What You Need To Know
Incheon is an historically and economically significant place for Koreans. During the Korean War, the city was the site of the Incheon Landing by American forces. The city serves as a transportation hub by air and sea, with a massive harbor and the world best international airport. Several beautiful islands, such as Yeongjong Island and Ganghwa Island, are also within city limits.
The status of the area is set to increase as various national projects are in development in Incheon. The New Songdo City plan, the most expensive real estate development in Korean history, will be finished in 2015. One of the world’s tallest twin tower buildings, 151 Incheon tower, is under early construction and Korea’s current tallest building, the Northeast Asia Trade Tower, is already finished. Incheon is planning to launch further independent mini-cities for shopping, housing, and education. Added to this real estate development, Incheon will also invite a large number of visitors for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Despite these developments, the Songdo area of Incheon is currently unfinished and largely uninhabited, not yet a viable destination for tourists. Travelers are more likely to enjoy the bustling eastern side of Incheon which blurs into the vast expanse of Seoul.
Incheon, a South Korean city bordering the capital of Seoul, has long been a transportation hub. The ultramodern, massive Incheon International Airport, with railway connections to Seoul, features a casino, spa and golf course. Yeonan Pier, close to the popular Incheon Fish Market, is the starting point for many boat tours. Incheon is also known for its beach-lined islands, including Yeongjong and Muui-dong.
Population: 2.838 million (2014)
Area: 397 mi²
The currency of Seoul is the South Korean won, or won for short. The currency sign for the won is . The South Korean won comes in coins of 10, 50, 100, 500 and bills or banknotes of 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000.
Converting your cash to Korean won in your home country is usually not a good idea. Many international banks have a small amount of Korean won to exchange or even do not carry any at all. Exchange rates could also be high, so it is better to wait.
Converting cash at Incheon International Airport may be better than at overseas bank, but it is also not a good idea. The conversion rates are usually horrible or there is a large commission fee. If you need to convert a small amount of money to be able to get to your hotel, then that should be fine, but do not convert a large amount of cash. You will feel cheated if you do.
At a time, it seemed like restaurants and shops in Seoul only accepted cash. Today, credit cards are accepted almost everywhere including more and more small restaurants. MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. American Express is rarely accepted. To be safe, bring as many different types of credit cards as you have.
Incheon has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa). Incheon’s climate is about average compared to the rest of Korea, with 8 locations being cooler and 10 locations being warmer, and with 9 locations being wetter and 9 locations being drier.
Incheon experiences each of its four seasons, distinctly feeling the rise and fall of temperature and humidity. The temperature however, never rises to an extreme, and the climate of the city is essentially mild. Incheon is swept by the seasonal winds as the northwesterly winds strike the city in the winter and the summer in Incheon is affected by gusts of the warm southwesterly winds.
The Gyeonggi or Seoul dialect of Korean is the basis of the standard language of both North and South Korea. It is spoken in the Seoul National Capital Area in South Korea, which includes Seoul, Incheon, and Gyeonggi, as well as in Kaesong in North Korea.
Incheon forms the heart of Capital Industrial Region. During the industrialization of South Korea, several industrial complexes were built throughout the city, and as a result, the city was largely dependent on manufacturing industry. But with the designation of Incheon Free Economic Zone in 2003, the city is now making an effort to foster new growth industries. Major industrial parks include Bupyeong industrial complex, which hosts GM Incheon plant(formerly a GM Daewoo Incheon plant), Juan industrial complex, and Namdong Industrial complex.
In recent years, bio industry is emerging as a new growth industry of the city. Currently, with the total production capacity of 330kℓ per year, the city ranks 2nd in the world by production capacity along with San Francisco, United States. The capacity is under expansion, and after completion in 2018, the city will rank 1st with the production capacity of 510kℓ. Also, logistics industry is also experiencing a rapid growth, thanks to Incheon Airport, which was ranked fourth in the world by cargo traffic, and the expansion of Incheon Port.
The subway is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get around Incheon. There are five subway lines that run through Incheon, taking visitors to all the major districts in the city. The Airport Railroad begins at Incheon International Airport and runs across northern Incheon and on to Seoul. The Incheon Line runs north to south from Gyeyang Station to Songdo New City. Seoul Line 1 and Seoul Line 7 bring passengers in from Seoul, connecting to the Incheon Line at Bupyeong Station and Bupyeong-gu Office Station. The recently built Suin Line takes passengers across the southern Incheon. This line will be expanded further to connect Incheon to Suwon.
If the subway doesn’t go where you need to go, the bus is a great option. Buses run through almost every neighborhood in Incheon. Green buses, known as neighborhood buses, take passengers around the local neighborhood or district. Blue buses, known as the city buses, take passengers from district to district across the city. Green/White buses and Red buses take passengers from Incheon to Bucheon and Seoul.
taxis will take visitors anywhere in the city. Fares start from 2,600 won and increase with distance. However, taxi drivers usually don’t speak English, so know where you are going and have the address written down to make it easier for you.