A Perfect Day for Korean Baseball: SK Wyverns Game at Munhak Stadium, Incheon, South Korea

I had an early evening flight out of Incheon Airport, and the Wyverns were playing in Incheon that afternoon, so I figured I could see one last game before heading home. Despite being fairly close to the airport as the crow flies, getting to the airport by public transportation required going a good bit north to catch the Airport Express train, which took about an hour and a half.
 From the Munhak Sports Complex subway station, a good ways outside of Seoul, just follow the signs from Exit 2. The large stadium in front of you is designed for track and field and soccer games.
 You want the smaller stadium to the right. This gate, the closest to the station, is the outfield gate. Tickets can be bought on the other side of the stadium near home plate, and are very reasonably priced. I bought an outfield bleacher ticket, knowing that I'd have to leave early anyway to get to the airport in time.
 The stadium is built to AAA standards, with two-level seating in most of foul territory and plenty of luxury boxes and seats behind the plate and down the right field line.
 It's certainly a stadium I'd be happy to visit over and over again, if it wasn't so far from Seoul, which is also quite a ways from Tokyo.
 Incheon is pretty empty in this area, so the view is pretty simple, with the other stadium being the only major structure in the skyline. I tend to prefer skylines with buildings or mountains beyond the outfield.
 You can walk around the entire stadium, a definite bonus in Asia.

 To get between left and right field seats, you walk right behind the batter's eye. It's possible to stick your camera up over the fence and snap a few shots. I wish I had zoomed in more to decrease the graininess of this image (it's been cropped).
 Here's the view from almost-straightaway center field.
 I find it interesting that the cheerleaders are pictured here in this photo-op display, because I didn't see a single cheerleader during my entire stay in Korea. Where are they?!
 I grabbed a Hite Ice Point beer to sample while enjoying my Burger King burger. Hite is okay, like Bud Light or other light beers with a crisp taste that you can drink fast. For its purpose, it works. The stadium has a few other food options around the stadium but I didn't see anything spectacular beyond the usual Korean ballpark fare - sausages on a stick, etc.

The photo above is the view from my chosen general-admission seat. I was one of the first to sit in this area, and I found a ball left over from batting practice right at my seat - a KBO official ball! It pays to arrive early and be observant. It was hot and clear, and I got a bit burned out here because I didn't have any sunscreen.
 This display is a sort of Wyverns Hall of Fame and Museum. You can see "Legends" on the left, a television showing highlight clips in the middle, and autographed baseballs on the right.
 Nearby is the customer service booth, with the Wyverns lineup for the day.
 And then is the Touch Zone, again seeminly split into Legends and active players.
 Here are the Wyverns' legend players.
 Another photo op area, made to look like you're sitting in the dugout.
 There's a small children's area down the left field line. Yes, that's the Powerpuff Girls on the left. And a train that goes outside the stadium and then back in.
 I wonder what wonders are on the other side of that wall. How come I never got any super-cool forts to play in as a child? Kids have it good these days.
 A little further than that is a pitching target area and a ball pit for the little kids.
Back in the station, I remembered to take a photo of the mascots from the 2014 Asian Games. Incheon was a part of the games and this stadium was used. The convenience store in Munhak Sports Complex Station is the only place in Korea that I saw original-style Skittles, too - Sour Skittles were in several convenience stores but regular Skittles are apparently quite rare.

Catching a Game at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, Seoul, Korea

 Jamsil Stadium is probably the most famous baseball stadium in Korea. I'm not sure if that's really saying much, but I'd guess than 90% of foreigners who see a baseball game in Korea see a game here. That's certainly due to two main factors: it's located in Seoul, the largest city in Korea, and it has a game almost every day of the week.
The stadium is shared between the Doosan Bears and the LG Twins, and one team is always "away" while the other is "home". The KBO schedule provides 5-6 games per week. I happened to see a game between the Bears and the Twins, with the Twins being the "hosting" team.
 I arrived a bit late on a weekend game, and had to buy my ticket from a scalper. But, I still paid only face value because the game was underway and the guy would have probably never sold his ticket anyway. I got to see almost all of the game. I don't think I saw an entire game during my visit to Korea, mainly because I arrived late or had to leave early.
 I thought I'd include this image which was taken with the HDR feature on my camera. I tried a few settings I had never used before and HDR isn't good for action. The player is literally falling to pieces!
 I also tested the high-speed system though I started with a slower shutter speed, so the pictures are a little blurry in some places - note this pitcher's foot.
 This shot is a bit better, as I upped the shutter speed. I couldn't help the angle, due to my seat.
 I was located on the "visitors" side of the stadium, though I think there were more Bears fans in attendance than Twins fans. In Japan, the cheering squad is large, coordinated, and well-outfitted, and the fans all participate almost religiously.

