South Korea Adventure
K-Pop, Kimchi and culture!
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Group Size: Avg. 10-15
Trip code: SKDT
Duration: 12 days
With the rise of K-Pop and K-Beauty, South Korea is Asia's new hot destination. This intriguing country brims with beautiful scenery, vibrant cities and friendly locals. Dynamically modern, and yet steeped in tradition, it’s as much about ancient temples and historic sites as micro-breweries, virtual reality, and gleaming malls. Our South Korea Highlights tour takes you from sizzling Seoul to buzzing Busan over 12 days, with visits to the Demilitarised Zone, historic Gyeongju, the ‘Hawaii of Korea’ and much more. With an overnight stay in a Buddhist temple, a hike through a National Park, and beach parties included, it’s an unforgettable trip. Visit before the rest of the world catches on!
- Spend a night in a Buddhist temple, learning martial arts and meditation
- Take the Marine Cable Car over the emerald bay of Busan
- Stay in a jimjilbang (traditional Korean bathhouse)
- Visit the Demilitarised Zone for an insight into the divide with North Korea
- Take a bicycle tour of historic Gyeongju
- Free dive and catch fish on Jeju Island
Day 1: Arrive in Seoul. Welcome to Korea! Transfer to your accommodation in the hip student area of Hongdae. You’ll meet your group this evening for a delish Korean barbecue. Then go to Namsan Mountain to admire the city’s twinkling lights and see the iconic ‘love padlocks’ at the base of N Seoul tower – cuuute!
Day 2: Seoul DMZ trip. Take a bus to the Demilitarised Zone. We’ll visitDorasan ‘ghost’ Station (built to link North and South Korea), Dora Observatory (the best viewpoint into North Korea), and the 3rd tunnel, created by the North to prepare for invasion of the South. Travel back to Seoul while chatting to a North Korean defector.
Day 3: Seoul. Head to Gyeongbokgung Palace early. Explore the majestic complex before stopping at the Blue House (Korea’s White House!) and the traditional village of Bukchon Hanok. It’s back to Seoul for lunch, before exploring Insadong Art Street. Tonight, hit Ikseon-dong, the city’s hippest area, for some food in a pojangmacha (tiny tented street stall!)
Day 4: Sokcho and Seoraksan National Park. Travel to the Park, where you’ll visit a colourful temple and hike to Ulsanbawi Rock for breath-taking views. This afternoon, head to Abai, a village of North Korean refugees. Meet the locals, and visit the Lighthouse Observatory. Sample some seafood in Sokcho before transferring back to Seoul,where you’ll stay in a jimjilbang (traditional Korean bathhouse).
Day 5: Seoul and Gyeongju. Travel to historic Gyeongju. Start with lunch at bustling Seongdong Market, and then take a bicycle tour of the city. We’ll visitCheonmachong Tombs, Cheomseongdae observatory, Gyerim Forest and Hyanggyo Confucius School. Enjoy some authentic food in the city tonight before strolling round Anapji pond for stellar views of the Palace.
Day 6: Gyeongju and Golgulsa Temple Stay. Start the day with a visit to beautiful Bulguksa Temple. Then transfer to Golgulsa Temple where we’ll stay the night. Get your zen on with a meditation class with the monks, enjoy a Buddhist veggie dinner, take part in the evening chanting service and meditation, then learn the basics of Sunmudo (a form of martial art)!
Day 7: Gyeongju and Busan. Join the sunrise chanting and meditation, followed by breakfast,where you’ll have the unforgettable experience of chatting to the monks over tea. Take another Sunmudo training session, and then travel to Busan - the San Fran of South Korea! Tuck into some seafood on the beachfront tonight with your group.
Days 8 - 9: Busan. There’s so much to explore here. Don’t miss Jagalchi Fish Market, Gwangan Beach light show,and Spa-Land for some more pampering. On day 8 we’ll take the Marine Cable Car for stonking city views. You can also take part in optional activities, including cooking classes, coastal walks and temple visits. Tonight board the overnight ferry to Jeju Island.
Day 10: Jeju Island. Begin your stay with the Haenyeo Divers. These women plunge 20 metres down without any equipment. Learn how to dive like them and to catch fish! Back on land enjoy a traditional alcohol tasting, before hiking to the top of Seongsan Ilchulbong. Afterwards, see a Haenyo performance by the beach.
Day 11: Jeju Island Waterfall Visit and JejuOlle Trek. This morning visit Jeongbang Waterfall before a day-long trek along the Jeju Olle Trail. We’ll break for lunch in Seogwipo city, before continuing to Oedolgae Rock. Return to the hostel this afternoon and chill on the beach, before enjoying a barbecue and beach party for your last night with your new friends.
Day 12: Depart. Your incredible adventure in South Korea has come to an end. Swap numbers with your buddies and say your goodbyes. See you again soon!
Please note activities and itineraries are subject to change.
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Your South Korea Adventure starts in Seoul on Day 1. Fly into Incheon international Airport and make your own way to your starting accommodation. There are no activities planned for today apart from a welcome meeting and dinner at 5pm this evening, so we recommend that you arrive by 2pm. Trains run every 23 minutes between Incheon Airport and Seoul Station, with a journey time of 40 minutes to an hour. You can also take a taxi transfer which will take a similar amount of time, but will be considerably more expensive.
The tour will finish at Jeju airport on day 12 at 1pm. If you’d like us to help you arrange a flight back to Seoul, we can do so at an extra cost.
You’ll stay in a range of authentic accommodation throughout the trip, including hostels, traditional Korean bath houses and temples! You’ll also spend a night on an overnight ferry. Rooms are on a single-sex or mixed, multi-share basis.
Your trip includes 3 dinners, 1 lunch and 5 breakfast, including a Korean welcome barbecue. You’ll have to purchase all other meals and snacks and drinks yourself. This gives you maximum flexibility to eat where and when you like, and to explore the cuisine of this fascinating country.
Minimum Age and Eligibility
You must be a minimum of 18 years old to join this trip.
If you’re a British citizen, you can enter South Korea as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. You must have an onward or return ticket. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from date of entry.