Sunday, September 25, 2011

Unforgettable Night Views at Incheon's Wolmi Island

Wolmi Island was named after its shape, which, when viewed from above, looks like a crescent moon. In Chinese character, "wol" means "moon" and "mi" means "tail" or "end" -- a fact that was not lost on Chinese tourist Liang Jingcui when she visited recently.

Although originally an island, Wolmi was connected to the mainland -- it is only 1 km from Incheon -- after embankments were built in the 1920s.

"This place is really refreshing," said Liang. "The cool breeze from the sea and the lights reflecting on the surface of the water is so beautiful."

Liang and her friend Liu Feng decided to visit the island as it is the perfect place for a quick trip due to its proximity to the capital -- only an hour away. It also offers striking night views.

The island is known throughout Korea for its amusement park, set against the backdrop of the sea and pleasure boats. Walking along the streets by Wolmi wharf, "Wolmi Theme Park" soon comes into view, equipped with a variety of amusement facilities.

The Viking, known as one of the most high-octane, white-knuckle rides in the country, and the 80-meter high cable car are the most popular attractions.

Taking a ride in the cable car brings into view Incheon Bridge, Wolmi Observation Tower and other points of interests. Liu and Liang rode the Viking and enjoyed other amusement facilities during their evening visit to the island.

The streets of the island were packed with young people, families and couples taking a stroll. The two Chinese visitors reached Wolmi Observation Tower after hiking along a trail for thirty minutes. The tower looked like the (leaning) Tower of Pisa when seen up close, Liang said. Others claim it resembles a conch or a spaceship.

They climbed toward the top of the tower, along the circular staircase. As they slowly ascended, Incheon Bridge and port came into view, slightly obscured by trees.

Standing at the top of the tower, Liang gave her final seal of approval. "The night scenery here is awesome," she said. "It's great to have such a wonderful place as this so close to the city."

Liu said, "I'm surprised there is anything like this in Incheon. I only used to come only when I needed to take a flight or a boat."

After making their way down from the tower, the two friends went to a restaurant and ordered some seafood stew. Liu said the food was fresher than back home.

"The shellfish are quite chewy, maybe because they are so big," she said.
"We eat shellfish a lot in China, too, but the ones here really taste good."

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