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AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

Walnut Creek...
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AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

We are to arrive at Incheon Airpot at 7am and will have about 8 hours before we take the flight to LAX. Questions.

1. Do we have enough time for any Seoul sight seeing?

2. I understand that the AREX train rake 43 min to get to Seoul. Do we need to take a shuttle to get to the AREX train at the airport? If so, how many hours (or minutes.) do we need to allocate for the shuttle?

Thanks, Eric

Walnut Creek...
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1. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

Incidentally, we will be arriving and departing on Korean Airline flights if it make any difference. Thanks, Eric

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2. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

I have read from the Forum that checking in at AREX 3 hours prior to flight departure is required. We have no luggage to check in. Does it make any difference? Thanks, Eric

Seoul, South Korea
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3. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

You will have enough time to sightsee, but not much. About 3 or 3.,5 hours at most. Say your plane lands at 7, you walk 10 minutes indoors to the AREX platform, train arrives within 10~15 minutes so let's say if things go well you're on the 50-minute train by 7:30 (could be as late as 8 am.) So you get into downtown Seoul Station - the last stop - at 8:30 to 9 a.m. If your next plane leaves at 3 p.m. you need to get back on the train by 12 p.m. or 12:30 at the latest to arrive back at airport stop at 1 ~1:30 for 3 p.m. flight.

So it boils down to 3 or 3.5 hours of sightseeing time. Enough for a quick loop through downtown and perhaps one major sight like one of the palaces near the station and a taste of Seoul, and you've got to rely on taxis to get out of the Seoul Station area and back because there's not much there (except a casino - across the street in fact!) Keep in mind there's a nice hotel on the airport property so you may want to consider relaxing.

Walnut Creek...
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4. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

Roughingit, thanks for such a thorough response. In addition to what you factored in, we may also have to through the custom and the passport control. Also, I heard of the Seoul traffic congestion and the taxi may not be able to make the timely return.

How getting off the Hongik Univ Station without going all the way to the Seoul Station terminal? Sight seeing is nice, but I am also interested in seeing and experiencing the way Koreans live. It would be nice just to sit in a tea room and look around, for example. I have heard that hard working Koreans meet friends there for a chat and relaxation. Eric

Edited: 02 January 2013, 15:20
Seoul, South Korea
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5. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

Just checking out and exploring one neighborhood would be a good use of your layover. Hongdae is on the AREX line - and yes, it's a popular cafe and drinking area - popular with the younger crowd in their 20s. At 8 or 9 in the morning, though, it's dead! I mean it, there's almost nobody out and about. Most stores will be shuttered until at least 11 a.m. That's not to say you can't enjoy it - and get a good latte and walk around but it will be pretty quiet. If you're adventurous, you could get off at Gongdeok station, too - that's a typical Korean neighborhood. Or Digital Media city station - and check out the World Cup (2002) mall - and nearby Sky Park. That's also a typical neighborhood. So, yes, if you pick and stick to one area, your layover will be better used than trying to "sightsee" in the traditional sense. Keep in mind that AREX leaves only every 15 or 20 minutes and takes at least 10 minutes to reach after getting through immigration ... so factor in a 30-minute "transfer" before boarding AREX.

Edited: 02 January 2013, 16:02
Walnut Creek...
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6. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

Roughingit, thanks again for your time and response. Probably visiting Seoul may not be practical this time. How about Incheon? Do you know much of the city? Anything interesting there? Or, just stay in the Airport Hub Lounge for relaxation? We love to walk around and mingle with locals where they hang out. Thanks, Eric

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7. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

In Incheon, you can see Mud flat or beach or wolmido.

Edited: 03 January 2013, 04:52
Walnut Creek...
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8. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

Koreaaa, thanks for your input. I failed to mention that we will be at Incheon in early Feb. None of mudflat, beach or wolmido sounds too attractive in cold weather. Eric

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9. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

I think so......

Umm.... How about foodtraval in incheon?

Ex) chia dishes in chinatown, raw fish, 떡볶이, 비빔밥.....

Sorry, i cant English well.

Seoul, South Korea
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10. Re: AREX to Seoul from Incheon Airport

Incheon is a big and bustling city so I'd say there's plenty to see and do to fill in a few evening hours. In fact, it's probably more down-to-earth ("real") than the pretty-faced Seoul.

The waterfront area might be a good bet with arcade rides, fresh fish shops, stores, and ferries coming and going. Toward evening, you'll probably see lots of people out and about, strolling lovers, drunken salarymen, and so forth. There's a little Chinatown as well.

If you're adventurous, you can hop in a cab and go down to the international ferry terminal and watch as ships from China and Russia come and go.

That's something to start with.