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Incheon

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Incheon

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

Understand

Incheon is an historically and economically significant place for Koreans. During the Korean War[2], the city was the site of the Incheon Landing[3] by American forces. Today, Incheon is a metropolitan city with the population of about 2.8 million, politically independent from Seoul. Also, the city serves as a transportation hub by air and sea, with a massive harbor and the world best international airport[4]. Several beautiful islands, such as Yeongjong Island and Ganghwa Island, are also within city limits.

The status of the area is set to increase as various national projects are in development in Incheon. The New Songdo City plan, the most expensive real estate development in Korean history, will be finished in 2015. One of the world's tallest twin tower buildings, 151 Incheon tower[5], is under early construction and Korea's current tallest building, the Northeast Asia Trade Tower, is already finished. Incheon is planning to launch further independent mini-cities for shopping, housing, and education. Added to this real estate development, Incheon will also invite a large number of visitors for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Despite these developments, the Songdo area of Incheon is currently unfinished and largely uninhabited, not yet a viable destination for tourists. Travelers are more likely to enjoy the bustling eastern side of Incheon which blurs into the vast expanse of Seoul.

Get in

By plane

Incheon International Airport, South Korea's main gateway, is on Yeongjong Island. The AREX [6] train connects the airport to Gyeyang (20 min, $ 2.50), where you can transfer to the Incheon subway line. Alternatively, the limousine bus line (50 min, $ 10) is always available to go to many places in Incheon, or you can take a taxi (25 min, $ 50) to get into the city.

By boat

To get into Incheon, Incheon Port International Ferry Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 (Yeonan Budu) [7] are always available, especially for Chineses. Through the two terminals, a large number of people can visit Incheon from several cities in China, such as Weihai, Dandong, Qingdao and Tianjin.

The largest operator is now Weidong [8], but passangers can look at full listings on a website [9]. These ferries are similar to miniature cruise lines and provide karaoke rooms, Playstation games, and DVD rentals (private rooms only). If you have an economy ticket, you can request a sleeper bunk for a comfortable trip. If they are all taken, however, the other option for an economy ticket is the sleeping deck where everyone will stay like sardines in a can. To avoid being in the place, passengers should get to the terminal early (2 or 3 hours should be sufficient). This is worthwhile because the ferry can take as much as 24 hours.

By subway

Kyeong-in line called Metropolitan Line 1 (for less than $ 3) links Seoul to Incheon. Also, the line often provides express trains that skip some minor stops between Dong-incheon station and Yongsan station. By using the express trains (for the same fare), passengers can save up to 30 minutes depending on where they go.

Get around

There are several ways to get around in Incheon.

Subway: the Incheon Rapid Transit Corporation [10] operates a single subway line. The subway line passes through many famous places, such as Bupyeong and Arts Centre.

Bus: For visitors who want to visit more places in Incheon, local bus lines could be another great option. There are currently about 2,000 operating buses; therefore, a visitor can go almost everywhere by using the transportation.

Taxi: There are a number of taxis. Fares start from $ 2, which is higher than other transportations. However, it could be more comfortable or faster.

See

Arts Centre central square (Rodeo street), Guwol-Dong.
  • Bupyeong is one of the most attractive places to visit. There are many restaurants, designer shops, and bars, so the district is excellent for both shopping and eating. Visitors may get lost in Bupyeong because of the crowding and traffic; the best area to go is located directly across from the large Bupyeong station building.
  • Arts Centre is an arts and entertainment venue located in Guwol-dong (and usually synonymous). There are several large department stores, cinemas, designer shops, restaurants, and even a central square named Rodeo Street. Sporting events are sometimes shown on a screen in the central square. Also, the place has a couple of stadiums for professional baseball and soccer games.
  • Chinatown. This is the only official Chinatown in South Korea. Chinatown is full of chinese restaurants and souvenir shops. Of course, many chinese people reside there, so chinese schools are there too. The area is located at the end of Metropolitan Line 1 that directly connects Incheon with Seoul. The main entrance to Chinatown is in front of the Incheon station. Especially, there are so many tourists during the weekend, so visitors should avoid staying in the place over the weekend if they do not want to confront any crowdedness.
  • Liberty Park Liberty Park is located next to Chinatown. For most Incheon citizens, the park is well known for General MacArthur's statue and the memorial of the Centennial Anniversary of U.S. and South Korea relation.
  • Independence Memorial Hall This was built to celebrate the Korea's independence from Japan. There are a monument of General MacArthur and several other statues that symbolize the country's independence.
  • Songdo International City It is a multi-billion dollar planned city where Korea's tallest building, the North Asia Trade Tower[11], is located. In addtion, the world's tallest twin tower buildings, 151 Incheon Tower, are in the early stage of construction. As part of the Free Economic Zone, Songdo represents the bright future of Incheon. This area is still very much in development, however, and not currently recommended for visitors.
  • Incheon Islands There are several islands accessible by ferries. Most islands provide comfortable environment with fresh air and various cuisines that allow visitors to stay away from city life for a while. Also, islands have great hiking roads and beaches. Here are several islands people can easily visit: Daecheongdo, Yeonpyeongdo, Ganghwado, Yeongjongdo, Muuido, and Deokjeokdo.
  • Wolmido. It was a major harbor in Incheon until Yeonan Budu appeared. However, visitors can still do many things in Wolmido. There is a small park, surrounded by a nature walk road. There are also many seafood restaurants and cafes with a great ocean view. What is more, a small harbor that can bring visitors to several islands is still operatng.

Eat & Drink

In Incheon, there area a large number of quality restaurants, but do not expect the staff to be able to speak English. Here is a list of several famous places where visitors must go for their meal:


Bupyeong and Arts Centre are two main areas for food and drink. A variety of genres are available. Korean food generally offers a delightful and exciting experience. If someone is not familiar with Korean food, there are also many American and Italian restaurants which could be a safe bet for foreign visitors.

Chinatown has been a very popular place, for especially Chinese food. In fact, many Chinese restaurants in Chinatown owned by Chinese; therefore, both languages, Korean and Chinese, will availble to make an order for original Chinese cuisine.

SongDo also has many great restaurants. The place is specialized in serving Korean and Japanese restaurants. Famouse restaurants are Kyungbokung, Nagoya, Sapporo, etc. Also, if someone gets around the place, one can meet a variety of bars to drink.

Sleep

There are a variety of hotels in the city. Here is the list of hotels:

Hotel Pai - www.hotelpi.co.kr - 169-3 Ganseok 3(sam)-dong, Namdong-gu, Incheon - 032-428-0314

Paradise Hotel - www.paradisehotel.co.kr - 3-2 Hang-dong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Incheon - 032-762-5181

Sheraton Hotel - www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3342 - 6-9 Songdo-Dong, Yeonsu-Gu, Incheon - 032-835-1000

Hotel Sky - eng.hotelsky.co.kr/ - 2790-2, Incheon Airport town square, Jung-gu, Incheon - 032-752-1109



Routes through Incheon
END  W noframe E  → Yongsan → Seoul
END  W noframe SE  SuwonCheonan




This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!