HomeToursAsia Tours 〉Korea, Republic Of

Premium South Korea


On this nine-day Premium adventure, you’ll explore the culture and cuisine of South Korea from unique perspectives with a local leader who has all the insights. Start in Seoul with a bowl of steaming hot pot and meet with a North Korean defector to learn their fascinating story. Wander through Gyeongbukgung Palace before heading to a local home for a private food lecture. Enjoy a bibimbap in Jeonju and learn about the town’s rich art culture. Walk through bamboo forests before heading for Mt Gaya’s Hainesa Temple, where you’ll stay overnight, meditate like the monks, and chat with a local monk over tea. Visit iconic sites in Mokpo and then explore Purple Island at your own pace – before ending it all on Jeju Island – where you’ll chat with a local Haenyno woman and visit UNESCO’s Seongsan Ilchulbong for the most scenic views in Korea!

9 days, from

$5,001

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: CJPK
Style: Premium
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  Korea, Republic Of
Accommodation: Hotel (7 nights), Feature Stay (1 Night)
Transportation: Public Transit , Private Vehicle , Ferry
Included Meals:

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 4 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Visit the home of Daniel Gray, a food expert and food tour pioneer who worked on Netflix’s Steet Food Asia Seoul, for a fascinating lecture on local cuisine, food history and a homemade meal.

  • Immerse yourself in the local way of life for Korean monks at your Premium Feature Stay in Hainesa Temple on Mt Gaya – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Three Jewels Temples representing Dharma.

  • Visit Jeju Island, where you’ll visit Seongsan Ilchulbong or Jeju Seongsan Sunrise Mountain/Castle – a volcanic peak nicknamed Sunrise Peak with sweeping panoramic views that earned Korea its first ever UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Enjoy the vibrancy of Purple Island near Mokpo, where the colours of lilac and lavender fields have spread to the entire town.

  • Meet a local Haenyno – one of the local women divers who go diving for shellfish 10 m under the sea on Jeju Island. Learn about the local fishing culture and why these women, some in their 80s, still practice diving.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Eden Reforestation Projects. Donations help them provide local employment opportunities and tackle climate change one tree at a time as they restore forests across 10 different countries.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Seoul

Eoseo oseyo! Welcome to Korea. An airport transfer is included in this trip to take you to your hotel. Your adventure begins in Seoul, where you’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm. After meeting your fellow travellers and trip leader, you’ll head out on a short walking tour of modern Seoul and the Gongdeok entertainment district. Attend a group welcome dinner of Korean hotpot – a delicious favourite full of mixed vegetables, meat and noodles. Learn more about Korean local food over your dinner and drinks and then after, maybe walk along the tranquil Cheonyecheon stream or visit the Kwangjang or Dongdaemun night market.

Day 2: Seoul

This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at a local cafe. Then, you’ll visit the home of Daniel Gray – the food expert that worked on Netflix's Street Food Asia Seoul. Sit down for an exciting lecture on Korean food history and then take the opportunity to help make your lunch while you taste local delicacies and drinks from all over the country. After, take public transport to Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon – the North Village. Explore the sites and then walk to the fun Gwangjang Market, where you can watch the locals cook up all the best street food. This is the perfect spot to grab some dinner if you’re hungry!

Day 3: Jeonju

Rising early, it’ll be a thought-provoking morning as you visit the South Korean side of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). After stopping for breakfast on the way, you’ll learn how this peninsula has been divided ever since the devastating Korean War. Here you may have the chance to meet with a North Korean defector and hear their harrowing tale. You’ll visit to points of interest including the Third Tunnel of Aggression and Imjingak Peace Park. After some free time for lunch, a private transfer will take you to the picturesque village of Jeonju. Dinner will be at a traditional bibimbap restaurant – the bibimbap here is listed as the representative bibimbap of Korea.

Day 4: Jeonju

For breakfast this morning, you’ll enjoy a local delicacy – Jeonju beansprout rice soup. You’ll then hop in a private transfer and drive to Damyang where you’ll head out on a scenic bamboo forest walk. Try some of the popular bamboo ice cream and for lunch, try another local delicacy – tteok galbi – marinated and charcoaled beef. You can then continue the culinary delights with an optional visit to a local roastery café, famous for their baked goods. Or, you can stretch your legs on a walk around Damyang, stopping in at the local shops and parks. Visit a brassware store and workshop and learn about the craft from the craftsman himself, and then walk around the Hanok village and learn about Jeonju's art culture. Head back to Damyang, where the evening is then free for you to choose your own adventure.

Day 5: Hapcheon

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, you’ll start the drive to Gayasan National Park on Mt Gaya to check out Haeinsa Temple – your incredible Exclusive Feature Stay for tonight! This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the Three Jewels Temples representing Dharma or the Buddha’s teachings. When you arrive, you’ll have some tea with one of the monks to learn about his life here, the history of the temple and his story. Following the temple’s schedule for the rest of a day, take an afternoon orientation and tour the temple with a local guide and then sit down for dinner as a group. As per the temple’s schedule, you’ll also take part in an evening meditation before bed.

Day 6: Mokpo

Bidding your farewells to Haeinsa Temple, you’ll head to the island archipelagos of Mokpo. When you arrive, you’ll have a homemade lunch at a local’s home and learn about life in South Korea’s southern regions. Finally, a tranquil drive will take you to the beautiful Purple Island. Famous for its blooming lilacs and lavender, the iconic purple bridge leading into town is said to have been built by a legendary monk looking to unify the islands. Then it’s back to your accommodation in Mokpo, where you’re free for the evening. It is recommended you take the sprawling cable cars that span the city and harbour or go for a walk on the beach and visit a local café, bar, or music club.

Day 7: Jeju Island

This morning after breakfast, you’ll drive to Mokpo Harbor and take a ferry to Jeju Island. After checking in to your accommodation, your leader will take you on a tour of the island’s eastern coast. For lunch you’ll stop in at Jeju Folk Village and feast on seafood, rice and soup. After, visit an orange farm for a citrus-themed refresh, then head to Seongsan Ilchulbong (translating to castle mountain). Nicknamed Sunrise Peak, this gorgeous viewpoint was created by volcanic activity in the sea about 5000 years ago. This is also the first site in Korea ever registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is now one of the most popular scenic destinations in Korea. Take your time enjoying the panoramic views of the ocean, Udo Island, Hallasan Mountain and the volcanic landscape and then head to your accommodation where you have a free evening.

Day 8: Jeju Island

This morning after breakfast, your exploration of Jeju Island will extend to the island’s west. Visit the volcanic stone salt flats at Gu-eom Salt Field and walk among the coastal rock formations. Then, head to Jeju Green Tea Farm – the tea culture in Jeju is strong, and here, you can even pick up your own bag of local green tea. Take in the impressive sight of Sanbansan Mountain this afternoon – a huge lava dome often circled with clouds, which creates a mystical atmosphere. The impressive natural wonders will continue with a walk along Yeongmeri Beach’s Olleh hiking road, the layers of stacked sandstone creating an otherworldly scene. Finally, you’ll meet with a local Haenyno – one of the local women divers within the community who go diving for shellfish 10 m under the sea. Learn about the local fishing culture here and why these women, some in their 80s, still practice diving. Head out to a final dinner with your group at a local black pork restaurant to celebrate a trip well-travelled.

Day 9: Jeju Island

After breakfast, there are no activities planned for today and your trip comes to an end. If you’d like to stay in South Korea for longer, just speak to your booking agent.