Seoul Travel Guide
Cheap Flights to Seoul
p>It's easy to overlook relatively small South Korea, hidden between China and bigger players across the Eastern Sea (don't call it the Sea of Japan here) and the Pacific Ocean. Modern, bustling cities and an idyllic countryside that's a patchwork of verdant fields and stark granite mountains. The capital city of Seoul, not even 60 miles from the border with North Korea, combines the traditional, natural, and modern into its city limits. Temples, singing rooms (don't call them karaoke bars here), nature preserves, sauna rooms, shopping malls, street food, outdoor markets, and much more all await you in Seoul.
There are two airports in Seoul, Gimpo and Incheon. Gimpo handles flights within South Korea along with a few international destinations. Most of these consist of airlines from Japan and China and are not long-haul flights. Incheon Airport, named after the seaside suburb in which it is located, is the impressive international airport that handles the bulk of South Korea's international air traffic.
Incheon is just as swanky and upscale as famous downtown neighborhoods like Gangnam and Apgujeong. a weekend in Incheon can provide many of the sights and sounds of Korea without having to go into the city. If you have even just a few hours, the efficient and inexpensive transportation system, a combination of buses, subways, and elevated train lines, makes it possible.
The fall in South Korea is very pleasant, and the vegetation is made up largely of deciduous trees that change color, an awesome sight against the craggy white mountains. The spring season is when to see the cherry blossoms (don't call them sakura here), along with many other flowering trees and plants. Summers are hot and crowded, however, that's when most of the city's biggestfestivals take place.
Virtually all international carriers are represented at Incheon, which is located at a convenient point between the Pacific Ocean, the American Northwest, the Arctic Circle, and most points in Asia. This includes not only the major carriers but also their no-frills subsidiaries and charter flights, and thus budget travelers have a lot of options to choose from no matter when they plan to fly. Travelers looking for shorter flights can find deals at either airport.
Both Gimpo and Incheon are well equipped when it comes to entertainment, shopping, transportation, and a myriad of other services, and Incheon is the one airport where you might actually enjoy an extended layover. The airport itself is a tourist attraction and contains extensive gardens, a lookout tower, a theater that features a traditional Korean dance twice every day, a spa and sauna, along with the usual features of extensive off-duty shopping and an array of dining options.
The tensions between the Northern and Southern parts of the peninsula, although constantly in the news, on the ground in South Korea it is truly the Land of the Morning Calm. The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a popular tourist attraction, complete with an amusement park and even an unfinished northbound railway station. There is a ubiquitous South Korean and military presence throughout the country, but this rarely ever disrupts everyday life or even traffic.
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