Transit in Seoul, Korea

Seoul Travel Blog

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Fan painting in the Cultural centre
Asiana airlines not bad to fly with since I had never even heard of them before I booked my ticket.  The flight attendants were very polite, all young females with award winning smiles.  The meals on the long 10 hr flight does get a bit tedious, the choice of fish rice or spicy beef for breakfast, neither seem appetizing when you have just woken up.  10.5hrs to Seoul Korea, we land in the early afternoon with brilliant sunshine and 24 degrees.  For transfer passengers you have to go through another level of security.  Your tickets are checked and your bags are scanned again at this point.  No liquids over 100ml permitted, a little bit annoyed about that as I had bought a 1.5l bottle of water from heathrow and had not finished it yet.
Dressing up in traditional Korean dress in the experience centre
  Once through I made my way up to the 4th floor.  The Asiana desk give you further info like gate information and boarding times.  On this floor there is a lounge/resting area, showers, massage and beauty salon, free internet, arts and culture centre and a few cafes and bars.  This whole area upstairs is quiet and not crowded at all.  There are lots of comfy reclining chairs up here too with a movie area.  The transit hotel and restaurant is also located on this floor, looks pretty smart from the outside. 

My curiosity took me back downstairs to check out the shops and other places of interest.  I came across a culture centre, they had free activities taking place, today they had fan painting.  I decided to take part seeing as I has 4hrs to waste before my flight.
Music lesson in the experience centre
  I had to wait 10mins as this is a popular activity and all seats were busy.  When you get your space, the lady gives you a fan and instructs that you do not mix the paints, she also points out that there is a sample on display that you may copy if you want to.    The choices of colours are minimal black, white, red, yellow, green and coral.  It took me about 30 mins to paint my fan, concentrating hard on keeping the colours within the lines.  The traditional Korean music playing in the background keeps you in a zen place even though there are noisy people making a racket in the background.  After departing the culture centre I made my way to the experience centre, here I dressed up in a traditional outfit, a bright pink skirt with a white blouse.  The lady that helped dress me also helped me take some pictures, that's pretty handy when you are alone.  I stayed and watched the music class where people were given instruments to play with.

Next stop I went to look in the shops.  They have the usual duty free items alcohol, cigarettes and cosmetics.  There are lots of places selling traditional Korean foods aswell like ginseng flavoured chocolates, seaweed and rice cookies.  The sales staff overwhelm you as soon as you walk in, try this try that, look at this, look at that.  They completely bombard you and I just felt so uncomfortable that I just ran out of there.  The currencies that they accept are Korean Kwon, American dollars, Euro's, Chinese Yen and Japanese Yen.  They had not even seen Pound sterling before, if you fancy buying something have these currencies handy or at least a credit card.

I went back upstairs to use their showers before getting on the plane.  The showers are free to use, which is good if you have all your stuff with you, like toiletries and towel.  I had forgotten my towel so I had to purchase a shower kit for $6.  It consists of shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste.  There is a towel but it is a baby sized towel, more like a hand towel rather than a bath towel.  You have to return the towel but you can keep the rest of the stuff.  The bathrooms were very clean and spacious with modern fixtures.  It feels good to get the 10.5hrs flight off you.  Next door was the massage and beauty salon.   The prices ranged from 20,000 - 150,000 KRW, that's about £10-£80 depending on the type of treatment you want.

Before going to the gate I got a bottle of water... big mistake.  Another security check was carried out after passing through the gate and again liquids over 100ml were confiscated.  The water I just paid €2 for just got thrown straight into the bin! DOH!  There was no warning about another security check so that just annoyed me a bit.
nyprne says:
Congratulations on your feature. Happy travels!
Posted on: Apr 14, 2011
marinvall says:
really nice blog, got some useful information:) and lovely photos!
Posted on: Mar 27, 2010
Africancrab says:
Interesting blog
Posted on: Mar 09, 2010
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Fan painting in the Cultural centre
Fan painting in the Cultural centre
Dressing up in traditional Korean …
Dressing up in traditional Korean…
Music lesson in the experience cen…
Music lesson in the experience ce…
photo by: chiyeh