This is a good example of the cheering squad in Korea - a small group of guys with team gear that you couldn't really identify when they weren't cheering. They were quite loud, though, and many of the fans would cheer along.
 I could take a walk around most of the stadium, though I couldn't get to the outfield fair-territory seating here. This is the farthest I could shoot down the left field line, just as the sun was getting ready to set.
 Here's a look at the seating bowl on the left side.
 There are a few concourses behind/beneath the stands, plus a walkway along the top. This was a great way to get around the stadium and still watch the game. Lots of people brought blankets or tarps and sat here behind the top row of seats.
 The view from behind the plate, from the top row. It's a nice stadium and the open outfield gives a nice view of the public housing and mountains in the distance.
 Olympic Stadium is visible from back here.
 Behind the first base dugout.
 And here is the farthest I could get down the right field line.
 A view of the outfield from the right field line.
 The stadium under the lights, with twilight in the background.
 Walking around the stadium briefly the following day (when I took pictures of Olympic Stadium and the Star Walk) I came across this marker in what would be outside the outfield. I'm guessing it's where a home run cleared the stadium and hit the concourse outside.
 The nearby subway station has these cool themed seats. In this general area, there's also a store that sells lots of baseball goods, and during the baseball season it's probably a tourist's best bet to get a bunch of different teams' souvenirs - though you might have to settle with team logo balls for most teams.
 This is the ramp leading up to my section. If you have an outfield ticket (in fair territory), your gate is close to the stadium, but for most people, the entrances are around the sides or back of the stadium.
 This is the back of the stadium. The top is at about the same location as where I took the photo of the Olympic stadium.
 You can bring food into the stadium, and a Burger King and KFC are available both inside and outside of the park.
 There is a very large number of specialty restaurants in Jamsil Baseball Stadium, so it's possible to find all kinds of interesting Korean and international foods. As you can see, they are grouped together, though.
 You aren't able to walk all the way around the stadium at this lower level, and there's a gate right in front of me where I took this photo. But it shows you what these "nice" seats look like.
 I tried different beers at different ballparks. At Jamsil, it was Max. As advertised, it does have a rich taste compared to other Korean beers but it doesn't stand a chance against a good high-quality beer.
The stadium was packed - it was a sell-out game after all - and the crowd was really into it for most of the game. Later on, the Bears took a very large lead and the Twins fans hit the exits. Seeing a game during the week shouldn't be a problem, but expect the possibility of a sell-out at nice weekend games. I'm sure scalpers are ready for sell outs - I was approached by four or five "entrepreneurs" within five minutes.

Tickets start around $10. The stadium is located just outside exits 5 and 6 of Sports Complex Station on Line 2.

Jamsil Olympic Stadium, Seoul, South Korea

Known as Seoul Olympic Stadium or Jamsil Olympic Stadium, this ... um ... stadium was built for, well, the 1988 Olympics. Construction started back in 1977 and it was completed in 1984. It served as the home for the 1986 Asian Games before the Olympics came to town two years later. It's seen sporadic use since then including concerts by Michael Jackson, Metallica, and Lady Gaga, though a new professional football team is expected to move in next year.
 It still looks nice, though, sitting across the parking lot from Jamsil Baseball Stadium. I don't know if the stadium is accessible and I didn't have a lot of time to explore, but there is a bit of a monument to the Olympic Games along the east side.
 It's called Star Street, and it features displays honoring Korean Olympic teams, especially the medal winners.
 Each Games event (1988, 1992, 1996, etc) has its own "wall" in the middle of the plaza with large pictures of several of the biggest stars. additional details are included on the left.
 A large wall with the results of the 1988 Games.
 There are glass panels for the 1988 Games with seating areas.
 These cubes have photos from recent Games as well.
The Korean Olympic Hall of Fame, I suppose? These are all Korean athletes from the 1992 Games.

Behind the stadium is a small collection of shops that seem to exclusively sell exercise equipment and sporting goods. In that "mall" is a small, free Olympic museum. It's called Seoul Olympic Exhibition Hall.
 Seoul has a dedicated Olympic museum, so this one has only a few artifacts without much story.
 Uniforms, coins and other souvenirs, badges...
 Costumes and other goods that were used at the stadium...
It's not worth a trip on its own, but I was trying to find Korean baseball souvenirs and there is a shop in this mall that carries goods year-round, including some collectibles that I never saw in any team stores.

Jamsil Olympic Stadium is located outside exits 6 and 7 of Sports Complex Station on Line 2 of the subway system. The baseball stadium is closest to the station, but the Olympic Stadium is very visible just beyond it. Jamsil Arena is to the right of the Olympic Stadium behind the Students Gymnasium and what I think is the Olympic pool; the shopping area and museum is on the east side of the Olympic Stadium underneath the car park. Star Street is in front of the Olympic Stadium, leading toward the shopping area.