One of the great joys of visiting an airport when traveling internationally is hitting up the duty free shops to bring back some unique snacks, alcohol and/or cool useful souvenirs. I have always marveled at the fancy shops I could only dream of shopping in if I were to make a six figure income times two as realistically a six figure income which starts with a one can only take you so far.
My trip from Daejeon, South Korea back to Seoul to catch my flight back home to Canada began in a modest two hour bus ride. We were all salt of the earth passengers on our way to travel to a variety of destinations.
As I had to arrive three hours before my international flight plus I have a great fear of running into issues at an airport, so I arrived four hours early. My plan was to window shop and look for some snacks I could use my last wons on like Pepero the Korean version of Japan’s Pocky.
Picture of Pepero I bought for Pepero Day which falls on November 11th
Unfortunately, the only snacks available for sale on Duty Free were in Costco bulk size packaging and not inexpensive (like double and triple the size of the above). I didn’t want to use my Visa as the goal was to use up my last few foreign dollars.
Picture of an oversized teddy bear in Incheon Airport
After eating rice minimally twice daily, I found a restaurant which was Italian and served beer. I was dying for some “western” food and Italian has always been my go to comfort. It cost a bit more than I would have liked, but it was so worth it.
After my belly was full of yummy pasta and beer, I was ready to hunt for some good duty free deals. I found none.
I did wander into Hermès to see if they had any pocket squares I could splurge on for my fiancé Brian, who has an infinite love for the small square cut silk fabric and I don’t think he owns any Hermès. I was ignored as a couple was buying a suitcase worth of stuff and not only that I couldn’t see any prices listed on any of the items, so I suspect even a small piece of silk fabric may have maxed out my credit card.
I did stop for a moment to listen to a string quartet set up outside of Gucci. They performed the theme song for Game of Thrones and were excellent! You won’t find this at the Halifax International Airport.
I puttered around and passed all the shops I could not afford to shop in, and concluded the Incheon Airport caters to the financially wealthy, which probably would exclude most, but clearly there is a market for shopping here.
Below are a series of shops you all know but rarely would visit besides to window shop:
Care for some Bvlgari?
If you do spend some money, you may be eligible for a tax refund…
Well, it was a beautiful Airport and I did partake in the fancy toilets or “washlets” which I believe are their proper name. I mean, even the seats warm up and there is a courtesy flush button which plays a recording of a flushing sound so if you are a self conscious “excreter” you are all set! Loud enough to cover up an indiscreet accidental flatulation aka a toot.
I spent my last wons on an overpriced fizzy water and some scrumptious cheese cookies. Walked around some more, tried to read and waited for my flight to take me back to Toronto and then my final destination in Halifax.
I took the above snap chat picture at the airport out of boredom… In a shoppers paradise an aspiring minimalist doesn’t have a lot to do. Fun toilets though!
Peace and Love – Rachel