Our trip to Cambodia actually starts with a mini-trip to Korea. I’m embarrassed to say that despite Seoul being a smidge closer to Fukuoka than Tokyo, I hadn’t actually made it to Korea before this. Too busy running around Japan. Because we had an extensive layover in Incheon Airport (almost 7 hours), we took advantage of one of the free transit tours offered by Korean Air. I believe Asiana Air also offers similar transit packages. Definitely worth checking into if you find yourself changing planes in Incheon and with lots of time to kill (and insufficient funds to shop at Fendi, Coach, Burberry or all the other posh stores in the airport). Do note that you should go through immigration and customs (mark transit tour as your reason for visiting) and proceed to the transit tour booth on the first floor of international arrivals. This was not clear to us when we arrived, but thankfully we found their third floor info booth and go the low-down there.
The timing of our flights was such that we could only do the 2 hour tour, which took us across the Incheon Grand Bridge by bus to Heungryunsa Temple and then to the Memorial Hall for the Incheon Landing Operation (Korean War). The trip to and from the aiport takes a while, so we only had fifteen minutes at each site. Would’ve liked more. Heungryunsa Temple was lovely and I would have loved to wander around more taking pictures. And we didn’t have time to make it into the museum at the Memorial Hall; I’m sure my dad would have liked that (he served in Korea well after the war). There were three sets of Japanese tourists/business folk with us, all apparently on their way back from somewhere. Our guide spoke very good English, but no Japanese, so I fear they were a little lost.
I was fascinated by the low tide as we crossed over on the bridge. I’ve never seen such a vast expanse of sand left behind by the retreating tide, not even at Miyajima (where the famous torii gate gets stranded). Kilometer after kilometer of damp sand, but no water. There seemed to be one deep channel that remained filled, since all the large shipping boats were still anchored there. Not sure if I could’ve dealt with a 21 km bridge over high tide, though.
I will definitely go back at some point, make it into Seoul for shopping (I hear Tony Moly makeup calling me) and food. Next year, hopefully.
You can see some additional photos here.