Busy Back In Seoul
Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
402Trip End Dec 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
Hotel Sky Incheon
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
It is of some interest when your hotel room has an "Escape Rope" complete with mask and lantern. Especially when you are on the 8th floor! I'm not sure if I feel reassured by its presence or alarmed at the prospect of being rescued from the 8th floor by dangling on a rope, wearing my mask and holding my lantern! This is assuming I was the lucky? One of having the privilege of using the equipment, given their appeared to be only one set.
Our hotel is a modern one quite close to Incheon airport for our two nights back in Seoul and a busy agenda of seeing the two more UNESCO World Heritage sights. Although they are at opposite ends of a huge city, seeing them will mean we have achieved all the listed World Heritage sites for Korea.
We set of just before 7am with the hotel shuttle to the airport, then a bus to take us diagonally across Seoul but bypassing the city centre, then a taxi to our first sight, the Samreung Gongwon (Three Tombs Park) at Seolleung
The Three Tombs Park is the burial ground of two Kings and a Queen from the early 1500’s and the era in Korean history known as the Joseon Period. Most of it was closed off to the public, but we were able to get a feel for the history and see the mounds, the statues built to protect the tombs, and the Tomb Keepers house.
Next we had a bit of a hiccup in our “Race Around The World” day. There are two metro stops named very similarly as in “Sincheon” and “Sinchon” and we tried to get by taxi to what we thought was the right one. We travelled for ages not sure whether to bail out of the taxi or trust him as we seemed to be going in the wrong direction for too long. Eventually he dropped us at Sinchon the right one for us to catch the next bus – we had been wrong. Now just how to find the bus station? It was not accessed from the metro station as we had assumed
Ganghwa, our destination, is an island just off the west coast of the mainland and joined by a bridge. It has many historic sites but what we had come to see was the Dolmens. These are positioning of huge rocks pretty similar to Stonehenge. Our bus dropped us at the bus terminal and we found ourselves surrounded by a sea of elderly Koreans and no English assistance anywhere. Eventually we found taxis and successfully communicated where we wanted to be taken.
The Korean Dolmens date back to the Bronze age and the main capstone of the one we came to see is estimated to weigh 70 tonnes and was somehow placed on top of two portal stones. Pretty amazing feat for the bronze age. A brand new museum has been constructed at the site and enjoyed the exhibits before heading to a bus stop to begin reversing our journey
A great night out of eating authentic Korean food was had and a great chance to chat with Sue’s mum (through Sue interpreting) before our last trip of the day, by the new airport express line back to our hotel. Our day had seen us travel on five buses, two taxis and two metro trains and we managed to see and do all the things we wanted. Mission accomplished!
Now it is off to Chengdu China for two nights then to Tibet.
Footnote: Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty and the Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa Dolmen Sites are all UNESCO World Heritage listed. [note Gochang and Hwasun sites not visited]
Travel Tip: The airport subway link is the best way to get from Airport to Airport or either Airport to Seoul. The train is fast with minimal stops and cheap. Locals seem to prefer the bus so this train is also uncrowded, a definite thumbs up.