Thankfully I had already finished most of my packing the previous night, so I was pretty much good to go. The trip is only two nights, but of course I felt the need to pack the following… You know, just in case…
- 3 dress shirts
- 2 T-shirts
- 1 cotton undershirt
- 2 long-sleeved shirts
- 1 dress pants
- 1 denim pants
- 1 padded winter coat
- 1 light denim jacket
- 1 scarf
- 1 winter toboggan (PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics special edition) 😎
- 4 pairs of socks
- 1 pair of fuzzy wool socks
- 4 boxer briefs
- 1 longjohn thermal underpants
- 1 extra pair of shoes (My trusty gray Vans from the Philippines)
~ 11:50 AM: I leave the house to catch the airport express bus, feeling both excited and cold.
Speaking of the airport express bus, I will go off on a short tangent here and explain a little bit about Seoul’s public bus system.
The public transportation services in Seoul are world-class and incredibly convenient, especially when you need to get to (or from) either of the city’s two major airports – Incheon or Gimpo. To get to Incheon Airport from South of the Han River (aka Gangnam), I will take an “Airport Limousine” this morning. The buses are color-coded to indicate the service area. In my case this morning, I will be taking a red bus. Red buses typically offer “express” service, meaning that they make little or no stops between major cities and destinations. The one-way ticket price is ￦14,000 (about $12.50) and when traffic is not backed up, the bus arrives at ICN Terminal 1 in about 50 minutes, and Terminal 2 in about 70 minutes.
- Red buses operate on the major highways to offer fast and convenient service directly to and from Korea’s major airports. Additionally, these buses form an extensive network of direct connections between most of the major cities throughout the country, with little to no stops along the way.
- Green buses travel shorter distances within relatively small communities, and are often used to provide quick and easy transition between the busy neighborhood transit centers, such as subway stations and larger bus terminals.
- Blue buses usually travel on major roads, sometimes covering relatively long distances and providing transportation across several neighboring regions.
- Lastly, Yellow buses operate only locally within the small circuit of their one particular district.
~ 12:30 PM: I got on the bus and slept for pretty much the entire ride.
~ 1:40 PM: I arrived at Incheon Airport, Terminal 2. I got my boarding pass from the self check-in kiosk with absolutely no waiting, and then walked over to Krispy Kreme and bought a donut and coffee. The self check-in kiosk had never worked for me before this time, so I’m happy that it finally did.
~ 2:00 PM: Passing through security and immigration was an absolute breeze, and took five minutes at the most.
~ 3:00 PM: I boarded Korean Air flight 735, service to Osaka, Japan (Kansai International Airport) from the newly completed Terminal 2 at Incheon International Airport. Estimated flight time is one hour and fifty minutes.
I’m feeling great and looking forward to having an awesome mini-trip in Osaka.
~ 5:30 PM: It took about 30 minutes overall to process through immigration and customs… not bad at all! Now I will make my way to my hotel room!
~ 6:00 PM: After poking around the strange, scary ticketing machine, I managed to purchase this re-loadable transit card, apparently called ICOCA. I am usually the type to look up what that stands for, but this time I can’t be bothered. After realizing that all four of the train platforms at this airport station apparently went the same direction, I boarded what I hoped was the right train to Rinku Town.
~ 6:30 PM: I successfully checked in to my hotel room, and I’m enjoying this nice night time view with one of my favorite pre-made meals from FamilyMart. 😊