9-Day Classic Trip to South Korea

Updated: Oct 20, 2021



A signature vacation to the best of South Korea through Seoul, Gyeongju, Busan and Jeju! Indulge in rich historic sites of royal palaces and tombs, eat through scrumptious seafood markets and street food, take in sights of elite neighbourhoods and mountainside temples and for shopping, culture and through exciting volcanic hiking trails.


Experience all of South Korean's best with a tastefully curated sample itinerary, designed to bring you a comprehensive experience from ultra-modern to traditional and ancient! Or... build your own itinerary with our expertise at The Wander Clan!


ACCOMMODATION SUMMARY

Destination

Hotel

Nights

Room category

Seoul

Conrad Seoul

3

Premium River View Room

Gyeongju

Hilton Gyeongju

1

Premium King

Busan

Paradise Hotel Busan

2

Partial Ocean View Annex Building

Jeju

Lotte Hotel Jeju

2

Deluxe Room

DAY 1: SEOUL

Arrive in Seoul, the bustling capital of South Korea, where you will be met at the airport and whisked via private car to your hotel. Settle in and freshen up before stepping out this afternoon with your expert guide.


Begin your exploration of this peninsula nation with some history at a traditional Hanok village. There are a few of these preserved villages that survive in the city that have been become traditional cultural centers, allowing visitors to experience theatmosphere of the Joseon Dynasty.


Admire the olden architecture of stone buildings with curved roofs and see exhibitions at museums in the areashowcasing handicrafts and arts. While here, take a hands-on lesson in the art of kimchi making. Kimchi, spicy fermented cabbage, is the belovedquintessential food of South Korea.


DAY 2: SEOUL

Spend today exploring a mix of old and new, from a visit to a royal palace and watching the changing of the guards, to exploring apopular youth neighborhood full of cosmetics and trendy clothing.


Meander the pedestrian alleyways crammed with teahouses, eateries, modern art galleries, and shops. Take a peek at the upscaleneighborhood of Gangnam, home to gleamingskyscrapers, designer brands, and the best of the city'scosmetic surgery offices.


DAY 3: SEOUL

This morning, set off to see the DMZ, or Korea'sDemilitarized Zone, which functions as a buffer between North Korea and South Korea. The line is drawn at the 38th parallel north and runs for 250 km. This border barrier has kept the peace since the end of the Korean War in1953.


During your visit to the site, you'll also get the opportunity to see Korea's Freedom Bridge, whichruns next to, but not over, the Imjingak River. Explore the underground tunnels and learn how each side has developed strategies to defend their territoryas well as prepare themselves in the event of the need for offensive force.


If you would like to dive deeper into the complicated relationship between the two countries, opt for the exclusive Panmunjom tour which takes you to the 'truce village', the site where peace discussions were held and where soldiers face each other from their respective sides.


Otherwise,return to the city where you will instead take a deep-dive into Korean cuisine with a food tasting tour at Gwangjang Food Market. Follow your nose down this long covered arcade of food stalls and sample staples such as savory pancakes and rice rolls to adventurous blood sausage and wriggling octopustentacles.


DAY 4: GYEONGJU

Depart the metropolis on high-speed train to Gyeongju,the ancient capital and city of living history.


Nestled on the slopes of Mount Toham, the Bulguksa Temple is a must-see and top highlight of the area. The temple complex was designed to represent the land of Buddha, anarchitectural representation of paradise.


Nearby, wander the Seokguram grottoes and enjoy what are considered some of the best Buddhist sculptures in the entire world. Together, these two sites are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


DAY 5: BUSAN

Continue your exploration of ancient Korea, starting with Gyeongju National Museum which houses thousands of well-preserved relics on exhibition inreconstructed paviliions. Also see the mound tombs typical to the Silla Kingdom for nobles and royalty.


Another notable site of anthropological interest is Seokbinggo, an ancient freezer made of rocks unique to Korea. Though humble in appearance, this part-subterranean structure steadily supplied ice for theupper class and still remains cold today. In theafternoon, return to the bright lights and skyscrapers of the city - this time to the coastal city of Busan in the south.


South Korea's second­ largest city, Busan is known for its majestic mountains, beaches, hot springs, and plentiful seafood. Pay a visit to the popular Haeundae Beach to catch the sunset and tastesome snack foods at the nearby market.


DAY 6: BUSAN

This morning, start at the fish market. Busan is known as aseafood paradise and Jagalchi Fish Market is integral to the city's identity. This lively, chaotic fish market is sure to awaken all your senses as you inspect the weird and wonderful sea creatures on display. If you want to do as the locals do, make a purchase and have your fresh pickcooked immediately for you at one of the restaurantsupstairs.


Then, take a stroll down Nampa Street nearby a bustling road with branching alleys selling vintage clothes, books, knock-off goods, and streetfood. Another one of Busan's main commercial veins worth visiting is Seomyeon street which offers shopping, food, and entertainment.


Here you will see thepojangmacha, very tiny tented restaurants that servestreet food to the late night crowd. Round out the daywith a visit to the architecturally stunning Beomeo-sa Temple. Perched on the slopes of a mountain surrounded by hiking trails and woodland, this quiet temple is a popular getaway for cityfolk looking forpeace and quiet.


DAY 7: JEJU

After breakfast, you'll be on your way to Jeju today.


Jeju is an island province situated in the Korea Strait and is blessed with a temperate climate. Break out into the mountain air and stretch your legs as you climb Mount Halla. The ancient shield volcano provides incredible panoramas of the surrounding national park.


Put on your hard hat as you discover the Manjanggul Lava Tube Caves. The tube is just under 25,000 feet long, one of the longest in the world. See ancient island living at it'sfinest as you visit the traditional village before callingit a full day.


DAY 8: JEJU

Enjoy today at your leisure.


Have a volcanic-mineral spa treatment that Jeju is known for, relax at the beach, or explore the island on your own. For adventure, we suggest a hike up the 590-foot high Ilchulbong volcanic crater which offers rewarding views.


DAY 9: DEPARTURE