Friday, 5 July 2013

Incheon: Chinatown and Wolmi Island

Angela and I spent last Saturday afternoon visiting Incheon, the third most populous city in Korea. Located very close to Seoul, it is politically a separate city but its eastern suburbs blur into those of the capital, and it is easily accessible on the Seoul metro. Most visitors to Korea arrive in the country via Incheon International Airport (as I did last October), which has been several times voted the world's best airport. Incheon also has a significant place in Korean history as the sight of the Incheon Landings, when UN forces invaded the peninsula to recapture Seoul from the communist North during the Korean War.

Our visit to the city centred on two of its main attractions: Chinatown, which is the only Chinatown in the Seoul area, despite its large Chinese community; and Wolmi Island, a pleasant seaside district.

This model of a train greets you as you exit Incheon Station.
Directly opposite the station is the main entrance to Chinatown.
A drunk guy in an alleyway. Not a common sight in Korea, but anything's possible when you're in Chinatown.

There were lots of red, decorated buildings everywhere.

We bought some dragon-shaped fruit-sticks. They were delicious!
A recreational area where children played games.

We saw this pretty sculpture as we left Chinatown.
We soon headed for Wolmi Island. Despite its name it's more of a peninsula now that it's connected to the mainland by bridges. We walked along a long stretch of restaurants, arcades and other carnivalesque buildings along the seafront.

The first part of the main stretch was quiet, with surprisingly few people given that it was the weekend and the weather was so pleasant. It almost felt like an abandoned fairground.

There was a nearby amusement park with three huge galleon rides lined up behind one another.

We briefly visited this small amusement park.
We didn't ride the huge ferris wheel...
...but we did ride these bad boys. They both provided spectacular (if somewhat stomach-churning) views of the nearby Yellow Sea. It was exhilarating, but we were lucky we didn't vomit considering we were both a little hungover from partying the night before!
We had a fun time watching these kids cling on for dear life while the ride flung them around like ragdolls.

Exiting the seafront.
Hotel Google, which we saw on the way back home.
All in all a fun-packed day, and worth the two hours it took to get to Incheon from Angela's house!

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