Stuck in Incheon for 15 Hours
November 14, 2005 10:51 AM   Subscribe

I'm stuck in a lay over for 15 hours in Incheon. From 6PM on a Monday till Tuesday around 9AM. What can I do?

I'm not opposed to just staying in the airport. I'll have my laptop with me, and I'm guessing there's WiFi in the airport (hopefully not pricey).

But it's not often that I'm in South Korea for such an extended period of time. I've been told I could take a train into Seoul and I'm kinda curious to try it out. Not commited, as I've never done this before, and I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to try.
posted by jasmeet to Travel & Transportation around Incheon, South Korea (20 answers total)
Learn to like kimchi. I know, it sounds snarky, but when I went to Korea the first time, I hated the stuff. Now, I kind of like it. Just keep eating it till your taste buds surrender and your gag reflex quits.
posted by Doohickie at 11:21 AM on November 14, 2005

Oh... the train will work. You should have little trouble getting around without knowing Korean language; many of the signs are bilingual in English, an lots of people speak it.
posted by Doohickie at 11:22 AM on November 14, 2005

Response by poster: I've had Korean noodles before, originally bring from Malaysia (where I'm actually trying to get too really) and eating it just about all the time here.

So, where does the train take you anyway? I heard a mall of some kind.
posted by jasmeet at 11:25 AM on November 14, 2005

Jasmeet, there's a really handy and cheap airport shuttle that takes you to different spots in Seoul. I was just there, and it doesn't take long at all. Can't remember the number of the bus, but it takes you towards the final stop of the Women's University.

Stuff you might try:

- Take the bus to the Anguk Station stop, walk around and take in one of the ancient palace grounds to the northwest. Or stroll a tad south to the nooks of an arts, crafts and teahouse neighborhood -- lots of fun sights. I loved this area.

- Take a subway to the E. Seoul train station stop and check out the mind-blowing underground market they have there, which extends in many directions with loads of stuff for sale, spanning the subterranean passageways between some of the huge apartment complexes.
posted by johngoren at 11:50 AM on November 14, 2005

Response by poster: John, I'm not sure if that'll work with my schedule though. I mean, I get in in the evening. and I'm there till 9AM the next day.

It sounds interesting enough. I mean, if I can ram around and fill up my digital cameras's memory stick, the lay over would be worth it.

I really appreciate everyone's suggestions, please keep them coming in! ^_^
posted by jasmeet at 11:57 AM on November 14, 2005

Stay at the airport. Leaving so you can wander around a strange city in the middle of the night is not worth it.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:00 PM on November 14, 2005

Oh dang, I didn't read the evening hours closely, sorry for being a bad Ask MetaFilter guy.

If you want an adventure, you could head for the student district which has a lot of fun and crazy nightlife. Bars with copyright infringing logos named for The Doors and Woodstock, and this one totally insane teahouse that was the biggest triumph of kitsch I have ever seen. Really happening area, and with some neat traditional restaurants, maybe I can rack my notes and get the details to you.

The taxi drivers are handy for getting around, and very cheap.
posted by johngoren at 12:07 PM on November 14, 2005

Response by poster: thirteenkiller: I'm inclined to agree. I just wanna weight my options

johngoren: No worries about the time confusion =) But if you could post your notes, that'd be awesome.
posted by jasmeet at 12:21 PM on November 14, 2005

Hi jasmeet,

I'll write a friend who knows better than me what the place was called, and post the results for you.
posted by johngoren at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2005

p.s. The Internet situation at Incheon airport isn't all that awesome. There are terminals where you can put a 1000 won coin in and get a little time, but aren't really designed for long term browsing.

Not sure about wifi, but I've heard tell that it's not usually free in Korea. I could be wrong.
posted by johngoren at 2:34 PM on November 14, 2005

go into Seoul, got to Itaewon and get a suit made. explain you have 15 hours. custom suit with choice of fabric will cost about 200$.
posted by dawdle at 2:41 PM on November 14, 2005

Itaewon is sleazy as hell by the way...
posted by johngoren at 3:24 PM on November 14, 2005

Dongdaemoon market is open all night, isn't it? That might be interesting.
posted by Octaviuz at 5:04 PM on November 14, 2005

bus from incheon airport to seoul - about 1 hr, about 8000 korean won (8 bucks or so).

I live in seoul - rasbliutto aXt gXmXail.Xcom - I'll giv eyou my cell if you need a hand.

I'm joe
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:03 PM on November 14, 2005

Response by poster: So, after some proper research... I realized that I actually get in at 11 in the morning. My itinerary was showing the time in San Francisco time zone. Doh. -_-

Still, keep the suggestions rolling in. ^_^

and dawdle, I'll probably pass on the suit, thanks though! =)
posted by jasmeet at 6:41 PM on November 14, 2005

If you are going to be there overnight, check out the night market in Dongdaemoon.

If you are there during the day check out Insadong and Myongond. The first has more tradional Korean goods, and the other is a trendy section of town with plenty of shops and places to get a large variety of food.

I'd stay away from Itaewon at night though, and in the day it caters to the tourists, but do you want to spend your short time being offered cheap junk?
posted by vagabond at 6:27 AM on November 15, 2005

You could certainly get into and outa Seoul in 15 hours. The airport *is* about 1 hour away by bus, however, no matter what anybody says (might be 45 minutes during non-rush i.e., 12 AM - 5 AM hours). It is an easy ride in that it takes you from the terminals to where you wanna go, but it's not fast. I didn't take the train, but I figure it's about the same.

Dongdaemoon market is a huge shopping complex of 3(?) high-rises each with 10 or so floors of insane shopping. Prices get lower and lower the later it gets, and Korean's partake in what is known as "Drunk Shopping." It's definitely a good nighttime activity.

If I were getting in the morning (11) and not leaving until the next day, I'd get a hotel for sure. If only to shower from your long flight and have a place to drop your bag. Korea does not see that many western tourists (US Military? Yes. Tourists? No.), so you'll stick out with a Thailand-style backpack on. If you're only there for a night, it's up to you, but I'd still do it. At least catch a few hours of sleep before heading back out for the airport.

Internet in the airport is indeed coin-op. As of spring of 2005. I didn't see any wifi there, but perhaps the large airline business class lounges have it. They often do. I think there are showers and stuff there -- and some interesting shops with Korean and Japanese electronics. Meh prices of course. You won't die of boredem or starvation in the airport, but I'd get out, even if you only have an evening, and definitely if you have a whole day.
posted by zpousman at 7:45 AM on November 15, 2005

Response by poster: Looks like I'm not arriving in the morning after all. I do wish they would make that a little clearer on the itinerary.

If anything, I just want to do something for a few hours in Seoul, and then come back and crash for a few hours.

And this whole possibly 'no Internet Access' is starting to irk me.
posted by jasmeet at 10:08 AM on November 15, 2005

you will find internet access for reasonable prices in the airport, but prices are super cheap in seoul. Find a sign that says "PC" and has game ads near the door. go in, you shoudl pay 1-2 bucks/hr (1000-2000 korean won) and the attendant will be able to help you with rudimentary english & hand gestures. Again, though, shoot me an email & I'll give you my phone number. I speak enough Korean that I might could help in some situations.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:28 PM on November 15, 2005

I didn't see any wifi there, but perhaps the large airline business class lounges have it.

All of the departure lounges at Incheon airport are blanketed in free wireless broadband. I've used it many times. If you don't have your own laptop, you can go to a desk, hand over some ID, and they'll give you one to use, for free.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:43 PM on November 28, 2005

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