Incheon, a gateway to Korea

If you fly into Korea these days, you’ll likely visit Incheon. Home to South Korea’s largest airport and the largest seaport on the country’s west coast, Incheon is a large and bustling place.

An aerial view of Incheon International Airport

While I have it pinned on my map as a city I’ve been to, to be honest I’ve only seen the airport. But there are a couple of things I really remember about Incheon. First was how strange it was to see hangul words painted on the streets as our shuttle was leaving the airport. I had to remind myself that, of course, the street signs would be written in hangul. The second is that Incheon was the location of our first family photo, taken in the airport by another adoptive parent who had been on the shuttle with us.

So why did I choose Incheon for this weeks travel dI chose Incheon as today’s destination because it’s where jjajangmyeon was first created in the early 19th century and it seemed like a good tie in. But efore deciding to do this post, I didn’t really know much about Incheon.

 Some things I learned:
* the first historical record of Incheon dates to 475 A.D.
* it is the site where U.S. troops landed on September 15, 1950, to launch the U.N. offensive against North Korea’s invasion
* the tallest building in Korea is located here, the Northeast Asia Trade Tower, which stands 1,001 feet tall and has 68 floors
* the city is has declared itself an “English city” in hopes of establishing itself as a business hub

Incheon is home to a basketball team, baseball team, and soccer team. There’s Wolmido on Green Beach, which was one of the landing site’s for MacArthur’s forces. Now there’s a boardwalk and an amusement park there. Incheon Landing Operation Memorial Hall has a small museum dedicated to the 1950 landing. And Incheon Dohobu Cheongsa is the old government complex that has existed since 1424 A.D., during the reign of King Sejong.

Honestly, I don’t know if there’s much for a pure tourist to do in Incheon. But if you’re ever there on business or if you’re child was born in Incheon, now you have some ideas on what’s the city has to offer.


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