Trip to Incheon! (Day 2) [Chinatown, Incheon]

Monday, 9 February 2015

Went to the Chinatown of South Korea the next day, located at the end of the line 1, Incheon Station, the moment you get out you should be able to see the great gate in stone grey the moment you step out of the train station. It's pretty amazing, because almost every country (Asian country) has like, a Chinatown and a Little India.
The place is pretty huge, however there's a road map for Chinatown at the entrance so be sure to take a picture before you leave so you can refer to it whenever you get lost. Like any tourist attraction, there are certain parts of Chinatown that are a must-go be it for phototakings sake, or for buying of local goodies. For us, we just wanted to buy this thing called Air Bread or Gongibbang (공기빵) where it's a light crisp "bun" that was bloated up so that it's really huge and crispy. More on that later... I'll let the photos do the talking.


Traditional clothes and toys are sold along the way

A more detailed map on where to go

Since we were here, wanted to give this a try
The sign board literally says Po-chun-ku-kee (fortune cookie)

The first shop that sold the gongibbang

We wanted to buy it only at night, lest it get soft

This roadside store was selling lamb satay*

What's more to say, of course we got 1

There were two kinds of toppings, one being the Chinese-sided flavor and the other being the Korean-sided flavor. Both had a really salty taste however, you can taste the different spices. The final product of our lamb "satay" was half Chinese and half Korean haha.

This one was selling traditional red bean pastry buns

And we got 2 from here...

There were many flavors, from red bean to cheese, custard and even chocolate.

Had to wait a little bit... but here it is!

After this, we walked around taking more photos... but the funny thing is that we weren't allowed to take photos.. Good thing I could act a little bit into the street photography without looking at the camera to snap a shot. Managed to get these beauties before they realized and waved us away, whilst screaming.

From here on, it was just walking and walking... and more walking. Just to go through Chinatown into Jayu Park (자유공원) and then finally Fairytale Village (동화마을). Since all 3 were connected, it would be a waste not to clear all 3 areas in 1 day instead of coming back another time.. So here we were on the way to the park. I remember clocking 20,000 steps on that day.

It really looks like middle eastern china in here with all the olden day buildings that are kept preserved and still having people live in them. However, in the midst of all these memories there are still cafes that bring around a more social and cultured feeling to the place.

Walked the wrong way and ended up at this fashion street that looked like a niche housing area with shops and restaurants everywhere. Took a turn back and headed towards Jayu Park. The hill upwards was really steep and there were many old folks around walking so we didn't want to lose face hahaha.

Took a photo of this adorable couple taking a photo of their shadows together

There were many houses like these which looked old and uncultivated with creepers all over.

The name of the mart below is "that mart" if literally translated.

Finally here at Jayu park. The place was serene and quiet, with leaves blowing and sunrays creeping through the bare naked branches and twigs of the trees. Winter indeed was still rampant everywhere. Took a break near the benches because of the steep long walk up here and then continued on towards the other side before we went down.

Say this huge bird cage in the middle so decided to go check it out. There were many animals inside, birds, chickens, peacocks, ducks, geese all the kinds all living together harmoniously and noisily (well they're forced so I guess..)

pok pok pok

All in all, it's a nice place to just come trekking and then resting on top because the location is breezy, calm and away from all the noise and air pollution. The air is fresh and the people are few, mostly silent elderly or couples just wanting to take a walk. We walked all the way to the top in order to see the view across the port or sea.

Saw this huge pavilion that has a stage and wanted to take some nice photos for display photos. The sun was nice, the wind was cool, and I had no hair flying around to mess up the photo. ^_^

Korea-U.S.A 100 year Monument

All in all, it's just a buttload of walking non-stop to see things that you wouldn't normally see everywhere and a lot of phototaking. I am not one to make the trip here to appreciate something for a second time so I would take it all within a single time to experience and see everything so I wouldn't have to make a second trip.

After all that walking, we headed back down towards Chinatown so that we could cut through to the fairytale village. Went through another side of Chinatown to see other stuff so that we could cover more ground (Oh yes, make plans on where to walk before setting off so you wouldn't make a double trip on places you went before)

They even have a noodle museum lol

From here on, we just kept walking down the street, snapping shots along the way toward the Fairytale Village. The road was long, the cars were many but the night was pretty quiet except for the sounds of restaurant workers trying to pull in customers to their otherwise similar places selling almost similar food.

At last, we arrived at Fairytale Village (동화마을). This street has murals around the walls, floors and surroundings of the buildings of the fairytale books that we always read as children. Can you believe that people actually still live in these houses? It's just that the place was revamped a little bit to be turned into a tourist attraction. We arrived there around 4-5pm where the sun hasn't actually set, so the lights weren't turned on yet.

A map at the entrance showing all the murals available

One thing that I realized about Korea is that... even though the characters are easily identifiable, the difference in their appearance bothered me a little.. I mean, we all know our dearest Peter Pan, Snow White, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, however the faces that were depicted in these characters looked far from the ones that I grew up with. I was thinking that maybe it's the ones that the Koreans grew up with. (Having the concept of idea from western countries and drawing up their own)

The place is decorated with pretty lights and vividly colored walls. The arrangement was pretty amazing, having many places for phototaking and sitting too. 

One of my favourite shots

When we reached the end of the street, it was night time and the lights were beginning to turn on. The sky was darkening and the tangy orange-magenta skies were blended with a soft blue. This shot downwards was pretty amazing from my side, and though steep to the point I felt I might tumble, it provided me a nice angle of the entire street all the way down to the entrance.

Finally, it came to an end... and this calls for DINNER. We headed all the way back to Chinatown where we had to scour through and search for the best place for the coveted Jjajjangmyeon (짜짱면), black bean paste noodles and Tangsooyook (탕수육), pork in sweet and sour sauce.

After a while, we decided on the biggest building, since I guess they should have had the customer base in order to earn that much to have such a huge building. On top of that, the President of South Korea dined there before too! So I guess it had to be of certain standard, right? ^_^



With that, we concluded the second day.

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