I was invited to join a “hidden gem” tour in Incheon with the travel/tour platform Playplanet recently. During our day-long trip, we discovered from unknown sites and attractions with fellow Seoul tourists, bloggers and expat to help promote the city and the travel platform.
Here’s which hidden gems you should visit when in Incheon:
Exploring Moraenae Market
Our first stop in Incheon was its largest traditional market, called Moraenae Market(모래내시장). This market has been operating since 1982 and has since been the best location to purchase local groceries and goods of all kind. Besides the fresh fish and seafood, you will also find meat vendors and fruit and vegetable stalls. On top of that, locals also love to pick up their Korean side dishes here, as well as any form of housewares.
However, don’t make the mistake and head to the market with a full stomach. You’ll be surprised how many street food stalls and snack vendors there are. You can try anything from traditional Kimbab (filled rice rolls) to sweet rice donuts. The treats are fresh, homemade and super cheap.
When we arrived at Moraenae Market, the Playplanet hosts split us up into teams and gave us fun challenges to complete. We had to try different local snacks, take photos of side dishes and purchase notebooks for the children at the local community center.
Taking in History at Sudoguksan Museum of Housing and Living
After we filled our bellies with delicious treats and completed our challenges, we headed to our second stop of the tour. The Sudoguksan Museum of Housing and Living (수도국산달동네박물관) is located in Incheon’s Songhyun Park area on a hill overlooking a residential hanok village. The exhibitions perfectly display life in Incheon in the 60s and 70s on two floors. On the first floor, you will find a lovely collection of retro items, such as the first Korean soda bottles, old Korean records and school uniforms. The basement is the more interactive and interesting part of the museum as it is basically an indoor “daldongne” (literally moon village). It replicates a traditional 60s/70s community in Incheon. Walking through the “village”, you’ll come across old homes, kitchens, restrooms, a small corner store, a barbershop and a lot more. It almost feels as though you have traveled back in time when walking through the narrow alleyways of the “daldongne” replica.
I enjoyed this museum a lot and learned a lot about post-war South Korean history. Still to this day, there are several moon villages around Korea, small communities that live and support each other.
Splendid Sunrise Views off GTower
After taking in Korean history at the museum, we headed to our final stop: GTower (G타워). This located is a modern building in a fairly new part of Incheon. The top floor offers splendid views of the Incheon Bridge and surrounding areas. As we visited on a rather cloudy day, the sunrise was not as beautiful as it could’ve been. However, it was still very impressive.
Playplanet is a platform focusing on offering authentic local experiences and tours to tourists and expats alike. They are not only active in South Korea, but also offer tours in India, Japan, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Hong Kong and many more locations. A big part of the Playplanet travel model is the aspect of conscious travel. That means, when you partake in one of Playplanet’s experiences and/or tours, you support the local community and give back to the environment.
Our group consisted of 20 tourists and bloggers when we went on the tour. We were shown around by Playplanet staff rather than actual hosts, which is why our tour experience was different from their usual tours. Normally, every tour is lead by a local host that lives in the area allowing tourists to have a very authentic experience. The purpose of our tour to Incheon was rather to help promote Incheon, the Moraenae Market Tourism Group and the Playplanet model.
Be sure to check out Playplanet’s wide selection of unique travel experiences and when you’re in Incheon, the three places mentioned above should definitely be on your itinerary.
No compensation was received for this review, instead, Playplanet kindly offered this experience free of charge. All opinions are my own. I only recommend products & services that I personally love and use myself.
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