Example Itinerary

Culture, Food, and White Sand Beaches: A Honeymoon to South Korea and Okinawa

Duration
12 days / 11 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Romance, Post-Covid Wellness
Destinations
South Korea, Japan

With ancient world heritage sites, incredible national parks, and a rich dynastic history, South Korea is a captivating country with much to offer. Explore a thriving street food scene in Seoul, hike past centuries-old relics in Gyeongju, and relax at a local hot spring spa in Busan. Throughout your journey in Korea, stay in some of the country’s most luxurious hotels, and even experience a unique traditional homestay in the countryside. After your Korean adventure, travel to the archipelago of Okinawa, a former independent kingdom located in the East China Sea. Once known as the Ryukyu Kingdom, the Okinawa islands even had their own dialect. Absorb the Ryukyu spirit as you immerse yourself in the exotic culture of Okinawa. Escape to Taketomi, a stunning, laid-back island with a well-preserved heritage, and relax in your hotel’s private villa. Together, explore vibrant coral reefs, hike through verdant jungle terrain, and unwind on romantic white-sand beaches.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

• Gyeongju: A massive open-air museum scattered across a swathe of lush land in Korea’s southeast, Gyeongju features hundreds of historical remains from imperial mausoleums to temples, pagodas, castle sites, and statues. For almost 1,000 years, this city was the capital of the Silla Kingdom.

• Shop & Eat in Busan: Stroll Haeundae Beach’s impressive boardwalk as you explore one of Korea’s most exciting dining and nightlife destinations in Busan, where you’ll visit fish markets and sample local craft beer.

• Diving Japan: Unwind on Taketomi’s gorgeous white-sand beaches and explore the odd underwater world of Japan, with colorful fish, as well as sea turtles, and manta rays abounding in the rich waters of the East China Sea.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Seoul

Upon arrival in Seoul, you will be met and whisked away to the Conrad or Four Seasons, both five-star hotels with impressive views of the city. Tonight, enjoy a NANTA show, a South Korean non-verbal musical and comedy performance.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Set in one of the four towers of Seoul’s International Finance Center, in the heart of Yeouido Business District, and attached to a subway system and an international lifestyle mall, this hotel is truly in the center of the action, and ideal for business and lifestyle travelers.

Service: Apple-based in-room technology provides guests with state-of-the-art entertainment and multimedia equipment.

History: Guests will be fascinated by Yeouido’s transformation from a plot of land thought to be useless, to what is now known as Korea’s Wall Street.

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Conrad Seoul Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Access to Seoul’s Top Attractions: Signiel Seoul is located within easy access of Seoul’s most striking examples of modern architecture, as well as its notable historic sites like ancient Buddhist temples. The LOTTE World Tower and Mall itself, which ranks among the top 10 tallest buildings worldwide and houses Signiel Seoul, is worth exploring in its own right. The Olympic Park facility and well-manicured Songpa Naru Park are also nearby tourist attractions recommended by the hotel.

Expertise and Attention to Detail: As a landmark hotel representing Korea for the LOTTE Hotels & Resorts brand, Signiel Seoul offers the ultimate in high-end hospitality for luxury travelers. The hotel’s operations are backed by the LOTTE brand’s more than half a century of experience in the industry.

Unforgettable Fine Dining: Between STAY – the brainchild of multi-Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alleno – and other offerings like the Michelin-starred Korean restaurant BICENA, some of Seoul’s top food and beverage options are housed within the LOTTE World Tower.

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Signiel Seoul Preferred Hotel

Day 2

Seoul

Today, discover some of Seoul’s most intriguing destinations. Visit Gyeongbokgung, a 14th century palace from the Joseon Dynasty. Stroll through the palace gardens and marvel at the structure’s colorful hand-painted ceilings. Visit N Seoul Tower, an iconic South Korean landmark with excellent views of the city, and do as the Koreans do: Snap a colorful lock onto the tower’s railing to symbolize your eternal love for each other. Continue on to Namdaemun Market, Seoul’s largest and oldest market. We recommend sampling traditional Korean snacks, such as sweet pancakes and Korean fried chicken, during a market snack tour. Step back in time and explore Bukchon Hanok Village, home to over 800 traditional Korean houses, or hanoks, that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. Wander down windy lanes past the still-inhabited, charming abodes, where everyday life continues for Seoulites. While in the village, learn the process of making kimchi, a traditional, vitamin-packed Korean staple made from fermenting healthy vegetables like napa cabbage, radish, scallion and cucumber. To complete your experience, choose to wear traditional Korean clothing known as hanbok.

