On my recent trip to Manila, Peter and I had a 7 hour layover at the Incheon International Airport .
I read that the airport, which is filled with luxury stores, is considered one of the world's best. What I did not expect were the cultural activites and tours which turned a potentially mind numbing and boring layover into a fun experience.
We were browsing at the shops and were surprised by the elaborate Walk of the Royal Family, a Royal Procession enactment of the Joseon Dynasty which showcased beautiful costumes.
At the Traditional Culture Experience
A very relaxing 45 minutes making a hanji (traditional Korean paper) lamp
The airport looks like a luxury mall with stores like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Tory Burch.
Plus Wi-Fi is free so you can browse online and compare prices.
My duty free find.... I was excited to see that the Hotel Lotte Duty Free shop sold Vivienne Westwood bags and accessories since it was the first time that I saw them sold at an airport. (This maybe the only airport that carries her jewellery line.) The shop was on sale and the Orb necklace was 50% off.
If you have the time, I highly recommend taking the free Transit Tour which is an excellent way to see a bit of the city. They have different tours ranging from 1 to 5 hours. I took the 2 hour Incheon Temple Tour.
The Heungryunsa Temple which was founded in 1376.
The Memorial Hall for Incheon Landing Operation which was built in September 15, 1984 to commemorate the operation and those who gave up their lives in the Korean War. I do not know much about the Korean War and this tour was a very educational experience about the battle (September 15-19, 1950) which resulted in the recapture of Seoul. More on the history here
A photo of General Douglas MacArthur who commanded the UN Forces and the planner of the operation. I took this photo because my Dad (Arturo "Macky") was named after the General who also liberated Manila from Japanese forces in 1945, the year my Dad was born.
A cocktail and light meal before the flight. (Alessi trays...nice touch)
If the goal of the Incheon airport management is to expose visitors to Korean culture...mission accomplished.