Seoraksan is one of the highest mountains in the Taebaek mountain range in the Gangwon Province in eastern South Korea. It is located in a national park near the city of Sokcho. Seoraksan is the third highest mountain in South Korea, attracting visitors from all over the world to see the beautiful red autumn leaves. The most visited part of the mountain is the main entrance valley to the National Park, a fifteen minute drive from Sokcho fishing village. The valley runs west to east with a paved road leading up to the park’s entrance gate. This valley contains many beautiful sites and is well worth a day visit. In August 1983, Seoraksan was listed as a UNESCO biosphere reserve and the 171st National Park in 1965. Seoraksan offers its visitors hiking trails, natural preservation areas, gardens, waterfalls, parks and camping grounds to enjoy at their leisure.
Andong Hahoe Folk village is a village located on the banks of the Nakdong River, the foothills of Hwasan Mountain and the offshoots of Taebaek Mountain. The centre of the village is populated by large tile-roofed houses belonging to the Ryu clan and their ancestors. These uniquely styled thatched houses boast tradition and historical significance with re-enactments of traditional ceremonies such as weddings. As you wander around Andong you see amazing panoramic views of the village. The elegant Nakdong River flows around the village, the magnificent Buyongdae Cliff, endless sandy beaches and lush ancient pine trees while the local delicacies such as Heotjesabap (a type of bibimbap) is being cooked in front of you. Take your time to explore this historical and cultural centre of Andong.
Seokguram Grotto, is one of the famous stone temples in Korea with thousands of years of history it is a unique and peaceful place that encapsulates Buddhist statues and iconography. It was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1995 due to its distinctive design, its long history and its cultural relics. Both the Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple have significant importance in Korean history with them housing the kings of the time and their Silla Kingdom. Bulguksa Temple is structured with a main hall containing the Bonjon, Bodhisattva and his disciples in statues as well as a lotus flower decorated ceiling. Visitors often climb the mountain to see the sunrise and beautiful views below the mountain.
Gyeongju Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond were the secondary palace sites for the Crown Prince and an important palace for national events and important visitors. After the fall of the Silla Kingdom the site was abandoned and forgotten. The pond was referred to as “Anapji” during the Goryeo and Joseon periods. During the 1980s, pottery was found in the lake with the letters Wolji carved into it, revealing the true name of the pond. After the discovery, the site was renamed to Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond.
The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula. It is established by the provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement to serve as a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea. The demilitarized zone (DMZ) is a border between the North Korea and South Korea separating them into two. It was created by an agreement between North Korea, China and the United Nations of 1953. In this territory you will be able to see the Propaganda Village, the People’s School and Gaeseong City, once the old capital of the Goryeo Kingdom as well as the North Hall which contains displays of North Korean villages, old tanks and planes from the Korean War.
Cheong Wa Dae or other words known as the Blue House is the executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state, the President of the Republic of Korea and is located in the capital city of Seoul. The Blue House is in fact a complex of buildings, built largely in the traditional Korean architectural style with some modern elements. Cheong Wa Dae is situated on the site of the royal garden of the Joseon Dynasty with the structure consisting of the Main Office Hall, the Presidential Residence, the State Reception House, Press Hall and the Secretariat Buildings. Visitors come here every year to enjoy this uniquely coloured blue presidential residence.
Gyeongbokgung Palace (North Palace) was built in 1395 as the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. Gyeongbokgung was one of the largest of the five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon dynasty. It served as the home of the kings, the Kings’ households as well as the government. Gyeongbokgung continued to serve as the main palace of the Joseon dynasty until the premises were destroyed by fire during the Imjin War and abandoned for two centuries. It has been destroyed and restored over the years but today the palace is arguably the most beautiful and grandest of all five palaces.
Bukchon Village is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok that date back to the Joseon dynasty. The name Bukchon, which literally translates to “northern village”, came about as the neighbourhood lies north of two significant Seoul landmarks, Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. Today many of these hanoks operate as cultural centres, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing visitors with an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse themselves in traditional Korean culture.
Discover enchanting South Korea with its beautiful national parks and bustling city. Explore Korea's most famous national park Seoraksan National park, stroll down the traditional mask dancing village of Andong, see the ancient Silla kingdom archaeological sites and temples in Gyeoungju, stand back and take in the views of the DMZ as well as the residence of president Cheong Wa Dae and the Joseon Dynasty village of Bukchon.
Depart Australia today on your overnight flight to South Korea.
Welcome to Seoul, South Korea! Upon arrival at Seoul Airport, following customs, immigration formalities and baggage collection, make your way down to the arrival area where you will meet your friendly tour guide. Your guide will transfer you to your hotel.
Seoul is the largest city in South Korea and one of East Asia’s financial and cultural epicentres. It is the centre of fascinating ancient traditions, cutting edge digital technology, home to endless street food vendors and vast nightlife districts, an extraordinarily high pressure education system and serene Buddhist temples, a trend setting youth culture, extraordinary architecture and endless rows of grey apartment buildings. Seoul is filled with a mix of traditional and modern elements attracting visitors from all over the world.
Seoul Mt. Seorak (B, L, D)
Designated a UNESCO Biosphere Preservation District in 1982 due to the many rare species found in the national park, Mt Seoraksan National Park is one of Korea's most famous national parks. This morning, tour Shinheungsa Temple and take the cable car to Gwonkeumseong Fortress to see the castle ruins and the spectacular views of the mountains and land within Seoraksan National Park. Continue to Sokcho fishing village known for its famous seafood and cuisine, this afternoon.
Mt. Seorak Andong Daegu (B, L)
Today, head to the traditional village of Andong, with its well preserved traditional houses and unique mask dancing performances. Continue to Mabijeong Mural Village, where you can hear about the local tales of the Mabijeong legend and visualise it on the mural walls. After that relax in Dongseongno Shopping District, one of the major fashion districts in Daegu city.
Daegu Gyeongju (B, L)
Today, explore the many archaeological sites and temples, royal tombs and monuments of Gyeongju, the capital of the ancient Silla Kingdom. Visit Cheomseongdae Astronomical Observatory, Gyeongju National Museum, Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond and Gyeongju National Park.
Gyeongju Seoul (B, L)
Today we will visit North Korea’s 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, located within the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) a 44 km drive northwest of Seoul. An entire infantry division can move through the tunnel in an hour. Visit the Imjingak Resort’s Unification Park and North Korea Centre to gain an insight into the Korean War and their prayers for the unification of the country. View North Korean territory including the Propaganda Village, People’s School and Gaeseong City, the old capital city of the Goryeo Kingdom, from the Dora Observation Platform. North Hall contains displays of North Korean lifestyle, and the Exhibition Hall houses old tanks and planes from the Korean War.
Seoul (B, L)
Blue House otherwise known as Cheong Wa Dae, the residence of President Cheong Wa Dae is an iconic beauty against the back drop of Bugaksan Mountain, visit here and then make your way to Gyeongbokgung Palace one of the most beautiful and largest of the five palaces as well as the world famous Amethyst store. After that stroll the heart of the city down the streets of Isa-dong one of the historical enterntainment districts. Step back in time to the Joseon Dynasty in Bukchon Village and walk along the elevated sky garden at Seoullo 2017.
Seoul Australia (B)
After breakfast, transfer to Incheon Airport for your homeward flight to Australia.
Arrive Australia today.