Incheon is a coastal city located 28km from Seoul and the main gateways to South Korea, housing the international airport. There are several places to visit like Incheon Grand Park, Eurwangni Beach, Jeondeungsa Temple, and Incheon’s Chinatown. However, of all the tourist attractions Incheon’s Chinatown is my favorite place to visit. You can see striking aspects of Chinese culture, starting with the colorful gates at the entrance.
The history of Incheon Chinatown began with the opening of the Port of Incheon in 1884. At that time, a portion of Incheon has actually designated as a territory of China. When visiting the area nowadays, it is full of restaurants and souvenir shops. But at the turn of the century, this was a thriving port market. It was overflowing with goods from China and beyond.
Although today it is a popular tourist spot, there are still residents of Chinatown who are the descendants of Chinese immigrants three or four generations ago. There are many places in Incheon’s Chinatown where you can experience old-school Chinese culture. Here are some tips for experiences that are not to be missed in this colorful and history-filled place:
There are various sweet and savory snacks such as Chinese bread with red bean paste, mooncakes, lamb skewers, candied haw, etc. All of them are amazing and offer an opportunity for a break from Korean food.
Gong Hwa Chun is one of Korea’s oldest Chinese restaurants, if not the oldest. It has been around since the early 1900s and is known as the first place to serve Korean- Chinese fusion dishes we are all familiar with. The modern flavors seen in jjajangmyeon, tangsuyuk, jjamppong, and bokumbap all originated here.
The story of the Three Kingdoms Period in China is told in a tile mural approximately 150 meters long. It is an artistic masterpiece and shows up amazingly in pictures.
Jayu Park is the park is at the highest point in Incheon’s Chinatown. After climbing the stairs you will reach a beautiful scene. The park has amazing views, natural scenes, and beautiful sculptures. This includes a statue of General Mac Arthur, who led American troops during the Korean War.
Walking through the streets of Chinatown is a cheap, fun activity. There are walls explaining the neighborhood’s history and statues with placks full of information at their bases. Just walking around is a whole activity in its own right.
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