Thursday, June 23, 2005

Korea 240505b: Incheon Airport [FINAL]

I arrive at Incheon, one of the best airports I have ever used. Well-designed, pleasant and functional. I wish some US airports are like this. :-)

Details on Incheon can be found here:

#1: Approaching Incheon terminal with the silvery roof of the exhibition hall in sight. Posted by Hello

#2: Check-in area of Incheon. Airy, spacious and pleasant - how every airport should be. Posted by Hello

#3: The Koreans really adore their soccer heroes! Posted by Hello

#4: This young lad and his family are going all the way to Houston, Texas. Non-stop over the North Pole to Dallas first, I guess. Bon voyage, my friend! Posted by Hello

Korea 240505a: Gimpo Airport

Today I'm leaving for home. I take the airport bus which makes a mandatory stop at Gimpo, the former premier airport in Korea, before heading for Incheon. When I last came to Korea in '96, I landed at Gimpo. Now Incheon is the main gateway to Seoul, an airport built in quick time after the '97 crisis.

#1: Gimpo Airport - the main Seoul gateway before Incheon took over the role in 2001. Posted by Hello

#2: Korean Air plane ready for take-off at the ricefields? That's an Airbus A-330. Posted by Hello

Korea 230505e: River Han walk

After visiting the boring electronic shopping centre, I catch the subway and soon find myself enjoying a noon stroll on the bank of river Han, in company of lunchers. A cool relaxing walk quickly turn into drama when somebody spot a dead body floating in the river. In no time the police boats, patrol cars and ambulances are on the scene. Ah well, not a boring lunchtime after all...

#1: On the southern bank of river Han, looking towards a portion of the northern side of Seoul. More than 20 bridges connect the two sides. Posted by Hello

#2: River Han cruise ship glides by. Posted by Hello

#3: Next to the river bank are the Twin Towers of the famous LG group. A prominent Seoul landmark. Posted by Hello

#4: Onlookers watch as the police fish a body from the river, fully clothed and still limp. Posted by Hello

#5: Police and the covered body. Posted by Hello

Korea 230505d: Shopping for gadgets

Specialized shopping malls for electronic gadgets are scattered all over the city:

- the interior is normally white-washed and bright, so bright that it hurts the eyes.
- display goods are inside glass cases, with no price tags.
- the vendor will punch the price on his calculator, and no haggling.
- display goods inside the cases are lit with very bright bulbs, which hurt the eyes even more.
- all vendors sell the same models of digicams, mp3 players, videocams, cellphones, etc.
- all vendors seem to agree on a similar price for each stuff, so not competitive at all.
- no photography,which is odd since the vendors are selling countless digicams.
- there are hardly any customers!

In short: forget Seoul if you are shopping for gadgets. Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong or our own KL are much better!

#1: Glitzy bright shopping malls like this hawk all sorts of electronic gadgets. Unfortunately very few customers to be seen. I like the Akihabara (Tokyo) or Low Yat (KL) or Sim Lim (Singapore) ambience better. Posted by Hello

#2: PDP - plasma display panels are the craze now. Korea is a world-leader (+ Taiwan) in this technology. Watching high-definition TV on PDP, one can distinguish each single hair on a guy's moustache! Posted by Hello

Korea 230505c: COEX Mall in Seoul City

Like everywhere else on Planet Earth, it's STAR WARS time!

These are Episode III displays at a cineplex in COEX Mall, Seoul City - a fancy, glitzy high-end shopping mall adjacent to the World Trade Centre. But the low ceiling and dark interior make the place a tad claustrophobic. Gimme good ol' Subang Parade anytime!

#1 Posted by Hello

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Korea 230505b: Street scenes

#1: Busy street near the World Trade Centre, Gangnam. Posted by Hello

#2: Koreans being urged to be better. Posted by Hello

Korea 230505a: Good Morning Seoul!

View from my hotel room in the Gangnam area of Seoul. Looks like a pleasant day today. I think I'll go for a walk, maybe a bit of Seoul searching (pun intended!).

#2: Looking north - the TV tower atop Mt Namsan is actually across the river Han. Posted by Hello

#1: Looking northwest - cute orange water tanks. In Busan they painted them blue. Posted by Hello