Rely on a Miracle to Happen in ferry terminal
“High chance you can’t enter South Korea by ferry, sir. I really do not wish to give you false hope. However, I will send the request to the Incheon Immigration department. If they can accept your arrival, I will issue the ticket, otherwise you have to fly….”
It was unexpected news..
The news any traveler would not wish to hear and the news which really made me completely rely on a miracle to happen…
” You have to wait at least 2 hours to know the respond/answer from the Immigration department of Incheon. Looks like now is their lunch hour… But, my suggestion is, better you go back to your hotel, and to be frank normally they don’t accept to enter South Korea by ferry sir”…
She was repeatedly throwing the words I did not wish to listen.
100% hope for the 1% chance
I decided to come back to the terminal after a few hours. The chances were very slim, but my hopes were too big. Furthermore, I have already completed 2/3 parts of my journey. My aim is not to South Korea, but by ferry to South Korea. The Weidong Ferry service is only available 3 times per week from Qingdao to Incheon. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So, I put 100% hope for the 1% chance.
But, Qingdao did not disappoint me. It was a very unique city. Initially I didn’t know much about Qingdao, however, the German touch of architecture on street buildings triggered me to dig more about its history. Qingdao was occupied by Germans from 1814-1891. During the colonial period, the Germans left a distinct mark on Qingdao’s architecture that can still be seen in its historic center and train stations. The train station has undergone a recent overhaul that has tried to strike a balance between maintaining its colonial heritage while modernizing to be the terminus of the high speed rail line to Beijing (source: wikitravel)
Qingdao was too cold for me, about 6-10°C. Furthermore, the thick foggy weather retained me within the Nordic Osheania Hostel most of the time. The interior classic architecture of the Hostel very much impressed me. I managed to upgrade my room to double bed for 12 USD. The permanent resident (picture below) of the hostel was too friendly to me and turned out to be my best companion there.
After spending a few hours in the hostel, I decided to visit the ferry terminal to try my luck. It was a long walk in the cold 8°C weather. The moment I reached the counter, she responded to me ” very sorry sir, to make you wait longer”. The sorry word really triggered some kind of disappointment in me immediately. My heart pumped faster filled with adrenaline. My face flushed, she continued, “the Incheon immigration accepted your arrival, be here by 2 pm tomorrow, we will issue the ticket for you”. I froze. For a moment, i could not accept the overwhelmingly happy news. I was elated…..Yayyyyyyy
Seriously, it was a complete miracle for me.On the following day, I reached the ferry terminal earlier with full of excitement. Excitement because I’m going to complete my final leg of the journey and I’m going back home after visiting South Korea.
only a few passengers appeared. The ferry terminal was in dead silence. Thick foggy weather brought down the temperature badly to 7°C.
Once I reached the counter, the same lady, her eye narrowed after saw me. I was pretty sure she going to say some bad news to me.
Her ” Sorry sir”, again it triggered millions of dissapointing thoughts. My face flushed again. Adrenalin rushed lavishly.
” The ferry which is supposed to reach Qingdao port will be delayed very much due to the thick foggy weather. We are not sure what time the ferry will touch the port. So, I’m unable to issue the ticket for you at this moment. In the worst case scenario we may cancel today’s departure to Incheon.” She explained the situation clearly. I had no questions to ask. I saw a few passengers who regularly travel by ferry to Incheon from China frustrated and disappointed.
Since there was no any other better choice, I decided to wait, wait and wait…Around 4 pm in the evening, the ticket was finally issued. The ticket price was surprisingly cheaper, RMB 480 than I expected could be due to the low season. Around 6 pm, announcement for the departure took place. wow… long waited ferry and the moment arrived.. The sleeping compartment was really clean and comfortable.
Bad news brought good news
It was too cold to be outside of the cabin longer. The ferry was still anchored at the port. After my dinner around 7 pm, I decided to go to bed as I was bushed. The dinner was expensive for me as I paid 6000 Korean Won for the meal but it was tasty.
I had a very good night sleep and got up around 4 am. checked out of the window, shockingly, the ferry remained anchored at the same place I boarded. I rushed to the reception area and found out that the thick foggy weather didn’t allow them to sail. They told that the ferry was scheduled to start sailing around 1 pm but was not confirmed. The reception did announced a good news to pacify me. Starting now till the ferry reaches Incheon port, all meals will be free of charge…. yasssss
HI…..thank you so much for the time you spent at my site. My name is Suresh Narayanan. 44 years, solo traveler from Malaysia. I am very passionate on solo travelling, especially overland travelling by train, bus and boat. So far I have traveled Transsiberian Train Journey covering from Guangzhou, China to St Petersberg, Russia. In 2016, I crossed on Silk Road from Xian, China to Istanbul, Turkey covering China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan and Turkey. I also covered a rare route from Seremban, Malaysia to Seoul Korea overland crossing, Thailand, Laos, China and South Korea.
Most of my blogs speak more about incidents occurred during the journey. Hope you will enjoy reading, and again thank you so much.