From Point Hannam-dong to Point Incheon Airport, that is!
The airport limousine buses have always been the most convenient mode of transport going to and coming from the Incheon Airport. Well, there's the airport taxi, but it's more expensive. And there's also the Korail Airport Railroad, which is convenient if you're near Seoul Station, or any other stations where it stops.
Before, my problem was that the nearest airport bus stop was far from my Hannam-dong apartment. The nearest one ever was by the Hannam Franciscan Church, just opposite the Soonchunhyang Bus stop by the Hannam Village. I remember I dragged my heavy luggage one winter afternoon to that bus stop for about ten minutes, which seemed like a work-out considering that I had to cross the street, go up and down the inclined sidewalks with bumpy surfaces, and with my handcarried bag on my shoulder.
(A sight to behold! Finally, taking the bus for the
first time from Hannam-dong!)
But that bus stop had been scrapped for a couple of years now, and I returned to taking a cab from Hannam-dong to Itaewon to get to the bus stop by the IP Boutique Hotel. I decided then that a couple of thousands of Korean won would spare me from breaking my back on my way to the airport. Ha-ha-ha! It just wasn't worth it to have a work-out on the streets of Hannam-dong while not in my gym clothes.
(Brochures in the airport bus)
So, you can just imagine when one Monday morning, last spring, when I saw a new airport bus stop, right almost at my doorstep! What a surprise! An airport bus stop just across the street! Right next to the Jamba Juice bus stop where I also take my bus going to Itaewon! How convenient!
But I wondered, after all these years, why only now?
Oh well. I couldn't complain anymore, could I? The bus going to the airport is across the street, while the bus stop coming from the airport is even closer! I don't even have to cross the street when I come home!
And last month on my trip to Manila, I was able to finally use the bus stop! On that day, I happily dragged my heavy luggage from my home, crossed the street and after a few steps, I was there! And I wasn't the only one waiting for a bus, actually. There were two other people waiting, too. The time schedule when the bus is expected to arrive is displayed on the stop marker, and if you want to get the real time, you can actually SMS a number. But I didn't have to do that; I knew it would arrive on time. And it did!
As I expected, it only took about an hour from Hannam-dong to the Incheon International Aiport.
And when I returned to Korea after a week of vacation, I took the same Airport Bus No. 6010 going back to Hannam-dong in Seoul.
(A digital welcome screen at the arrival gate at the airport. The Philippine flag represents the country
where the flight originated.)
Going back to Seoul would have taken about an hour, too, but tonight was the night of the Yeouido Fireworks Festival. And the ajussi who was manning the bus stop was blurting about 'Yeouido, Yeouido', which I surmised that because of the humongous traffic caused by the festival, the bus had to reroute to avoid getting stuck somewhere.
(I brought my own in-flight meal: Jamaican beef patties and sapin-sapin! I just bought iced soda at the plane.)
(Arriving passengers waiting for their luggage
at the carousel)
(Reunited with my luggage containing dried mangoes for
Korean friends, and tablea tsokolate, dulce gatas, piayas, frozen brazo de mercedes and a lot more... for me!
With the rerouting, it took us about 90 minutes to reach Hannam-dong, about 30 minutes more than it would have taken without the nasty traffic that night. The bus wandered through Mapo-gu, by the Yonsei Severance Hospital, through the Gyeongbuk Palace, Angkuk Station and finally through Myeong-dong, and arriving in Hannam-dong after going through the Namsan Tunnel. Although I was amused with the late-night joy ride-slash-city-tour, some passengers complained about the delay. Or maybe, they were just very hungry and were eager to get home.
(Waiting for the Airport Bus 6010 at Gate 13A)
But being comfortably seated in the bus, I could not complain. After all, this was supposed to be the most convenient mode of transport for me going back. I wasn't hungry yet, even though it was about 10PM. I had a Jamaican patty on the plane topped with Dolor's kakanin as my dessert. And there were more inside my handcarried bag. Ha-ha-ha!
(Inside the comfortable bus.)
And when the bus finally arrived at my bus stop, right in front of the Liberty Haus in Hannam-dong, it just took about three minutes for me to reach my door step, and I could finally say I was home again in Seoul.
I am flying home again in December, and will definitely take the same Airport Bus 6010 again. And when I return, for sure, there'll be Jamaican patties and some kakainin, or maybe even some ube jam, in my handcarried bag again.