Wolmi-do, or Wolmi Island, is not really an island anymore, but is connected to mainland Incheon forming a peninsula. This peninsula was the central point of the Incheon Invasion during the Korean War (there were three landing beaches: one at Wolmi-do, one to the north, and one to the south near the Incheon Landing Monument). Today Wolmi-do is a famous get-away for Seoul and Incheon residents, with its small amusement park, raw fish (Korean sushi) restaurants, wide boardwalk, and cool ocean breezes (really cold ocean breezes in January!).
Though Wolmi-do was recorded as the home for one of King Hyojong's royal palace in 1653, nothing remains of this residence. In the 1920s under Japanese rule, Wolmi-do became famous as a resort town. After the wars this area suffered, but was restored in 1989 when "Culture Street" was created, bringing thousands of visitors every day.
If you do not want to go from the airport to the city for a special purpose on your own, there are transit tours offered through the Korea Tourism Organization.
Tours are offered for a variety of things between 1 hour to 8 hour durations.
If you are comfortable navigating a new city (Seoul is fairly easy with good metro), then with a little planning on your own, you can do most as a self guided tour and save some money.
However, if you want a hassle free way of doing it, then these tours will put your mind to rest. All short tours leave during normal business hours upon request. All operating hours and costs are listed in the web page links.
The one tour that you cannot do by yourself from Incheon that they offer is a DMZ tour (leaves 8:30am). This tour is quite good, but the things it leaves out that would be offered from other city-based tours are the JSA (Joint Security Area), Camp Bonifas, Bridge of No Return.
When I was at Incheon International Airport in November 2008, the new terminal has started in operation. In order to each the new terminal, you need to check-in through the immigration and then take a skytrain linking the two terminals. The new terminal is big and there are many gates serving various airlines. There are shopping and restaurants at the new terminal, so do not worry :)
Incheon International Airport was completed in 2001 and is one of the best airports in Asia. It is located on Yeongjong-Yeongyu Island in the Yellow Sea, about 1.25 hours West of Seoul by bus or car. The airport is huge (50 departure gates), curved shape and only has one terminal so far so it is easy to move around. Transport to Seoul is by the airport buses or taxis (there is no subway yet).
I find that the architecture of Incheon International Airport is very beautiful, and there are many shops at the transit area for last minute shopping before you leave (but the stuff there are expensive as you might expect). More information is at the official airport website below.
The Hangang River (or Han River) is a major river passing through Seoul and empties into the shoreline at the Incheon area. During the journey from Incheon International Airport to Seoul, you will have a chance to see the beautiful scenery of this river, including the many bridges across the river as well as the parks and recreational facilities along its banks (especially in the Seoul area). More photos are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
There are many islands surrounding this region of the Yellow Sea, and perhaps the most visited must be Yeongjong-Yeongyu Island where the Incheon International Airport is located (see photos). This is one of the biggest islands in this region, and there is a small airport town near to the airport where you can reach by taking airport bus number 223 (check with the airport bus counter at the arrival terminal).
There is a huge bridge linking Yeongjong-Yeongyu Island to the mainland of South Korea which you will pass by to get off this island. This bridge offers very beautiful scenery of the surrounding islands and sea (see the travelogue section for more photos), especially during low tide where you can see the red-coloured scenery of the shorelines. A map of the island is shown in the photos in case you are interested to visit this island :)
The sea and shorelines around Incheon are famous because of the tides. During low tide, a large portion of the shore is exposed as though someone has pull the plug on the sea. In fact it has the second biggest tidal differences of any location in the world (the top is at the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada). You will see the beautiful red coloured landscape (I think this is because of the red algae) during low tide and this is a sight which is hard to forget.
Incheon is a metropolitan city and a major seaport on the west coast of South Korea, near to Seoul. It is home to about 2.5 million people and is regarded as part of the greater Seoul metropolitan area due to its close proximity to the capital.
Personally, I have not been to Incheon city but may do so the next time I visit South Korea. For those of you interested to get here, the Seoul subway and the Incheon subway systems are linked so you can take the subway from Seoul.
