As Bangkok has hosted the Asian Games four times so far, with the last time falling in 1988, a Thai-Korean family visited Incheon recently to see what the upcoming host city has to offer ahead of the 2014 Games, which will run from Sept. 19 to Oct. 14.
Bee-Sontaya Korphajon, who married a Korean woman five years ago, took his family and friend Ppui-Praiboon Moonton to the coastal city for what turned out to be a marine-themed tour.
The group first visited an observatory at Incheon's coastal pier, which commands a magnificent view of the West Sea. They then headed to a local fish market, one of the nation's largest. The market was opened in 1975 and now houses more than 500 vendors selling everything from large fish balls to "san nakji" (live squid).
At lunch time, they headed to a nearby street lined with sashimi restaurants to tuck into some sliced raw fish and other mouth-watering dishes. Korphajon and Moonton were surprised to see small octopuses and "spoon worms" served while still wriggling around in small white dishes. But they mustered up the courage to try them, despite having reservations about eating live seafood. While enjoying some steamed blue crab and hot-pepper fish stew, Moonton commented on the affordability and range of seafood available.
Although Korphajon, who is on a sabbatical from his teaching job in Thailand, has traveled to various tourist destinations during his four months in Korea, most of these trips have been limited to Seoul, such as Gyeongbok Palace and Mt. Nam. Keen to see a different side of the country, the family opted for Incheon in light of its storied past, convenient access and sporting future.
After lunch, the group headed to Wolmi Park, their final destination that is known for its intact natural scenery. After following the walking path there, they said they had never imagined there would be a park in such a neighborhood with a wharf and factories nearby. Formerly a military base for five decades, the park opened to the public in 2001. The path took the group to the peak of Mt. Wolmi to enjoy panoramic views of the port.