South Korea Discovery in 9 Days
- South Korea
Discover fascinating South Korea, one of the Asian Tigers, with this incredible tour that will make you see all the best the country has to offer, from the big cities to the religious temples and sites, from the national parks to the ginseng markets. Departing from stunningly modern Seoul, the capital city, you will start a real journey through South Korean history, art, culture and traditions still surviving in the age of technologies.Read more
Discover fascinating South Korea, one of the Asian Tigers, with this incredible tour that will make you see all the best the country has to offer, from the big cities to the religious temples and sites, from the national parks to the ginseng markets. Departing from stunningly modern Seoul, the capital city, you will start a real journey through South Korean history, art, culture and traditions still surviving in the age of technologies.
Here are some highlights:
Arrival at Incheon International Airport. After passport and customs control, your guide will meet and greet you at the main passenger terminal and transfer you to your hotel.
Your exploration of the metropolis will begin in the morning with a driving tour, including sites such as Seoul Plaza, City Hall, Cheonggye Square and Gwanghwamun Plaza. Standing majestically in the whirl of city traffic is Gwanghwamun, the main gate to Gyeongbokgung Palace, or Palace of Shining Happiness: you will explore its magnificent gates, graceful architectures and lovely gardens.
Today you will also tour the National Folk Museum of Korea, within the palace complex, providing insights into the daily life and work, costumes and ornaments, handicrafts and technology, education, living quarters, diet, oriental medicine and much more from the prehistoric age to the Joseon Dynasty in Korea.
Later, stroll down the cobblestone walkways in Insa-dong, admiring art galleries and antique shops. Next up is Gwangjang market with its typically Korean atmosphere. Before you end the day's sightseeing, you will enjoy a panoramic view of Seoul from N Tower observatory. (Breakfast included).
Leave Seoul to Andong. Enroute, explore Yeonggneung, one of the 119 royal tombs of Joseon dynasty. You'll also stop in Danyang, a charming town set in beautiful surroundings, to see Dodam Sambong rocks representing the typical love triangle of ancient Korea: wife, husband and his mistress.
Another attraction will be Gosu cave, known as the most beautiful limestone cave in Korea, formed about 400 million years ago. You will then tour Sosuseowon, the first private institute established in Korea, birthplace of Confucian education and cradle of prominent scholars. In Punggi, you'll stroll in a typical ginseng market and finally get to Andong. (Breakfast is included).
Andong is a stronghold of Confucianism that has deeply influenced all aspects of the life of the Koreans. Explore Hahoemaeul, a 15th century home of noblemen. Nestled in a small bend of Naktong river, it's the best preserved traditional village from the Josean Dynasty with some houses still functioning.
Today's tour also includes Andong Folk Museum, offering in-depth information on the traditional life and Confucian culture. Later, stop at Yeongdeok, a place of fishing villages, beaches, mountains and snow crabs. You'll also visit Yangdongmaeul, a traditional clan village of simple, unadorned beauty, declared Unesco's World Heritage Site.
Finally you'll reach Gyeongju, an ancient capital city of the Silla dynasty, often called "Museum without walls". Here you'll admire ancient temples, weathered stone pagodas, royal tombs, Buddhist bas-reliefs and fortress ruins. (Breakfast included).
Explore two Unesco World Heritage Sites, Sokguram grotto and Bulguksa temples which were both built during the glorious period of the Silla kingdom (57 BC - 935 AD). Seokguram grotto is the home of the serene stone Buddha of the eighth century, while a short ride from the grotto will take you to Bulguksa temple, with the Hall of the Great Enlightenment and Sakyamuni Buddha.
You'll then visit Gyeongju National Museum, housing priceless archaeological and historical artifacts such as gold crowns, earrings, belts, ornaments, glasswares, potteries and clay figures as well as a royal barge. You'll also see the world's largest astronomical observatory, Cheomseongdae, where each stone used bears a symbolic meaning.
Finally, nearby Tumuli Park encompasses 23 huge tomb mounds were Silla rulers were buried. (Breakfast included).
The journey continues to Busan, Korea's second largest city, surrounded by the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. Enroute stop at Tongdosa temple, literally meaning "pass through to enlightenment".
Busan tour begins with a visit to UN memorial cemetry, where 2300 soldiers from sixteen Korean War allies were buried. You'll then explore a fascinating Jagalchi fish market, located on the downtown docks.
Neighboring block is BIFF square, packed with trendy shops, movie theatres and even a walk of fame where famous stars and directors have press their handprints into the sidewalk. A little further on is Gukjesijang, where thousands of shop sell a wide variety of items.
The tour also includes Yongdusan park, located on top of a steep slope that looks over the city and harbour offering a breathtaking view. (Breakfast included).
There will be a lot of driving today, weaving through the countryside with its rural panoramas. Visit Goryeong Tumuli Museum, located below a group of ancient tombs, a large-scale living burial. The practice of burying living humans or animals to accompany a deceased noble person, was widely performed in the ancient society and was supported by the belief that even in the afterlife, attendants were required for the dead to continue to enjoy a certain lifestyle.
Nearby Daegaya Museum exhibits a huge collection of artefacts excavated in Goryeong. Enjoy your journey through the countryside to Gayasan National Park. You will visit magnificent Haeinsa temple from the 9th century; the journey then continues to Songnisan National Park. The tour of the park passes through Maltijae and stops at a marvellous 600-year-old pine tree.
Explore Beopjusa temple, which hosts the Four Buddhist Instrument Ceremony at sunset. (Breakfast included).
Explore Oeammaeul, a traditional village exuding old and rustic charm. Afterwards, explore Unesco World Heritage Site Hwaseong Fortress from the 18th century, learning something of Korea's long history and admiring the beautiful surroundings.
You'll start the tour with a visit to Paldalmun gate in Suwon, an imposing two-storey pavilion standing on top of a stone structure. Finally get to Seoul. (Breakfast included).
Return to the airport in time for your flight. End of services.
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