Reasons to Enjoy a Layover in South Korea

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Credit to Keyword-suggestions

For anyone who’s traveled long distance flights, it is likely that you may have a layover or two before catching the next flight! South Korea’s Incheon International Airport has been the most satisfying stop for a long layover or short transit. From Bangkok, Thailand to the USA, I often pass through there, and look forward to my layover rather than dread it. Here are the reasons why:

Sleep

Credit to Karl Grobl
Credit to Karl Grobl

It’s a fact that our sleep cycles do get screwed up from travelling time zones. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flown Economy class at night only to wish I could teleport back to my bed. I’ve had layovers where I land at midnight and my next flight is at 6am.  I’m so tired and there’s been nothing but a miserable metal bench to sleep on with the janitor vacuuming right next to me.

ICN airport has you covered with The Rest & Relaxation Lounge. This is the perfect stop for transit passengers looking for their beauty sleep. Located on the 4th floor, it feels like going back to nap time in Kindergarten. They have free and comfortable lay-z boy reclining chairs, massage chairs, and lounge chairs to lie in. The ambience is quiet with dim lights and sound-proof glass windows that keeps away the noise pollution from the departure gates.

Free Showers

Credit to The Korea Herald
Credit to The Korea Herald

Whenever your layover gives you an opportunity to take a free shower, take it. It always feels good to wash away the grime and dirt of travel. Refresh yourself, feel better, and don’t be the person on the plane that smells like B.O.

ICN airport has complimentary showers rooms for transit passengers. It’s located on the 4th floor by the Relax Zone. You have to show the receptionist your boarding pass, and he/she will give you a hand towel. The shower rooms are private and comes with soap, shampoo, and a hair dryer. The showers stay hot, and feels amazing especially during winter!

Unlimited, Fast and Reliable Wifi

Credit to The Korea Herald
Credit to The Korea Herald

This airport rocks because they think about their travelers’ #1 need. Wifi.  

For someone that can’t live without Netflix or Instagram, Incheon Airport has got you covered. Wifi is not only free, but super fast here even when its public! No matter where you need to plug in, they have a plug that will fit your devices needs. Didn’t bring an international converter? No worries. They thought of everything.

Korean Cultural Activities

Credit to Martin Moodie
Credit to Martin Moodie

I was unexpectedly surprised to see men and women in bright, colorfully dressed Korean traditional wear with intricate headdresses parading through the airport. I thought they were filming some Korean Traditional Soap Opera series! It was stunning to see this, and I later found out that it was the “Walk of the Royal Family” during Josean Dynasty parade that runs every day at 11:30 and 5.

I also had an amazing time at the Korean Cultural Experience zone. The staff working there gives you an introduction on Korean Traditional Art & Culture and offers free handicraft workshops for the passengers. I learnt how to paint Korean Traditional patterns on wooden keychains, decorate a clay korean doll, and make a folk painting from Korean traditional woodblock. I left happy, inspired, and with a bunch of souvenirs to give to my family and friends.

Taco Bell with a Korean mix

Credit to S.O.F.A.T.
Credit to S.O.F.A.T.

With Mcdonald’s and KFC dominating the fast food market in Asia, I was so surprised to see that there was a Taco Bell at the airport. Granted, there are other korean restaurants if you need your bulgolgi (beef marinated in sweet and tangy soy sauce) fix or hearty bone broth soup!

However, nowhere else in the world would you find a Taco Bell that has Fiesta Bulgolgi Taco, Kimchi Cheesy Quesadillas, Grilled Bulgogi Burrito, Kimchi French Fries, and Chocodilla (chocolate filled quesadilla) . As someone that is an experimental cook and a lover of both Tex-mex and Korean, Taco Bell in South Korea won my heart over!

Transits Tour Outside the Airport

Credit to Phattana Stock
Credit to Phattana Stock

If your layover lasts between 2 to 6 hours, the Incheon Airport has complimentary tours for transit passengers going to Youngsa Temple, Oseung Observatory, Incheon Grand Bridge, Shinpo Market and many more listed here. If your transit times match with the tour schedule, you get the chance to go outside the airport and explore South Korea for a bit!