FOR STARTERS: INCHEON
Incheon makes the perfect starting point for your trip. While many rush on from the International Airport, it’s well worth staying for two or three nights to find your feet – and see Incheon itself.
Begin your day as many of the locals do with a trip to Song Do Central Park. Work up an appetite with a jog around the grounds. Or hire a kayak and paddle on the lake. The park is dotted with cafes where you can enjoy a coffee, smoothie or milkshake and watch the world go by.
For lunch, make a bee line for popular Sinpo International Market. It’s a hive of activity and a great place to sample some regional delicacies including dakgangjeong chicken – crispy, deep-fried chicken coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. You’ll also spot foods that will soon become very familiar: kimchi (fiery fermented cabbage), kimbap (rice roll) and jeon (thick savoury pancakes).
After eating your fill, you could happily while away an afternoon exploring the Jeondeungsa Temple. Over a thousand years old, it features delicate carvings, an 11th century bell and many ancient trees.
The next day, head across the water to Wolmido Island. Famed for its amusement park, it’s also great for trying fresh-from-the-ocean seafood, with many seashore-lining restaurants. And, if fish is your thing, drop in to the Incheon Complex Fish Market. Octopus, stingrays, shellfish… many can be prepared fresh on the spot or eaten raw.
If you prefer something a little more refined, visit Paradise City – a gleaming resort with shops, art galleries, a casino and restaurants from Japan to Italy and beyond. Here, the world is your oyster.