South Korea Tour, 14 days
We begin our journey in Seoul, capital of South Korea. The city offers a unique blend of modern and traditional. You can visit the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily fortified border with North Korea. In Seoraksan National Park, stroll through the beautiful scenery with waterfalls and steep cliffs. In Andong, with its beautiful open-air museum you can see the Haeinsa in Gayasan National Park where you can admire the famous Tripitaka Koreana. Visit the most comprehensive collection of Buddhist scriptures in East Asia. After visiting Gyeongju, we travel to Busan, the second city of the country. Here you can visit the huge fish market, then drive to the western part of the peninsula on the beautiful southern coast.
Join our international groups with active travelers, of all ages. Most will come from Holland and Belgium, but you will find they have an excellent command of English. Your tour leader addresses the group in Dutch and English. Our skilled land crew have worked with Djoser for many years and make sure things run smoothly.
There is ample time for group exploration. Count on lots of walking. But sometimes, it is great to be able to break off and explore on your own. Your guide can make some great suggestions.
Join us for unforgettable cultural, nature and local experiences!
- Seoul (Dutch travelers arrive at 3PM))
- Seoul - Hwajinpo - Geojin - Seoraksan
- Seoraksan - Gangneung - Jeondongjin - Punggi - Andong
- Andong - Gayasan - Gyeongju
- Gyeongju - Gampo - Yangsan - Busan
- Busan - Geoje - Tongyeong - Namhae - Hadong - Gurye
- Gurye - Namwon - Jeonju - Buyeo
- Buyeo - Gongju - Suwon - Seoul
- Seoul. – Land ends late evening (Dutch travelers will depart after midnight)
Day by day
Djoser tours have no rigidly schedules days. The travel days are fixed, but on the days when we do not travel, everyone is free to fill the day according to their sole discretion. The tour leadesrs will always have ideas and a proposal for the day, however, you can feel free to set off on your own to explore. Your tour leader can offer suggestions. Keep in mind though that there are, by the character of our travels and local conditions, unexpected situations can occur.
When you travel, use this daily description as a reference. So that all travelers in the group will be “on the same page” the trip days in this description are numbered to correspond with the Dutch participants’ program with Day 1 being a transit day.
* NOTE TO FACULTY PLANNING A CUSTOM UNIVERSITY STUDY TOURS: If you are planning a study tour for a private group, use this description as your daily guideline. We can build in activities that highlight you area of study.
Day 1 Travel Day
Day 2 Arrival Seoul
Day 3 Seoul
Our trip begins in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. The city with its 10 million inhabitants looks intimidating with its vast high-rise buildings. At street level, however, it is a cosy and buzzing with activity. The public transportation in Seoul is well organized, making it easy to visit various sights.
The largest Palace Gyeongbokgung, dates back to the end of the 14th century and was built by Yi Song-gye, the founder of the Joseon or Yi dynasty.
It was the Royal Palace until it was destroyed by the Japanese in 1592. King Gojong rebuilt it and moved in 1872 to the restored Palace. It was mostly destroyed during the Japanese occupation (1910-45) and the Korean war. Of the approximately 200 buildings once standing there are 10. But those are beautiful. From 1995 more of the original halls were rebuilt. To the South-East of Gyeongbokgung is Insadong, a charming historic Street, now a mix of traditional and modern architecture and a pedestrian area with art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants.
The 895 foot high Namsan (South Mountain) is now in Seoul, but was formerly South of the city wall. It is now the largest park in the city. On the green slopes of the Hill are the Botanical Gardens. On top of the Hill is the 787 foot high Seoul Tower, from where you have a magnificent view of the city. In the North of the Namsan Park is the Na,msan Hanok Village, a collection of traditional houses moved here to Tapkol Park. On December1 1919 when the Korean Independence was proclaimed, there were a series of peaceful demonstrations against the Japanese rulers. In the park is a statue of Sun Pyong-hui, leader of the protesters.
