Korea’s Second Largest Port City, Incheon (인천)

Incheon is a fantastic idea for a travel destination that is out of Seoul yet still conveniently accessible from Seoul. By taking the subway on Line 1, you can get to Incheon in about an hour, which makes travelling to Incheon both an inexpensive and ideal place to explore on a weekend. There is a sizeable Chinese community in Incheon, which has led to the establishment of a vibrant Chinatown right at the heart of Incheon. Incheon is also the second largest port city in Korea, and one of the top five largest cities in Korea. There are plenty of things to see and do in Incheon and here we recommend the top 3 places to check out in Incheon.

1. Wolmido Island (월미도)

Wolmido Island is one of the top tourist attractions in Incheon. Located about 1km off the coast of Incheon, it can be easily accessed by buses from the Incheon subway station. It is named as such due to the island’s resemblance to the tail of a half moon. You can find a cultural street, amusement park, restaurants, beaches and even monorail facilities on the island.

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It takes about 20 minutes to get to Wolmido Island from Incheon Station.
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Seafood restaurants lining the road leading to the amusement park.
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On a quiet weekday at the amusement park.
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Hungry seagulls hovering above the ferry.
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Visitors posing for photographs against a backdrop of flying seagulls.
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The seagulls fly so close you can almost touch them.
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The tired ones.
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You can also buy snacks from the nearby stores to have a go at feeding the seagulls!
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An instant photo booth.
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Shops and restaurants near the Wolmido Beach.
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Incheon International Airport is located on the island directly facing Wolmido Island.
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Business is slow on weekdays.
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Wolmido Island is a popular dating ground for couples.
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A man sits infront of a stationary Viking ship.

How to get to Wolmido Island: 

After alighting from the subway at Incheon Station, cross the street to take the bus from the entrance of Chinatown. Buses 2 and 23 will bring you to the heart of Wolmido Island in less than 15 minutes

2. Incheon Chinatown

What is a trip to Incheon without visiting Chinatown? Incheon was once an extraterritoriality of the Qing Dynasty, and together with the opening of the Incheon Port in 1883, opened up the island to an influx of Chinese traders and settlers. Many established roots in Incheon, and most of the Chinese Koreans that you find in Incheon today are 2nd or 3rd generation Chinese of the early settlers.

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Incheon Chinatown is located opposite Incheon Station.
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The unassuming Incheon Station.
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A sea of red here at Chinatown.
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A shop selling handmade clocks.
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Another shop selling traditional Chinese handicraft.
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Colours of Chinatown.
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The go-to place for your Chinese food fix.
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Customers queueing up to buy a kind of biscuit snack.
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Mooncake-like snacks with fillings such as red bean, sweet potato and pumpkin.
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Chinatown with a Korean flavour.
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Restaurants selling black bean paste noodles, or jjajangmyeon, are aplenty here at Chinatown.
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A cheap but delicious dish.
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Outside the restaurant, curious passer-bys look through the wares displayed outside a shop.

Chinatown is also conveniently located next to the UN Peace Park. Visitors to Chinatown often also check out the park, and you can even see the port of Incheon at one of the vantage points on the hill.

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At one of the road leading towards the top of the hill, murals depicting stories from the 3 Dynasties adorn the walls.
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Figurines of the 12 zodiac animals.
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Which is your zodiac sign?
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Walking further up the hill, we arrived at the UN Peace Park.
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Looking at the port of Incheon in the background.
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General Douglas MacArthur is a revered figure here in Korea.
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Seems like a popular resting spot for these birds.
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This park was built to remember the Korean War as well as the Battle of Incheon.
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Exploring the park.
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Incheon in early spring.
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An elderly man painting in the park. You can also buy these paintings from him.
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Relaxing with a cup of home-brew coffee in a pavilion.

How to get to Chinatown:

Cross the road from the Incheon subway station and you will arrive at the entrace of Chinatown.

3. Bupyeong Sipjeongdong Mural Village

Are you a fan of the hit drama series ‘Reply Me 1988’? If so, you might be interested in checking out this small little mural village in Bupyeong, a few subway stations away from Incheon station. It was here in the mural village that certain scenes in the drama were filmed!

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This mart featured in the hit drama ‘Reply Me 1988’.
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Murals adorn the walls of these worn down buildings.
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The colourful murals inject some vibrancy into an otherwise quiet and unassuming neighbourhood.
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Take care not to disturb the residents here!
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Watching the sun set at the top of the hill where the neighbourhood stands on.

 

How to get to Sipjeongdong Mural Village:

From Dongam Station on Line 1, take bus 564 (1 stop), or buses 592, 593, 42, 103, 7, 77, 10, 530 or 7-1 and alight at the second stop.

Incheon is an interesting place popular with Koreans who want to get close to the sea and beach. The next time you run out of ideas of places to visit in Seoul, why not consider hopping onto Line 1 of the subway and visit Incheon instead?

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