November 3 - 14, 2014 (12 days and 10 nights)
** Guaranteed Departure **
$ 100 EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT
(deposit must be made by 04/15/2014)
Seoul (2 Nights), Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Folk Museum, N Seoul Tower, Insadong, Food & Culture Academy, Chuncheon, Nami Island (Winter Sonata film site), Abai Village (Autumn in my Heart film site), Sokcho, Mt. Seoraksan National Park, Gyeongju, Tumuli Park, Gyeongju National Museum, Busan, Jagalchi Fish Market, Jeju Island (2 Nights), Bunjae Artpia (The Spirited Garden), Seopjikoji ('All In' film site), Hanhwa Aqua Planet Jeju, Jeonju, Hanji Asiart Museum, Korean Folk Village, Suwon KBS Drama Center, "NANTA", DMZ & the 3rd Tunnel, Namdaemun Market, Myeongdong, Seoul (2 Nights)
All Meals Included
$ 1,150 per person
(Individual arrangements to meet group are not included. Domestic airfare and airport transfers are not included in the land only cost)
Monday, November 3 (Day 01)
HONOLULU TO SEOUL
Our tour commences this morning when we assemble at the airport for baggage check-in procedures. We will depart Honolulu on a direct flight to Seoul, the capital and largest city of South Korea. A meal will be served on board the flight.
Tuesday, November 4 (Day 02)
ARRIVE SEOUL (D)
We'll arrive at the Incheon International Airport in the late afternoon. After completing entry and customs formalities, we'll proceed to a local restaurant to enjoy a delicious welcome dinner. We'll transfer to our fabulous hotel in Seoul to check-in for two nights.
Accommodations at SEOUL LOTTE WORLD HOTEL or similar
Wednesday, November 5 (Day 03)
Enjoy a full day of sightseeing in this exciting metropolitan city. We'll visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest and grandest of the five royal palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty. Time permitting, we may have a chance to see the reenactment of the Changing of the Royal Guard and the Patrol Ritual. Located on the palace grounds is the National Folk Museum where you will learn about the history and traditional culture of the Korean people. We'll drive by to view Cheongwadae (The Blue House), the executive office and official residence of the President of the Republic of Korea. Named for its blue-tiled roofs, Cheongwadae is a complex of many traditional-styled buildings, including the Presidential Residence. Standing high on Mt. Namsan, N Seoul Tower was constructed as Korea's first signal tower, providing video and audio signals to the metropolitan area and has now become a symbolic landmark of Seoul. Weather permitting, enjoy a breathtaking view of the city from the observation deck. A scene of the popular Korean drama "Beautiful Days" was filmed in the pavilion located adjacent to the tower. We'll experience the traditional culture of Korea in Insadong, an area popular for antiques, traditional craft shops, ceramics, and art galleries. The main street is vehicle-free and vendors are set up along the streets peddling their antiques, accessories, and artworks. Enjoy a visit to the Food and Culture Academy - an educational institution of culinary culture where you'll gain a greater insight into traditional Korean foods and culture. You'll also experience the fun of making kim chi.
Accommodations at SEOUL LOTTE WORLD HOTEL or similar
Thursday, November 6 (Day 04)
SEOUL * CHUNCHEON * NAMISEOM * SOKCHO (B)(L)(D)
This morning, we'll travel to Chuncheon, capital of Gangwon Province, located in a basin formed by the Soyang and Han Rivers. The area is noted for its small river islands and is where the resort island of Namiseom is located. We'll visit this romantic island by ferry, best known as the filming location of the popular Korean drama "Winter Sonata". Take a photo of the scene where Bae Yoon-Joon and Choi Ji-Woo held hands as they walked slowly down Metasequoia Path. Our journey continues on passing by Seoraksan National Park, Korea's most popular national park to Sokcho, a coastal city in Gangwon Province. We'll visit the charming Abai Village, crossing a small river on a hand drawn ferry called a 'gaetbae'. This tiny village once served as scenery for the filming of the popular TV drama series "Autumn in my Heart". We will spend the night at a beautiful hotel in Sokcho, the gateway to Seoraksan National Park.
