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South Korea in Fifteen Days - Private Tour



Tour Summary


During a full day Seoul City Tour, visit the Jogyesa Temple, Gyeongbokkung Palace, the "Cheongwadae", (presidential palace), and Cheongwadae Museum. In Gwanghwamoon Square are the statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yi, two national heroes. Explore the galleries, antique shops, tea houses and souvenir shops of Insadong. See Tapgol Park, Seoul Tower, with its impressive views, and Cheonggyecheon Stream, an ancient Seoul canal.

Travel to Suwon to see the Korean Folk Village. Also visit the Hwaseong Fortress and Castle.

Take an excursion to the North Korea border DMZ, the world's most heavily guarded border. See the "Freedom Bridge", the 3rd infiltration tunnel, and the Dora Observatory.

Travel from Seoul to Gyeongju. Visit Andong's Hahoe Village with its old traditions and architecture.

In Gyeongju explore the Seokguram Grotto, with its beautiful statue of Buddha, and the Bulgugsa Temple. See also the ceramic village.

The next day visit Tumuli Park with its royal Shilla Dynasty tombs. Heading on to the Cheomseongdae, the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. See Anapji Pond, constructed for the royal family.

Next visit Haeinsa Tripitaka Koreana (a UNESCO World Heritage site), with its famous Tripitaka Koreanan, wooden text blocks. Head on to Busan, and an overnight stay.

Take a Busan Tour, visiting Nurimaru, Busan Haeundai Food Market, and Haeundai Beach. The impressive Gwangalli Bridge affords breathtaking views of the coast. See the UN War Cemetery, the Busan Museum, the Nurimaru APEC House, and the Haeundai Food market.

Fly to Jeju Island, having first explored the Jakalchi Fishmarket, Kukjae Market, & Busan Tower. Overnight on Jeju Island.

On Jeju island take a South & Central Tour, visiting the Spirited Garden, Jusangjeolli, Bridge of Seven Nymphs, Yakcheonsa Temple, Oedolga, and Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls. Also visit the Hamel Ship.

Next, tour North & East Jeju Island, including Udo Island, visiting Manjanggul Cave, Haenyeo Museum, Ilchulbong, and Seopjikoji Rock - one of the most scenic places in Korea.

Enjoy a walking Tour of Jeju, exploring small fishing villages.


Itinerary


Seoul, South Korea


Arrival at Incheon Airport. Meet your guide.

Transfer to Hotel by private Limousine Bus

Overnight at Kukdo Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Gyeongbokkung Palace, South Korea


Visit to the Jogyesa Temple and Gyeongbokkung Palace. The Palace was built by the Joseon Dynasty in 1394. For centuries, this immense complex was the center of power, untill the Japanese occupied the country at the start of the last century. At the Palace we may see the changing of guards. From the back gate we see the "Cheongwadae", the presidential palace and the Cheongwadae Museum.

At the Gwanghwamoon Square we can see the statues of King Sejong and Admiral Yi, two national heroes of the past. Insadong Street is home to dozens of art galleries, antique shops, traditional tea houses and souvenir shops.

The Tapgol Park is of great historical value as it was the starting point of the 1st March 1919 Independence Protest against the Japanese occupation.

Then visit the Seoul Tower, to enjoy an impressive view over the giant capital.

Final stop at the Cheonggyecheon Stream, an ancient canal, flowing for centuries through the heart of Seoul. For half a century the canal was filled with concrete to create a busy road, but the canal was restored in 2005.
Note: on Tuesdays we visit the Changdeokkung Palace instead of Gyeongbokkung Palace. The Sarangchae Museum is closed on Mondays. Optional shopping possibilities can be included in the itinerary.

Overnight at Kukdo Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Suwonhwasung, South Korea


Transfer to Suwon to visit to the Korean Folk Village. Here you can witness the customs and lifestyle of the Korean people throughout the centuries. Fishermen, farmers but also the noblemen's life can be experienced.

In the afternoon visit to the Hwaseong Fortress and Castle. This impressive structure from the latter Joseon Dynasty was the official defence wall to protect Suwon City, south of Seoul.

The fortress wall stretches for a total of 5.52km and has a great variety of ancient military facilities. It was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1997.

Overnight at Kukdo Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Seoul Square, South Korea


Excursion to the North­Korea border DMZ, the world's most heavily guarded border. It was established in 1953 after the Korean War.

We will see the Freedom Bridge, the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel illegally dug by the North Koreans.

At the Dora Observatory we can see the North Korean village of Gijeong­dong with a 160 meter tall flagpole. (Lunch is inclusive: Bulgogi)

Overnight at Kukdo Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Andong, South Korea


Transfer from Seoul to Gyeongju via Andong by private car/bus.

Visit to the Andong Hahoe Village where century old traditions, influenced by the teachings of Confucius, are still alive.

The inhabitants live in the same way their ancestors did; in simple houses for the common farmers and in richly decorated houses for the "Yangban", the aristocrats.

Overnight at Commodore Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Seokguram, South Korea


The Seokguram Grotto was discovered by a postman who was sheltering from the rain.

Inside the man­made cave he found a astonishing beautiful statue of Buddha, which was constructed during the Shilla Dynasty.

The statue is listed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

We then visit the Bulgugsa Temple, a royal temple constructed in the same period.

In the Ceramic Village we visit a workshop where they make the world famous ceramic in the same way as they did during the Shilly Dynasty.