The South Gate, together with the East Gate, is the most imposing of the remaining five city gates of old Seoul. The gate dates back to the end of the 14th century and continues to impress despite the surrounding high-rise buildings and the Seoul Station nearby. The Namdaemun has been around since 1414 where the Koreans shop at the traditional markets. Namdaemun market, located in the center of Seoul, is the largest traditional market in Korea for buying clothes, daily goods, kitchenware and local and imported fresh products. Most shops have their own factories and own products with good prices
Day 4 Seoul – Hwajinpo – Geojin Seoraksan (198 miles) –
Day 5 Seoraksan NP
The Seorak mountain range is not far from the East Coast, just west of North of Sokcho and Gangneung. A total of about 223 square miles of this national park is now under the protection of Unesco. 25 different species of mammals live here, 90 bird species, 11 species of reptiles, 360 species of insects and 939 plant species. Less than half an hour from the park are the beautiful white beaches along the coast. The Park has numerous hiking trails, which looks its best especially in the fall when the trees have thousands of different colors. For non walkers there is a cable car that brings you to a breathtaking view point.
The park has a huge variety of valleys, crystal clear streams and lush green forests that offer an excellent opportunity for not only walk, but also, among other things, climbing, rafting, skiing, golf
The Seorak mountain range is not far from the East Coast, just west of North of Sokcho and Gangneung. A total of about 223 square miles of this national park is now under the protection of Unesco, 25 different species of mammals live here, 90 bird species, 11 species of reptiles, 360 species of insects and 939 plant species. Less than half an hour from the park are the beautiful white beaches along the coast. The Park has numerous hiking trails, which especially in the fall when the trees have thousands of different colors, looking at its best. For non walkers there is a cable car that brings you to a breathtaking view point.
The park has a huge variety of valleys, crystal clear streams and lush green forests that offer an excellent opportunity for not only walk, but also, among other things, climbing, rafting, skiing, golf
Day 6 Seoraksan – Gangneung – Jeondongjin – Punggi – Andong (211 miles)
Day 7 Andong – Gayasan – Gyeongju (180 miles)
Day 8 Gyeongju
Today we drive in part along the coast. The beautiful beaches are behind high fences with guard towers placed to to prevent the North sea from infiltrating. Near the coast is the Jeongdongjin train station. In summer, tourist flock to this town for the nice weather. Don't forget the rocks high above the city, where you find the weirdest hotel that you have ever seen, a full cruise ship.
In Punggi, we visit the ginseng market where the root is sold in all shapes, dried, in wine, as a tea, as candy and so on. The area surrounding Andong is very quiet and rural and the city has its traditional character. The visitors will not be surprised that in this environment, multiple open air museums was established. The settings are so authentic that the Korean television regularly recorda historical series here. Just outside the Centre, is the Andong Folk Village: a village that had to be reconstructed by a dam project. There are farms with roofs of straw, which are the beautiful villas of government officials. Everything here is authentic. Nearby is the Folklore museum with a fascinating exhibition on Korean traditions. The Government has Hahoe Village (15 miles outside Andong) listed, so that the residents can live there still as they did in former times.
We travel with our own bus to one of the other special national parks that Korea. Here we visit the most famous Temple of Korea: the Alfama. This is located in Gayasan NP and was built in the year 802 A.D.. In the more than 90 buildings are many treasures of the past. The Haeinsa Temple houses the Tripitaka Koreana, the largest collection of Buddhist scriptures of East Asia. They were carved around the 13th century on more than 80,000 wooden tablets. They are very well preserved and placed on the World Heritage list by the Unesco in 1995.
Gyeongju is one of the biggest attractions of Korea. For more than 1000 years, this was the capital of the Sillarijk that on the joint Korea's ruled. It developed into one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. You'll find Hill graves, small temples and beautiful Buddha images. The bicycle is an ideal means of transport to explore the area.
One of the most famous Korean temples is the Bulguksa Temple. This is 10 miles outside the city and was built in 535. The Temple still contains many original works from the Silla-era and for the tour you definitely need half a day. This temple is also on the UNESCO list. The temple is built on stone terraces and is the most beautiful that the Silla Dynasty has produced. The beauty of the landscape and the craftsmanship of the builders have made sure that it is a true work of art well worth seeing
This temple is located in the mountains above the Seokuram in a hidden cave. In the 8th century, the Silla rulers built n a temple there. The central image of Buddha is surrounded by more than 30 patron saints. In the center of town is the Tumuli Park with numerous King graves from past times. One of the graves, is c all the precious treasures are on display. The park is ideal for a relaxing stroll.