Accommodations at MT. SEORAK KENSINGTON STAR HOTEL or similar
Friday, November 7 (Day 05)
SOKCHO * SEORAKSAN NATIONAL PARK * DAEGWALLYEONG (B)(L)(D)
We'll proceed to the main entrance of Seoraksan National Park and ride a cable car to the top of scenic Mt. Seoraksan - the highest mountain in the Taebaek mountain range, often referred to as the 'Alps of Asia'. The breathtaking scenery of this mountain encompasses granite peaks, lush green valleys, dense forests, and glorious waterfalls. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of autumn-colored leaves as we climb to the top to view Gwongeumseong Fortress, an area surrounding a wide stone site. The fortress is believed to have been named after two generals, Kwon and Gum, who built it in preparation for a war during the Silla period. We'll continue on to overnight at a beautiful ski resort in the township of Daegwallyeong, a mountain pass in the Taebaek Mountains.
Accommodations at ALPENSIA INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL or similar
Saturday, November 8 (Day 06)
DAEGWALLYEONG * GYEONGJU (B)(L)(D)
Our journey continues on south to Gyeongju, once the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom, designated by UNESCO as a major cultural site. A vast number of archaeological sites and cultural properties from the Silla period still remain in this historical city - often referred to as 'the museum without walls'. Among one of the historical sites is Tumuli Park, featuring an extensive collection of royal Silla tombs, preserved to be those of kings and court officials. The dimension of these tombs vary in height and most of them are earthen and mound-shaped. One of the most notable is Cheonmachong (Heavenly Horse Tomb), the only one that we can enter for viewing. Appreciate the artifacts found inside, including a gold crown, gold & silver personal ornaments, horse fittings, weapons and more. At the Gyeongju National Museum, view displays of numerous precious relics of the Silla heritage, including magnificent gold crowns, pottery and Buddhist artifacts. Featured on the grounds of the museum is the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok, a massive bronze bell designated as the National Treasure of Korea No. 29. We will spend the night in the historical city of Gyeongju.
Accommodations at GYEONGJU HILTON HOTEL or similar
Sunday, November 9 (Day 07)
GYEONGJU * BUSAN * JEJU-ISLAND (B)(L)(D)
We'll travel south to the beautiful port city of Busan and visit the exciting Jagalchi Fish Market to shop for some dried seafood products at discounted prices. Jagalchi Fish Market is located next to Nampo Port and is noted as Korea's largest seafood market. We'll continue on to the airport in Busan to check-in for our flight to Jeju-do, Korea's largest island off the south coast, also known as the Island of the Gods. Jeju-do is often called samdado, the island of three abundances: rocks, wind and women. One of the island's symbols is the 'dolharubang' (stone grandfather) - a black lava statue of a kindly old man carved from porous volcanic rock and considered a god offering both protection and fertility. On arrival, we'll embark on a brief sightseeing tour of this semi-tropical paradise with a photo stop at Yongduam Rock - an unusual lava formation shaped like a dragon's head with its mouth wide open - a famous Jeju Island landmark. Enjoy a stroll through Bunjae Artpia, also known as The Spirited Garden - the world's largest botanical garden. The garden is rich with elegant bonsai plants laid-out along the paths of the park, together with garden trees and interesting rock formations. After a delicious dinner at a local restaurant, we'll check into our luxurious hotel to spend two fabulous nights. The hotel features a casino and an outdoor romantic atmosphere featuring Dutch windmills, a pond and a flower garden including the famous bench that was used for scenes in the popular Korean drama "All In". Enjoy the rest of the evening trying your luck on the machines in the casino at the hotel. In the evening, enjoy the spectacular dragon and volcano fountain show presented in the outdoor garden.
Accommodations at JEJU LOTTE HOTEL or similar
Monday, November 10 (Day 08)
JEJU ISLAND (B)(L)(D)
Enjoy the beautiful Jeju Island scenery as we embark on another full day of sightseeing. On the eastern shores of the island, we'll visit Seopjikoji, a picturesque site overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Its romantic atmosphere is a well-known location where scenes of the popular Korean drama "All In" were filmed. Located on the hillside stands the famous All In House, featuring photos and memorabilia of Lee Byung Hun, the main actor of the mini-drama. We'll visit the new Hanhwa Aqua Planet Jeju - now known as Asia's largest aquarium, surpassing Okinawa's Churaumi Aquarium. Five tanks of marine life from the five oceans around the globe are featured at its World Oceans exhibit. Other sections of the aquarium features one dedicated to harbor seals, a penguin section, and a Living Ocean section featuring eels and crabs. For your viewing pleasure, a tank containing sardines and several small sharks features a special performance of haenyeo (Jeju women divers). The aquarium's grand finale is a tank that showcases Jeju Island's ecosystem with fifty species of fish including an impressive whale shark.
