Crafty in Korea

My 3-hour layover at the Incheon airport in Korea was probably the best layover I’ve ever had. I was on my way home, scouring the airport for trinkets I could bring my husband and daughter when suddenly I saw a sign for the Cultural Experience Center.


Intrigued, I checked it out and quickly discovered that I could learn to make a traditional Korean craft, or watch a dance, or paint — as long as I was a foreigner passing through. I guess my blondish-brown hair, blue eyes and freckles weren’t proof enough. They did check my passport and my plane ticket. Satisfied that I was just passing through, I was taught to make a persimmon leaf pouch.


I am by no means crafty, but wanted so badly to make a pretty little persimmon leaf pouch for my daughter. I had plenty of time to take my time and create something beautiful, but this is as far as I got before I needed assistance.


A very polite and very patient Korean young man took over.


A few flicks of the wrist, a couple complicated knots, and voila — a beautiful Korean craft!


I proudly took it home and gave it to my daughter. She was so impressed with the pretty little pouch “I” made. She gave me a big hug. I told her it was nothing. πŸ˜‰

Where’s your favorite layover airport?


24 responses to “Crafty in Korea

  1. That’s so cool that they have that there!
    I’ve flown in and out of Incheon, but have never experienced a lay-over there. I would definitely do this, what a beautiful keepsake! πŸ™‚
    The only airport I’ve had lay-overs in is Toronto, but I can’t say there was anything as engaging as this. I tend to spend a good hour in Lush trying every product you can imagine. By the end of that hour it usually doesn’t end up being a free activity! πŸ™‚ Gotta love Lush!
    Great find & post!

  2. I don’t remember the airport or the layover but I do remember the best massage I’ve ever had. After a long flight, it did the trick!

  3. Makes me want to check this one out! My favourite us any one I can have a shower when on the long haul flights like uk to Australia ! Love that feeling of suddenly feeling almost human again, reading for the next long sit!

    • This is something I’ve never tried at the airports. I’m not sure why not. Maybe because I’m so busy lugging my luggage around. Or the contrary — no clothes with me to change into. But I can imagine how refreshing this would be.

  4. Nice thought Juliann, and good to have a daughter that appreciated it. I am an innocent abroad at airports. Most memorable (for the wrong reasons) was Paris Charles de Gaulle during a cleaners’ strike – what a mess 😦

    • I haven’t seen anything like it, either. The Cincinnati airport has a play place for kids that looks like they’re flying a plane, but we don’t offer cultural exhibits. Not sure what we’d imagine those to be…

  5. How pretty! I wish all airports had an interactive cultural center – what a great idea. I don’t know what my favorite layover airport is, but I love any Italian airport because of the food πŸ™‚

    • Food!! How true. That can make or break how good a layover is. I like flying through Chicago for the deep dish pizza, and had soft shell crabs on a layover through Baltimore. I’m weird enough to enjoy experiencing airports and usually even buy a postcard when I’m there. I did that in Korea, too.

  6. That indeed is a very “engaging” part of an airport. Something really unexpected. You’re lucky to find something to kill time. My best ever stopover is in Singapore. We had to stay outside the airport for 2 days and 1 night.

    • Rommel, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The best layover would be getting out of the airport to explore. Especially in Singapore. Though if you had been detained in the airport there, they have plenty of free movies and shopping to pass the time.

  7. All airports should have things like this! I had a layover in Kansas City last weekend and it was awful. They had one of those set-ups where the gates are separated from all of the stores and restaurants, so I had to grab a sad sandwich and sit around.

    My vote would be interactive options like this one and of course, Yoga and massage. : )

    • I hate airport gates like that. I always hope I’ll have the foresight to get something (at least a Starbucks) before I’m trapped in No-Man’s land. And I always have books with me, but I’m usually saving those for the actual plane ride.

  8. Pingback: “Covers” | The Sophomore Slump·

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