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.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.
• The DMZ: Journey to the famous Demilitarized Zone, commonly called the DMZ, through the Joint-Security Area security checkpoint, or JSA, where you will be able to view North Korean soldiers protecting their border.
• 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.
• Busan Boardwalk: Stroll Haeundae Beach’s impressive boardwalk for dining and nightlife. Mall fans will also want to explore Shinsegae Centum City, the world’s largest shopping complex.
• Jeju: Volcanic rock, clear waters, and white sand beaches — Jeju is Korea’s perfect getaway. Here, travelers will visit the volcanic crater of “Sunrise Peak” and hike the mighty Mount Halla.
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 Style." For history, stop by the Changdeokgung Palace Complex, a UNESCO designated world heritage site. 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. The UNESCO protected areas encompass the ruins of temples and palaces, outdoor pagodas and statuary, and other cultural artifacts left by the Silla Kingdom. The historic areas are sometimes known as one of the largest outdoor museums in the world. 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.
Tucked along the coastline, Busan is the second largest city in South Korea. It is home to picturesque mountains, glimmering beaches, and the Paradise Busan, which is located right along the lively Haeundae Beach.This upscale hotel features rooms with fantastic views, its own on-site casino, and an expansive spa. The polished, modern rooms start at 377 square feet and include views of either the ocean or the city. Many come with private, seaward-facing balconies. The suites offer more space and a private sitting area, and the top suites are divided into four classes, of which the marble-coated Diamond Suite is the most luxurious. There is an array of dining options including styles such as buffet, Western-fusion, Chinese, Japanese, and even a charming English pub. The on-site fitness center is world class, and the spa boasts a number of treatments, scenic hot spring tubs, and wet-dry saunas.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
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.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands – a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
With tensions between North & South Korea at the highest point they’ve been in years, there couldn’t be a more dramatic time to visit the Demilitarized Zone.
Whether it’s Michelin-star dining, world-class hotels, or white sands, travelers to Korea will find a holistic holiday as they journey from the DMZ to the beaches of Jeju.
Here is a small selection of the kind words our guests have said about us, as well as features by journalists and travel writers.