NAIA to Incheon Airport to Downtown Seoul

Manila Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
On Jo's corner: Papa Bae Yong-joon

We spent most of the flight chatting with a Korean lady teacher, ecstatic from a holiday in Boracay.  On my small notebook, she wrote down for me in Hangeul: “Please give us 3 Gyo tong (pass cards)”. The stored value subway tickets cost 5,000 won each. There were many Korean holiday-makers on the flight so just before we landed at Incheon Airport, I witnessed a remarkable transformation: the straw hats and sandals came off, coats and high heels (for the women) were fetched from overhead storage bins and the ladies put on bold red or pink lipstick on bare lips -- my first glimpse of a culture that highly valued outward appearance.

 

Incheon Airport was rather unremarkable.  I remembered it for the prettily-dressed girl from the tour agency waiting for us with our name on a board; and the cold hitting us when we stepped outdoors.

On my corner: Won Bin oppa!
Korea was just coming out of winter, and it was our first trip to a country that had four seasons.

 

On the way to our hotel we chatted with our guide about our favorite Korean actors.  Who’s the cutest, we asked.  Won Bin won hands down. Bae Yong-joon of Winter Sonata was too Korean-looking, she said, miming a full face. Most of her friends favored plastic surgery, but she didn’t for religious reasons. 

 

Our guide’s uniquely Korean childhood experience: hiding under a school desk during bomb drills.  We were reminded that the DMZ (demilitarized zone) that bordered North and South Korea was just 55 kilometers away.


We arrived in the evening with just an impression of Seoul as a typical sprawling urban city.  Our hotel, New Boolim • a respectable, unpretentious business hotel that served a good breakfast • was just in the outskirts of Central Seoul, at the side of a narrow street just off the main drag, next to a convenience store, several small shops, cafes and family-run restaurants. It seemed the tallest building there. Later on we happily discovered that we were just a block away from a Lotte department store that was conveniently connected to the Cheongnyangri subway, which also had a separate street entrance.

eejot says:
Won Bin, hehe :P
Posted on: Apr 03, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
On Jos corner: Papa Bae Yong-joon
On Jo's corner: Papa Bae Yong-joon
On my corner: Won Bin oppa!
On my corner: Won Bin oppa!
Downtown Seoul
Downtown Seoul
Early morning scene
Early morning scene
Everyones off to work while we pl…
Everyone's off to work while we p…
ginseng market
ginseng market
Manila
photo by: Deats