Another ways of reaching Incheon is by taking the frequent express buses from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal (should take less than 2 hours one-way).
Incheon Landing Memorial Hall is located on the southern edge of Incheon near Songdo Resort. This is a museum, monument, and overlook dedicated to those who died during the Incheon Invasion of the Korean War. It is a simple memorial with the flags of the 16 nations that fought under the UN mandate during the war, photos of the war and the city, a memorial tower, and some relief carvings of soldiers and the battle.
The coastal area in front of the Memorial marks the southern landing zone of the UN forces during the Incheon Invasion of the Korean War.
High above the port of Incheon sits a monument dedicated to US General Douglas MacArthur to commemorate his daring amphibious invasion at Incheon on September 15, 1950. This date marks the beginning of the liberation of South Korea from the communists after the north had attacked anf pushed allied forces all the way south to Pusan. Though the war lasted almost three more years, this was certainly a key turning point and it guaranteed the south wasn't quickly defeated.
The 15-foot tall monument is located in Jaya Park which provides scenic vistas to Wolmi-do and the coast north of Incheon.
With the recurring anti-American sentiment in South Korea over issues such as North Korea's nuclear program, US military forces in South Korea, and the war in Iraq, the monument has become a popular spot for protests and counter-protests.
Incheon claims to host the only Chinatown in Korea. Chinatown is in Incheon due to Incheon being the seaport closest to mainland China, the home of an early Chinese consulate, and an easy destination for Chinese immigrants. Chinatown is hard to miss with its impressive Chinese gates marking the main entrances, as well as the distinctive, complex Chinese characters on many buildings. Chinatown sits in a prime location between Incheon Station and Jayu Park. The Chinese population of this area is said to have peaked at around 10,000 people in the 1940s, but is just a fraction of that size today.
Besides the MacArthur Monument, Jayu park also boasts a monument dedicated to Korean-American cooperation, a small aviary, nice paths, and traditional pavilions. The views over the city are impressive as you can see Wolmi-do, the beaches to the north, and the huge port. The monument is called the Centennial Monument and was constructed in 1982 to commemorate the US-Korea Amity and Trade Treaty of May 22, 1882.
Built in 1888, Jayu Park is considered the first Western-style park in the country.
Additional Info: The island that Full house is located in is called Shin-do or Si-Do island. It is about 10 to 20 minutes taxi ride from Incheon airport and then you have to ride a ferry to Sammock harbour. There you don't have to pay going to the island but instead pay on your way back. When you get off the ferry, ride a bus goingt o full house (its color blue) and you only have to pay 1,000 won. Then you get off and walk 1.5 kilometers to full house (if i were you, rent a bike to full house because it is really a long long long... long walk. Even my korean friend felt like it was an eternity to get there--- and koreans love to walk) In full house, you have to pay 3,000 won to get inside the hosue and tour around. The ferry leves every hour--- 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm and so forth. You then have to walk back again to the bus stop and this time wait for the bus to arrive. Feel free to hitch a ride because the bus comes once in a blue moon. People there are generally friendly but you really have to brush up on your korean language know-how if you want to hitch a ride back to the harbour. In teh harbour you pay to get back to the mainland and then walk a long way again to the bus stop to get back to Incheon airport where you have to transfer to an airport shuttle bus (free of charge). Suggestion is that you come early because what really takes time is waiting for the transportation to come and pick you up to where you want to go.
Behind only Busan, Incheon boasts Korea's second largest port. With the tide changes measuring up to 10 meters, the port has created innovative flood gates to allow cargo traffic to pass 24 hours a day. The international passenger terminal offers trips to various cities in China including Tianjin, Cheongdo, Daeryeon, Shanghai and Dandong. The passenger terminal also has ferries to Jeju Island.
This house was built for filming the series "Full House". After the fimling end, it was arrange for tourists to visit. Now, fans of Full House from all over Asia come to visit this house. The entrance fee is 3000 Won. If you never watch this series, do not go or find this series to watch before go to this place.