Those interested in Korean history should visit the national museum of Gyeongju. Here you can see Buddhist works of art, traditional earthenware, grave finds and images from the Silla-time. The Bunhwangsa pagoda is a beautiful building and the oldest of its kind in Korea.
Day 9 Gyeongju – Gampo-Yangsan Busan
Day 10 Busan (93 miles)
Day 11 Busan-Geoje – Tongyeong – Namhae – Hadong – Gurye (155 miles)
In Gampo we stop to visit the twin pagodas. This site was built in honor of the Dragon spirit of King Munmu. The tomb of the King, however, lies in the sea. At low tide is the tomb of the King can be seen from the coast. The King wished to be cremated and then buried on the coast so that he could eternally defend his country.
Via Yangsan we drive to Busan, the second largest city in Korea. This port city is sandwiched between the sea and the hills of the hinterland. The fascinating Jagalchi fish market is a highlight. You find so many different types of fish. You can pick something out, have it prepared and eat it on the spot.
Visit the BIFF after the market square there is a stone's throw from here. Here you will find trendy shops, cinemas and a real walk of fame with the handprints of Korean movie stars and directors. On your walk you come in the streets where you can find thousands of shops. The next day you can use the metro and walk aarond the temples outside Busan .
Day 12 Gurye – Namwon – Jeonju – Buyeo (118 miles)
Day 13 Buyeo – Gongju – Suwon – Seoul (134 miles)
Day 14 Seoul (optional visit to the DMZ)
Day 15 Seoul – Depart
We drive to Namwon, where there will be plenty to see and visit. Then we go to Jeonju. Here we visit an old quarter (Hanok), where you can discover street after street and discover how the Koreans have lived for centuries. Buyeo is the next stop, this town is situated between rice fields and wooded hills . Since 538 to 660 it was the capital of the Baekje Kingdom. Here you will find several sites that you can visit, the mountain fort, and Saedong park or Baekje historical park. After one night we drive towards Seoul.
We stop in Gongju. In the heart of the city the old Gongsan fortress , with a little imagination, you can picture past life here. Suwon is the last town we visit before we arrive back in Seoul. Here you will find the Hwaseong Fortress, date back to 1794. This fort is on the UNESCO list and covers 3.54 miles of walls, watchtowers, gates and command areas. The covered market is also worth a visit. The last day in Seoul (subject to availability) you can take a guided visit to the border with North Korea. Here we visit the 3rd tunnel, meant for infiltration from the North. Go to the view point for a look at North Korea and we come to the barracks where the two Koreas have regular consultations. Will plenty of wonderful impression our trip comes to an end.
Djoser tours have no rigidly schedules days. The travel days are fixed, but on the days when we do not travel, everyone is free to fill the day according to their sole discretion. The tour leadesrs will always have ideas and a proposal for the day, however, you can feel free to set off on your own to explore. Your tour leader can offer suggestions. Keep in mind though that there are, by the character of our travels and local conditions, unexpected situations can occur,
Published Group Gours
While we travel you can decide where and with whom you take your meals. You can eat with the group, but also have the freedom to a restaurant to find out. That is why the meals are not included in the tour price.
In most hotels is a Western breakfast possible; a Korean breakfast is always available. The typical Korean dishes are generally very nutritious, commonly used herbs and ingredients are red peppers, shallots, soy sauce and sesame oil. Rejoice in any case on the national dish Kimchi, this dish, made from fermented Chinese cabbage and vegetables, also with red pepper powder. Spiced meat is ever present in a Korean meal in all its forms. Western visitors in the beginning may have to get used to the flavors and spices.
