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Incheon

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Incheon

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Incheon [1] (인천, 仁川), also Inchon, is in South Korea on the coast directly to the west of Seoul.

Understand

A politically independent city of 2.5 million, Incheon is in practice largely a suburb of Seoul. In 1950, the city was the site of the Inchon Landing by American forces, a decisive battle in the Korean War. Today's Incheon is a gritty industrial city, and while there are several pleasant things to do there, it shouldn't be considered a tourist destination of itself, particularly when Seoul is within easy reach.

Incheon serves as a transportation hub by both air and sea, with a massive harbor and Korea's main international airport. Several nearby islands, notably Yeongjong Island and Ganghwa Island, are also within city limits.

Newer neighborhoods, built on land reclaimed from the sea, are practically independent mini-cities with shopping, schools, housing, and industry. These newer areas pride themselves on being clean, modern, and safe, and compete for foreign investment.

Incheon tower, set to be completed after 2010, will be one of the tallest buildings in the world.

Get in

By plane

Incheon International Airport, South Korea's main international gateway, is on Yeongjong Island, a part of Incheon; see that article for details. The AREX [2] train connects the airport to Gyeyang (20 min, 2600 won), where you can connect to the Incheon subway line. Alternatively, the limousine bus line to Songdo passes through central Incheon, or you can take a taxi for about 41,000 won.

By boat

Incheon Port International Ferry Terminal 1 (Yeonan Budu, 연안부두) [[3] has services to several cities in China, such as Weihai, Dandong, Qingdao and Tianjin.

The largest operator is Jinchon [4], but Incheon Port has full listings on their website [5]. These ferries are similar to miniature cruise lines and are complete with karaoke rooms, Playstation games (for a fee), DVD rentals (private rooms only), and a nightly grill on the back deck. Inside, accommodations are a hit and miss. If you have an economy ticket, which will set you back approximately €180 (roundtrip), you can request a sleeper bunk where you have a considerable amount of privacy. If these are all taken however, the other option for an economy ticket is the sleeping deck where everyone who is crammed on the floor like sardines in a can. To avoid being relegated to the sardine room, get to the terminal early, 2 or 3 hours should be sufficient. This is definitely worth it as the ferry can take as much as 24 hours depending where you go. To make the most of this ferry ride, take a good book, work, and/or a laptop to pass the time.

Locally, there are ferries from Yeongjong Island to Wolmido Marina every 30 minutes. There is also a ferry to Jeju island.

By subway

Seoul subway line 1 links Seoul to Incheon. It has express trains that skip all the minor stops between Incheon and Yongsan. There is also an Incheon line which crosses line one at Bupyeong.

Get around

In addition to the Seoul subway line, the Incheon Rapid Transit Corporation [6] operates a single subway line of its own. The Incheon line runs north-south, and the Seoul line east-west.

Wolmido is not on the subway network, but there are buses from Dongincheon Station every 10 minutes.

See

Incheon's official city flower, the rose, is abundant in the summer, climbing over walls and fences. Even the subway route into Seoul from Incheon is lined with roses and beautifully-tended shrubbery.

  • Chinatown. The only official Chinatown in South Korea. Orignally home to the Chinese merchants in Korea, today it is nothing more than a tourist trap as most of the Chinese fled the country in the 1960's and 1970's due to persecution by then president Park Chung-hee, while those that remain are largely scattered and assimilated into Korean society. The area is located at the end of the main subway line (1 or dark blue) that connects Incheon with nearby Seoul. The main entrance to Chinatown is directly in front of the Incheon Subway Station. The Chinatown is three or four square blocks, the restaurants are squarely aimed at Korean tourists and offer extremely Koreanized takes on Chinese food and most of these restaurants are owned by ethnic Koreans instead of Chinese.
  • Jayu Park (자유공원) Jayu (Freedom) Park is located adjacent to Chinatown. It is most famous as the location of General MacArthur's statue. Also located there is a memorial to the centennial anniversary of U.S. and South Korea relations.
  • Songdo (송도) (it's not Songdo New City--that is Apt Town. you should go Songdo Old City. Sondo Yuwonji is famous in Incheon. you can ask people, find soon. Bus #46,8 etc)

Songdo is the small town city near to Incheon airport. There's a beautiful sea and wonderland and may natural sushi food and a noname's mountain. It's a serene and elegantly natural place.

