Incheon meets China

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Incheon meets China

At the colorful gate at the entrance of Chinatown, visitors are greeted by the exotic atmosphere of a Chinese village, with red lanterns hanging outside old Chinese-style buildings.
Even a short walking tour through Chinatown can boost your appetite, but there is no need to worry. There are more than 20 Chinese restaurants with gourmet chefs and Chinese-Korean staff.
In addition to the wide range of Chinese cuisine, there are also places serving snacks, in particular grain-filled moon cakes.
Finally, you can browse to your heart’s content at souvenir shops, where you can find just that special China-related trinket you’ve been longing for.

An exotic welcome

The gate is the symbol of Chinatowns all over the world. Shandong Weihai, which has a sister relationship with Jung district in Incheon, built the three gates at the west, east and north ends of Incheon’s Chinatown, at a cost of 200 million won ($190,000). Each gate boasts a distinctive beauty.

Concession area marked by lamps

In the late 19th century, Chinese lived on the left side of the stairs while Japanese lived on the right. The stairs were renovated and stone lamps installed last year. The lamps reflect the architectural styles of the two countries.

Financial district

Three stone buildings that were used as banks during the Japanese colonial era remain standing. The Jeil Bank building is now the home of the Jung district tourism development office; the 58 Bank building is used by the Korea Restaurant Association, and the 18 Bank building is unoccupied.

Bukseong-dong office

The Bukseong-dong office is one of the most beautiful buildings in Chinatown. It was renovated in 2001 to add more of a Chinese flair. In front of the gate stands a dragon statue and Chinese vases.

Freedom Park - a view of Incheon harbor

The first western-style park, built in 1888, is located adjacent to Chinatown.
Visitors at the park have an open view of Wolmi Island and Incheon harbor. The park was initially called the World Nations Park, but was renamed after the landing of United Nations forces in Incheon during the Korean War. A statue of Douglas MacArthur, who directed the landing, overlooks the harbor.

Nuts and beans fill tasty moon cakes

Bokraechun is the original maker of "Gonggal Bread." It has produced moon cakes and this bread for 80 years. The grandfather of Gong Hye-ok, 54, the owner of the store, came to Korea originally and started making the bread and cakes. Mr. Gong's son would be the fourth generation in the family business. They make two types of moon cakes: one with red beans and the other with peanuts, pine nuts and walnuts.

Wonbo: noodles like mama made

Wonbo restaurant is the only place in Chinatown that offers traditional handmade dumplings. It does not serve jjajangmyeon noodles because, the owners say, they want to avoid an ethnic slur on Chinese related to that type of noodle. Homemade boiled dumplings are the restaurant's specialties. No lard is used.

Pungmi, the locale of the film "Failan"

The restaurateur Yu Sun-hwa and his two sons hold sway here. Mr. Yu is an expert in a martial art called palgwaejang in Korea. Although is not on the menu, you can try a traditional clear soup called jjambbong.

Taehwawon: Not for chicken lovers

The restaurateur Yu Sun-hwa and his two sons hold sway here. Mr. Yu is an expert in a martial art called palgwaejang in Korea. Although is not on the menu, you can try a traditional clear soup called jjambbong.

Bukgyeongjang: spinach noodles

This restaurant serves dishes from several Chinese cuisines. It has Beijing dishes such as hot pot and broiled lamb sticks. It also serves jjajangmyeon with noodles made of spinach, which costs only 2,000 won.

by Kwon Hyuk-joo

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