Dates and prices
Departure dates 2022
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Departure dates 2023
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Conditions "Guaranteed leave"
- Land program
- Dutch tour leader (logistics coordinator - speaks Dutch & English)
- transportation by bus
- Hotel Accommodation
- Excursions according to program
- International flights & airport transfers
- Meals & excursions (see estimated out of pocket costs)
SINGLE ROOM FROM: $910
EXTENSION HOTEL per night Single: Please inquire
EXTENSION HOTEL per night Double Room: Please inquire
Estimated out of pocket expenses weekly: $350
(meals, excursions, personal expenses not mentioned as included)
Deposit due: 20% of total costs due immediately after booking.
Balance due: 60 days prior to departure
Payment by check or charge card accepted.
Accommodations & Meals
Most hotels we stay are centrally located. We stay in double rooms with private facilities. The rooms are equipped with the necessary business and generally have air conditioning.
Seoul Tmark Hotel Myeongdong
Seoraksan Kensington Stars Hotel
Andong Gorye Hotel
Gyeongju Commodore Hotel
Busan Busan Tourist Hotel
Buyeo Lotte Buyeo Resort
During the trip, you can decide when, where and with whom you eat. You can eat with the group, but also you have the freedom to choose a restaurant. Therefore, the meals are not included in the fare. In most hotels is a Western breakfast as possible; a Korean breakfast is always available. The typical Korean dishes are generally very nutritious, with commonly used herbs and ingredients such as red peppers, shallots, soy sauce and sesame oil. The national dish is kimchi, this pungent dish is made from fermented cabbage and vegetables, also with red pepper powder. Seasoned meat can be found at a Korean meal and is produced in all varieties. Western visitors will have to get used to the sharp tastes of Korean cuisine.
Flights & Transportation
Booking your international flight
We provide the land package and transportation within the program as described. We do not arrange international flights from or to the United States or Canada. The land program will begin approximately two hours after the arrival of the Netherlands (NL) participants who will be arrive from Amsterdam. The land program will end about 4 hours prior to their scheduled departure time, which allows for time to get to the airport. The proposed flights for the Dutch participants and the LAND BEGIN and END times are listed below. They are subject to change based on flight delays or changes. We will keep you posted of any flight changes that we are aware of prior to the trip. When scheduling your flights, keep the following times in mind:
Dutch participant proposed flights (subject to change)
SEOUL - Arrive 14:50
SEOUL - Depart 0:55
Before you book your flight
To avoid flight change or cancellation costs get email confirmation from our office that the trip has enough participants to be a “GO”.
Verify the spelling of your name-within 24 hours
When you book your flights, double check your flight records to confirm that your name is spelled on your ticket exactly as it appears on your passport. Some companies (for example, ORBITZ) will only allow a 24 hour window to correct any errors without penalty. You may incur heavy fees for changes, forfeiture of your flight ticket, or even worse, you could be denied entry to a border upon arrival.
Send us a copy of your flight itinerary
We will forward to the tour leader so they will know when to expect you at the hotel and when you will be departing.
Keep in mind hotel extensions
If the Dutch travelers arrive early in the morning, we recommend that you arrange to fly in the day or night before so you will be meet the group. Some trips involve an immediate transfer from airport to the next town so make sure you will arrive before the others so you don’t miss the first meeting or transfer to the next location. We can arrange an extension hotel night for you. Prices for hotel extensions can be found in the 'dates & prices' section
If the Netherlands arrive in the late evening
Should they arrive very late in the evening, the group will have their first meeting in the morning in the hotel lobby. You can check in earlier and relax or explore on your own.
Airport transfer to/from hotel – not Included
If you will be arriving and or departing on the same flight as the Dutch travelers let us know. Then you can join them on the bus for the group transfer at no additional charge. Notify us in advance so we can alert the tour leader. If you schedule your flight at the same time as theirs, or later, you can join them on the group transfer to the airport at no additional charge. Otherwise, you can take an authorized taxi to the first hotel on the list we have provided for you. Private airport transfers can be very costly . If your flight is delayed, they are difficult to reschedule or cancel. With a taxi, you are not charged for waiting time or cancellations.
Throughout the trip we use own (mini) bus. which has the advantage that we can stop regularly in the villages and places that we pass, for example, to visit a local market or sights. Throughout the year buses include air conditioning.
A summary of all trip costs can be found on our “dates & prices' page. Prices may fluctuate throughout the year depending on currency exchange, gas costs, etc.
