KOREA – South Korea Explore
Tradition, Modernity and eclectic Nature
Divided country, powerful, emotional and astonishing – privately on the road with a Swiss insider.
Experience unique insights into the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) exclusively with Daniel Thomas Faller, former Swiss officer for the NNSC. The border zone between North and South Korea was his work place and his life for 3 years.
Full of cultural highlights, with a historically far-reaching and touching theme, which leads into today’s reality of two of the largest nations in the world.
Those who try to “read” Korea quickly reach the limits of knowledge and understandable information. On this journey you can get your own picture on the spot and experience the diversity of Korean cultural practices up close. We show you places where the inter-religious becomes visible; we visit mystical places like the world cultural site, Haeinsa with the Tripikata and look where the famous Hallyu and K-pop culture has its roots.
On the beautiful volcanic island Jeju you can enjoy unique nature: We take a trip to the famous Hallasan, admire the Jusangjeolli cliffs along the coast and see the island from the bird’s eye view from the extinct volcano Seongsan Illchulbong. Get to know the Haenyo, the sea women divers and watch them at work. Of course not missing out on the impressive lava cave system.
15 OCT – 25 OCT 201906 NOV – 16 NOV 2019Tue (Wed) – Fri (Sat)11 Days
Highlights of tour
- DMZ (Demilitaized Zone); A travel unicum, exclusive private tour with former SWISS NNSC officer
- Jeonju, the heart of the traditional art of Korean Hanji paper, Korean Hanji craftsmanship and art
- Korean traditional meal; cooking with a local chef
- Pansori performance
- Haeinsa – be part of an unforgettable tempelstay including a conversation with a monk over tea
- Gyeongju, travel back in time, 5000 years history, visit the former capital of the Silla Empire
- Sleep in a traditional Hanok house
- Busan, the second largest city of South Korea
- Jeju Island, visit to Yakcheonsa, the temple of the medicine source
- Climb the extinct volcano Seongsan Illchulbong on Jeju Island and visit the lava cave Manjanggul
- Stroll through the Changdeokgung Palace and find a calm place in the Secret Garden
- Dongdaemun market, important markets for wholesale of clothes
- Be astonished at the traditional Gyeongdong market, one of the largest ginseng and herb markets in Korea
- Korean alcohol – tasting and food pairing event: from the more famous Makgeolli to the rarest drinks like Takju, Cheongju and Soju
Arrive Seoul | South Korea
Welcome to the “Land of Morning Calm”! Your journey through the tiger state begins in the capital, Seoul, where we greet you personally at the airport and take you directly to your hotel in Seoul. Tonight, your host will welcome you for a welcome talk where you can meet your fellow travelers and get ready for the next few days. Overnight in Seoul.
Jeonju | Korean Hanji paper art & culture
With the high-speed train KTX we travel comfortably in less than 3 hours from Seoul to Jeonju, the southwestern province Jeollabuk-do. For over a thousand years, the small town of Jeonju has been the heart of the traditional art of Korean Hanji paper. It is still produced in Jeonju today. And, in the city of gastronomy, we learn how to prepare the famous rice dish Bibimbap with a local chef. The evening is rounded off with a cultural experience of a special kind – a Pansori performance (traditional Korean singing). Overnight stay in Jeonju.
Haeinsa temple stay | places of tranquility
Around noon we reach the Haeinsa Temple. The temple is one of the most important legacies of the country’s Buddhist roots and holds the Tripitaka Koreana.
The temple on Gaya Mountain is so well embedded in its surroundings that the impression is created that the mountain and temple are one.
Today is all about peace and meditation. In our small travel group we experience together with the monks very closely the everyday life in the Haeinsa temple. After an introduction and tea ceremony we have dinner together early in the evening. We will spend the night in the Haeinsa Temple. At 2100 o’clock there will be lights-out!
Gyeongju | Museum without a roof
Today we start early in the morning at 0300 am with the morning prayer and the Yebul ceremony taking place in the Haeinsa Temple. After breakfast and a temple tour we leave Hapcheon at noon for Gyeongju, the former capital of the Silla Empire. We visit the Tumuli Park in the middle of the city centre, where the burial mounds of 23 rulers of the Silla period rise. Here we can not only walk between the artificial, green hilltops, but also visit one of the gigantic burial mounds. Inside there are over 11,000 burial objects and the king’s crowns. Nearby is the Cheomseongdae Observatory, the oldest star observatory in Asia. At the end of the day we enjoy an evening walk through the exotic garden landscape along the Anapij pond. We will spend the night in a very beautiful, traditional Korean Hanok house in Gyeongju.
