A Day in Korea with the Korea Free Transit Tour!

2:00 PM bee. 3 Comments


     I know I might be working backwards, but I'll start off my travel posts with right before my return to the U.S. and right after my three-week vacation in the Philippines last month. Yup, I "visited" Korea! Well, it was a quick one considering it was a layover for a couple of hours. Thankfully, Asiana Airlines (our flight carrier), the Korea Free Transit Tour (the wonderful tour program), the Incheon Transit tour (tour agency) & Incheon Airport has made it so bearable for travelers! How? They had free tours available for the stranded visitors! You can watch our vlog and read on to see what happened!

 Here we arrived Incheon from Manila at 5 in the morning. Right when we got out of the plane, you will see signs pointing to the free tours (which is not on the way of the transfer areas), but when we got there it was still closed. We had to wait till 6AM before there was a person available. So yup, we were waiting. But as soon as a person appeared, they gave a pamphlet and talked about there different tours. As soon as we decided, they stamped it, sent us to immigration, and we were officially in Korea! Woot!

Here's the pamphlet for reference!
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour
We had to report to the Transit tour main desk (as seen in the photo above) to get the tours started. First, we had to pay $10 each (or in our case we paid 10,000 Korean Won each because we actually changed our extra Pesos into Won). $3 for the palace entrance fee and $7 for lunch. Not bad at all, but there goes the "free tour" promise. But seriously, I'm not complaining! On to the tour!

Tour Number 1: Yonggungsa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
We opted for the earliest trip just so we can maximize our time before our flight. It was a nearby temple within the island.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Our tour guide, Michelle, higlighted their unique architecture. And it is unique and very pretty, indeed.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Some stuff people wrote a bunch of stuff on pretty heavy-looking stone.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple | Zelkova Tree
The 1,300 year old tree.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Michelle says that her parents are Buddhists, but she is one so much. I think most Koreans are but they don't practice it necessarily especially the younger ones.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Beautiful and peaceful.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
The bigger temple.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
Super cute doggie!

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
It was a cool & refreshing walk down/up the hill.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Yonggungsa Temple
The mini bus the consisted only my sister, Michelle, the bus driver and I for this trip.


Tour Number 2: Seoul City Tour
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour
After the short trip, we went back to  airport, transferred into a bigger bus with a large group of people and headed to Seoul for the next tour!

Stop A: Changdeokgung Palace
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Changdeokgung Palace
This place is huge!

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Changdeokgung Palace
Same structure design like the Yonggungsa Temple.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Changdeokhung Palace
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Changdeokgung Palace
Antique and super big!

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Changdeokgung Palace
Need to know more about the place? Looks like they're prepared.

Stop B: Jongyesa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Jogyesa Temple
We landed in a super colorful temple in the middle of the city!

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Jogyesa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Jogyesa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Jogyesa Temple
Those are really big Buddha statues! The tourists were swarming outside the temple. I wonder if the people inside were bothered at all. It didn't seem like it... almost like they're used to it.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Jogyesa Temple
White lanterns to represent the departed souls.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Jogyesa Temple
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Jogyesa Temple
Such a pretty place amidst the busy city.

Stop C: Insadong Street
Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Insadong Street
The part of our tour where we can see Korea's street life & where we can actually shop!

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Insadong Street
Before they led us to lunch, Tour guide Bob took a group pic of us! This was taken from the Incheon Transit Tour's Facebook which I only recently found!

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Insadong Street
Real Korean restaurants! Everyone's being extra tourist-y!

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Insadong Street | Kimchi Villege
Where our $7 or 7,000 Korean Won went to! Here's the restaurant that'll feed the hungry tourists of this tour.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Insadong Street | Kimchi Villege
It looks very pretty and the people inside were very nice. They greeted us as we entered.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Insadong Street | Kimchi Villege
They had the side dishes and rice ready for us... all we had to do was pick a place to sit.

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour | Seoul City Tour | Insadong Street | Kimchi Villege
I picked Meal #1, Bibimbap.

     After our meal, my sister and I went around and shopped at The Face Shop. Then, on our way back to the airport, I can't help but fall asleep in the bus. I already lacked sleep from preparing to leave Legazpi, traveling from Legazpi to Manila and the layover is Manila before leaving for Korea. I was extremely tired. this is why I didn't vlog or take more pictures until much later. That was our last tour even if we could have gone to the "Seoul Shopping Tour" wherein we would be able to go to Myeongdong (one of Korea's premier shopping locations), but we just wanted to freshen up and get settled for another 12 hour flight.  To sum it up, Gabby and I immediately checked back in the airport, headed up to the 4th floor to shower (yup, they got showers for travelers to use with soap & towels), shopped at Duty Free (will share later), and went to the food court.

Incheon Airport Food Court
Incheon Airport Food Court
Incheon Airport Food Court
     They got the best Tonkatsu!!!! I had mine in curry, but I picked the spicy one. When they spicy, it is super spicy!!! But it's so good, I didn't care at all and finished it all. Mine was 6,500 Korean Won & Gabby's was 12,000 Korean Won. It amounted to almost 20,000 Korean Won or $20. I said in the video that it was expensive, but now I returned to the US... I take it back. The food was large in portions and so delicious! Plus, it was a total of $20 for two people, which is not bad at all especially considering how good the food was.

     It was hard to be like the super fancy bloggers on this trip because the whole trip was extra tiring. I should have taken more pictures and videos of the tour and even the airport! Yup, even the airport was so pretty! I feel regretful, but it was just really hard. My brain was scattered from lack of sleep and exhaustion. But despite all the long layovers & delays from Asiana Airlines, the airport and the free tours certainly made up for it. There's actually more to it than the tours to keep you occupied. Check out the picture below for more stuff you can do while you're there!

Korea Free Transit Tour | Incheon Transit Tour 
South Korea is definitely working double time in making their country a tourist's dream. They made sure that their new airport is tourist-friendly and push their culture out there. I wish more airports would be this accommodating to travelers!

If you want to see for yourself how this tour went, watch our vlog!


You can read more about the Korea Free Transit Tour offered by Incheon Airport via Asiana Airlines here.
Visit the Facebook of  Incheon Transit Tour here.
Thanks for reading!

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3 comments:

  1. Hello! Would you happen to remember if it's possible to separate from the transit tour group after the 5-hour free trip? (I have a 20-hour layover D:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not really assigned to the same group, it all depends on what you sign up for. If you have different tours which you signed up for, they return you to the airport for each one. So, you can't really separate from the group... unless they give you time to look around... unless, you want to be left behind? You can try going out on your own, but the tours are free and you only have to pay for the food and the shopping you do!

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Thanks for the love! <3