Included in price
- Deposit is due upon booking to hold your place
- 20% of total costs due (or $500 minimum)
- Payments by charge card or check accepted
- Balance is due 60 days prior to departure date.
While you are traveling
|ATM Machines:||Widely available|
|Credit cards :|
It is customary to tip for services rendered. The tour leader will organize a tip jar at the beginning of the trip, from which tips to drivers, guides, hotel staff are paid. Depending on the size of the group, each participant will be asked to contribute $40 to $50. This does not include a tip for your tour leader. Tipping the tour leader is appreciated and the amount up to your discretion.
** You will find a list of all trip costs in the 'dates & prices' section, including your estimated out of pocket costs.
Freedom and choice are important elements of a Djoser trip. In addition to scheduled group activities, wherever possible, you may decide which attractions you wish to visit, and with whom. Unless otherwise indicated, entrance fees are not included in the price, so you have the freedom to make your own choices. One person may prefer to stroll through the market in search of bargains, while someone else may want to relax by the pool, go to a museum, or take a bike ride. Join the guide or break off with others in the group to explore on foot or with the local transport. Some attractions should not be missed, or they are not easily accessible, or are en route to our next overnight location and are therefore built into the program. In the 'dates & prices' section you will find the estimated out-of-pocket, weekly expenses that have calculated in typical entry fees in addition to meals and other costs.
On the way our bus stops at a number of places where you will need to pay entry fees:
When you book a trip we will provide you with more details about necessary documents. Passports should be current and valid for at least 6 months beyond your departure date. If a visa is required, you may need extra pages in your passport for your stamps. Check all visa requirements carefully and leave yourself plenty of time to send and receive documents before your trip.
Travel documents needed
Valid passport. NO visa is needed.
Passport / Visa expeditor
If you are anxious about the visa process, or if you are short of time, you can pay an additional fee for an expediting service. They will look over your paperwork and should be able to guaranty a swift return of your visa or passport.
Health Issues & Insurance
Check for the Center for Disease Control for recommendations. Keep in mind that they may recommend an inoculation or medication such as malaria pills, which may be necessary for one specific part of a country but not another, or for a particular season. Shots are expensive. Make sure to get only what is needed. We recommend asking your doctor for a prescription to combat a more serious intestinal disorder.
When you book a trip we will provide you with information regarding the usual recommendations for the region we will visit. You will be responsible to check with your travel clinic or physician to review your plans and to find out the most up-to-date recommendations and needs for your particular situation. Plan to get your inoculations four to six weeks in advance of your trip. Some offices may need to preorder the medicines so call in advance.
It is wise to pay careful attention to what you eat. Also, we recommend you bring medicines such as pain-killer and for remedy for intestinal disorders (such as IMMODIUM)
Bring a small first aid kit. Tweezers, band-aids, antiseptic cream, insect repellent , salt rehydration tablets. The tour leader will have a first aid kit.
Climate and altitude changes can sometimes cause illness. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Bottled water is readily available. Excessive alcohol intake contributes to dehydration and makes you more vulnerable to illness. Make sure that you get plenty of rest and enough food and drink during the trip.
Most people are recommended to get
vaccinations recommended for DTP and Hepatitis A.
For piece of mind, we recommend that you procure travel insurance. In the event of an illness or injury, an emergency evacuation can be incredibly expensive and you would want access to the best possible facility. Also, lost baggage or missed flights can mean added expenses, Even events at home may prevent you from taking a trip, such as a lost job or ailing family member. It is important to get travel insurance immediately after booking. Most companies have a brief window (within 10 days of booking) for coverage for a preexisting condition. You will be asked to provide us with travel insurance contact information before your departure.
You are free to choose your own provider. Over the years, we have recommended TRAVELEX. They offer a variety of plans and most importantly, they are responsive. Should you choose to go with TRAVELEX, you will contact them directly and the cost of your coverage will depend on the plan you choose. The cost will be based over the total cost of your trip and flights, and the amount is also subject to your age. Ask about the TRAVEL PLUS plan and the more economical TRAVEL LITE plan.
* Arrange for insurance immediately after booking your trip so that you are covered for any pre-existing situation.
