I must say Korean Air is one of the best airlines I've taken, and Incheon Airport the better one around. Nevermind that I've only been to 3 continents so far, and have yet to try Singapore Airlines which is reputedly the top when it comes to service and quality.
On our transit flight to Roma, we stopped by Incheon for a couple of hours. While wondering around to see what we could do with the idle time, we found the Traditional Culture Workshop by accident and decided to give it a try.
I've been to Korea winter 3 years ago and had a really good experience there despite the cold so I didn't mind transiting here. (If given a choice, I'd rather transit at a country I've never been to, almost wanted to drop by Papua New Guinea on my way to Australia last year)
We chose to make to make the Korean Traditional Sock Cell Phone accessory. It was relatively easy, though much of the time was spent waiting for the glue to dry before we could give it a cost of varnish.
On our way back to Tokyo from Paris, we had another transit at Incheon, this time about 4 hours. The other craft available for trying was colouring traditional Korean fans.
This took longer, not only because it was a bigger craft but also we had just begun to unwind after the amazing journey and were very exhausted by then. Still, it was fun colouring. It felt like being in kindergarten again, filling in the colours.
Not very difficult really, it's all up to your creativity. The Spanish couple in front of us were quite gung-ho, even tried to copy the kanji on the instruction board. It was quite funny, because later they found out that the kanji actually meant "This craft is for free".
After colouring the petals of the lotus flower on the front, I decided to fill the back of the fan with memories of our trip in Italy and France. As you can see, most were food that we had throughout our 2 week stay. I wish I could bring all of them back with me!
I think this was a pretty good idea by the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation. Other than allowing foreign visitors a chance to try their hand at traditional arts and crafts, there were souvenirs sold, and public performances for free.
If only other airports could emulate this, I'm sure it would leave a good impression on visitors, both on transit and real tourists to the country. Not to mention that we got our little accessory for free. Even if I had a sucky trip elsewhere, at least I'd remember the little gifts from Korea. I give thumbs up for their effort!
By the way, Incheon airport offers free Wifi (and laptops for use) near the departure lounge (we were at the East Wing). Overall the airport has a refreshing look, is clean and organised, a recommend indeed.