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South Korea Food Adventure

With Chris Pfail


Departing: October 4, 2024

From noodles to kimchi, from bibimbap to traditional barbeque, get ready to awaken your tastebuds on an exploration of South Korea’s vibrant food scene. This eight-day adventure moves through Seoul, Jeonju, and Busan. With a visit to Gwangjan Market you’ll immerse yourself in the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of the country and get up-close with the setting of one of Netflix’s episodes of Street Food. Try your hand at making kimchi pancakes during a cooking class and wash it down with the locally brewed, cloudy rice beer, ‘makgeolli.’ Seek out some of the country’s natural beauty as you visit Mt. Gagcheon and its nearby waterfall. And learn all about Korean Buddhism when you spend an overnight among the monks at their temple, discovering their traditions and relaxing with meditation services.

8 days, from

$3,999

Price is in USD per person.

GROUP SIZE

14 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
13 spots left or call 1-844-565-0453
Trip code: 16341
In partnership with Oberlin/ Gift Horse Restaurants

This is an exclusive departure and bound to sell out – book your adventure now!

About Your Host

Chris Pfail is the Chef de Cuisine at Oberlin. He first came to Rhode Island in 2009 to attend culinary school. Here he met his current employer, Ben Sukle, and his wife, Sky Kim - head chef of Gift Horse. While in Providence Chris worked at many well known restaurants including Birch & Gracies, there he learned the importance of fostering relationships with local farmers and preservation techniques. After graduation Chris went on to work all over the country in cities like New York and Portland. He even spent 1 year in South Korea learning how to farm rice. Once him and his wife decided to settle down they decided to move back to their favorite state, Rhode Island. Here he promotes his interests by continuing to work with local farmers & fishermen and letting their ingredients shine. Chris is an avid outdoorsman who loves fishing, hunting & foraging, being connected to the land. He hopes to show people that seasonality and locality is not just a trend, and that through careful use of ingredients, and using preservation techniques from many different regions it can be done in a large scale restaurant setting, providing delicious, creative food.

Trip Details

Transportation: Train, private vehicle

Accommodation: Travelodge Myeongdong City Hall, Seoul; Hanok Stay Ggotjari, Jeonju; Ggot sim hote, Jeonju; Girimsa, Gyeongju; Felix by STX, Busan

Meals:

  • Breakfasts: 7
  • Lunches: 5
  • Dinners: 5

This culinary adventure produced in partnership with Oberlin/ Gift Horse Restaurants

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Seoul

Welcome to Seoul, South Korea's vibrant capital of high-tech gadgetry, glittering skyscrapers and scrumptious eats. Your group will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Take some time to get settled before kicking off your adventure with a welcome meeting at 6 pm at your accommodation, where you'll meet your leader and fellow travelers. With the formalities out of the way, it’s time to dive into South Korea’s food scene! Then, for cultural experiences like no other, head to the Gwangjang Market for an immersive introduction to the sights, smells and, of course, tastes of South Korean street food. Go deep into the gargantuan market featured in the Netflix series ‘Street Food’, following your leader to the best vendors there. After, you'll enjoy a welcome dinner of Korean Fried Chicken and beer for a 'chimaek' experience. (d)

Day 2: Jeonju

This morning take the metro to Seoul Station. Set off for Jeonju, a city that’s all about doing things slowly and doing them well – both in food and in life. You'll arrive just in time for lunch at a traditional Korean restaurant. In the afternoon, spend some time exploring the historical Hanok Village, wandering cobblestone streets between hundreds of traditional homes and further embracing the relaxed pace of the city. Later, learn the art of making kimchi – a Korean slow food poster dish – during a cooking class. You’ll also learn how to make a delicious kimchi pancake. If you're keen for one more 'real food' experience you can opt to join your leader for locally brewed, cloudy rice beer called 'makgeolli'. Accompanied by a parade of inventive side dishes, this singular drink is enjoyed in ritual fashion, served in special brass bowls from the coveted makgeoli kettle. (b,l)

Special information: The Jeonju Bibimbap Festival takes place in early October every year. Departures that coincide with this event will have the cooking class replaced by a visit to the festival.

