Feel the Seoul of South Korea on a highlights adventure.

A hotbed of natural wonder, delectable cuisine and significant political and military history, South Korea is proving itself as a destination not to be brushed aside. Discover this fascinating, animated and tech-savvy country on a ten-day exploration of the hot spots. Take a tour of Korea’s Demilitarised Zone, eat ‘til you drop at an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant, spend a night in a traditional Hanok house and discover the ecological delights of Suncheon’s wetlands. Leave your misconceptions behind and embrace a highlights adventure of an oft-forgotten Asian nation.


Start
Seoul, South Korea
Finish
Seoul, South Korea
Destination
South Korea
Style
Original
Code
CJSK
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Spend a fascinating day exploring the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on a guided tour. This strange stretch of land has been the place of much tension and political pressure ever since the Korean War.

  • Take a street food tour of the renowned Gwangjang markets in Seoul feasting on bite-sized delights and indulge in an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue experience with your small group.

  • On your day trip to seaside Sokcho, discover the island village of Abai, which is home to hundreds of North Korean refugees having settled during the War.

  • Spend a night in a traditional Hanok house in the Andong Hahoe folk village, walking past the traditional homes to imagine the country in its past life.

  • See a more natural side to South Korea on a hike up the Seoraksan mountain and explore the wetlands and national gardens of Suncheon – South Korea’s ecological capital.

Is this trip right for you?

  • A good degree of fitness is recommended for this trip as there is a lot of walking involved. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

  • We suggest packing light and smart for this trip as you'll be required to carry your own luggage between train stations and to hotels, which can include going up and down multiple flights of stairs in crowded areas. Elevators are however available in most stations.

  • Traditionally Korean beds in Hanok comprised a futon-like mattress placed on the floor, which could be folded up and placed in the cupboard in the morning. While floor bedding can seem firm compared with standard western mattresses, the floor in these accommodations is heated and provides for a comfortable and cosy nights' sleep.

Itinerary

Welcome to Seoul, South Korea's vibrant capital of high-tech gadgetry, glittering skyscrapers and scrumptious eats. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening. A modern Asian metropolis that blends bold futuristic intentions with strong links to the past, Seoul is one of Asia's great cities. After the welcome meeting, your leader will take you to visit the renowned Gwangjang Market for a progressive dinner tour. Here you’ll find some of Korea’s street food favourites like mayak gimbap (rice rolls), mandu (North Korean dumplings), bindaetteok (mung bean pancake) and the famous kimchi. Afterwards, follow your group leader to the top of Naksan to see an awesome view of Seoul’s skyline at night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Seoul - Gwangjang market
  • Seoul - Naksan night view over the city
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
In the morning, hop on Seoul’s metro and take a guided tour around the past and present (and future!) of the city. Explore the Gyeongbukgung Palace – the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty, and the traditional Bukchon Hanok Village, then continue on to Olympic Park, where South Korea emerged on the world stage as an economic superpower. Pass through the central Gangnam Station and check out the Samsung D’Light Technology Complex – an exhibition which showcases the tech giant’s latest and greatest products and advancements. Finish up your morning in the vibrant urban district of Hongdae, which is an ideal area for a spot of shopping, something to eat, or simply just wandering around with the local uni students of the area.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Seoul - Samsung D'Light Technology Complex
  • Seoul - Jamsil Olympic Park
  • Seoul - Gyeongbukgung Palace
  • Seoul - North Village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take the metro to the Seoul bus terminal, then head on a public bus to Gangneung (approximately 3 hours). Situated on the east side of the Korean Peninsula, Gangneung is known for its pine forests, beaches and thriving café culture. Once arrived, join your group leader on a visit to Ojukheon and Seongyojang House, which are traditional Hanok houses once belonging to noble families of the area. They have been preserved in the original form and now provide an insight into what life was like hundreds of years ago. Continue on to Gyeongpo Lake, where you’ll be able to walk along the lakeside paths, which are adorned with cherry blossoms during the springtime. Afterwards, you’ll have a chance to explore at your own pace. Perhaps head to the Coffee Cupper Museum if you’ve got a caffeine fascination, or head to the beach if it’s warm for a swim.
Accommodation
  • holiday house (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gangneung - Ojukheon Village
  • Gangneung - Gyeongpo Lake
Optional Activities
  • Gangneung - Coffee Cupper Museum - KRW10000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the accommodation tonight will be in a holiday house. The facilities will be shared but the stay will be very comfortable. This is not a typical hotel, so your room will not be made every day.
Head out of town this morning on a day trip to Sokcho (approximately 2 hours each way by public bus). Take a morning hike up Korea’s most well-known mountain Seoraksan, which will take around 2.5 hours. Return to Sokcho and visit the Daepo Fish Market, where you might like to try mulhwae – a spicy raw fish soup which comes with all kinds of accompaniments. Later on, duck over to Abai – a small island village which the majority of residents are North Korean refugees having fled and settled here during the Korean War. Getting there is half the fun – you’ll have to work together to pull a rope on a small barge to get to the other side. In the late afternoon, return to Gangneung for a free evening.
Accommodation
  • holiday house (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sokcho - Island village of Abai
  • Sokcho - Daepo Fish market
  • Sokcho - Seoraksan Mountain
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, head back to the capital, Seoul, then continue on a tour to the conflict-ridden and fascinating Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). Visiting the South Korean side of the Zone, learn how this peninsula has been divided ever since the devastating Korean War. You’ll pay a visit to points of interest including the Third Tunnel of Aggression, Unification Bridge, Imjingak Park and the Dora Observatory, where you can view across much of the DMZ. It’s truly a thought-provoking day. After the tour has come to an end, enjoy some time at your leisure in Seoul.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Seoul - Demilitarized Zone (DMZ/South Korea)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note that a tour of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) can only be operated by UN designated operators in South Korea, so you will be joined by other travellers on this tour. The tour will last around five hours, and you may have the option to add on extras to the tour, like upgrading to a Joint Security Area (JSA) tour, costing around USD 50. Note that these tours are not always available due to the political situation of the region.

