I've been to S. Korea 3x (1996, 2001, 2006) but last April 24, 2009, I only landed at Incheon-Seoul International Airport to change plane. I was going to Los Angeles, California, to attend the Atlas Liberty Forum, and I took Korean Air. My flight then was Manila-Incheon-Narita-LA, I didn't know that my plane would make a stop over at Narita-Tokyo airport. On my flight back after more than a week, it was San Francisco-Incheon-Manila.
As usual among industrialized Asian economies, the airport is huge, typical glass-steel structure. Here's the plan and the view from the plane.
Lots of nice and huge welcoming photos greet the arriving international passengers. I like staring at those huge monitors for flight departures and arrivals. They are in major lobbies of the airport.
Glass and steel, allowing natural light to pass through, saving electricity. Modern and silent walkalators abound.
Korean Air's crew are very young and courteous ladies. I think the oldest crew I saw was late 20s or early 30s. One more reason why fly Asian airlines -- the crew are a lot younger and more friendly, food is nice, unlike many US airlines where the stewards/crew are generally old and they can be less friendly sometimes.
* I also wrote this last June 12, 2007,
Seoul, S. Korea, October 2006
It was my 3rd trip to Seoul. The first was in 1996, when I attended the "Technology and Policy" 2-weeks seminar organized by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). I was working at the House of Representatives then. The 2nd was in 2001 I think, when I joined the University of the Philippines (UP) PDE study tour. This time, I attended the 2nd Asia-Pacific Taxpayers Union (APTU) meeting, hosted by the Korea Taxpayers Association (KTA).
One thing that struck me when I arrived in Seoul this time was the new airport -- it's so big, so modern. The runways are long, and the airport is far from the city, nearly 1 hour away by car.
Since this is my 3rd visit to the city, my impression of it remains more or less the same -- generally clean, crowded with many buildings, many many cars, and few public parks.
Traditional korean food never fails to amaze me. Lots of raw herbs and grass-like vegetables, spicy food, meat and seafoods, and of course, the always present kimchi! I like kimchi, even if my eyes sometimes would be teary because of its hot and spicy taste....