Day 3: Jeonju

This morning you'll move from the hanok to a hotel for your second night in Jeonju. You'll have free time to explore the village or visit the historic shrines and palaces. Chat to your leader about which works for you. From here, travel by bus to Sunchang Gochujang, a village famous for the production of gochujang (a traditional red chilli paste), for a tasting and demo on how it gets made. Grab lunch at a restaurant that specializes in fermented bean soup. Later, take a stroll around the base of Mt Gangcheon, and choose whether to work up your appetite by walking a little further to a nearby waterfall. For dinner tonight, we will visit the most famous bibimbap restaurant in Jeonju. The bibimbap here is so good it’s been declared an intangible cultural asset because of its iconic chef. Seriously. Scoff down some of the classic rice dish topped with, well, lots of great stuff. Afterwards, opt to wash it down with a couple of beers or non-alcoholic tipples at a craft brewery. South Korea’s craft beer scene is exploding all across the country after a rise to popularity in Seoul, and tonight your belly will reap the benefits. (b,l,d)

Day 4: Temple Stay

This morning you'll have the opportunity to start your day with a breakfast of kongnamul gukbap – a hot soup of soybean and sprouts. Today, you'll be traveling from the west coast to the east coast for your temple stay. The east coast is an area rich with temples, tombs and palace ruins (many of which are World Heritage sites). Stop on the way to sample some of Korea's favorite driving snacks, including hotteok (red bean walnut bread), kimbap and jjajangmyeon. At the temple you'll be introduced to the life and meditation routines of a monk. Dinner will be plant-based, in line with monastic custom. In the evening, relax with a chanting and meditation service, then choose to be guided through a monastic training session or simply settle in for an early night's sleep. (b,l,d)

Day 5: Busan

Your life as a monk continues today with a 4 am wake-up for a memorable morning meditation (you can opt out of it if early mornings are not your thing, but we highly recommend you partake in this unique experience). Following breakfast, learn about the spiritual values and beliefs of Korean Buddhism over tea with a resident monk. Leaving the tranquil life behind, stop at the Royal Tombs of Silla, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Discover the story of the ancient Silla dynasty and view their tombs from inside and out. Visit a nearby apple farm and chat with the farmer about his life, sampling a slice or two of his best produce. Enjoy a Korean favorite for lunch - Eonyang-style bulgogi beef. Crisp, smoky and juicy, it's popular all over the country for good reason! Travel onwards to Busan to visit the beautiful Haedong Temple, built into the rocks by the sea. After checking into your hotel in downtown Busan for the next two nights, head out for a visit to the Bupyeong Kkangtong Night Market. (b,l)

Special information
Drinking tea with a monk will depend on their schedule and availability. In the case of bad weather the farm visit will be replaced by an alternate activity.

Day 6: Busan

Today you'll be welcomed into the apartment home of a local resident to learn about their life and food culture. Enjoy Korean favorites like kimbap, japchae and banchan (the exact menu will vary with the seasons). Sip fragrant tea and chat with your host about Busan and what it's like to live there. Stop at a local supermarket and get a broader view of the contemporary food habits of modern Koreans. Here, you’ll get an everyday-life insight into the culture, and your leader will pick up some local popular snacks for the group to enjoy. Visit Jagalchi Market, an enormous seafood market situated by Busan port. Wrap up your day at a restaurant overlooking the ocean for a clam bake with a view. Return to central Busan to relax or hit the town and take in the local nightlife in the Seomyeon Entertainment District. (b,l,d)

Day 7: Seoul

After breakfast at the hotel, travel by Korea Train Express back to Seoul where you'll have a free afternoon to explore. Perhaps wander around Gyeongbok Palace, marvel at the views from Namsan Tower or check out Seoul’s most eclectic neighborhoods of Sinsadong and Gangnam. For your final meal, you’ll head to the youthful district of Hongdae for the most traditional Korean BBQ experience to celebrate your time together. (b,d)

Day 7: Seoul

Your South Korea Food Adventure comes to an end with an included group transfer to the airport. (b)

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