Deborah and I have often noticed that time generally moves slower when we’re on the road. Sure, we sometimes have to rush to catch buses and boats and planes, but overall, when we’re travelling we tend to experience life at a less hectic pace. Our return flight took this slowdown one extreme step further, we re-lived our last day on the road!
We knew we were losing a day getting from Vancouver to Singapore, but we did not realize until much later that we would get that day back on our return. We headed home via Korean Airlines, which meant a daytime layover in Seoul. We left Phnom Penh on Saturday night and landed at Incheon Airport around 6:30 Sunday morning (December 15). Our departure was 12 hours later, which we thought would give us a chance to catch a glimpse of South Korea’s capital city.
Indeed it did – the airport operates a tour service for travellers waiting several hours or overnight for a connection. Options include a self-guided tour of the airport, day trips ranging from 2 to 6 hours, and overnight excursions. All transportation and guides are provided free, all we had to pay for was lunch and palace admission.
We selected the 5-hour “Highlight of Seoul City Tour” which included a visit to the Gyeongbok Palace, the Jogyesa Temple, a stop for a Korean lunch, and free-time in the funky Insadong neighbourhood of arts and crafts stores, antiques dealers, street venders and restaurants. They even supplied warm winter jackets for tourists like us who were travelling light! This was very thoughtful as the temperature in Seoul was barely above freezing. Amazing service!
We slept well on the flight home, arriving, yes, on Sunday morning with most of the day to live again. Take that, James Bond!