Five reasons why I love Korea’s Incheon International Airport

This long layover is my third at Incheon International Airport, and I couldn’t be happier about it. On my first trip, I emerged bleary-eyed after a 10-hour flight, desperate for a bathroom and bottle of water. Wandering through the sleek white halls, I spotted a sign with an arrow and the words “Rest and Relaxation.” I followed the arrow upstairs to an area with a spa, internet cafe, transit hotel, and several dining options. I was a smitten kitten.

If you’re passing through South Korea on your way to other parts of Asia, consider choosing a flight that passes through Incheon. It truly is a great airport, and here are five reasons why:

1. Rest and Relaxation areas. What more could you want on a layover? Leather cots and lounge chairs make sacking out pleasurable (I’m usually that hobo passed out on a sarong by my gate), and they’re in a quiet area with no TV noise.

2. Free Internet. And not just free wi-fi, though there’s that (I’m using it right now). There’s actually an Internet cafe area, with about a half dozen desktops for folks to use – for free. A sign politely asks users to limit their usage to 30 minutes if there is a wait.

3. Self-cleaning toilets. Not only are the toilet seats in a constant state of pristine thanks to some rotating plastic covers, but there are shelves inside the stalls to put your purse and whatnot. I can’t count the times I’ve entered a stall with no hook and had to either wear all my stuff while trying to hover over a dirty seat, or else place it on the equally nasty floor.4. Art and culture displays. Korean art is showcased throughout the facility, but there are also areas that are set up like miniature museums. They’re great to wander through, and do a good job of enticing me to actually leave the airport someday and visit South Korea.

5. Transit hotel and showers. Since I’m always on a tight budget and the leather cots are perfectly functional, I’ve never actually paid for a room at the transit hotel. Still, it’s there if you need it. I’ve been more tempted by the showers. They’re located in the spa in the Rest and Relaxation area, right next to the spotless restrooms and across from the free Internet cafe.