Day 1: Arrive in Seoul (60 km)
Arrive at Incheon International Airport in Seoul, where you will be met and transferred to your downtown hotel. After check-in, the balance of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Seoul.
Day 2: Seoul
A full day tour of capital city of Seoul, where old meets new in modern Korea, established by the founder of Joseon Dynasty in 1392, one of the most fascinating cities in the world with more than 10,000,000 people, visits Gyeongbokgung Palace, the main palace during the Joseon Dynasty - passing by Blue House (Presidential Residence)；National Folk Museum of Korea, the collections display complete items from every region of Korea which illustrate all aspects of traditional life；Namdaemun Market, one of the oldest and largest markets in Korea, with colorful and bustling spots for bargain shoppers；Changdeokgung Palace, constructed in 1405, and is now the best preserved of Seoul's five palaces of the Joseon Dynasty；Biwon (Secret Gardens), behind Changdeokgung Palace, are tranquil gardens of unequalled beauty and woodland originally constructed for the recreational area for the royal family and palace women；Insadong Antique District, called "Mary's Alley" by foreigners, Korea's art and antique district reminds many visitors of a street museum. One hundred-odd antique shops, old bookstores, and art galleries are concentrated in this area；Jogyesa Temple, it is the headquarters of the Jogye sect of Korean Buddhism, and the regional office of the World Fellowship of Buddhism；and N Seoul Tower on Mt. Namsan for a bird's-eye view of Metropolitan city of Seoul. Overnight in Seoul. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Seoul - Mt. Seoraksan National Park (210 km)
Today, we journey to Mt. Seoraksan National Park, this northern stretch of Korea's eastern coast, which is rugged and mountainous with breathtaking scenery making it the "Alps of Asia". This afternoon explore Mt. Seoraksan National Park with visits to Gwongeumseong Fortress which is accessible by cable car, enjoy a great birds’ eye view of Mt. Seoraksan National Park from the rocky peak of the fortress；Sinheungsa Temple, established in 653 A.D., claims to be the country's oldest Zen Buddhist temple, and it would be the oldest existing Zen temple in the world；Cheonbuldong Valley, the most visually stimulating valley in the park；and Biseondae (Flying Fairy Rock), a wide, flat rock surface where the river rapids drain into a crystal clear pool and a peak rises majestically above the valley. Overnight at a hotel at the foot of Mt. Seoraksan. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Mt. Seoraksan National Park - Samhwasa Temple for a Temple Stay Program (120 km) Travel to Samhwasa Temple which is situated at the valley of Mt. Dutasan and lies on top of the huge rocks of the Mureung Valley, was founded by the Venerable Monk Jajang during the reign of Queen Seondeok in the Silla Dynasty. En route, visit Sun Cruise Resort situated at the edge of the ocean with breathtaking spectacular scenic views spreading below. After a tour of the temple, you will have a Temple Stay Program at the temple to experience Temple life and Buddhist Culture as follows:
* You are beating “BeomJong” the Temple Bell with a Buddhist Priest. The graceful sound of the Temple bell is spreading in all directions with long echoes. It gets rid of the desires in life and it is the sound that wakes up the mind in a dream. It is the sound of Buddha asking for spiritual awakening.
* You are vowing 108 times as “YeBul” the Evening Worship. It will be your own choice, not to be obligated. The evening worship pronounces the vow
that we thank Buddha for giving us the peaceful day and repenting our sins of that day.
* You are having “ChamSeon” the Meditation. Meditation is a work for enlightening yourself. You sit cross-legged on the floor. You embrace spirits and take away earthly thoughts and worldly desires.
- Take a rest at each room of lodging quarters.
- Dinner at a restaurant in the Temple to experience Temple food.
- Overnight at lodging quarters in the Temple. Accommodations will be done by separate room for men and women on Korean style bedding on Ondol floored room which is Korean traditional unique heating system for chilly days. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Samhwasa Temple - Gyeongju (230 km)
- Wake up and participate in morning ceremony and clean yard and room.
* You are taking “GongYang” the morning meal. You come to eat in the “HuWon” where food is prepared at the same time. The planting food grown in the Temple on the menu. The food doesn’t have spices and is neither hot nor salty. It is another mysterious experience for the general people.