You will need your passport for the DMZ tour, plus drinks and some light snacks are recommended. In terms of attire, you should wear business casual, avoiding large logos, sleeveless shirts or military wear.
Make tracks on an express bus to Andong (approximately 2.5 hours), then continue for another hour or so to the Andong Hahoe Folk Village. This quaint traditional settlement is easy to walk around, so join your leader on a stroll visiting traditional houses, including the one that hosted Queen Elizabeth II in 1999. Later on, you may like to take a ferry across the river for an easy hike up Buyongdae, where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the community. Being a traditional Korean outpost, there may also be masked dancers performing in town, and to learn more about this ritual, why not visit the nearby mask museum.
Accommodation
  • Hanok (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Andong - Andong folk village
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Your accommodation tonight will be a traditional Hanok in a family guesthouse. You'll be sleeping on mattress on a floor for the night but the serenity in the village and staying in an authentic traditional Hanok house is guaranteed to be a special experience.
This morning, visit the local Confucius temple and school with your leader to learn about how this religion has affected the culture and traditions in South Korea. Then you'll leave from Andong Village to Suncheon in a private vehicle (approximately 4 hours). Suncheon holds a special place in South Korea because it now part of a free economic zone and also considered by some as the ecological capital of South Korea. Arrive in the city in the late afternoon and join your leader for an orientation walk to get your bearings, before having a chilled-out night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Andong - confucianist school and temple visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Get out and about in Suncheon today on a tour of its most notable sights. You’ll be travelling on public buses between places so be sure to have a light day pack and some water to carry with you. Visit the Suncheonman Bay Wetlands and Suncheon Bay National Gardens. Wandering through fields of reeds swarming with diverse birdlife as well as the diverse landscapes of gardens inspired from around the world is an ecological delight. Be sure to check out Dream Bridge – an artistic installation designed by Kan Ik-joong which is decorated with more than 140,000 drawings by children from around the world. You may like to check out these natural areas by renting a bike, but you can easily walk. Continue on to an open film set, which consists of three villages, each representing a different era from the 1950s to the 1970s. Afterwards, head to the Nagan Fortress village, which was originally established as a fortress against the attack from Japanese pirates, and now is a rare village that has survived colonial rule, with around 300 people still considering it home.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suncheon - Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve
  • Suncheon - Open film set
  • Suncheon - Suncheon Bay National Garden
  • Suncheon - Nagan Fortress Village
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Jump on the train and head back to Seoul (approximately 3 hours). After checking in, perhaps venture out and explore the Hannam and Itaewon districts, or with your free time, you might like to check out the large range of shopping Seoul has to offer. Gather together with your travel pals at night for an all-you-can-eat barbecue feast – your group can’t have left Korea without some Korean barbecue!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time. Check out from your accommodation is at 12 pm.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

4 breakfasts, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Train, Public bus, Metro, Taxi

Accommodation

Hotel (6nts), Holiday House (2nts), Hanok (1nt)

Included activities

  • Seoul - Gwangjang market
  • Seoul - Naksan night view over the city
  • Seoul - Samsung D'Light Technology Complex
  • Seoul - Jamsil Olympic Park
  • Seoul - Gyeongbukgung Palace
  • Seoul - North Village
  • Gangneung - Ojukheon Village
  • Gangneung - Gyeongpo Lake
  • Sokcho - Island village of Abai
  • Sokcho - Daepo Fish market
  • Sokcho - Seoraksan Mountain
  • Seoul - Demilitarized Zone (DMZ/South Korea)
  • Andong - Andong folk village
  • Andong - confucianist school and temple visit
  • Suncheon - Suncheonman Bay Wetland Reserve
  • Suncheon - Open film set
  • Suncheon - Suncheon Bay National Garden
  • Suncheon - Nagan Fortress Village

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is bookable for all nights except Day 6, subject to availability.
2. Although this trip starts and finishes in Seoul, we highly recommend you to spend some extra time exploring this fascinating city and its neighbouring regions. Please consult your booking agents if you would like to book additional nights.

Essential trip information

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