Djoser travelers are active, enthusiastic travelers of all ages. Join an international group with travelers from the Netherlands, Belgium and North America, who will be the minority group on these trips. Most of our trips range from a minimum of eight participants to a maximum of 20 or 22. You will find couple and singles on our trips. Feel free to call us if you wish to know the demographic make-up of a particular trips (number of singles and age range).
Minimum group size: 8
Maximum group size: 20
What to expect when traveling with an international group
\Most of our trips are arranged in cooperation with Djoser, B.V. in the Netherlands. Because they cater to the voracious travel appetites of the Dutch, we can offer a vast number of programs around the world with hard-to-find itineraries, with numerous departure dates.
On our trips, you will travel with an international group, with most participants from Holland and Belgium. The international make-up of our groups is the attraction for many regular Djoser travelers and adds another cultural element to the trip. Typically, there are only one to five North Americans per group. You will find that almost all of your fellow travelers have an excellent command of English and most are very willing to socialize. It’s a great idea to extend an invitation to a few travel mates for coffee or a drink early in the trip. They will appreciate your effort and this is a great way to break the ice. It will be easier for them to test out their English skills in a quiet, one-on-one setting. Group members tend to warm up to one another in a day or two. As with every tour group, compatibility has most to do with individual personalities.
The Dutch are experienced and hearty travelers. We attract travelers of all ages and we enjoy the mix! You will find our participants welcome opportunities for independent explorations in addition to group activities. No matter their age, Djoser travelers expect, and are up to lots of walking, hiking, biking, or whatever comes our way.
The Dutch and Belgian travelers will fly as a group from Amsterdam. You will meet the group and tour leader at the hotel where you will begin the land program with the group.
Tour Leaders & Support Staff
Our trips will be guided by an experienced Dutch guide who speaks Dutch and English. He or she will be responsible for the organizational and technical aspects of the trip. He/she coordinates with the driver , hotels, and other vendors along the way. The tour leader has extensive travel experience and expertise as well as a comprehensive training.
On this trip a local guide will also assist us in and will explain about the customs, religious influences and cultural aspects of the area.
Our experienced land representatives are situated in the destination country you will visit. We work closely with them and they function as the liaison between our office, the guide, drivers and hotels. They are also available in the case of an emergency and their number will be provided on your emergency contact list.
Climate & Geography
Our trips are organized with weather conditions in mind. On our website, we will provide you with a weather summary of the region:
South Korea has a climate with hot summers and cold winters. In summer you can expect lots of rainfall. During the rainy season, warm, with average temperatures are around 86 F. In the winter it is very cold. Especially in the north of the country the mercury regularly drops to below 0 degrees.
The cities and coastal areas are less cold, but the Siberian wind causes cold weather..In spring and autumn hot and cold days alternate, but generally the temperatures are mild.
South Korea has four different seasons, which change about the same time as our seasons . Between March and May is spring. Summer runs from June to September and from September to November is the autumn. Winter begins in December and lasts until about mid-March. In summer, most of the rain falls between June and July.
Check temperature and rainfall for specific cities on your trip, during your month of travel at http://worldweather.wmo.int/en/home.html
Photos & video
Book Trip/Trip Inquiry
BOOK MY TRIP
•Begin your reservation process by filling in this TRIP INFO REQUEST and send to us via the website. We will confirm dates and prices, and answer any questions you may have about the trip.
•Download and complete the BOOKING FORM including all participants passport information and payment information. Email a PDF, scan, or clear photo of your completed BOOKING FORM to firstname.lastname@example.org. All participants over 18 should sign the form.
• A deposit of 20% of total costs will be due upon booking in order to hold your place on the trip. The balance will be due 90 days prior to departure.
• Payments can be made by personal check or ACH wire transfer (domestic wire only). We will send you wire instructions.
• Upon receipt of your form, we will email you a receipt and confirmation of your booking.
• If paying by check, make check out to DJOSER, INC., Mail to Djoser, Inc. – Bookings 420 N. Oakland Drive, #6, Pasadena, CA 91101.
Questions? Call Luke Neal 484-995-2964. (West Coast)