On my most recent transfer through Incheon International Airport, I had a 12-hour layover. Had I not just gotten off the red-eye from Yangon and suffered the fitfull, miserable sleep it affords, I might have used those hours to reprise my holiday in Seoul. But I was exhausted and in need of a shower. Instead of locating a nearby hotel (Best Western Premiere Incheon is a good one), I opted for the Darakhyu Capsule Hotel by Walkerhill. I wouldn’t have to leave the airport.

From Terminal 2, I cleared immigration and took the bus to Terminal 1, then followed signs for the Airport Railraod/KTX. Upon entering the transit center, one can spot the capsules to the right and left.

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Reception is located between the two wings of the hotel (in my somnambulisitc state, this actually took longer to discover than I’d like to admit). Making an online reservation didn’t work for me the day before, so I simply asked if there were any vacancies. I prefered a room with a shower. Yes, I would pay my deposit in Won.

Key in hand, I proceeded to my wing and followed the maze toward the cheese.

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If you’re like me (a fan of compact, efficient spaces in Asia) you will not be disappointed.

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I collapsed into the small, adequate bed for six hours of jetlag sleep (the kind that wakes you up every two hours). The capsules do not have their own toilets, so in the morning/afternoon/whatever, I made my way to the Toilet/Shower facilities. They’re well maintained and very clean. I headed back to the room for a pre-transpacific-flight shower. (No matter how much you scrub, you’ll be a walking offense when you get off the plane.)

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Rested, relieved, and rinsed, I visited the nearby convenience store for breakfast and second breakfast.

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When my eight hours were up, I returned my key, got my Won deposit back, and left the Republic of Korea.

Written by Ryan Staples

writer / director / editor

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