With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

The Last 12 hours in Korea

Posted by Heliocentrism on December 4, 2009

November 30-December 1, 2009

All Pictures

Incheon International Airport

In Incheon

Mark and I had an early flight to Bangkok and rather than be rushed in the morning or risk the possibility of getting there late, we decided to make our way to Incheon International Airport the evening before the flight. I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this, but, I LOVE Incheon airport. It’s the best airport in the whole world! So, I was happy about getting there way too early.

We were planning to take an airport bus, but we noticed that the sign for the bus stop was no longer there. Apparently the bus we needed no longer runs. So we had to take the subway.

According the Korean transportation website, you can get the money on your T-money card refunded at any GS25. If you take the subway to the airport you will see a GS25 right before you scan out. If you scan out before you get your refund, just tell the person at the counter by the turn styles.  If he or she is nice, you’ll be allowed to go to the GS25 without being charged.

using some free wi-fi at a closed airport coffee shop

We wandered around exploring the airport, had dinner, and changed some money at one of the many banks at the airport. Then we headed to the 4th floor to a closed coffee shop for some free internet and quietness.

Not too far from that coffee place is a glass bridge from which you can look down and see the people inside the terminal who have passed the security check. There are also some round chair things that are great for sleeping on.

The next morning we woke up had breakfast and checked in. We had tickets for Thai Air. The baggage limit for our flight was 20kg per person for check-in luggage and 7kg total for all carry-ons. I’ve never had anyone weigh my carry-on, so I was surprised when someone stopped us before we went through the security check and asked us to put all our carry-ons on a scale. All of our carry-ons were over the 7kg limit, but only Mark’s backpack was deemed too big. He was sent back to check it in. We were not charged for the overweight or extra checked in bag.

Because we were so early we had time to explore the terminals. Mark did a little shopping for his mom at a duty-free store. Then we went to our terminal. This is where we found the free showers.

Free Shower at Incheon Airport!

Shower me!

The showers themselves are free and you can use it any time during their opening hours. If you need a towel, that’s 2,000KRW. If you need shampoo and other things, it’s 6,000KRW. We didn’t want to travel with wet towels, so Mark and I “rented” towels and got all spruced up. Unfortunately the free showers are only available to passengers who have passed through the security check.

Mark’s first drink in Thailand

In the land of Smiles

Once at the airport in Bangkok we went downstairs to get an airport bus into the city. It cost 150BHT per person. On the bus we met someone who was staying at the same hostel* we had made reservations for.

*I don’t really like the hostel in which we are staying now, so I will not include any of its information in this blog.

The next day we went sightseeing.

What is Mark so mad about?

Mark worked for a Pagoda Jr in Incheon. His boss, a man who goes by the name “Steve” Jung, was very unethical. He was supposed to take 4.5% of Mark’s monthly pay, match it, and put all this money into the National Pension for Mark to collect after completing his contract. This is required by Korean law. But Mr. Jung took the money from Mark’s pay and put it into Mr. Jung’s own pocket. When Mark went to the pension office to file for his lump-sum refund he found out about Mr. Jung’s shenanigans*. Mr. Jung got mad at Mark, for some reason, and threaten to kick Mark out of his apartment and to withhold his last paycheck and end of contract bonus.

* Mr. Jung’s shenanigans:

1. Not reporting the actual start date of his employees

2. Not reporting the actual salary of his employees

3. Not giving his employees pay subs.

4. Not paying one red cent into the National Pension of his employees.

There are more, but they can’t be legally proven.

 So far the Korean government has done nothing to punish Steve Jung or stop him from doing this to other employees. Steve Jung still owns his Pagoda Jr. and still cheats his employees, both the Korean and non-Korean ones.

It’s hard to know if Mr. Jung is still doing this to other employee since “Steve” is not his real name, but an English name he has given himself. The Korean government did manage to get Mark’s pension from Mr. Jung, but not part of the salary that was stolen from Mark.

**** UPDATE ****

Years after this post, the Korean government somehow managed to fine Mr. Jung and Mark got back most, but not all of the money owed to him. It helped that Mark checked in every so often, when returning to Korea for unrelated reasons, to inquire about his case.

All Pictures

South Korea

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, or train, though entry by train is rare if not damn impossible or most non-presidents of North or South Korea.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to South Korea.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 90-day visa at the airport or ferry port.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Korean embassy in your country.






Korea is a generally safe country. You don’t really have to watch out for pickpockets, muggers, or scam artists. Use common sense and you will be okay. Things are generally inexpensive and there are many wonderful things to buy.

You should watch out when crossing the street, beware of scooters on the sidewalk, and little old ladies will push you to get that last seat on the bus or subway.

Enjoy Korea! I live there for 2 year and had a fantastic time.

Incheon International Airport

How to get there:

  • 37°27’36.6″N 126°26’26.6″E

There are 3 main ways of leaving or getting to the airport.

1. The Metro

  • It’s pretty easy and not expensive.
  • ₩10,000/ 10USD is more than enough to get to or from anywhere.
  • The subway even goes past Uijeonbu.

2. A bus

  • This is also pretty easy.
  • It will cost about ₩8,500 for most trips or less if you have a T-money card.

3. A Taxi

  • It doesn’t matter what those taxi drivers say. This is the most expensive option.
  • You will most likely get stuck in traffic.





This is the best airport in the whole wild world!

  • Free wi-fi
  • After security check:
    • There are free showers. (Open7am-9pm)
      • You can rent a towel, buy some shampoo and soap.
    • There is a theater
    • You can learn about Korea.
    • There is a Family Mart convenience store.
  • Before security check:
    • There are lockers for your luggage.
    • There is a post office.
    • You can rent a phone.
    • There is a Family Mart convenience store.
    • There is a GS25 convenience store right before you leave the subway and enter the airport. You can get any extra money on your T-money refunded there.



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