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Friday, November 23, 2007

Riding the AREX Incheon to Gimpo Airport Line at 5:30AM

Remember when I took a "mini" food vacation to Hong Kong back in May? Well, on my way back to Seoul my flight landed at 4:45am local time. I had to make it back to Mokdong and work later in the afternoon at 2pm. I was already dead tired at the time and I needed one last trek until I would get a chance to sleep! Too bad I couldn't waste some money in the Incheon Duty Free!

At first I contemplated taking a taxi, but it would've been way overpriced (about 50-70,000w at the bare minimum), thought about taking a bus (it was leaving in 15 minutes), but in the end I decided to wait at the airport until 5:30am to catch the first train aboard the newly constructed AREX Incheon to Gimpo Airport subway line. I first saw pictures of the station through Jon Allen's blog.

Man, the arrivals area of Incheon is pretty dead at 4:45am...I felt like I was walking through a ghost town. On my way down to the AREX line, it was so empty and bare it led to an eery feeling (which is unusual because Seoul is so densely populated):


Here are the toll gates to access the line below...not a soul in sight! I had to do the Asian squat and wait patiently till 5:30am...


All the subway stations in South Korea have maps showing you where you are. The subway lines are very deep. This picture below is nothing compared to others, such as the purple line, line 5:


Check out this video of me boarding the first train (with that dude in front of me and a couple others)...I'm all alone!


Now when I told you it was EMPTY...this picture speaks for itself! I had the best seat on the train--every seat! Compare this to jam-packed subways in the morning and it was really an incredible sight:


These new subway cars had some improvements...such included some LCD screens displaying commercials and some other misc. broadcasts:


Also the subway line maps now had LEDs showing you the progress of your trip:


Now here is the train in action...


By the time I reached Gimpo Airport, then to my final destination in Mokdong, it was about 7am. I was dead tired and I just jumped right into bed. After waking up at 1pm, it was time to get ready and get back to work!

9 comments:

Chris said...

Gdog - I've taken that train twice now from Incheon to Mokdong. Once with luggage and once without. In both cases I've concluded that the Airport Limousine is quicker and more comfortable. Especially with the luggage. But I admit the new train is really nice. -Chris

Murphy_jay said...

Hi there..

Interesting Post..

I have never been to Korea, therefore I am curious that you took the subway from one airport to another - is it becos Seoul's subway is connected to Gimpo Airport's subway?

Gdog said...

Gimpo Airport just happens to be one of the stops (and the only stop so far for the AREX line) that I passed by on my way home...that's why. ;)

Yisei said...

This subway line is good to see. When I went to Korea last summer it was a pain in the ass to go through the hassle of finding the right bus that goes to kimpo. Also the elevators at kimpo were so small, I hope they changed this as well.

Anonymous said...

I rode the subway in October.. the station is still a ghost town and only a few people rode the train. And they have some really "efficent" heaters because I felt like I was in a sauna...

♥ 새빈 said...

woah, the train is amazing empty . haha

MAGGIE said...

Hi!!! your site is super helpful! I'm coming down to Seoul next month- and appreciate all the packing tips- good stuff!!! However, would you be able to include more information on housing and apartments in SEOUL? I'm sort of worried now- I was initially offered 2 contracts ... 1 monthly salary including housing and one hourly salary not including housing... i took the hourly rate- but i read in your tips- seoul is inexpensive as long as your not paying rent :( which i will be...

Gdog said...

Thanks for commenting everyone!

Maggie: You're going to have a great time in Seoul! As for renting, I am not really sure how it works, and the cost. We had ours paid for by our employer. I would suggest you ask your boss for help finding a place, and see if you boss would be willing to pay the "key money" aka deposit for you...maybe ask one of the teachers at your school where they live?
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I'm planning on going to jeju in july and am flying into seoul inch at 550pm then my flight to jeju leaves at 710pm from gimpo...do you think I will have enough time to make it there on time after grabbing my bags and taking the AREX to gmp? I'm a little worried I won't have enough time to get there...any thoughts would be helpful :)

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