Seoul
Seoul

Day 3

Andong

After breakfast, depart for Yeongju, a small city between Seoul and Andong. Browse Yeongju’s Ponggi Ginseng market, before arriving in Andong, a quaint city located in the Korean countryside. While here, we recommend sampling Andong steamed chicken, a delicious local specialty. Visit Pungsan Hanji traditional paper factory and Hahoe Folk Village, a 600-year-old historic clan village from the Joseon Dynasty. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the village strives to preserve and re-enact its remarkable folk traditions, including an entertaining mask dance and drama performance. 

Hotel Options
About

Bukchondaek is a traditional hanok home belonging to a distinguished Korean family located in Andong Hahoe Folk Village. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this home was built in strict observance of traditional hanok architecture and has remained virtually unchanged since its construction in 1862.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

Gurume Andong is a lifestyle-concept "traditional resort," housed in renovated historic houses, nestled deep within dense greenwood. Designed around the idea of "create new things based on the old," the complex of seven centuries-old buildings has been converted into 12 guest accommodations (including four individual houses), keeping the original architecture while applying modern conveniences such as showers and bathtubs, Western-style restrooms, WiFi, and indoor temperature controls.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 4

Gyeongju

This morning, depart for Gyeongju, an ancient city brimming with historical sites and treasures. As the former capital of the nearly1000-year-longSilla dynasty, Gyeongju is commonly referred to as an “open-air museum” by locals. Along the way, stop at Yeongdeok, a fishing village, and taste fresh local snow crab, a delicious Korean delicacy once served to royalty. Upon arrival in historic Gyeongju, visit Bulguksa Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most beautiful temples in the country with its expert stonework and serene gardens. Wander through Seokguram Grotto, which features Buddhist figure carvings, and end the day at Haeinsa Temple, another world heritage site with an impressive collection of Buddhist scripture tablets. 

Hotel Options
About

Gyeongju Hilton provides a comfortable base from which to explore the historic area of Gyeongju. Situated on the edge of Lake Bomun and surrounded by beautiful parks, countryside and majestic mountains, this hotel boasts glorious views of the surrounding environment.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

Situated in the center of the majestic Bomun Lake in the historic Shilla Kingdom capital of Gyeongju, the Lahan Select Gyeongju is an interesting building architecturally with an S-shape tower. The hotel is composed of 430 guest rooms and suites, the majority of which are Western style, but a small portion are Korean style.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Gyeongju
Gyeongju

Day 5

Busan

Stroll through Anapji Pond this morning, a 7th century pleasure garden and lotus pond, before hiking the gorgeous Namsan Mountain trails in Gyeongju National Park. Namsan’s wilderness is home to many Silla-era holy sites and artifacts, including temples, statues, pagodas, fortresses, and rock carvings. After your hike, depart Gyeongju for Busan, a port city celebrated for its beaches, hot springs, and enticing street food. Upon arrival, check into the Park Hyatt hotel and relax. This afternoon, we recommend soaking at a local hot spring spa. In between sauna sessions, immerse yourself in Korean culture and sample classic spa treats like sikhye, a refreshing sweet rice drink, and baked eggs, a traditional snack. After your soak, stroll Haeundae Beach. This evening, if you wish, set out on a street food tour of Busan’s delicacies and sample local treats like ssiat hotteok, a fried pastry stuffed with nuts and honey.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Service: Part of the Leading Hotels of the World collection, Paradise Busan's attentive service is top-tier

Spa: While enjoying stunning views of the Haeundae waters, guests can enjoy a variety of hot spring tubs, dry-wet saunas, and other specialized treatments.

Location: The resort is positioned right alongside the lively beach in South Korea’s second largest, but oft-overlooked, city of Busan.

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Paradise Busan Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Harbor Views: Many guest rooms and suites in the Signiel Busan enjoy ocean views out to Haeundae Beach and Mipo Harbor. The large outdoor infinity pool and extensive fitness center & spa also make the most of the pretty panoramas.

Expertise and Attention to Detail: Under the LOTTE umbrella, Signiel Busan is the sister property of Signiel Seoul, and the Signiel brand aims to integrate modern design with high-end service and facilities, as well as traditional aspects of Korean culture.

Fine Dining: The Signiel brand is synonymous with gourmet experiences, and the drinking and dining venues at the Signiel Busan are culinary playgrounds for Michelin-accredited chefs and creative kitchen teams.

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Signiel Busan Preferred Hotel
About

This internationally acclaimed brand hotel is located in central Busan next to Busan Marina, and provides a superb luxury base from which to explore this exciting city. The hotel is conveniently located near to landmark sites such as Dongbaek Station, Nurimaru APEC House and Dongbaek island.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 6

Busan

Discover bustling Busan today. Visit Yonggungsa Buddhist Temple, a 14th century temple and popular pilgrimage site situated on a cliff overlooking the East Sea.Peruse the fascinating marine creatures on display at Jagalchi, South Korea’s largest fish market and an iconic Busan experience. Explore Gamcheon Culture Village, a vibrant neighborhood defined by its brightly colored houses, narrow alleyways, and creative street art. Sample beers in downtown Nampodong, where there is a growing craft beer scene, and walk through Gukje Market, Busan’s largest traditional market. Round out the day with an excursion to Taejongdae, a scenic coastline park overlooking the sea. At the park, visit the clam tents that line the shore and taste just-caught shellfish.

