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Oct 09, 2005 12:50 PM 1746 Views
(Updated Oct 09, 2005 12:51 PM)





In august this year, I was invited by a South Korean Oil & Gas conglomerate for an interview with them, which was held at Goeje City ( Headquarters of that company is situated in this place). The visa and tickets were provided by the company.

Goeje City is a quaint little city, which is roughly 500 kms. South East of Seoul, bang on the coast overlooking the Korea Strait, which is a small stretch of sea separating Japan from the Korean Peninsula.

The route taken by me to reach Goeje City was Chennai-Singapore-Seoul (Kimpo also pronounced as Gimpo)-Jinju (Saechon) and then onwards by road to Goeje City.

When I landed at Kimpo, it was drizzling very lightly and it looked that it was that way since the previous day. The first thing I noticed while the flight was on it's descent towards Kimpo was that despite the persistent drizzle creating a thin film of water on the tarmac the landing was smooth and not bumpy and no signs of skidding. Unlike our Indian airports, especially Mumbai, the surrounding land was absolutely free of any kind of human habitation or any garbage.

This airport has been built on one of the cluster of islands in the Yellow Sea adjoining the Korean Peninsula. The airport is very picturesque being surrounded by green undulating hills. The overnight drizzle made it even more picturesque by giving it a ''misty'' appearance.

The arrival lounge is neat and clean though it cannot be called as bustling like singapore's Changi or Dubai Airport's arrival lounges. However the Departure lounge comes close to being called as an airport, which is ''bustling'' with activity.

English is a language with which the Koreans struggle generally and same goes with the Korean immigration officials when they have read the visa stampings in your passport. However they are very courteous and are patient enough for you explain if they find something they cannot understand what is stamped in the passport or any other supporting document that they may have to read which you may produce to them at the counter.

After crossing this initial hurdle, baggage collection is smooth and once you get out of the airport, you get taxis as well as excellent, neat and clean buses to take you onward to Seoul or to their domestic airport though they are slightly expensive (....but that is the case with anything in South Korea!!....).

My advice is that until and unless it is absolutely necessary, do not take the taxis outside the airport but use the buses instead. they are plenty of them going to various destinations and are of extremely good frequency. The taxis are also good but comparatively more expensive.

Overall, my experience at Kimpo airport was very nice despite a language handicap being there. However, the Koreans appear to be catching up fast on the language front and the good thing was that each time, I tried to converse with any one of the Koreans in English, they would struggle with the language but would not budge till they made sure that I understood them!!!!...

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Seoul, South Korea (SEL) - Kimpo Intl.