I’m back to adventuring after a short hiatus. I suddenly got so busy with editing, researching, planning events and doing some family shoots I hadn’t had much of an opportunity to go out and explore. However, this weekend I made it down to Incheon to visit Chinatown. (인천 차이나타운) I headed down there early on Sunday morning with So Jin to see the sights and add in a mini photo session.
This neighborhood became prominent in 1884. It claims to be the largest Chinatown in South Korea and features an 11-meter high Chinese-style gateway or paifang. After Korea and China signed a trade agreement the Incheon port opened and became incredibly important. This brought many Chinese over to Korea to the neighborhood and established what would become modern Chinatown.
Most of the people who live there now are the third and fourth generation, so they have been able to preserve a great deal of the Chinese culture and heritage in addition to infusing with Korean culture. The main language is Chinese, almost all of the buildings are decorated in traditional Chinese fashion. There are several vendors selling Chinese street food and treats and lots of shops where you can purchase traditional Chinese clothing and other souvenirs.
There are many things I like about Chinatown, first is the food. You can get all kinds of Chinese food from mooncakes to sweet and sour pork. But the most famous dish in the area is black noodles, otherwise known as jjajangmyeon. So Jin and I stopped at the famous restaurant, Gong Hwa Chun to sample the dish.
Not far from the subway station is also the fairytale village. We walked around that area for about 2 hours admiring the art, murals and funny animated characters that lined the streets.
There are also several museums and other cultural activities to experience in Chinatown, but the weather was pretty cold and So Jin had to return to Seoul to work in the evening so we didn’t get a chance to check them out.
That said, even though it was quick, it was a really nice afternoon walking around and just enjoying the culture, food an artwork.