Busan
Busan

Day 7

Okinawa

This morning, you will be transferred to the airport. Depart Busan for lively Naha, the capital of Okinawa. Upon arrival in Naha, tour the restored royal rooms and gardens of Shuri Castle, a magnificent 14th century palace historically known as the throne of the Ryukyu kingdom. Make astop at Makishi Public Market, where fresh local seafood is the main draw and, if you wish, have your favorites authentically prepared for you on the spot. Meander down Naha’s popular arcade streets, bursting with shops and stalls, and peruse traditional Okinawan pottery in the Tsuboya neighborhood. 

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Wellness: The HOSHINOYA name is synonymous with wellness, therefore it's no surprise that the focus of this resort is wellbeing, from the beachfront setting and music of crashing ocean waves, to the indulgent spa treatments inspired by the surroundings.

Dining Experience: HOSHINOYA Okinawa's innovative "Sicilian Cuisine Inspired by Okinawa" concept brings an east-meets-west dining experience for international guests, while the inclusion of private-dining indoor patios in every accommodation allows guests to enjoy their fusion meals at their own pace.

Location: Though you may struggle to tear yourself away from the calming ocean views, there's plenty to see and do in the local area, from horse riding, to cultural workshops, to snorkeling and diving, to tours of a local brewery and local weaving house.

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HOSHINOYA Okinawa Preferred Hotel
About

Situated within the premises of the Kise Country Club and surrounded on three sides by its 18-hole golf course overlooking the ocean, the Ritz-Carlton Okinawa is known locally as "gusuku" or guest-house, emphasizing its charm and hospitality. The hotel has just 97 rooms and suites equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including free internet, LCD TV, balcony/terrace, Geneva soundsystem and pre-loaded iPod, bar, bathrobes, espresso machine and relaxing tub.

If our Preferred Hotel is unavailable, this accommodation is a reliable alternative and has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 8

Okinawa

Today, continue your exploration of the main island. Visit Busena Marine Park, Kouri Island, and Chauraumi Aquarium. One of the largest aquariums in the world, Chauraumi Aquarium is home to over aquatic 25,000 creatures, including massive whale sharks and manta rays.

Day 9

Taketomi Island

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport. Depart Naha for Ishigaki Island. Upon arrival, take a short ferry ride to Taketomi Island. Check into Hoshinoya Taketomi, a secluded resort with luxurious private villas, and unwind on Taketomi’s gorgeous white-sand beaches. The sub-tropical island’s clear blue waters are home to a vibrant array of colorful fish, as well as sea turtles, and manta rays. This afternoon, if you wish, take a leisurely cycle around the tiny, flat island. As you explore, take note of Taketomi’s holy areas, often marked by low stone walls. Stop by the traditional village of Taketomi, and cruise along narrow lanes that wind past the carefully-preserved Ryukyu houses and gardens. If you would like, learn about about the local weaving culture at the on-island weaving center.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Privacy: One of just four villages on a remote island that is only accessible by ferry, this resort is a haven for uninterrupted relaxation.

Cuisine: The resort’s celebrated head chef has created a fusion of Okinawan and French flavors that is not to be missed

Beach: There are not many resorts that boast Japanese hotel sensibilities while also being located a mere nine-minute walk from a pristine, tropical beach — the HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island is one of them.

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HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island Preferred Hotel
Taketomi Island
Taketomi Island

Day 10

Taketomi Island

This morning, take an idyllic water buffalo wagon tour through the village. After your tour, embark on a day trip to Ishigaki Island if you wish. Renowned for its brilliant clear water and coral reefs, Ishigaki offers plenty of wonderful diving, snorkeling, and swimming spots. Explore the island’s restaurant and café scene before returning to the peaceful haven of Taketomi Island.

Day 11

Taketomi Island

Enjoy another day at leisure. We recommend taking a day trip to the surrounding islands, including Iriomote Island and Hateruma Island. A national park, Iriomote is home to the Iriomote wildcat, a species found only on this particular island. Hike through lush jungle landscape, past pristine waterfalls, rocky streams, and freshwater pools. Hateruma is well-known for its gorgeous beaches, including peaceful Nishihama beach, which offers incredible offshore snorkeling.

Taketomi Island
Taketomi Island

Day 12

Departure

After breakfast, hop on the complimentary hotel shuttle to the pier. From the pier, you will take the ferry to Ishigaki Island. Depart Ishigaki for Tokyo, and connect to your onward flight.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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