Incheon City Bus Tour

Friday, 7 October 2016

Took a little Sunday getaway to Incheon again for a team trip under the Incheon Supporters Program. It's funny how when I was living in Songdo, Incheon I was traveling around Seoul and other parts, and now that I'm in Seoul I'm actually doing a program where I keep going to Incheon. Well it was really nice having a look at Incheon again after having been away for such a long time. So Incheon recently released a new City Bus Tour and our group was in charge of trying it out!

Our first stop was in Chinatown, which is located at Incheon Station Exit 2, Line 1. Once you get off you should see the gate, which actually used to be grey as you can see from this post. But apparently now they've colored it and it's all different and bright. The place was a little different as when I was here a year ago and it was really vibrant, especially on a Sunday afternoon where people from all over were here to eat and walk around.

If you're interested in the Incheon City Bus Tour take a look at this website: City Bus Tour. It goes to a few places across Incheon, mainly the ones that more people go to, and it's all for 5,000W per person, you can keep getting on and getting off the buses to go to different locations. However, do take note of the first and last buses so as to not get stranded. But nevertheless Incheon isn't that huge to be stranded without a way out. The map is in Korean so I'll translate all the stops for you: Starts off with Chinatown, then G-Tower (Canal Walk), Solchan Park, Techno Park. Songdo Conventia, Central Park, Incheon Museum, Art Street, Wolmi Park, Wolmi Culture Street and then back to Chinatown. Well for this trip we went from Chinatown to G-Tower, then Canal Walk, Solchan Park and then finally Central Park so if you're interested in those you can read on!

We had 2 Chinese in our group who really wanted to eat a more authentic type of Chinese cuisine, rather than the Korean-styled ones like the black bean paste noodles, chicken, pork that I've eaten till the point it has become boring. I really wanted to eat something that was a little more towards what can actually be found in China. We went to this restaurant where it had more dishes than the usual and ordered from there. 

This rice was heavenly. Prawns, eggs were abundant and it tasted so homely!

The rest were pretty much usual that is always eaten here in Korea.. After that we walked around a little bit more till it was time for us to take the bus. Chinatown is really interesting and it has a different feel than all the other parts of Korea. Well, it's literally a taste of China, although most of China isn't like this place anymore.

Bought the tickets from the Tourist Information Booth just right outside Incheon Station and then caught the bus. Refer to the website given at the beginning of the post for the timings. Alternatively, you can get a brochure from the tourist information counter and that has the timings as well. Do take note of the timings of the last buses as well!

Got off at G-Tower, which is right next to Canal Walk. G-Tower is one of the highest towers here with an observatory where you can get a great view of Songdo. So apparently going up to the observatory on the 33rd floor is free and there's also a restaurant on the 32nd that is a little bit expensive. 

The view was pretty amazing and they have a few interactive displays and also a little projector show on how Songdo came about and what they plan to do or something. Didn't really watch as I was busy experiencing their washroom. After that, we went back down and headed to NC Cube or Canal Walk which was a very interesting shopping area that was made to mimic New York City (I think) or Europe. It looked more like NYC than anything else and it was an entirely different feel from other parts of Korea or even Songdo. 

The entire NC Cube was divided into 4 different parts and they're segregated by seasons, starting with Spring, Summer, Autumn and then Winter. I guess it's also called Canal Walk since there's a really long "canal" that linked the entire shopping area. But I really wonder whether they know that canals are usually dirty and what they had were more like clean streams that made the entire place feel extremely extravagant and sophisticated.

The place was great for photography and had many beautiful and interesting cafes that sold many different kinds of food. They also had a second floor which were mostly restaurants or offices. I believe the third and fourth floors were residential but they could have easily been offices as well. It looked like a really great place to shop as it had all the usual brand names you would see in Seoul and it also reminded me of Paju's shopping outlet mall. Bought Krispy Kreme as well since they were having a sale and we sat down to have some nice ice desserts since we walked so much.

Went back to the bus stop and got back on the bus again, this time heading to Solchan Park which was right behind Incheon University. This park is known for this windmill right here, and a short walking course. The entire park was really small but it was a nice place for people to fly kites and enjoy the weather and a little bit of nature. 

Didn't really have much to do since it was small so we just took some photos and stayed for 30 minutes. Got back on the bus and headed to the final location of the day: Central Park! Central Park is extremely well known in Songdo and it's where the triplets stay (if you know them you would know this place too). Since they were having a promotion for the City Bus, we had to take some photos and upload them on our social media to get some souvenirs (bottles, pouches) 

Walked around Central Park for a bit, went to see the deer and rabbits and then finally went to the boat rental area where we rented kayaks. It has been so long since I've been here that they added crystal kayaks which you could actually see the water. They provided hats as well on top of the life vests so you could pick the different caps or hats that you liked before you went off.

They provided towels as well to cover your legs in case the water spills in or drips in. It was really fun and I enjoyed the water, sights and environment. I've actually been to the park many times but I've never ridden a kayak here before so it was great. Afterward we went up to the second floor to Sunelli, which was well known for their pasta and pizza and ordered some dinner for ourselves. 

Dinner was great (as usual) and then we went out to take more photos of the night lights around the area. Central Park also has a mini Hanok Village (Korean traditional housing) which is home to a few restaurants, cafes and also a hotel. The place was really beautiful so we decided to head to a local convenience store, buy some food and drinks and come back for a picnic while we enjoyed the night scenery. 

Decided to call it a night after it became really dark and when it was getting late, seeing that some of us had class the next day and others had work. Had to take a long bus all the way back to Seoul but it was a good hour of sleep and then headed home, took a nice shower and drifted off into a nice slumber. All in all a fun day traveling to Incheon, thanks to the Incheon Tourism Organization and the MeIn Incheon Supporters Program!

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