I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, but there is no real tip on here about getting to Korea. Most travelers to Korea get there by air and the airport makes your first initial impression of how your trip will be in my opinion. Korea's main international airport is located at Incheon; about an hour west of Seoul. It is quite frankly one of the best airports i have ever had the pleasure of transisting through. It has all the conviences that any major world airport has but they seem to be more logically placed and easier to use than I have found anywhere else. For instance, there are lockers (free for one day use) for transit passengers located right in the transit area. You only have to ask the information desk for a key (which by the way is very multi-lingual). There is a reasonably priced shower and sauna service. There is even a transit hotel right on the 4th floor if you have a long lay over that doesn't give you time visit the city, but still too long to just sit in a terminal seat waiting for your flight.
After spending three quarters on the passport control, our bags were already out..
So we jumped out to the arriving hall, where people were waiting for their quests..
The first thing we have done inside the custom, is to move to the leftside to the exchange offices.. We have changed as small as possible due the rate was far below the officialcurrency.. During our visit time the currency was 1 USD=1024 KWR, Approx 1 USD=1000 Korean money, so it was easy to make calculations..
After a nine hours flight, we were there at the Incheon airport.. The second but the biggest airport of Seoul. All Major flights are arriving to this airport..
We left the plane and queued in front of the passport control..The first surprise to host us.. Waiting 50 minutes just for the pass control..Yep we were unlucky may be selecting the slowest one, but still this shall not be a nice way to start a journey...
Seoul's Incheon Airport is one of the few places in the Seoul area which has no metro or rail link, and it is a long way from the city.
Taxis are expensive, but there is a good network of express and bus services outside the arrivals terminal. Tickets are available from booths and also from helpers in uniform by most stops.
The buses all have clear markings in English. Korean Airlines operate four services and other companies operate a variety of routes.
Noticeboards and maps show information clearly in English, Japanese and Chinese and I noticed a leaflet in French. The Koreans know how to satisfy a lot of nations!
The buses are clean and the KAL buses have reclining business-class leather seats. The journey into Seoul varies enormously but count on an hour minimum at the weekend to the Dong-hwa area and 90 minutes during the week outside rush hours, perhaps double in the rush hour. Apparently locals use the express bus to the old airport at Gimpo, then the metro.
Tickets cost around Won 12,000 single.
Incheon Airport is very easy on arrivals, with very clear, very obvious signs in Korean and English.
The arrivals hall is on the ground floor, and just outside are the bus services to the downtown area. There is no metro to the airport yet.
The airport "limousine" (bus) services are frequent and get you downtown quicker than you might expect, especially if you are arriving at the weekend.
This is a well-planned, attractive airport!
In-Cheon Airport are North-East Asia hub Airport.
Airport to Seoul city center almost 60km
by bus, taxi transportation.
Seoul commission airlines,
China northern airlines.
China southern airlines.
KLM royal dutch airlines.
Lufthhansa german airlines.
Malaysian airline system.
China eastern airlines.
All nippon airways.
Miat mongolian airlines.
Qantas airways ltd.
Aeroflot soviet airlines.
Thai airwas international.
China northwest airlines.
Taking a flight out of Seoul is like taking a shuttle bus anyway really. It's a no-brainer, the fares are cheap and you can buy the tickets on the spot. Just head for GIMPO Domestic Airport and aim for any ticketing counter.
Going by Korean Air is always a cheaper option since this airline is state-owned. If you've got a bit of extra cash, aim for Asiana, the service is better and you can cash in on you star alliance points. Better still, they'll allow you to book your e-tickets online at a discounted price. Here's a sample of their fares(one-way)
Seoul->Cheju Island (52,960won)
I flew this time from Tokyo to Seoul(Kimpo International Airport) on Northwest Airlines http://www.nwa.com/
The airline offering the cheapest deal at the time I flew was United Airlines
Previously I have always flown from Fukuoka, Japan to Seoul on Korean Air
The cost from Fukuoka (buying your ticket in Japan) is around 20,000 yen return. From Tokyo my ticket cost 44,000 return but it's possible to get there for around 30,000 yen if you buy your ticket well in advance.
Korea's new International Airport at Inchon was opened on March 29,2001. This will probably add another hour to your journey into central Seoul.
For more information on the new airport go to Incheon International Airport
After passing through Seoul Incheon (ICN) airport I have to recommend it as the best transit airport I've been through.
The airport is clean, open and easy to navigate. There are tons of Restaurants and Shops to waste time in while waiting for a flight.
A first rate hotel is directly attached and you can rent rooms for hours if you have a long layover.
Showers and massages cater to overseas fliers and the transit lounges on the upper level are a great place to lose that airport feeling.
If you are looking for a good airport to hop through asia on and have tired of Japan, give ICN a try.
The new gateway to South Korea and Seoul, the impressive Incheon International Airport is now the international airport of choice for travelers. There are tons of flights arriving into the airport on a daily basis. Whether you are coming from America, Europe, Africa, Australia or other parts of Asia, this will probably be your first glimpse of Korea. The attendants are friendly and cheerful. Do take comfortable shoes as the distances are long in this huge airport.
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