Korea Discovery Tour
Day 1 - ― Arrive in Seoul
Arrive in Seoul at Incheon International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your downtown hotel. Overnight at the HAMILTON HOTEL located at Itaewon Shopping District.
Day 2 - ― Seoul / Korean Folk Village / Seoul
A morning tour of the city of Seoul, where old meets new in modern Korea. Established by the founder of the Joseon Dynasty in 1392, the capital of the Republic of Korea has a population of more than 12,000,000 people. Seoul is a city of incredible contrasts which, despite its immense size, makes it one of the most fascinating cities in the world. It is the heart of Korea’s culture and education as well as politics and economics.
The tour includes Gyeongbokgung Palace (Palace of Shining Happiness) - the main palace during the Joseon Dynasty. Pass by the Blue House (Presidential Residence) and the National Folk Museum of Korea whose collection houses complete items from every region of Korea illustrating all aspects of traditional life. Continue to N Seoul Tower on Mt. Namsan for a bird's-eye view of the metropolitan city of Seoul.
In the afternoon visit the Korean Folk Village to see a superb and truly authentic display of Korean history including folk traditions, legends and the lifestyles of the nobility from the 14th-20th century. This evening there will be a dinner with a Korean folklore dance and music performance at Korea House. Accommodation at HAMILTON HOTEL in Seoul.
Day 3― Seoul / Mt. Seoraksan
Today 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 gives this area an unparalleled popularity with the dense forests bordering crystal clear streams, tumbling over cataracts and dropping from precipices to form fleecy waterfalls, as well as awesome sawtooth cliffs spiraling into the blue skies.
In the afternoon explore Gwongeumseong Fortress course which is accessible by cable car. The ride on the cable car takes about 6 minutes. Walk for about 20 minutes to reach the summit of Gwongeumseong Fortress. This is a rocky peak from which you can enjoy a birds’ eye view of Mt. Seoraksan.
Accommodation at the deluxe KENSINGTON HOTEL at the foot of Mt. Seoraksan.
Day 4 ― Mt. Seoraksan-ULSAN BAWI ROCK COURSE (876m)
Trekking – 4 hours / 8 km
For hikers who want to feel the true beauty of the Seoraksan Mountains, Ulsan Bawi Rock Course is a must. The course is relatively easy from the Heundeul Bawi Rock (meaning unsteady rock) to Gyejoam Hermitage. However, from Gyejoam Hermitage to Ulsan Bawi Rock the 30-minute hike is rather rigorous. The steep steel stairs leading down from Ulsan Bawi Rock are not for the weak-hearted. For those lacking confidence in hiking, it's better to avoid this course altogether and consider instead an altenative course . However, adventurous hikers won't have any regrets after reaching the summit with fantastic views of the East Sea.
Day 5― Mt. Seoraksan / Unification Observatory / Daejin Harbour / Mt. Seoraksan
This morning explore Mt. Seoraksan National Park with visits to Sinheungsa Temple, Cheonbuldong Valley, 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.
Drive to the Korean Peninsular Unification Prayer Observatory set at the edge of the demarkation line which is a symbol of the Korean people's long cherished desire for the unification of the two Koreas. Afterward, visit Daejin Harbour, where you will have your own independent tour to explore this small exotic harbour located near the demarkation line and on the northeastern tip of Korea.
Accommodation at KENSINGTON HOTEL at the foot of Mt. Seoraksan.
Day 6 ― Mt. Seoraksan / Andong
Travel to Andong, one of the last living vestiges of old Korea which is still very conservative and traditional, a stronghold of Confucianism, which has deeply influenced all aspects of the lives of its people.
En route visit Buryeong Valley, the most beautiful and scenic valley in the country featuring granite and limestone cliffs, many waterfalls and crystal clear water with forests of fir and pine trees.
Stop at Buseoksa Temple - established in 676 and is one of Korea's most venerated temples with the oldest wooden structure. Some of the oldest mural paintings in the country are preserved at this temple and the panoramic mountains' spreading views from the temple are spectacular.
Continue to Jirye Artists' Colony (Jirye Art Village) for your home stay programme. Jirye Artists' Colony is located near Imhaho Lake and a great place to have a unique experience of traditional Korean culture. Jirye Artists' Colony is a cultural spot for foreigners and a creative space for the artists to work. It is also used as a traditional life study site and as a Confucianism Institute. Accommodation at the Houses of the Artists Colony in Andong.
Day 7 ― Andong / Hahoe Village / Haeinsa Temple
A morning tour of Andong - visit Dosanseowon Confucian Academy founded by Korea's foremost Confucian scholar, Yi Toe-gye during the Joseon Dynasty and was the hub of Korean Confucianism.
Korean Traditional Paper - making Factory；and Hahoe Village the best preserved traditional village of the Joseon Dynasty, where residents still live in traditional thatched and tile-roofed houses and one of the few remaining examples of a classical Joseon Dynasty Confucian village layout.
