Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Korea // Incheon: The Home of Jajangmyeon

Usually I enter Korea via Incheon International Airport, but this is the first time I've taken the time to explore the city of Incheon. Let's go!

Incheon's main tourist attraction is Chinatown, the only official Chinatown in Korea and where most Chinese immigrants settled when they came as businessmen after Korea opened up trade with China in 1882. What makes Incheon's Chinatown so popular and why it was a must visit place for me is because it's the birthplace of a well loved favorite: Jajangmyeon!

By the way, I learned all those fun facts at the Jajangmyeon Museum! It's mainly displayed in Korean with some Chinese translation, so make sure you bring a translator. It's a tiny museum that takes only an hour, but really informative and fun. For instance, I also have always wondered which is correct: 자장면 or 짜장면? The discrepancy actually lies in how it's pronounced in Chinese and its similar translation to "salty" in Korean. Technically either are correct.

A small traditional Chinese garden in Chinatown

Main avenue in Chinatown
Of course a trip wouldn't be complete until I tried its most famous dish. There were so many to choose from though and online reviews were pretty mixed about every place, so I just randomly chose one based on lowest waiting time. That ended up being this place, where they apparently filmed a Running Man episode before.

Some miscommunication with the waiter left me with this.

A white version of jajangmyeon. At first I was really disappointed, but I took a bite and it was really good! A bit lighter on saltiness and depth than the black version but with the same excellent taste.

Chinatown connects with an artsy neighborhood and they had an event going on that day.

They were a really good band! Here's a clip of their cover of a Japanese anime song. By the way if anyone knows the name of it please let me know!

Chinatown also connects with Freedom Park, which is also a popular drama filming location.

And some pictures from Songdo Central Park. Too bad I didn't run into the famous Song triplets, who live in Incheon.

If you get tired of staying in Seoul, I'd definitely recommend taking a day trip to Incheon. It's easy to get to since it's interconnected with the Seoul subway system. Apparently there are also a lot of great hiking and biking places too that I didn't have the time to try.

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