incheon's international airport, built between them on reclaimed land. Most visitors head straight from the airport to the city, but the beaches and seafood restaurants here are an interesting way to spend a layover or escape Seoul for a day.
Futuristic Incheon International Airport (인천국제공항) (IATA: ICN)  is South Korea's largest airport and the country's main international gateway. Split into two sections, Korean Air and Asiana use the main Terminal building (gates 1-50), while all other airlines use the Concourse satellite (gates 101-132). The two are connected with the free Starline shuttle system.
The airport is well signposted and caters to all your traveler needs, and even includes a small mall. It's spread out over five floors:
There are many global ATMs and currency exchanges throughout the terminal. Free Internet access is available in the transit zone. The airport is open 24 hours, although most shops are closed around 9PM-7AM.
If you're connecting through ICN to another destination on Korean/Asiana and have over 6 hours to spare, you may be entitled to a free transit tour or hotel — ask at the transit desk. Transit hotels near the airport are listed later in this article under #Sleep.
See Seoul#By plane and Incheon#By plane for details on travel between the airport and Seoul or Incheon city. To connect to Gimpo airport, take the AREX  express train (33 min, 3200 won, every 10 min).
For travel around the island, buses 223 and 203 connect the airport directly to Airport Town, and there are limited services to Yeongjong Wharf and the west coast beaches. As distances are short, taxis are also a viable option.
Yeongjong Island is served by the AREX  line, which connects Incheon Airport to Gimpo Airport and, from December 29, 2010, Seoul Station as well. Unseo (운서) station is located at Airport Town Square, near the transit hotels.
A local bus (Line 301, Kang-in, ) trundles from Seoul's Yeongdeungpo Station (Line 1) through Gimpo and Incheon Airports to Muuido and Eulwang Beach. At only W5700 this is the cheapest option, but the trip takes one hour and thirty minutes. You can ride this buses at Dangsan station (Line 2), Balsan station(Line 5), Songjeong station(Line 5). From Dangsan Station take exit 1 and walk straight past the Mcdonald's. The bus stop is about a 3-5minute walk down the street. There is another bus line from Dong-incheon station (Line 306, Kang-in, W4100) in incheon. Directions from Yeongdungpo Station: Walk out of exit 3 and down the escalators. You will see a street straight ahead that runs perpendicular to the road that the station is on. Walk down that street (same side as Holly's Coffee) about 2 minutes and you will see a bus stop and you can catch the 301 (a red bus) there.
The most scenic option is to take a car ferry from Wolmido in Incheon to Yeongjong Pier at the southeast corner of the island. Ferries run every 20-30 minutes from 7 AM to 9:30 PM, the trip takes 15 minutes and costs just W1500.
There are also direct high-speed and regular ferries directly from Muuido to Incheon's Yeon-an Pier, but they only run three times a day (8 AM, 10:30 AM and 5 PM).
The 300-meter Yeongjong Grand Bridge links the island to the mainland.
The AREX airport express line runs through the western half of Yeongjong, with Unseo station (6 min, 1000 won from airport) serving the Airport Town Square district.
Bus 202 runs around the south and west coasts of the island hourly, connecting most points of interest including Yeongjong Pier, Jamjindo and the beaches (W1200, hourly).
The primary attractions for most visitors are the beaches. Watch out for tides: at low tide, the waters pull back to reveal vast mud flats.
To get a little further off the beaten track, head to Jamjindo (take bus 222, which leaves roughly ever half hour from Incheon Airport and is W1000) at the southwest corner of the island and take a ferry (W2000 round trip, roughly every 15 minutes) across to Muuido. Here you will find a fishing village, some cheap seafood restaurants, the quiet Hanagae Beach and the swimming pool-equipped Keunmuri Resort (W1000-2000, open Jun-Sep only).
Silmi island is accessible from Muuido at low tide. It is an uninhabited island with a number of small beaches.
Regrettably, the Haesoopia (해수피아 Haesupia) saltwater spa  seems to have permanently closed in 2008.
Seafood is the thing to eat here. You can buy your own at the Yeongjong Pier market and have it cooked up in any of the restaurants nearby.
The area around Unseo station has a number of restaurants and bars, and can be a good way to spend an evening. A particular reputation is the Japanese cuisine at Osaka opposite the Hotel Sevilla. The area also has a Lotte Mart for those travelling on a budget and requiring provisions.
Airport Town Square has a series of hotels aimed squarely at overnighting travellers. Many offer free pick-up.
However, for adventurous travellers it can be worth attempting to find a 'love motel'. They range in quality and price, but almost always have rooms available, and are considerably cheaper than the hotels on Yeongjong island, and will have a good sized bed and be clean. Any subway station on the mainland, easy to reach via the Arex train line, will have motels. The word is the same in Korean, and any local will know of their location. Prices range from W40,000-70,000.
There are no hostel-type accommodation options now that Guesthouse Korea's local branch has closed.