Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. – Cecil Beaton
If you haven’t heard already, Incheon International Airport (ICN) has been ranked the World’s Best Airport for, count it, 7 years in a row! From 2005- 2012, the Airports Council International has given it the highest honors. I know my friends that are in aviation find this very interesting, but for any traveler passing through or visiting Seoul be sure to spend a little time exploring this incredible airport that has a medical facility, movie theater, ice skating rink, golf course, casino, museum of Korean culture, and boasts the world’s first Louis Vuitton airport outlet store, as well as incredible sleeping accommodations. I was hoping to spend an entire day at Spa on Air to give it a proper review, but since plans change constantly while traveling, I was limited to about 7 hours at this incredible high-end jimjilbang (찜질방) facility. The typical jimjilbang is a gender-segregated public bathhouse and is derived from the word Jjimjil, which is translated as heated bath, and the facility generally has several unisex rooms for lounging or sleeping rooms, which consists of thin mats on the floor. If you want to experience a jimjilbang, the most popular one in Seoul is Yongsan Dragon Hill Spa and is open 24 hours a day.
Sleeping in for the first time in Korea was glorious. I climbed out of bed just after 10:30am and after getting ready for the day I’ve decided I should tackle my only chore outside the guesthouse–the post office. Luckily there is a post office just down the street and around the corner, but since we aren’t in a tourist area there is much confusion as to the paperwork that I needed to fill out and after a frustrating 90-minutes I believe and hope that the information is correct. Whew, again another reason mailing gifts back to family or friends in the States is certainly not like just going to a local post office especially when you can’t only read the language but even verbally communicate. Frustrations abound as I’m standing waiting as the woman across the counter is literally on her cell phone, the land line, and then is called to another phone call further down the counter. I suppose postal service workers are just as rude and possibly incompetent the world over. Yikes!
After this fiasco, I return to the guesthouse and finish up jamming everything into my backpack while charging all of my various devices (iPhone, iPod, hair clippers, and my laptop). I can’t tell you how annoying it is at times dealing with electronics. If it weren’t for the fact that I use these items daily, with the exception of the hair clippers, I would ditch them in a heartbeat and switch to the mode of an ultralight backpacker.