It’s been over a month since my last three day weekend and it’s going to be another month until the next one. Needless to say, this isn’t exactly conducive to seeing Asia. I’ve started developing a sort of cabin fever with regards to Seoul. I’m seeing lots of the city but I’m really itching to get out of it and see something different.
This weekend I decided to head over to Incheon and check out the beach. Incheon is either a completely separate entity from the Seoul metropolitan area or else it’s a gigantic suburb with a few million people. I haven’t made my mind up about that quite yet. Either way, it’s home to the international airport and there’s not much reason to go there unless it’s time to catch a flight. One thing Incheon does have going for it outside the aviation industry is a coastal location. Seoul is pretty close to the ocean but it’s just far enough to make regular beach trips pretty inconvenient. I visited the beach in Busan, Donghae, Ulleungdo, and even Taiwan, but I went all summer without ever once visiting Eurwangni Beach, the beach in Incheon. I hadn’t heard the greatest things about Eurwangni, after all the area is more famous for its enormous tidal mudflats than its white sand. But my craving to do something outside Seoul coupled with Eurwangni Beach’s semi-convenient location had me all ready for a beach day in November with Paul, a coworker of mine.
To get to Eurwangni, I had to take the train to Incheon International Airport, which takes a little over an hour and a half. From the airport I got on a bus and rode that about twenty minutes until the bus stopped at Korea’s best attempt at a beach town. The beach itself was nothing special. The water was a murky shade of light brown and the ground was more muddy than sandy. The coast off the sand, however, was actually pretty interesting. Paths along the shore led through rock formations and cliffs. The tide pools. crashing waves, and cold air all reminded me a lot of the coasts of places like Scotland or Normandy but since I’ve never been to either of those places this comparison could be completely untrue.
After Paul and I had our share of exploring tide pools and rocks we headed back to the airport to catch the train back to Seoul and discovered a pleasant surprise waiting for us by the train entrance: an ice skating rink! Where else in the world besides Korea would there be a random ice skating rink in the middle of an airport? Nowhere, that’s where. Paul and I laced up our boots, took to the ice, and quickly realized this ice skating rink was made of fake ice. The ground was some sort of mystery material that we tried our best to slide on but ended up mostly stomping all over. I’m still not entirely sure why they gave us ice skates and not roller blades, which would have made much more sense, but that’s Korea and sometimes things over here are just a little bit different.