Last October has been very interesting and life-changing for me. I have been to two of the dearest country for me - South Korea and Philippines. Though for a short period only, my time spent in South Korea particularly in Incheon and Seoul has been blissful and inspiring.
This is my second time in South Korea. The first time I was there was when I get to represent my High School in a Girl Scout International Camping in Mt. Togyu in 2007. My first impression-- I want to live in Seoul someday! South Korea is beautiful, and that impression lasted... Coming back, I saw there has been a few changes and made me see South Korea in a different light. It made me see how soulful Seoul is.
During our 13-hours layover in South Korea, me and my husband opted to take the free Transit Tour offered by Incheon International Airport. We were tired, but we believe it will be wise spending time in tour than stay in the airport the whole time. There are seven Free Korea Transit Tours to choose from depending on your time availability. Since we had a few to spare, we chose two of the tours - the Incheon Temple Tour and Highlight of Seoul City Tour.
But before everything else, we want an authentic Korean breakfast to give us energy with the tour. While in the Airport, we saw this restaurant called Sanuki Bore. I don't know how authentic they can be but their menu were in Hangul (Korean Alphabet) and the food looks Korean, hehe! So we did order. Only to know now that Sanuki Bore is a japanese restaurant, nyahahaha! Oh well, the food were great... we both loved it!
The Incheon Temple Tour lasted for good two hours. From the airport, we passed through the Incheon Grand Bridge. This is a newly constructed reinforced concrete bridge that is 21.38 kms long and opened October 2009. It became the second connection between Yeongjong Island and Incheon mainland. It is the World's Seventh Longest Cable-Stayed Bridge (Wikipedia).
Next stop is the Heungryunsa Temple which is located half way up to Cheongryunsan Mountain in Dongchun-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon. This temple was established approximately 613 years ago, in the second year of King Wu (Goryeo Dynasty) by Perceptor Naong, a royal monk of King Gongmin. Unfortunately, the temple was lost to fire during the Japanese Invasion of Korea (1592) and was left desolate for 340 years. In 1938, a new temple was constructed, but was then torn down in 1966 to be rebuilt into eight new buildings. In 1977, the temple name was changed to "Heungryunsa."
This temple nowadays operates a meditation center and a Manbuljeon, a room that enshrines thousands of Buddha.
This place is brimming with divinity, with a solemnity that can pacify anybody. I love this place.
Here are some shots of the Buddhas in Heungryunsa Temple...
From the Heungryunsa Temple, we immediately head to the Memorial Hall for Incheon Landing Operation. This was built to honor the memory of Battle of Incheon, wherein brave men fought for South Korea in September 15, 1950 led by General Douglas MacArthur. This was opened on September 15, 1984.
The Memorial Hall for Incheon Landing Operation also has many pavillions where the exhibit the weapons they used during the war. Here are some of it... Hubby just loves this place!
On our way back to the airport, we saw this lovely city. They call it the Songdo International City. They also call this the Smart City, which was built from scratch on 1,500 acres (610 ha) of reclaimed land along Incheon's waterfront southwest of Seoul, South Korea. This business district will feature the Northeast Asia Tower and the Incheon Tower. Schools, hospitals, apartments, office buildings and cultural amenities are to be built in the district. Replicas of architectural hallmarks like New York's Central Park and Venice's Waterways will also be incorporated.
Beautiful isn't it?! Love, love, love it!
Stay beautiful! And stay tune... I'll be posting more from my trip! mwaahh!