A week after my visit to South Korea for Jakarta Sister City Youth Program, it’s a coincidence for me to be transit again in this city since I was using a Korean airline at that time. I was still in the nostalgic feeling for South Korea.
Transit for long hours can be a little bit boring, unless the airport has entertainment.
2 Hours Transit Tour to Incheon, South Korea
It was my first moment breathing in a-lower-than 0 Celsius Degrees temperature–oh it’s snowing! Our route was Airport → Heungryunsa Temple → Incheon Grand Bridge → Memorial Hall for Incheon Landing Operation to Airport
1st Stop: Heungryunsa Temple
We crossed by Incheon Bridge. Since it’s snow and everyone is perhaps inside their homes trying to make themselves warm, it feels like it’s an inhibited city. The temperature was -8 Degrees Celsius.
The view of Songdo city from Heungryunsa Temple
My First Snow Experience
Thanks to this tour, I got to experience my first snow!
Beautiful snow inside Heungryunsa Temple area
Incheon Grand Bridge
Went through Incheon Grand Bridge, the bridge that connects between Yeongjong Island and the mainland of Incheon. Yeongjong Island itself is where Incheon International Airport. Aside of the airport, it also has small villages, farms, and beaches.
We can see some parts of the water were already frozen
Seeing Incheon city along the way
2nd Stop: Memorial Hall for Incheon Landing Operation
Incheon Landing Operation Memorial Hall is a war memorial hall as tribute to Korean soldiers.
Its theme centers on the successful Incheon Landing Operation led by UN Commander in Chief General McArthur during the Korean War. Inside the building, there arephotos showing what life was like back then. Until displays of weaponry used over the years in the defense of South Korea during the war.
They have some great info and a film to watch, that is possible to see if you have extra time, since the transit tour was packed and things needed to be done on time.
Outside, there’s is an 18 meter-long memorial tower and the national flags of the sixteen countries that participated in the Korean War.
Overall, this place is good for a short visit.
What’s funnier than learning about the history of the war in Incheon Korean War Memorial Museum, is encountering Union Soviet soldiers in front of the museum right after we’ve discussed about the past war and how Union Soviet was the enemy during the war times. Apparently, the soldiers were also currently visiting the museum for observation
“See? The world is on its way to peace!” the tour guide said.
– Incheon Metropolitan City Museum – a museum to see a glance history of Incheon city. We have our tour guide explain to us in English, but captions in the museum include Korean and English.
– Wolmi Traditional Garden – a park now that some of the unique collection of flowers in its garden, including Traditional Garden Section, a home to a variety of gardens patterned after those of the past. Aside being an eco themed park, it has also showcases Bukchon (traditional Korean village) and other cultural sightseeings.
Finding out Korean Transit Tour
Where to register
After getting outside from the arrival area, before proceeding to the immigration, you can see the nearest Korean Transit Tour information center from your gate. Shuttle and guide are all free from the airport. You can be using any airline available, as long as you are transit in South Korea.
Where you can Korea Transit Tour desk on Incheon airport (source: http://tong.visitkorea.or.kr/)
Schedule of tours
You can check out the list of transit tour here from Korean Air’s official website: https://www.koreanair.com/global/en/offers-promotion/excellent-transit-program/transit-tours-schedule.html
The schedule actually varies a lot from what’s displayed there. So here’s the copy of a recent physical brochure I have from the airport (Per February, 2017)
- Research the weather of your transit stay. I did transit in South Korea when I was on my way to the US, so I already prepared some winter clothes and carry my jacket in the cabin bag. You may be on your way to a country that currently has a different weather from South Korea, so be prepared. Also, prepare your jacket or other decent belongings on your cabin if you have a connecting flight, since you can’t take it from your baggage when doing transit.
- Ensure that you choose the that is at least 1,5 hour before your flight in the Airport, so you won’t end up missing your next flight.
- If you want to stay at the airport, there is the Incheon Airport Culture Tour for 1,5 hours (make sure the schedule first). Or just explore Incheon International Airport yourself since it has a lot of entertainment like classic concerts or cultural performances (depending on the schedule), traditional craft gallery, Korean culture center.
I really did enjoy my transit experience, gives me a reason to consider transit in South Korea wouldn’t be a problem!