* You are taking “DaDo” Tea. The tea makes our mind, eyes and ears clearer. It helps our stomach accelerate digestion and can cure a hangover. It also reduces the need for sleep and gets rid of thirst and fatigue. You can increase the ability to resist heat and cold. These disturbances are a big issue for self-discipline. This is the reason why monks take teas in the Temple.
Afterwards, this morning, travel to Gyeongju, where was the capital of the Silla Dynasty from 57 B.C. to 935 A.D. and designated by the UNESCO as one of the world's ten most historically significant sites with numerous relics of that era, and is called the "Museum Without Walls", along the crystal east coast. An afternoon tour of Gyeongju visits Bunhwangsa Temple, erected in 634, is considered, with Cheomseongdae, one of the country's two oldest stone structures, and the pagoda was originally 9 stories high, only 3 remain today；Gyeongju National Museum, which has the best collection of Silla Dynasty artifacts with more than 100,000 pieces；Donggung Palace & Wolji Pond (Anapji Pond), constructed in 674 A.D. as a pleasure garden to commemorate the unification of the peninsula by the Silla forces, used the recreational area for the Silla royal family and banquet garden to entertain royal important guests；Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory, built in 634 A.D., is considered the world's earliest known existing observatory and admired by archaeologists worldwide ; Royal Tumuli Park, a collection of royal Silla tombs located in the middle of Gyeongju with 20 tombs, of which Cheonmachong (Flying Horse Tomb) is the most famous with its excavation which yielded more than 10,000 treasure-artifacts ; and the 15th century built Family Choi's House. Overnight in Gyeongju. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Gyeongju - Busan (90 km)
A morning tour of Gyoengju visits Bulguksa Temple, originally constructed in 535 A.D., the most frequented and best-known temple in Korea, was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1995 ; and Seokguram Grotto, dating back to the same era as Bulguksa Temple, one of Asia's finest Buddhist shrines, an attempt to represent physically the highest spiritual aspirations, the crowning achievement of Shilla religio-artistic work, was added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1995. Travel to Busan, the country's principal international port city, second largest city with a population of 4 million, and is the San Francisco of Korea built along the sea at the site of an excellent harbor. An afternoon tour visits Yongdusan Park, where provides a pleasant touch of greenery on a hill in the heart of the city and a very popular public park with Busan Tower ; Busan Tower, Yongdusan Park crowned with the tower, 120-m-high tower observatory dominates the most of the area of the city, and the sea and harbor views spreading below the tower are spectacular ; Jagalchi Fish Market, Busan's most active fish-dealers' cooperative, the colorful spectacle is also a great attraction for tourists and camera buffs ; Taejongdae Seaside Cliff Park, the scenery of rugged cliffs dropping straight down to the sea is breathtaking, along with a panoramic sea view from the Park, overlooking the Korean Straiton a very clear day you can even see the Japanese island of Tsushima on the horizon to the southeast ; and UN Memorial Cemetery where the Korean War (1950-53) dead from the sixteen UN allies rest in honored serenity and is the only one in its kind in the world. Overnight in Busan. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Busan - Suncheon - Boseong - Songgwangsa Temple - Hwasun - Gwangju (350 km)
This morning drive to Suncheon, located in the province of Jeollanam-do Province, is a scenic agricultural and industrial city of around 250,000 people. This attractive city, a provincial naval command center during the early Joseon Dynasty in 15th century, is today a transportation and educational center for the South central portion of the peninsular and an expanding industrial site. A tour of Suncheon visits Naganeupseong Fortress and its Folk Village, constructed in 15th century during Joseon Dynasty and its Folk Village surrounded by the Fortress. Within the east, south and west of the castle, about 100 families still reside, and the castle area has been very well preserved. Proceed to Boseong where is known as the largest tea-growing area in Korea and the birthplace of Korea’s tea industry. Continue to Songgwangsa Temple which was originally constructed in 900s toward the end of the Silla Dynasty, and then drive to Hwasun Dolmen Site whose dolmens date back to the Bronze Age. The Dolmen Remains was added to the UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 2000. Later, drive to Gwangju, where is the capital of Jeollanam-do Province and the sixth largest city in the Republic of Korea, with a population of 1.2 million. Overnight in Gwangju. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Gwangju - Jeonju - Seoul (330 km)
This morning drive to Jeonju, the culturally abundant city of Jeonju, can be found in the middle of the Korean peninsula. This historical city dates back to the Baekje Kingdom. Gyeon Hwon founded the nation after the dissolution of the three kingdoms in 892. Jeonju became the capital city, and provided present day Jeonju full of many treasures including a Traditional Korean village. A tour of Jeonju visits Jeonju Hanok (Korean Traditional Houses) Village, located in the city of Jeonju, there are over 800 traditional Korean houses called ‘Hanok’ houses. While the rest of city has been industrialized, Hanok Village has not changed a bit, and still retains its old traditions；Gyeonggijeon Shrine, erected in 1410 and holds the portrait of King Tae-jo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty；Jeondong Catholic Church, constructed in 1914, well known in Korean Catholic history；and Jeonju Korean Traditional Wine Museum, experience the glory of traditional Korean wine, visitors can view the tools and machines used in the making of alcohol, as well as an exhibit on traditional wine. Tthe most interesting areas of the museum are considered to be the alcohol preparation room and the fermentation room. Drive back to Seoul. Overnight in Seoul. Includes: (B).
