Explore Seoul’s markets, see ancient palaces, and take a step back in time at the Korean Folk Village. Travel to Songnisan National park, see the Beopjusa Temple, and then head to the historic city of Gyeongju, known as a ‘museum without walls’. See royal tombs, natural scenery, and the fascinating Seokguram Grotto. Drive to the coastal city of Busan and take a stroll through the lively fish market. Head to Gayasan National Park and see the UNESCO site of Tripikata Koreana, and then stop in Hahoe Village, famous for mask dances, before checking in to your temple stay for a night in the mountains. See the borders of North & South from an observatory, take a cable car to the Gwongeumseong Fortress and then return to Seoul for some leisure time. This group tour has set departure dates and is complete with English speaking guides.
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*Hotels are subject to change to similar properties.
Each date is guaranteed with a minimum of 2 guests. Prices are per person based on a party of at least 2 adults traveling together. The Single Room Supplement cost is in addition to the twin sharing cost for those who would like a single room. If traveling alone, please contact us for a solo traveler cost.
Hotel with daily breakfast, 1 night in basic & comfortable lodging during temple stay, services of expert English speaking local guides, group tours, entrance fees to sites listed on the itinerary, A/C bus transportation, and round trip airport transfers. International flights are not included, please enquire.
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Arrive in Seoul at Incheon International Airport where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Take a half-day guided tour of the city. Start with a visit to the National Museum of Korea, built in 2005 and which boasts a fantastic collection of Korean arts and relics. Afterwards, visit the Changdeok Palace & Huwon (Secret Garden), a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. Later, stop at the Seoul Tower on Mt. Namsan for a bird’s eye view of the city. Later, visit the Gwangjang Market. After sightseeing, return to the hotel around 15:00hrs, and have the evening at your leisure.
Depart Seoul to the Korean Folk Village. The Korean Folk Village provides a look at traditions from 18th & 19th century Korea where you can see traditional homes, dress, and artwork, and learn of traditional Korean life & culture. Later, proceed to Songnisan National Park to visit the Beopjusa Temple where you can see Korea’s tallest statue of Buddha. The forested park is an ideal place for walking. Afterwards, drive to Daegu via the expressway and check-in to the hotel for your one night stay.
Meet at the hotel visit the Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine in Daegu. This marketplace has been a popular location for traditional medicine since it first opened in the 17th century. You’ll have an pportunity to try an herbal foot bath during your visit. Visit Seomun Market, which is steeped in history and of the three main markets during the Joseon Dynasty, and then transfer to Gyeongju, the capital of the Silla kingdom from 57BC – 935AD. Gyeongju is known as a “Museum without walls,” as there are 52 designated sites that are considered cultural assets. Upon arrival in Gyeongju, enjoy a half day Gyeongju tour including a visit to the Cheomseongdae Astronomic Observatory, and then the Royal Tumuli Park with its Royal tombs. You will have the chance to enter one of the excavated tombs to see the construction and process behind the Royal King’s burial chambers.
Start your full day tour of Gyeongju by visiting the Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto. Established in the 8th century on the slopes of Mt. Toham, the grotto contains a monumental statue of a sitting Buddha looking out to the sea and is considered a masterpiece of Far Eastern Buddhist. Today’s tour also includes the 4-face Buddha, Gwaeneung Royal Tomb and a scenic drive to Guryongpo Port along beautiful coastal scenery.
Head to the Unmunsa Temple, the largest Buddhist nunnery in Korea, for a guided tour amongst its lush and mountainous surroundings. Afterwards, proceed to Busan, the second largest city of South Korea, where upon arrival you will have a half-day tour of the city. Visit the Busan Tower on Mt Yongdusan with its observation deck offering stunning views of the city and beyond, stroll through the Jagalchi Fishery Market where roadside vendors sell their wares and end the tour with a visit to the bustling Nampo Dong area.
After breakfast, transfer to Mt Gayasan National Park via the expressway. In Mt Gayasan National Park, visit the Haeinsa Temple. Haeinsa Temple has a world famous Korean cultural treasure called Tripikata Koreana, which was made during the Goryo Dynasty to protect the country from the invasion of Mongolian troops by Buddha’s power. UNESCO has designated this Tripitaka Koreana a World Cultural Heritage. Proceed later to Andong, 2 hours from Haeinsa, Andong is one of the best-preserved villages notable for its traditional style houses. Hahoe Village in Andong is also famed for its mask dance. After a visit to Hahoe Village, proceed to Chungju Lake, and check-in to your hotel.
Take a ride on a sightseeing boat to see the lakeside scenery (note that the boat tour is subject to weather conditions). Afterwards, proceed to Woljeongsa Temple or Samhwasa Temple to experience a unique temple stay. Upon arrival at the temple, change your clothes to temple dress prepared by the temple residents, and then receive an orientation on the temple stay regarding regulations and schedules. Attend the evening ceremony of bell-beating, evening chanting and a meditation course.
Depart the temple and transfer to the DMZ Unification Observatory on the East Coast for a close view of North Korea. Return to Mt. Seorak for a cable car ride to Gwongeumseong Fortress and a visit to the Sinheungsa Temple. Afterwards, head to Pine City Gangneung and visit the intriguing Chamsori Gramophone & Audio Museum. Your hotel is located next to Mt. Seorak National Park, so you may wish to enjoy some more hiking if time permits.
Drive to Gapyeong and visit the Garden of Morning Calm, which displays unique Korean wild flowers and trees in a garden located in a mountain valley (subject to change due to weather). Later, transfer to Seoul and check-in for your one night stay. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and you will then be met at the appointed time for your transportation to the airport.
Day 7: Visit Hahoe Village in Andong, famed for its mask dance.
Days 8: Stay overnight at a Temple for insight into Korean Buddhist culture.
This itinerary has been tried & tested and can be booked as-is. However, should you wish to customize your tour, you may contact us here.
ESSENCE OF SOUTH KOREA
SEOUL CITY STAY