Journey with us on A Mystical Odyssey in Bhutan (12 - 18 March '23).
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South Korea

South Korea, a vibrant and diverse country offering a rich cultural tapestry, with historic palaces, Buddhist temples, and traditional hanbok-clad locals alongside futuristic skyscrapers and cutting-edge technology. The country boasts stunning natural landscapes, from serene temples nestled in the mountains to picturesque coastal villages. Food enthusiasts will delight in the savoury delights of Korean cuisine, including kimchi, barbecue, and a wide variety of street food. The country's warm hospitality, colourful festivals, and an array of entertainment options, from K-pop concerts to traditional performances, make South Korea a unique and unforgettable travel destination.

This journey outline is by no means fixed. As the traveller takes centre stage in our planning – from the type of lodging to daily activities – your journey will be crafted to suit you.

Day by Day Highlights

Day 1
Arrive in Seoul

Arrive in Seoul.  Private transfer to your hotel of choice.  Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or exploring Myeongdong shopping street.

Day 2
Gyeonggi Province

Check out of the hotel and transfer to Yeoju, Gyeonggi Province (about 1 hour’s drive)

Attend apottery class or meet Haedonggum (Korean Traditional Knife) Master.  Mr. Lee Eun-cheul, a swordsmith, is one of the few artisans who has the skills to make traditional swords through the ancient method, restoring the forgotten art of ancient Korean sword-smithing because it is the "soul of the Korean culture." For lunch, enjoy Hanjeongsik (Korean tabled'hôte), at Jeonggangwon, the Traditional Korean Food Culture Experience Center, which was established to preserve, research, distribute and promote the values and merits of traditional Korean food culture in the world.

After lunch, enjoy a walk through the firforest of Woljeongsa Temple with a monk, complete with meditation for the soul.  Woljeongsa Temple is located in a forested valley on the eastern side of Odaesan Mountain (in Pyeongchang). The 1-kilometer path leading to the temple passes through a forest of tall firtrees, some over 500 years old.  A temple stay can also be arranged if you want to enjoy the serenity of temple life.

Tonight, enjoy a hearty meal of Korean beef BBQ, before checking into your hotel of choice.

 

Day 3
Spiritual capital

Check out of the hotel after breakfast.  Then take a scenic drive along the East Sea Coastal Road towards Andong, often referred to as the "spiritual capital" of Korea. It is a place where traditional Korean culture and Confucian ideals have been preserved for centuries. The city is a living museum of Korean traditions, making it a must-visit for those seeking an authentic cultural experience.

Andong is renowned for its delectable traditional cuisine. The city is famous for Andong Jjimdak, a spicy braised chicken dish, and Andong Soju, a traditional Korean rice liquor. These culinary delights provide a taste of authentic Korean flavours and are tastefully provided for today’s lunch.

After lunch, explore The Hahoe Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This traditional village features centuries-old hanok (Korean houses), beautiful gardens, and a serene river.  It's an opportunity to step back in time and experience Korean village life from the past.

Stay the night at a hanok hotel.

Day 4
Cheong Wa Dae

After breakfast, enjoy a leisurely walk through the nearby forest.  The tranquillity is chicken soup for both body and soul.  It is now time to leave the unhurried pace of Korea’s countryside and board the high-speed rail back to Seoul (2 hours trainride), where lights, sound and shopping awaits you in this bustling metropolis.

This afternoon in Seoul, go for a tour of Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House).  Located with Bugaksan Mountain in the background, Cheong Wa Dae (or Blue House) is the official office and residence for Korean Presidents from 1948 to 2022. Since the establishment of the Republic of Korea in 1948, it has accommodated President Syngman Rhee to President Moon Jae-in.  On 10 May 2022, following the relocation of the presidential office to the defence ministry building in Yongsan District, Cheong Wa Dae was opened to the public for the first time in 74 years, on the day of inauguration of President Yoon Suk-yeol.

Day 5
Gyeongbokgung

Your free day in Seoul to do as you please, shopping or sightseeing, or both!  We can offer some suggestions:

Explore Gyeongbokgung Palace, Visit Gwangjang Market, Try Tosokchon Samgyetang, Stop at Café Onion Anguk for pastries and coffee, Visit Lotte World Tower Seoul Sky Observatory, Opt for a Hallyu Experience Tour (different themes: K-Beauty Makeup, K-Liquor Making, K-Food Cooking, K-Pop Dance, K-Kimchi Museum Tour, etc.). For the more active, you can consider various walking trails in Bukhansan National Park or Ansan Jarak-gil Trail and Ansan Mountain

Day 6
Myeongdong

After breakfast, some last-minute shopping at Myeongdong shopping street to pick up souvenirs, skin care products, or snacks, before heading to the airport for your flight home.

Let’s plan your perfect escape. To start the conversation, contact us via our interactive form or drop us an email at ask@blueskyescapes.co.

Practical Information

Geography

South Korea is characterized by rugged and mountainous terrain, with approximately 70% of its land covered by mountains. South Korea has an extensive coastline that stretches for about 2,413 kilometers. The country is dotted with numerous islands, both large and small. Tourists can explore lush national parks and serene islands like Jeju.

Weather

Spring (April to June) and Autumn (September to November) offer pleasant weather. Summer (June to August) can be hot and humid. Winter (December to February) can be cold, especially in mountainous areas.

Currency

The currency in South Korea is Won (KRW). Credit cards are widely accepted in major establishments, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for smaller shops and markets. ATMs are widely available, and major credit cards are accepted in most hotels and upscale establishments.

Visas

Visa-free travel for many nationalities for short visits; check the specific requirements based on your nationality. Tourist visas typically allow stays for up to 90 days. Documents needed - 1. Passport with at least 6 months validity. 2. Printed or electronic copy of your visa, if required. 3. Travel insurance details. 4. Hotel reservations and itinerary.

Customs

Certain items like drugs, pornography, and counterfeit goods are strictly prohibited. Familiarize yourself with customs regulations to avoid any complications. There are limitations on the quantity and value of duty-free alcohol you can purchase. These limits may vary depending on the type of alcohol and the duration of your stay in South Korea. It's important to be aware of these restrictions to ensure compliance.

Indicative price

From USD6,500 per pax based on twin-sharing, on a private basis. Excludes international flights. This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests, and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.

This journey outline is by no means conclusive. It is just a guideline and can be tailored according to your comfort level, interests and preferences for every detail from accommodation to activities.

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