As is my usual habit, I arrived at Seoul airport (Incheon) with half a day up my sleeve. The Grand Hyatt is literally two minutes from the airport, I got my boarding pass in Sydney and I have no bags to check in so I’ve done a 5km walk around the airport and it’s great! Of all the airports I’ve visited I’d say Incheon is in the top 10, maybe even the top 5. Here’s why!
It’s full of art.
It has comfortable furniture. If I’d had to spend my 19 hour stopover in the airport I could’ve actually stretched out on a couch. Some backpackers are sleeping very comfortably right behind me as I write this. If you’re in Incheon and looking for a lie down, it’s opposite gate 23.
Robots! I’ve seen three different kinds. One for transporting bags, one for delivering food and one that I think was for information.
Flowers! Orchids must be the floral emblem of Korea because they are everywhere and absolutely perfect. I looked closely, they are all real.
The food is great. Not a vast range, but I had a fantastic meal of bibimbap. I thought I’d see what it was like when it wasn’t actually airline food and it was great! The vegetables and meat were served in a heavy stone bowl that was so hot the food was still sizzling for about ten minutes after I got my tray. It came with soup, kimchi and a bunch of extras. In a moment of excitement I poured in all the chilli sauce, but with three hours to kill it wasn’t a problem and I only sweated through my T-shirt, not my jumper.
The cuteness. There’s a giant Lego-style playground for the kids., as well as some giant plush figures around the place.
Last but certainly not least, being Korea, everyone cleans up after themselves and even the food court is spotless. Everyone in the restaurant took their trays to the rack for the dirty dishes and when I went up with mine there were no spaces left so a teenage boy behind me asked the chef where to put them and we all put them in the racks after pushing back the trays at the front. problem solved!
I thought that was going to be my whole list but as I was sitting here typing, a parade of people in traditional Korean dress and playing music walked in a procession past the departure lounge I’m sitting in, I’ve never seen anything like that in an airport… maybe Incheon deserves a place in the top 3?