South Korea Explorer

9 Day Small Group Adventure from Seoul to Seoul with Explore

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Explore's 9 Day South Korea Explorer. From the cosmopolitan city of Seoul to the ancient Silla capital of Gyengju, South Korea has a lot to offer. Experience the tension at the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea, witness morning rituals at the Buddhist monastery more

Our Price From:
$ 3,504
Per Person ($AU)
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$ 146
Per Person ($AU)
Small Group Adventure Starts In
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Small Group Adventure Ends In
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Max Group Size
Small Group
Trip Style
Small Group
Scenic / Cultural
Trip Style
Scenic / Cultural
Trip Pace
Countries Explored:
South Korea
Trip Operated By:
140 Reviews
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1 Join trip in Seoul
We begin this exciting adventure in Seoul, South Korea's dynamic capital and one of the world's fastest growing cities. The economic, political and cultural centre of the country, Seoul is a fascinating mix of glass towers, historic temples, parks and museums, spanning the banks of the Han River. Arriving today we have a free evening to relax and settle into the flow of one of Asia's most exciting cities. Stay: Hotel (Standard)
2 Morning orientation tour of Seoul. Afternoon free
This morning we take an orientation tour around the centre of Seoul, walking through the Myeongdong shopping district and down to the market at Namdaemun, before heading past the City Hall to the Gyeongbokgung Palace. The largest of five great palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeongbokgung still remains the grandest and we pay a visit before moving on to the National Folk Museum. Later we walk down into the area of Insadong, famed for its antiques and handicrafts. We stop for lunch here, after which the rest of the day is free to enjoy as we wish. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
3 Drive to Samwhasa Temple via Gangneung and the Ojukheon House
A different experience today as we make our way to the Samwhasa Temple where we spend the night. Our journey takes us via Gangneung where we visit Ojukheon House, built during the early Joseon Dynasty and still one of the oldest wooden residential buildings in Korea. This afternoon we have an opportunity to partake in a traditional tea ceremony and learn a little more about temple life. Please note that the sleeping arrangements at the monastery will be on a Korean style thin mattress on the floor with up to four people sharing in a same sex room and you will be asked to pack an individual overnight bag. Stay: Monastery (Simple) (B/D)
4 Discover the Buseoksa Temple and drive to the Homestay in Andong
For early risers there is a chance to watch the monks perform their morning rituals before we leave our temple home and head for one of Korea's most beautiful temples. Hidden amongst the wooded slopes of Bonghwangsan, Buseoksa Temple dates back to the latter years of the 7th century and differs from many other temples in Korea because of its huge size. From here we continue to the spiritual capital of South Korea, Andong, via the stone Buddha at Jebiwon, an impressive 11th century carving that sits on top of a rocky outcrop overlooking the Sobaek Mountains. Arriving at our homestay later this afternoon, we enjoy a local specialty meal of marinated steamed chicken along with Soju, the local liquor of the region. Please note that the sleeping arrangements at the homestay will be on a Korean style thin mattress on the floor and the group may be split between two or three nearby homes. Stay: Homestay (Standard) (B/D)
5 Visit the Hahoe Folk Village and Mask Museum. Drive to Gyeongju
After a relaxing morning we check out and drive on to the Buyeongdae Viewpoint. From here we continue to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hahoe, where we find the Hahoe Folk Village and its fascinating Mask Museum. We visit the site with a local guide, spending time wandering through the traditional houses of this early Joseon Dynasty village, exploring the museum and the 500 year old Byeongsan Seowon Confucian School. We then continue on our journey to the city Gyeongju, a journey of around two and a half hours. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
6 Explore Gyeongju, the Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
We enjoy a full day tour of South Korea's second largest city today. Once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla, Gyeongju ruled over much of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. Our first visits this morning are to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Seokguram Grotto and the Bulguksa Temple. We also visit the Silla Kiln and the city's National Museum, a rich repository for the relics and artifacts of the Silla kingdom, one of the longest dynasties in Asian history. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
7 Visit Namsan Mountain and Tongdosa Temple. Take the high speed train to Seoul
There is the option to make an early morning visit to Namsan Mountain which provides a beautiful natural setting for hundreds of temples and Buddha statues. There are hiking trails to enjoy, a boating like and cycles to hire to help you make the most of the area. In the late morning we'll drive to Tongdosa temple, the largest in Korea and considered one of the country's 'three jewels'. It is said that its Beopdeung, or temple candle, has been burning continuously for 1,300 years. Later, we head for Busan where there'll be time to visit the Fish market and International market before taking the high speed train to Seoul. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B)
8 Visit the Demilitarised Zone
Today we experience one of the last frontiers of the Cold War - the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea - an area where over a million soldiers remain on high alert on either side. Formally the Korean war technically has never ended - and this geo-political fault line is still raw for the people of Korea. We are escorted by the Military right into the DMZ and stand right at the very edge - both sides literally staring at each other just metres apart. Whilst in the Joint Security Area (JSA) you must be respectfully dressed, no jeans or sandals are allowed nor can you make any arm or hand gestures as visitors are closely monitored (and photographed) by the North Koreans for propaganda purposes. Our next stop is underground to explore a tunnel built by the North into South Korea with the aim to breach the border. This was found by accident - the tunnel is wide enough for 2000 troops an hour to pass through and is just 1 of 4 that were subsequently discovered. Military clearance is obtained for all visitors and you will be in a larger group, please be aware that due to the nature of the area visited this excursion may be cancelled at short notice depending on the security situation. Stay: Hotel (Standard) (B/L)
9 Trip ends in Seoul
Our trip ends in Seoul after breakfast. (B)

Explore Inclusions

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Journey Highlights
  • Seoul - Explore South Korea's dynamic capital. Visit the Demilitarised Zone and the Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Samwhasa Temple - Spend a night in a monastery learning about a monks traditional lifestyle
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Visit the Hahoe Folk Village, Seokguram Grotto and the Bulguksa Temple
Trip Pace: Moderate
  • Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you'll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries
Read Trip Notes
  • Trip Notes outline what's included, visa information, important notes, how to get to your accommodation, packing checklist, optional activities, travel insurance requirements - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more. Please take time to have a read through, and contact us if you have any questions. View Trip Notes
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About Explore!
Launching in 1981, Explore offer trips from over 130 countries - from classic small group tours... Read more
Explore Leaders
Explore Leaders
Explore's leaders are more than just your typical guide. They're your local expert are are passionate about sharing their expertise with you. Read more
Where do we Stay?
Where do we Stay?
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Prices & Dates

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Trip Starts Trip Ends Status Offer Save Now Our Price  
Saturday 14 Mar 2020 Sunday 22 Mar 2020 146per person 3,504per person Enquire
Saturday 09 May 2020 Sunday 17 May 2020 146per person 3,504per person Enquire
Saturday 19 Sep 2020 Sunday 27 Sep 2020 146per person 3,504per person Enquire
Saturday 17 Oct 2020 Sunday 25 Oct 2020 146per person 3,504per person Enquire
Saturday 14 Mar 2020 Sunday 22 Mar 2020 146solo traveller 4,234solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 09 May 2020 Sunday 17 May 2020 146solo traveller 4,234solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 19 Sep 2020 Sunday 27 Sep 2020 146solo traveller 4,234solo traveller Enquire
Saturday 17 Oct 2020 Sunday 25 Oct 2020 146solo traveller 4,234solo traveller Enquire
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Trip Notes
Trip prices are per person, and reflect applicable discounts. Discounts are subject to availability, exclusive to Global Journeys and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change by Explore. Full terms & conditions are available here.