Welcome to Yeongjon international City.
I am Jake Cosmos Aller, the host of the world according to Cosmos blog and podcasts, aviable on spotify and elsewhere.
I retired a few years ago from the State Department as a foreign service officer,(diplomat) and my wife from the Army as a major. We live in Yeongjong Island near the airport in the airport new city. Recently the whole island has been renamed Yeongjong International city and there is an expectation that there will be a lot of investment and more foreign residents. Much of that has been postponed due to COVID but will no doubt pick back up next year. There are a lot of foreigners walking around, but few are residents yet.
Yeongjong has a lot to offer visitors, and residents, and is a great place to stay. In fact it is one of the better communities in Korea.
The air is fresh, cooler than Seoul in the summer, warmer in the winter, with not too many storms and little snow. Lots of mountains, beaches, and rural areas to explore as the development so far has been focused on the key urban areas – the airport business district, airport new town (where I live) Sky city, Midan city (where the resorts are going up) the wharf and oceanside park, and the beaches. Most of the island is still forests, mountains, and rural areas. I hope that they don’t over-develop the island and keep much of the natural beauty intact. it is only an hour to downtown Seoul either by driving or the AREX train. And express buses from the airport take you into various parts of Seoul as well, often faster than the subway.
Traffic on the island and getting to the island is not too bad but the transit on the island is inadequate given the rapid urbanization of the island. Both the tolls on the bridges and the train fares are way too high. The authorities also have promised an LRT line, Maglev line, and express buses, expansion of the subway line nine, and a bridge to Gangwha island and Shindo, and Jangban islands. I hope they deploy them all within the next five years so I can enjoy using them before I turn 70!. These transportation improvements are way overdue. I will write about them in a separate blog posting soon.
The authorities promise to preserve at least 40 or 50 percent of the island, and I hope that they do as well. I am afraid they will over-develop the island, killing much of the semi-rural flavor of the island. The new Dream Land resort taking shape is destroying some vital mudflat wetlands. When they build the airport, they destoryed a few mountains, turning them into qauries. A few are still operational. They also shut down the old salt mines. But they kept their promise to not destory the remaining mountains.
I wish they would develop hiking trails on Kum mountain (Gold mountain) which is now blocked off due to Korean military bases. We are so close to North Korea (visable in the distance on a clear day from almost everywhere on the island) I doubt that they will reduce the Korean military bases anytime soon.
Mini-Macau or Las Vegas?
In the next few years, the integrated resorts will open up transforming Midan City into a mini-Las Vegas. The authorities have a grandiose plan to turn this island into another Singapore or Macau. But limiting the casinos to Foreigners only may not do the trick. In my opinion, they will need to allow Koreans some access to the casinos to make them economically viable. Perhaps limiting access to once or twice a month or a set loss fee would work.
The Hamptons of Seoul?
The way I look at it, they should be thinking of the Hamptons in long island, not Singnapore or Macaus, as the model for development, turning the city into a upscale weekend home district for rich Koreans and expatriats.
In a series of blog postings which I hope to turn into some articles, which I will share with the Mayor of Incheon, I will explore living in Yeongjong International city from my perspective.
The articles will include
Yeongjon International City, Beaches
Yeongjong Internation City Development Hype vs reality
Yeongjong International City – the Hamptons of Seoul?
Yeongjong Things to Do
Yeongjong International City Restaurant guide
Yeongjong International City Hiking guide
Yeongjong International City Wildlife guide
Yeongjong International City -Suggestions for transportation and other development plans.
Hope you enjoy these articles. I also hope to get them published in the local Korean English press.
Jake Cosmos Aller Aka “Cosmos”