Busan | South Korea’s gateway to the world
After a two-hour drive along the east coast we reach the city of Busan. We visit Gamcheon Village with its colorful houses and winding streets. Afterwards we discover the Yonggunsa Temple, which is only a few meters from the shore. The rest of the day is free to explore the city as you wish. Overnight stay in Busan.
Jeju-do| The Volcano Island
Today we fly from Busan-Gimpo airport in less than an hour to Jeju Island. After the arrival in Jeju-do, we drive with our personal driver across the island to the south. We also stop at the so-called Mysterious Road. A road on which – contrary to all physical laws – objects seem to roll up the mountain. Arrived in the south of the island we explore the Jusangjeolli cliffs. The Jusangjeolli were formed from lava from the volcano Hallasan and have a cubic or hexagonal shape. We round off the day with a visit to Yakcheonsa, the temple of the medicine source. Overnight stay in a hotel, south of Jeju.
Jeju Island | Haenyeo – the sea women
Today we leave the southern part of Jeju and explore the east of the island. At the eastern end of Jeju-do we will climb the extinct volcano Seongsan Illchulbong. From there we have an impressive view of the overgrown volcano cone and the surrounding sea. Afterwards we admire the work of the Haenyo, the women sea divers who dive up to 20 meters without oxygen tanks to harvest seafood. With the visit of the lava cave Manjanggul, the longest in the world (over 13 kilometers long) we finish our day trip and return to the hotel. Overnight stay in hotel in Jeju city.
Seoul | Changdeokgung Palace and Dongdaemun Market
In the morning we fly from Jeju Island to Seoul Gimpo. After the transfer to the hotel in Seoul we start with the visit of one of the largest Buddhist religious orders in Korea, the Jogyesa Order. The Gilsangsa Temple is a real oasis in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the big city. We continue to the Changdeokgung Palace. With the visit of the Dongdaemun Market, which since its opening in 1905 is one of the most important markets for wholesale with clothes, we conclude today’s program. Overnight stay in Seoul.
DMZ | From the Insider’s Point of View
Today is all about following in the footsteps of the border to North Korea. As host and tour guide I not only have a lot of experience with the country and its people. No, my heart is also very close to North Korea. As a former officer I lived and worked for 3 years as a member of the NNSC (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission) in Panmunjeom. In order to get a well-founded overview of the DMZ, we start with an introduction to the Korean War and a presentation on the deployment of the NNSC. Afterwards we drive with our small group and the private driver to the demilitarized zone. There I will present you an interesting exhibition about DMZ. After lunch we will explore the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel. Another highlight is the visit of the Dora observation platform, from where we can observe life on the “other side”. This tour is unique. Therefore the motto is “Feelings and Emotions”. Due to changing situations in this particular region sometimes, program adjustments may apply. Overnight stay in Seoul.
Seoul | Tradition and Modernity
Today’s last day begins in the morning in the southern part of Seoul, in the modern and pulsating Gangnam. Afterwards we dive again into the authentic market life of the traditional Gyeongdong and Namdaemun markets. The evening ends with a feast for the senses. In a small Korean restaurant we will be guided through four different styles and techniques of Korean alcohol. From the more famous Makgeolli to the rarest drinks like Takju, Cheongju and Soju. Here we have the unique opportunity to taste the art of the best breweries in Korea. The whole thing is complemented with modern and traditional classic dishes. Overnight stay in Seoul.
Seoul | Departure
After breakfast at the hotel and the organized transfer to Incheon Airport, our Korea Explore journey ends. Individual onward journey.
KRW 4,280,000 (single room supplement KRW 660,000)
CHF 3’780.00 (single room supplement CHF 585.00)
- Transfer Incheon Airport – Hotel Seoul / Hotel Seoul – Incheon Airport
- Privately hosted small group tour by the Swiss Daniel Thomas Faller (German, English)
- All transports with own car/bus and driver as per program
- KTX Highspeed train Seoul – Jeonju 1. Class
- Flights Busan – Jeju / Jeju – Seoul (Economy class) as per program
- 4 nights in a middle class hotel in Seoul (base double or twin room)
- 1 night in a middle class hotel in Jeonju (base double or twin room)
- 1 night in a middle class hotel in Busan (base double or twin room)
- 1 night in Temple (Templestay) according the program
- 1 nights in a traditional Hanok house in Gwangju (base double room)
- 2 nights in a middle class hotel in Jeju (base double or twin room)
- Exclusive one day DMZ tour with Daniel according the program
- Visit a Pansori performance as per program
- Private painting class traditional Korean painting
- Private Dining and Tasting (Makgeolli) Experience evening
- Travel and flight to and from Seoul
- Lunch and Dinner, beverages
- Travel insurance
- Personal costs and tips
- Single room supplement
- We can help you with flight bookings to and from Seoul and with Visa as well