Here is an opportunity to experience authentic Korean life and learn firsthand about the history and culture of this wonderful place. Each day has been thoughtfully cultivated by Remote Lands to ensure that your time is spent embracing the most unique and meaningful elements of this country with the assistance from expert guides and incorporation of specialty locations and insider experiences. Begin in Seoul, the vibrant capital, exploring its diverse cityscape alongside three accomplished guides. Each will provide you with their distinctive insights into this fascinating urban environment. Travel outside the city limits to the DMZ, where you will be given an opportunity to pass by military checkpoints and view the isolated nation of North Korea. Visit the old capital of the Silla dynasty, a city called Gyeongju, dotted with Buddhist temples and millennium-old edifices. Beach-laden Busan is next, featuring Korean favorites of Spa Land and the Haeundae boardwalk. In the Jeollado province, you will discover the verdant tea fields of Boseong and the fascinating recent history of Gwangju. Your final locale will be the breathtaking Jeju Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the New Seven Wonders of the Nature, and a pride of the Korean people.
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Begin your exploration of Korea in its capital Seoul, the pulsating mega-city. Here, you will be met by a published author and noted Korean cultural expert, who will escort you through the nation’s recent transformation from third world country into economic powerhouse. See the majesty of Gyeongbokgung Palace and the neon-filled streets of downtown Gangnam, the subject of Psy’s mega-hit ''Oppa Gangnam Styl''. Retire to your luxurious hotel-- we recommend either the Ritz-Carlton or the Conrad.
Today, go on a curated culinary tour of Seoul. Food is intrinsic to the Korean identity and, contrary to popular opinion, many of the dishes are very accessible to foreigners. An expert epicurean will escort you through your culinary adventure, as you masticate your way through exciting locales, ranging from traditional fish markets to upscale Korean dining destinations.
Venture outside the city limits to the Demilitarized Zone, commonly called the DMZ. This region bisects the Korean peninsula into North and South, two nations still technically at war with one another. Your tour will take you through a number of security check points, including the Joint-Security Area, or JSA, where you will be able to view North Korean soldiers protecting their border. Return to Seoul this evening.
Enjoy a bespoke shopping session accompanied by an expert fashion designer. Scour traditional Korean markets and upscale shopping districts alike. Be sure not to miss Garosugil, the Fifth Avenue of Seoul, featuring products from top Korean and international designers. Cap the night off with a private boat cruise along the Han River.
Travel to the Gyeongju province, the former capital of the Silla Dynasty. With millennium-old structures adjacent to a rapidly urbanized city, this southeastern coastal region is a fascinating destination. Visit relics of Buddhist Temples and resplendent edifices of former kings, all the while uncovering the cultural heritage of the Korean people.
Continue your exploration of the old capital by taking part in traditional Korean rituals. Practice taekwando with a martial arts master, don a hanbok (the Korean ceremonial dress), and eat a bowl of kalguksu (a tasty Korean noodle dish).
Venture to Busan, Korea’s second largest city, known for its delectable seafood and sandy beaches. Explore this coastal locale, sampling the tastes, sounds, and sights of Haeundae Beach’s elaborate boardwalk, saturated with street food and nightlife.
Today, you will experience the Shinsegae Centum City, the world’s largest shopping complex. This massive building features an abundance of shops and restaurants, along with several amazing facilities including: a driving range, ice skating rink, CGV Multiplex Cinema, and Spa Land. Spa Land is often hailed as the pinnacle of Korean jjimjilbangs, or saunas, offering twenty-two spas, thirteen jjimjilbangs, and a full staff of professional masseuses.
Travel to the capital of the fertile Jeollado province, the city of Gwangju. Renowned among Koreans for possessing some of the best food and political fervor, Gwangju is most famous for 1980’s 5/18 Democratic Uprising. The 5/18 Memorial Park, while small, is provocative, compelling, and surely worth a visit.
Explore the Boseong Green Tea fields on your way to Yeosu. These almost alien-green fields are famous for the tealeaves they produce. Spend the morning hiking, biking, or simply cruising past these stellar vistas (especially in the springtime). Cap-off your experience with a visit to the green tea sauna, a rare experience for foreigners and a revitalizing experience for your skin. The night will conclude in Yeosu, the southern city featuring a breathtaking coastline.
Fly to Jeju, the largest island and honeymoon capital of Korea. This gorgeous isle recently jointed the list of the New Seven Wonders of Nature and stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take the day to unwind and explore the beaches surrounding the resort.
Head to Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as “Sunrise Peak,” a volcanic crater ideal for viewing the sunrises (or sunsets) of this island escape. Spend the rest of the day hiking Hallasan, one of Korea’s favorite mountains and traversing the island.
Enjoy your last full day in Jeju at your leisure. You may fish, rent ATV’s, view the Jeju diving women (called haenyeos), sample the Jeju black pig, or just take a stroll along the island’s gorgeous beaches.
Depart for Seoul and connect your long haul flight home with memories of your Korean cultural adventure.
The five-star Conrad Seoul is located in the Yeouido financial district with fantastic views overlooking the Han River and city. The hotel offers a huge year-round indoor swimming pool, spa, well-equipped gym, a rooftop garden and even a golf driving range. The spacious executive lounge outshines other five-star lounges with comfortable seating and a generous happy hour promotion. There are 434 spacious rooms with air-conditioning, a deep bathtub, rainfall showerhead, double sink, luxury aromatherapy toiletries, Apple entertainment systems, a Nespresso coffee machine and complimentary newspapers. The hotel is within 5 minutes walking distance from Yeouido Subway Station (Line 5) and reasonably close to Seoul's airports. There is a choice of restaurants including Zest offering international dishes, Atrio that plates up Italian cuisine, a bar and grill on the 37th floor with a 360-degree view of the city and Flames a lobby bar offering wines, cocktails, local and international beers. The hotel also has direct access to the large international-style IFC shopping mall.
Located in the heart of the Seoul business district, the Ritz Carlton Seoul offer luxury accommodations near all of Seoul's attractions. Each of the 375 recently renovated rooms and suites come with Italian bed linens, marble bathroom, high-speed Internet access, and a 32 or 42-inch LCD television. The Ritz Carlton offers six dining options, such as Chee Hong that serves fine Cantonese cuisine and Hanazono for the freshest Japanese sushis. Other facilities include boutique shops, business and conference halls, a state-of-the-art fitness center with a Japanese sauna and an indoor swimming pool. The Ritz Carlton is approximately 70-90 minutes from Incheon International Airport.
The shiny new Hotel MVL towers over the South Korean town of Yeosu, with views stretching across to the plethora of islets dotted around the South China Sea. This five-star hotel provides sleek and modern rooms, and also some less conventional ‘themed’ rooms, such as the Spanish-Style Double (with bright red and yellow décor), as well as Korean and Japanese options, both of which feature low floor-style beds. Perched on the very southern tip of Yeosu, views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in every room are about as good as you’ll find in the city, and similarly handsome vantage points can be enjoyed from Hotel MVL’s range of dining options. The inclusive buffet breakfast runs daily from 07:00-22:00, and there’s an on-site spa, sauna, fitness center, 24-hour reception desk and laundry facilities on the ground floor.