2 Arrive In Seoul
Welcome to Seoul, the capital of South Korea. This buzzing and vibrant city is a beautiful juxtaposition of modern and traditional, where towering skyscrapers neighbour temples and palaces from centuries ago. Enjoy a group welcome dinner tonight. (D)
Stepping back in time, we visit the Korean Folk Village to gain an insight into life during the Joseon Dynasty and enjoy a natural colour dyeing experience. After some free time for lunch along famous Insadong Street, we'll visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, a collection of museums and historical sites. Surrounded by gardens and ancient stone pagodas, these buildings are home to some of Korea's best treasures. Later this afternoon we visit the iconic N Seoul Tower and admire the views from the observation deck. (B)
4 Seoul - Mt Seorak
This morning we travel to the tiny half-moon-shaped Nami Island, famous for its stunning scenery and open, grassy fields where ducks, chipmunks, squirrels and peacocks welcome visitors. We'll then continue to Sokcho in Mount Seorak. (B)
5 Mt. Seorak
Special Experiences: Spend a full day exploring stunning Mount Seorak, visiting Sogongwon Park and travelling to Gwongumseong Fortress by cable car. The views on the way are breathtaking, as we'll see the ruins of the fortress, the treetops of the Sogongwon area and the imposing Ulsanbawi Rock to the north. We'll visit Sinheungsa Temple, believed to be the oldest Zen temple in the world. It is recognisable by its Great Unification Buddha statue made out of gilt-bronze that represents the crucial wish of the Korean people for the reunification of the divided country. (B)
6 Mt Seorak - Jeonju
Departing Mt Seorak, we continue to Jeonju via Pyeongchang, where we visit Naksansa Temple. This afternoon we'll arrive in Jeonju and visit the Bukchon Hanok Village, a community of more than 800 traditional hanok houses. These houses are generally divided into 2 sections - the Anchae for women and the Sarangchae for men. (B)
7 Jeonju - Muju
We continue towards Muju, visiting beautiful Mount Maisan and the Buddhist Tapsa Temple along the way. This temple complex is constructed entirely from stones, making for a very unusual, but very impressive appearance. (B) Special Experiences: Relax and enjoy a traditional Korean spa, a very important part of the Korean way of life. Try the unique assortment of facilities and treatments, including ‘bubble sense therapy' and ‘sound floating'.
8 Muju - Gyeongju
Special Experiences: Learn all about Korea's traditional martial art, taekwondo, and witness an amazing demonstration. This afternoon we'll travel to Mt Gayasan and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Haeinsa Temple. It's one of the Three Jewel Temples representing Buddha's teachings, and home to the Tripitaka Koreana - a complete set of Buddhist scriptures engraved on more than 81,000 wooden printing blocks between 1237 and 1248. (B)
9 Gyeongju - Busan
Special Experiences: Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites of Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto this morning, where we'll experience a traditional tea ceremony with monks. Bulguksa Temple contains seven of the National Treasures of South Korea, including two pagodas and statues of Buddha. We'll explore Chomsungdae Observatory, which dates back to the 7th century, and visit Chonma Royal Tumuli. (B)
We begin our sightseeing of Busan at scenic Igidae Park, where we'll wander along the trails and admire the rugged natural scenery. We'll also visit the Oryukdo Skywalk, a glass bridge stretching over the ocean at the dividing point between the East and South Seas. Our next stop is the UN Memorial Cemetery, before lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon we'll visit the local markets and have some free time to explore. (B/L)
11 Busan - Seoul
This morning we board the high-speed train to Seoul. In the afternoon we'll step into the kitchen and learn to make Korea's national dish - the spicy-sour side dish, kimchi. We'll also get a chance to try on the hanbok (traditional Korean dress). (B) Special Experiences: Enjoy a nanta show - a non-verbal comedy show, and a very popular way to spend an evening in South Korea.
Today we visit the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) separating North and South Korea. Take a peek into North Korea from the Dora Observatory and stop at Dorasan Station and Freedom Bridge. We'll also take a tour of the Third Infiltration Tunnel by monorail. The afternoon is free for you to explore at your own pace back in Seoul. Tonight we'll enjoy a group farewell dinner, accompanied by a traditional Korean performance. (B/D)
13 Depart Seoul
Today we begin our journey home. (B)
14 Arrive In Australia
Level of fitness: This tour features 2+ hours of walking, often across uneven ground and in areas of high altitude or heat and humidity on 1 or more days.