Day 9: Seoul - DMZ & 3rd Tunnel - Seoul (90 km)
A tour of today visits the North Korea’s 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, located within DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) area and is 45 km away from Seoul and found in October, 1978, and 30,000 armed military forces with field artillery may permeate through this tunnel per one hour；Dora Observatory, located at a western front line and from here you can get a view of the North Korean territory including Propaganda Village, People's School and Gaeseong city which was a capital of Goryeo Dynasty through telescope；and Dorasan Railroad Station, recently opened in DMZ by South Korea according to the agreement between South and North Korea to connect the broken railroad. Return to Seoul and visit Gwangjang Market, one of Korea’s largest traditional markets as well as Korea’s oldest market with over 100 years of history；and Seoul Folk Flea Market, one of the major folk flea markets, preserving the culture of the traditional Korean market place and drawing in visitors with a range of folk items that embody the unique charm of Korea. Overnight in Seoul. Includes: (B).
Day 10: Seoul - Departure (60 km)
Transfer to Incheon International Airport for departure. Includes: (B).
B - Breakfast. D - Dinner.
Local 3* hotels:
- 2 Travelers: USD 3489 p/p
- 3 Travelers: USD 2751 p/p
- 4-5 Travelers: USD 2242 p/p
- 6-7 Travelers: USD 1732 p/p
- 8-9 Travelers: USD 1478 p/p
- Single Supplement: USD 438
Local 4* hotels:
- 2 Travelers: USD 3673 p/p
- 3 Travelers: USD 2935 p/p
- 4-5 Travelers: USD 2425 p/p
- 6-7 Travelers: USD 1916 p/p
- 8-9 Travelers: USD 1660 p/p
- Single Supplement: USD 576
- 9 Nights accommodations on double or twin share basis at above hotels.
- Buffet or American breakfast at the hotels (8) and temple breakfast at Samhwasa Temple (1). Temple dinner at
Samhwasa Temple (1).
- Round trip transfers between airport and hotel, and all transfers and sightseeing tours as per itinerary by private appropriate vehicle.
- An English speaking local guide throughout from meeting at airport until seeing off at airport.
- All admission fees of tour sites, porterage, toll & parking fees, and hotel/other all taxes & service charges.
- International airfare to/from Korea.
- Hotel early check-in (before 2 pm) and late check-out (after 12 noon).
- All lunches and all dinners except one temple dinner at Samhwasa Temple.
- Expenses of a personal nature.
- 3rd Person for extra bed or children under the age of 12 at the time of travel who are on double or twin sharing will have 10% discounted rate from the prices.
- Children under the age of 12 at the time of travel who are 3rd person for extra bed will have 20% discounted rate from the prices.
* When you need French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Russian speaking guide, please add per group per day USD 140.
* If lunches and/or dinners are needed, please add USD 14 p/p per meal at local typical restaurants for Korean,
Chinese or western food on group meals with transfers & guide assistance.
* If a dinner (Korean traditional typical buffet) or a farewell dinner (Korean traditional typical buffet) at Korea House in Seoul is needed, please add USD 45 p/p with transfers & guide assistance.
* If a dinner (Korean traditional typical buffet) or a farewell dinner (Korean traditional typical buffet) with a Korean folklore dance and music performance at Korea House in Seoul is needed, please add USD 76 p/p with transfers & guide assistance.
- Minimum 2 Travelers.
- We do not accept 1 Traveler Request.
- For a larger group please contact us.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia South Korea Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History