Incheon became the first “international city” of the Joseon dynasty when it opened its port to foreigners in the late 19th century. Even to this day, the Open Port Area is filled with unique buildings and structures from the modern past, where foreign and Korean elements and the past and modern styles meld together. In keeping up with the times and its designation as the first Smart Tourism City of Korea, you can even enjoy a “smart” tour of the area thanks to the Incheon Easy app. To download, searched for “Incheoneasy” in the App Store or Google Play.
Travel smart with the Incheon Easy app
The Incheon Easy app uses an AI travel recommendation service to provide a personalized tour course based on your answers to a few simple questions. With one simple installation, you can enjoy an audio guide, payment service, and Incheon’s past brought to life through AR and VR experiences!
History of the port opening meets modern times at Incheon’s Jayu Park
Jayu Park opened in 1888, just five years after the port opening, and is a symbol of that time. The first Western-style park in the nation, the park is located on a high-point, allowing for views of the port area, as well as forested pathways. On clear days, you can see as far as Palmido Island. Key memorial points including a statue of General MacArthur, who led Operation Chromite, and the Korea-U.S.A. Centennial Monument. The park also has a nice photo zone for taking memento snapshots.
From the highest point of the park, you can see the current Incheonhang Port area spread all around you. To see how it looked in the late 19th century during the port opening, use the Incheon Easy app’s Panoramic AR function!
Take a short history tour at Jemulpo Gurakbu
Jemulpo Gurakbu was a social club opened for foreigners living in Incheon in the late 19th century. Jemulpo was the old name of Incheon, while “gurakbu” was a Koreanized way of writing the English word “club” at the time. The luxurious entrance has become a popular photo spot after appearing in the drama “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016).”
The moment you open the door and step foot inside, you’ll feel as if you really did walk through a magical door, transporting you into the past! The interior has remained untouched, allowing visitors to more easily imagine life in the past. The club is currently operated as both a museum and a multicultural complex. Using the Incheon Easy app’s VR Real Time Drama function, you can see the club filled up with the foreigners who used to socialize here.
120 years of history at Incheon Citizen Love House
Incheon Citizen Love House can’t be left out of a tour of the Incheon Open Port Area! This beautiful structure served as the private residence of the Incheon mayor for many years, and is unique in that it is a modern hanok built with Western-style architectural methods. The house also features an extensive garden. To learn more about Incheon Citizen Love House, simply listen to the audio guide available on the Incheon Easy app! Listening to the detailed information while walking through the house will make the history much easier to understand. The guide is currently available in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese, although more languages are planned to be added.
Eat white jjajangmyeon & pay smart
Another area that naturally sprang up after the port opening is Incheon’s Chinatown, where many Chinese immigrants made their mark. The area is now one of Incheon’s top tourist attractions, filled with an exotic ambiance and plenty of tasty foods. When here, we recommend trying the white jjajang (noodles in bean sauce) at MandaBok
MandaBok’s white jjajang recipe has remained unchanged for over 100 years. It stands out from the other restaurants in Chinatown by using only chunjang sauce from China and minced meat as the base for a dish that is heartier than others. If you have a Korean bank card, you can register it on the Incheon Easy app in advance to easily pay for your meal by scanning the QR code or using the NFC function on your phone. No need to worry about carrying your wallet around; plenty of restaurants in Incheon accept payment this way!
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