Accommodations at the JEJU LOTTE HOTEL or similar
Tuesday, November 11 (Day 09)
JEJU ISLAND * GWANGJU * JEONJU * CHEONGJU (B)(L)(D)
This morning, we'll transfer to the airport to check-in for our domestic flight to the city of Gwangju. On arrival, we'll travel north passing by Naejangsan National Park, especially scenic during the autumn season with its beautiful fall foliage. We'll continue on to the cultural city of Jeonju, noted for the traditional mulberry paper called hanji. Jeonju Hanji is made from the bark of specially-selected trees and carefully produced by Hanji masters. At the Hanji Asiart Museum, we'll have an opportunity to participate in the paper making process - making your own paper to take home as a souvenir. This traditional paper is used in calligraphy and also to make umbrellas, fans, and other items. Jeonju is also well-known for its culinary dish - bibimbap (a bowl of rice topped with meat and vegetables). We'll continue on to spend the night in Cheongju, the capital city of Chungcheongbuk-do province.
Accommodations at CHEONGJU RAMADA HOTEL or similar
Wednesday, November 12 (Day 10)
CHEONGJU * SEOUL (B)(L)(D)
Our journey continues on to the cosmopolitan city of Seoul to overnight for two exciting nights. En route, we'll visit the Korean Folk Village, an open-air folk museum where the customs and lifestyles of past generations have been preserved. Observe potters, weavers, blacksmiths and other artisans practice their handicraft skills in traditional fashion. Enjoy the folk music, acrobatic and traditional dance performances and we may even have an opportunity to watch a dramatic performance of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony. At the marketplace, experience a taste of some of the exotic flavors of Korean food from the various vendors offering their specialties. Subject to availability, we'll visit Suwon KBS Drama Center, the famous television and movie filming center. Many scenes of the popular soap operas and historical drama series are filmed in the indoor and outdoor sets at this production center. This afternoon, enjoy a performance of "NANTA", a non-verbal performance of free rhythmical movements that dramatize customary Korean percussions in a unique comedy stage show. The show is about four capricious cooks who storm into a kitchen to prepare for a wedding banquet using all kinds of kitchen items - pots, pans, dishes, knives, chopping boards, brooms and even each other, turning themselves into percussion instruments.
Accommodations at SEOUL LOTTE HOTEL or similar
Thursday, November 13 (Day 11)
SEOUL * DMZ * SEOUL (B)(L)(D)
This morning we'll travel to one of the most fascinating places in the world, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Established after the end of the Korean War, the DMZ is a strip of land that cuts the Korean peninsula in half where North and South Korea both ceased military and offensive activities. We'll visit The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, discovered in 1978 and dug by North Korea. The tunnel was planned as a pathway for invasion to the South. Situated on top of Mt. Dora is the Dora Observatory - part of South Korea that is closest to the North. You can catch a rare glimpse of the reclusive North Korean state through binoculars or telescopic lenses. Located nearby is Dorasan Station - designed to be the station that will connect the railroads of the South and North one day in the future. You'll have some time in the afternoon to shop at Namdaemun Market, best-known as a shopper's paradise, located within walking distance of our hotel. The main street is lined with sidewalk stalls offering a wide selection of merchandise at a fraction of the normal price. Have fun bargaining with the vendors for the best prices.
Accommodations at SEOUL LOTTE HOTEL or similar
Friday, November 14 (Day 12)
SEOUL TO HONOLULU (B)
We'll have some free time in the morning to stroll through Myeong Dong, Korea's trendiest shopping district located nearby our hotel. In the afternoon, we'll transfer to the Incheon International Airport for our evening flight home to Honolulu, arriving in the morning on the same day due to the crossing of the International Date Line.
The tour price is based on double occupancy and a minimum group size of 25 passengers. Fare adjustment may apply for groups of 25 or less. The rate is based on tariffs and exchange rates effective 2/1/2014. Tour fare is subject to change according to any airfare increase, increase in government taxes, additional fuel charges and fluctuation of the rate of exchange between U.S. and foreign currency. In the event of revaluation, the land portion of the tour price may be adjusted prior to your final statement.
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