  • SongDo Doklipkinymkan (송도 독립기념관) This is Korea's independent special door. You can see the Korea's door and a stone about General MacArthur. He fought for Korea's peace and many Koreans thank him for that. Next door , you can see the noname's mountain. There is a little hiking course where you are welcome to walk as you like.
  • SongDo Yuwonji (송도 유원지) This is small wonderland in Songdo. you can see songdo and try bungee jump. and a little woderland plaything here. it's no noise in natural place.

Do

  • Songdo Resort (송도리조트). Has a large ferris wheel which gives good views of the surrounding area. As well as other rides, a swimming lake and a water slide which doubles as a snow sledding slope in winter.
  • Wolmido (월미도). Past a harbor and a plywood factory, Wolmido contains a small but popular park, dominated by a nature walk up a hill, with scientific names have been listed for all of the flowers donated to this area that was decimated by the Incheon landing of UN forces. Past the park is a fairground with several amusement-park rides and numerous food vendors. The harbor area immediately past this makes for a pleasant stroll, with a wide pedestrian sidewalk lined with cafes. From Incheon station, take the #15 bus (2000 won), or it's a 20 minute walk.

Buy

Bupyeong Station (부평역) Line 1 of Seoul subway and Incheon subway line intersect here. There is a large under ground shopping mall. It is a popular place for Korean students to shop and hang out. Above ground, there are additional shops, many Korean restaurants, western restaurants such as McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Outback Steakhouse, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, and Dunkin Donuts, and a Lotte Mart. There are two Citibanks located here, one in the Arcade, and one several above ground near the far end of the underground mall.


Incheon Bus Terminal Station (인천버스터미널) Incheon's subway line has a the stop for Incheon bus Terminal. This station connects to Shinsaegae, a large name brand mall. The food court many kinds of cuisines and also has a Burger King. The upper two floors are women's clothes, and there is an E-mart attached to the mall.

Eat

Incheon has a Chinatown with many Chinese restaurants. Chinatown is to be found at the last stop on line 1 of the Seoul line.

There are many raw fish restaurants around the port area at Wolmido.


  • SongDo (near to SongDo Doklipkinyamkyan) has many great restaurants. food's taste is very good and you can enjoy lunch set with resonalble price. (original Korea's Rib stake, and sushi etc)

favorite resaurant is "Nagoya" (sushi) and "Kyungbokung" (Rib). and you can walk down "hiltop hotel street" (힐탑호텔골목) than you can see many cheap & natural sushi food restaurants there.

Drink

Incheon has plenty of watering holes, mostly in Bupyeong, where the area behind the Starbuck's Coffee gets more densely packed with drunk youth than anywhere else in Korea.

  • Goose Goose, Bupyeong. A western pub where many English teachers and other foreigners go, although things get rowdy sometimes.
  • Rock Bar, Bupyeong. Very cheap beer, 6,000 won for 2000CC. Watch out for rats in the toilets.
  • Woodstock, Buyeong.
  • 66, Yeonsu.
  • Chunnyue Sarang(천년의 사랑), Songdo hiltop hotel street. Korea's original tea & wine, snack. The master's dress is oriental korea costum and interier is Oriental Calture style.
  • N's Pub, Bupyeong. Small but good atmosphere. Very cheap drinks and beer (but no soju); a recent favorite for both foreigners and koreans.
  • The Shine, Bupyeong. A high-class atmosphere for budget prices, The Shine is a traditional bar in that you have to buy anju (안주, appetizer or meal) with your drinks, but the food is quite good. Drinks are reasonably priced and beer can be purchased in towering disperners which shoot dry ice through a tube and out a chimney on top.
  • Mad Max, Yeonsu Dong. Western Style bar, serves a good rum/coke
  • Rio's Western Bar, Guwol-Dong The Square (Located on the 3rd floor in the same building as the massive King Kong Hof). Great guy who serves a great drink!!!

Sleep

See Yeongjong Island for airport hotel listings.

  • Hong Kong Motel - is immediately next to the Chinatown, and several minute's walk east of the Incheon subway station. Rooms are 25000 Won for a single, or 40000 Won for a double. Rooms are slightly old and small, but clean, and include a PC with Internet.
  • Best Western.

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