Overnight at Commodore Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Anapji Pond, South Korea


We visit the Tumuli Park with its royal tombs dating back to the Shilla Dynasty. The numerous artefacts found in these tombs shows the remarkable technological and cultural advancement of that period (600­900 CE).

The Cheomseongdae is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. The 362 stones used to build the Cheomseongdae represent the 362 days in the lunar calender.

The Anapji Pond is an artificial pond constructed for the royal family for their leisure and study.

Near the train station we visit the Gyeongju Food Market.

Overnight at Commodore Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Haeinsa Temple, South Korea


Today we transfer from Gyeongju to Busan via the Haeinsa Temple, in the Southern part of the Korean peninsula. Located in an isolated, mountainous area this temple has miraculously survived war and destruction.

Most famous are the 800 year old Tripitaka Koreana, wooden textblocks, the most complete buddhist work of its time and listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Overnight at Busan Ibis Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Haeundae Beach, Busan, South Korea


Crossing the impressive Gwangalli Bridge we can enjoy breathtaking views of the Busan shoreline. At the UN War Cemetery the sad history of the Korean War (1950­1953) is depicted. UN Troops from different nationalities were among the casualties.

The Busan Museum shows the interesting history of the city of Busan and the history & culture of Korea.

Continue the tour and visit the Nurimaru APEC House, a wonderfull location with a breathtaking view over the Ocean. The Nurimaru was build specifically for the APEC Summit, a major political gathering of Asian political leaders.

Final stop at the Haeundai Food Market and Haeundai Beach, where one can enjoy the boulevard and the beautiful shoreline.

Overnight at Busan Ibis Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Busan Dadaepo, South Korea


Our tour today visits the Jakalchi Fishmarket, Kukjae Market, and Busan Tower.

The Jakalchi Fishmarket is one of the largest markets of its kind, selling a dazzling array of fish, often alive. Here you can tast the famous Korean sashimi.

Adjecent to the fishmarket is the Kukjae Market, where you can shop for souvenirs, glasses (very cheap in Korea!) and clothing.

Overnight at Busan Ibis Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Jeju Folk Village, South Korea


Today we fly from Busan to Jeju Island by domestic airline. On Jeju Island we first visit to the Spirited Garden. What was originally a wasteland has become one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Roughly 100 rare species of trees can be found in this garden, and the spectacular display of bonzai trees, some of them as old as 300 years, is truly amazing!

Along the impressive Jusangjeolli Lava Coast we can see the turbulent volcanic activities that took place in the past.

Crossing the Bridge of 7 Nymphs, we decend to the Cheonjeyeon Waterfalls, a masterpiece of nature. Via the Yakcheonsa Temple we continue to the Oedolgae, a huge isolated rock projecting from the blue see.

Next stop is at the Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls in Seogwipo City.

We then visit the Hamel Ship, which tells the story of the first European in Korea, a Dutchman named Hamel (1653). After surviving the shipwreck, he was washed ashore on the coast of Jeju Island, where the Koreans held him captive for 13 years, before escaping to Japan. After returning to the Netherlands he wrote a book about his adventures in Korea, the first foreign publication on the mysterious country Korea

Overnight at Sunshine Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Jeju Dolharubang, South Korea


We visit the Manjanggul Cave, the only horizontal Lava Tube in the world.

Continuing to the Haenyeo Museum we learn about the life of the island's brave fisher-women. By fishing, they provided a vital source of income for the islanders.

We also visit the Ilchulbong Crater, an inactive volcanic crater erupted out of the sea and conncected to the main island. On top of the crater you have an amazing view of Jeju Island.

Final stop at the Seopjikoji Rock on Phoenix Island, one of the most scenic places in Korea!

On Udo Island a unique poplution still inhabit the island. In this small community not the men, but women are the main source of income. The women dive in the sea, catching sea urchins, shell fish, seeweed and octopus. The old profession is not popular among the younger generation, so the average age of these strong womens is 75! On Udo Island we may witness them work in the sea. On foot or by bike we can explore the wonderful island.

Overnight at Sunshine Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Jeju Island, South Korea


We meet our guide in the hotel at Hamdeok Village. Walk along the beach and towards the small fishing villages.

Aqua Planet is undoubtedly the best aquarium in Korea, and probably one of the best in the world. Based on scientific research they have created an amazing underwater world.

The impressive aquaria host numerous sharks, rays and spectacular other species from the ocean. It also houses sea lions, penguins, dolphins and other sea mammals.

Overnight at Sunshine Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)


Insadong Street, Seoul, South Korea


Return flight to Seoul. Arrival Gimpo Airport (Seoul). Transfer to your Hotel. (Option to stop at Shilla Duty Free Shop)

Overnight at Kukdo Hotel - 4 Star (or similar)



Transfer to Incheon Airport by Airport Limousine Bus. (No Guide.

End of Services.Price


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"I just want to say thank you.  We had a wonderful time on our trip around Eastern Korea.  The accommodation, food, sights we saw, history explained and the whole travel experience was fabulous.  We would never have seen or done so much if we planned it ourselves.  The tour guide was wonderful, he explained so much and was always open to anything we needed from him.  I really feel that the trip gave us a wonderful insight into South Korea and its people."

- Jan


"I wanted to thank you again for all your help and tell you we had a wonderful time in Korea."

- Diane


"My wife and I enjoyed it so much. You guys couldn't have picked a better tour guide for us.

She made sure that everything was right for us. It was so nice while she was with us and we wish only the best for her in the future."

- Fred & Chong


"I would like to thank you for the amazing trip! The tour was a real pleasure."

- Mayya


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