Ready for a unique travel experience? South Korea fits the bill and then some. On this eight-day trip, you’ll see the highlights in and around Seoul plus visit folk villages, unique Korean temples, and the bustling markets of Busan. Learn about the sombre history of North and South Korea and take an excursion to the Demilitarized Zone separating the two. This is the perfect snapshot of a country coming into its own as a top travel destination.
- Travel Style : Classic
- Service Level : Standard
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Local Living Moment: Overnight Temple Stay, Busan. City tour of Seoul. DMZ visit. City tour of Gyeongju. Yangdong Folk Village visit. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Visit. City tour of Busan. Haeundae Beach and Dongbaek Island (APEC House) Visit. N Seoul Tower Visit. Namdaemun Market Visit. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Visit the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, sleep in a temple in Busan, sample the diverse cuisine of Korea.
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Group Leader Description:All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.
- Group Size Notes:Max 16, avg 12.
- Meals Included:7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
- Transport:Private van, train, subway, walking.
- Local Flights:All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
- Solo Travellers:We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Standard hotels (6 nts), temple (1 nt, multi-share).
- My Own Room Exceptions:Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all night stops, with the following exceptions: Day 6 (overnight temple stay).
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:From Incheon International Airport to Hotel Prince Seoul
By Airport Taxi
Time : 62Km / 60 Minutes / approx 60000 Won (USD53)
By Airport Limousine Bus 6001 or 6015 Alight at Myeongdong Station, Hotel Prince is across the road near exit 2.
- Time : 70minutes / 10,000won
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
Derek : +82-10-8759-9367 (010-8759-9367)
Tommy : +82-10-5514-5041 (010-5514-5041)
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Japan)
During office hours, Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6432-0195 (2nd contact +81 80 2725 5133)
From within Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6432-0195 (2nd contact +81 80 2725 5133)
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
- What to Take:We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as you are expected to carry your own luggage. Our trips in South Korea use some public transport and most will have limited luggage storage space.
You will also be walking with your luggage in busy public train stations to catch connecting trains, so it is highly recommended that you travel light and have easy to handle luggage and capable of walking up and down the stairs with your luggage without any assistance. A large bag will be an inconvenience to you and will slow you down.
We recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips. Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. You will also need a day-pack/rucksack to carry daily essentials like water, cameras, passport, i-pods etc.
- Packing List:Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: During the colder months (Oct-Apr) the regions can be very cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes.
- Laundry:Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels but this is very expensive. Your leader can show you self service coin laundries in larger cities. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
- Visas and Entry Requirements:Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with your travel agent as rules do change.
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
ATMs are available in most places and typically accept Visa, Mastercard and Debit Card. However, it's likely that not all machines will be available or will work with your card. It's best to come with USD cash as well to be able to exchange money when necessary. A variety of payment options is recommended.
Credit Cards should not be relied upon for purchases as they are not widely accepted, except in some restaurants and department stores.
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Optional Activities:Seoul
- Seoul Museum of History Visit (Free)
- Jump Show (Comic Martial Arts Show) (50000KRW per person)
- Gwangjang Market
- Nanta Show (Seoul) (50000KRW per person)
- N Seoul Tower Observatory (10000KRW per person)
- Gangnam District Visit
- Floating Island Visit
- Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain (Free)
- Samsung Leeum Gallery
- SM Town
- Kimchi & Hanbok Experience (35000KRW per person)
- Itaewon Neighbourhood Visit (Free)
- Busan Tower Observatory (8000KRW per person)
- Gamcheon Culture Village
- Anapji Pond (3000KRW per person)
- Bike Rental - Gyeongju (5000KRW per person)
- Daereungwon Tomb Complex (3000KRW per person)
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they engage in any form of paid sex work.
- Travel Insurance:Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Local Dress:In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or other holy sites.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
- Minimum Age:You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
- Max Pax:16
- Group Leader:Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Itinerary (8 days)
Arrive at any time.
Sit back and relax on a private bus and enjoy a tour of the bustling metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples and street markets. Visit Gyengbokgung Palace, the National Folklore Museum, Jogyesa Temple, Bukchon Hanok Village and Insadong alley.
After breakfast, board a high speed bullet train for a relaxing morning ride through the countryside to Busan. On arrival to the seaside city, visit the bustling Jagalchi fish market, Gukjesijang market, and Yongdusan Park before an overnight stay in a local temple.
Enjoy a peaceful morning meditation before travelling to the picturesque 14th century seaside temple hidden in the rocks - Haedong Yonggungsa. After exploring the temple, check in to your hotel and get your bearings with an orientation walk on Haeundae Beach and Dongbaek Island (APEC House). Go for a swim and relax at the beach or perhaps enjoy a light stroll on Dongbaek Island. Spend the evening getting to know colourful Busan, opt to treat yourself at a Jjimjilbang spa or sing your heart out at a popular karaoke bar.
Enjoy a day trip to Yangdong Folk Village, a 500-year-old UNESCO site located in Gyeongju National Park, to get a feel for life during the early Joseon Dynasty. Continue to the next UNESCO site of Bulguksa Temple located on the slopes of Mount Toham and admire the national treasures such as Dabotap and Seokgatap stone pagodas, Cheongun-gyo, and two gilt-bronze statues of Buddha. Afterwards, experience the oldest surviving astronomical observatory in Asia, Cheomseongdae Observatory, and the surrounding Royal Tombs.
After arriving in Seoul by train, head to check out Korea's oldest traditional market - Namdaemun Market. Then make your way by cable car to N Seoul Tower to see this beautiful landmark and opt to make the trip up to the observation deck if you're feeling adventurous. Spend the rest of your day in Seoul opting to see Banpo Bridge, the floating islands, or hanging out in the Gangnam district.
Visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), founded in 1953, separating North and South Korea. With over a million soldiers on watch each day, it is one of the last remnants of the Cold War. With a buffer zone 4km wide and spanning 250 km long there has been very little development in the area, therefore nature and wildlife have pretty much taken over. Spend about 3-4 hours visiting the Demilitarized Zone, then head to The War Memorial of Korea. Later, return back to Seoul for another night in the city.
Depart at anytime.