Continue to Haeinsa Temple which is one of the three greatest temples of Korea, established in 803 A.D., chiefly known today as the repository of the Tripitaka Koreana, a set of over 80,000 wooden printing blocks engraved with one of the most comprehensive compilations of the Buddhist scriptures in all of Asia. The Depositories and the Tripitaka Koreana Wooden Printing Blocks were added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1995. Arrive at the temple and tour of the temple.
Accommodation at HAEINSA HOTEL in the Temple Village.
Day 8 ― Haeinsa Temple / Gyeongju
Travel to Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Dynasty from 57 B.C. to 935 A.D. and designated by 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.
An afternoon tour includes Bunhwangsa Pagodaerected in 634, the oldest pagoda in the country and along with Cheomseongdae, remains as one of the country's oldest stone structures, only 3 of which remains today.
Gyeongju National Museum, which has the best collection of Silla Dynasty artifacts with more than 100,000 pieces.
Anapji Pond -constructed in 674 A.D. as a pleasure garden to commemorate the unification of the Peninsula by the Silla forces and was used as a recreational area for the Silla royal family and banquet garden to entertain royal guests.
Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatorybuilt 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-artifactsand the 15th century built Family Choi's House. Accommodation at COMMODORE HOTEL GYEONGJU
Day 9 ― Gyeongju
A morning tour to visit Bulguksa Templeoriginally constructed in 535 A.D., the most frequented and best-known temple in Korea which was added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 1995.
Seokguram Grotto dating back to the same era as Bulguksa Temple, one of Asia's finest Buddhist shrine and the crowning achievement of Silla religio-artistic work.
Golgulsa Temple located at the foot of Mt. Hamwol is the only temple cave in Korea. The temple was built out of solid rock during the 6th century by Saint Gwang Yoo and some accompanying monks and was designed according to the architectural structure of India. On the topmost part of the temple, stands a sculpture of the Maya Tathagata Buddha and surrounding the sculpture are twelve rock caves used as a prayer sanctuary.
Mt. Namsan - every mountain in Gyeongju area holds abundant historic relics and legends but Mt. Namsan (South Mountain) is a treasure house of them and an open-air museum unique in the world. Buddhist legends are still to be found in the valleys and on the slopes of Mt. Namsan.Accommodation at COMMODORE HOTEL GYEONGJU in Gyeongju
Day 10 ― Gyeongju / Busan
Travel to Busan, the country's principal international port city and second largest city with a population of 4 million. Enroute, visit Tongdosa Temple which was founded in 646 A.D. to house holy relics (a piece of bone from the Buddha's skull, his robe, and begging bowl) of the Historical Buddha brought back from China by the monk Jajang. An afternoon tour to visit Yongdusan Park in the heart of the city. Continue to the 120 m high Busan Tower in Yongdusan Park which dominates most of the city with spectacular views of the sea and harbour.
Jagalchi Fish Market - Busan's most active fish-dealers' cooperative. The colourful spectacle is also a great attraction for tourists and camera buffs. Continue to Taejongdae Seaside Cliff Park. The rugged cliffs dropping straight down to the sea is breathtaking.
Accommodation at KUKJE HOTEL in Busan
Day 11 ― Busan / Jejudo Island
This morning fly to Jejudo Island. Jejudo Island is Korea's largest Island which is often described as Emerald Isle, Island of Gods or Korea's Hawaii and most exotic region, and is one of Korea's premier tourist regions.
An afternoon tour of Jeju city, capital and hub of Jejudo Province, includes Mokseokwona public park which contains naturally sculpted rocks and dried tree roots imaginatively representing various animal and human forms and figures.
Jeju Folklore & Natural History Museum has a huge exhibition room decorated with black volcanic rocks and a large collection of folkcrafts, as well as exhibits of geology, flora and fauna of the island.
Accommodation at LOTTE HOTEL JEJU in Soegwipo City in Jejudo Island.
Day 12 ― Jejudo Island
A full-day tour includes Cheonjiyeon Waterfall - cascades down a cliff 22 meters high and 12 metres wide into a natural tropical pond inhabited by eels and surrounded by lush vegetation.
Cheonjeyeon Waterfall and Yeomiji Botanical Gardens.
Jeongbang Waterfall - this 23-meter-high waterfall is the only one in Asia to plunge straight into the sea. On the beautiful beaches around the falls, visitors can watch the women divers collect shellfish and abaloneJusangjeolli - with stone pillars piled up along the coast is a designated cultural monument of Jejudo Island.
Accommodation at LOTTE HOTEL JEJU in Soegwipo City in Jejudo Island.
Day 13 ― Jejudo Island
Day at leisure. Accommodation at LOTTE HOTEL JEJU in Soegwipo City in Jejudo Island.
Day 14 ― Jejudo Island / Depart Korea
Transfer to Jeju airport for departure.