The Incheon Airport Railroad Express operates a tourist train that runs from Seoul Station to beaches near Incheon International Airport 10 times a day on weekends from March 1 through Nov. 30. / Courtesy of Incheon Airport Railroad Express
By Lee Hyo-sik
A train service linking Seoul Station to popular beaches on islands near Incheon International Airport is gaining popularity among foreign tourists.
The Incheon Airport Railroad Express (AREX) is operating an express train that goes from the station to Incheon International Airport, making it more convenient for travelers to get to Korea's main gateway to the outside world.
The company has also made it easier for tourists to visit beaches along the west coast.
AREX runs the West Sea Train, which departs from Seoul Station and arrives at a temporary station on Yongyu Island, providing people seeking to visit clean, sandy beaches with an ideal means of transportation. The train runs 10 times a day on weekends and holidays from March 1 through Nov. 30.
The first train departs Seoul Station at 7:29 a.m. and the last train from Yongyu station at 7:31 p.m.
Tourists can reach Mashiri Beach by walking 10 minutes from Yongyu station. They can also go to Ulwangni Beach and Wangsan Beach from the station by taking buses No. 302 or 306.
Ulwangni Beach has a 700-meter sandy seashore, and a view encompassing adjacent pine trees and unique rock formations. The nearby Wangsan Beach also boasts a vast sandy beach and beautiful sunsets.
The buses also take beachgoers to Hanagae and Silmi Beaches on Muuido Island from the Yongyu station.
On weekdays when the train services are not available, day trippers can still visit the beaches by taking the Airport Express Train. They should get off at Incheon International Airport Station and transfer to buses at the platform No. 2 on the airport's third floor.
''We decided to offer the West Sea train services in line with the growing number of tourists seeking to visit beaches along the West Sea,'' an AREX spokesman said. ''The train has been popular with not only Koreans, but also non-Korean residents. We expect that more people will take advantage of our convenient train service.''