The Black Traveler’s Guide to Incheon, South Korea
Author: The Blerd Explorer
Ok, this is a book I probably would have never read. However, the author reached out, so I did. I have to say it is a fascinating read. I never considered visiting South Korea, but now it is certainly on my list of places to travel post-COVID. I will use this book as a guide when I go.
Any black traveler will tell you that extra precautions must be taken when embarking on any journey. One must do their due diligence to ensure locations they are traveling to are diverse and accepting of all people. This travel guide discloses tips for traveling to Incheon, a city located on Seoul's northwest side. Ok, this may sound boring, but reading this guide makes me want to travel here.
Some awesome tidbits I learned from this book:
1. Sample Korean food before going
2. Dishes tend to be remarkably high in sodium (consider this is you have high blood pressure)
3. Meals are meant to be shared. If you travel alone, it may be hard to find a restaurant for one. You may be charged for two meals (What?)
4. Most meals contain meat or meat broths. Pork is used regularly; research dishes and restaurants before arrival to be sure you are not eating anything you are allergic to or simply do not eat.
5. The food is spicy, so request low or no spice option if you need to (but if you’re like me, enjoy!)
6. Warnings about allergies may not be taken seriously (Bring your EpiPen)
7. South Korea is safe, although I won’t be trying this, the author states that you could leave your laptop in a café for hours and be there when you return.
8. You will receive stares if you are there, but it is simply because you are a foreigner, not due to malicious intent. Koreans only know what they have learned about AAs from TV and media. Hence, the author being called "The Wakanda Teacher" in his classroom.
9. Fashion, in Korea, is designed with thin people in mind.
10. Bring Cash ($1500) should suffice, and exchange most of the money at a local bank versus in the airport.
11. Use Kakao Map for traveling and Papago for translation.
The author continues to share pertinent information about travel to Incheon such as means of travel while there, restaurants and dishes that you should try, as well as places you should go (including the beautiful parks and local marketplaces), and great places to hike (for the outdoorsy types). Finally, the guide ends with a list of things not to do while traveling there, to avoid being offensive and a gallery of beautiful photos taken in Incheon.
After reading this guide and learning about all that Incheon has to offer, I am ready for a visit in Spring or Fall, as suggested by the author.
If you are well-traveled and looking to find a new captivating destination or if you have never traveled out of the country, I recommend you take a look at this guide to see if a visit to Incheon is right for you.