Gyeongju / Busan - 6 Day Private Tour

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Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju
Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju
Stop off at Gwaereung, the tomb of the King Wonseong
Stop off at Gwaereung, the tomb of the King Wonseong
Tongdosa, Yangsan
Tongdosa, Yangsan
Haeundae, a world-class beach resort blessed by beautiful water
Haeundae, a world-class beach resort blessed by beautiful water
Jagalchi Fish Market
Jagalchi Fish Market
Gukjesijang, the largest traditional market in Busan
Gukjesijang, the largest traditional market in Busan
Busan tower, Yongdusan park
Busan tower, Yongdusan park
The statue of King Sejong in Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul, South Korea
The statue of King Sejong in Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul, South Korea
Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbok Palace
Jogyesa Temple, Seoul , South Korea
Jogyesa Temple, Seoul , South Korea

What To Expect

See the highlights of Seoul and experience its colorful history and everyday living. Take a journey through the picturesque countryside of Korea to Gyeongju and travel to the thriving metropolis of Busan, Korea's principal port city.


Multiday Tours in Seoul
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6 days / 5 nights
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Day 1 Arrival in Seoul

Touching down at the ultramodern Incheon International Airport places us at the heart of Korea which is known as the Land of Morning Calm. After clearing immigration and customs, you will be met by a gracious tour guide and escorted to the hotel.

Day 2 Seoul - Breakfast

You will explore Korea's capital city that is full of rich heritage, culture, history and tourist attractions. Your exploration will begin with a driving tour of the city featuring sites such as the Gwanghwamun Plaza and a statue of Yi Sunsin, who had engaged in 23 naval battles against Japan and emerged victorious in all of them during the Hideyoshi invasion (1592-1598). The statue of King Sejong who propagated the Korean alphabet in the 15th century is honored with prominent statue in this plaza.

Visit Gyeongbok palace or Palace of Shining Happiness and see its magnificent gates, graceful architectures and lovely gardens, all directly inherited from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Built in 1395, the palace is a particularly charming spot that represents a colorful and turbulent side of the capital's 500-year history.

Standing majestically in the whirl of city traffic is Gwanghwadmun, the main gate of the palace. Following two other gates up, you will get to the Geungeongjeon, a throne hall where the king granted audiences to his officials, presided over large official functions and met foreign envoys. The two-tier edifice stands on a high platform reached by stone steps. At the center of the stone-paved courtyard that is fully enclosed by wooden cloisters is lined with two rows of rank stones, indicating the positions of the officials with the highest rank being closer to the hall and where the court officials are to stand. At the back of this hall is a group of three offices; Manchunjeon, Sajeongjeon, and Cheonchujeon where the king used to meet with his top officials. Gyeonghoeru literally Pavilion of Joyous Meeting, supported by 48 stone pillars set in a lotus pond, was a favored place for the King to entertain visiting dignitaries.

Gangnyeongjeon, a king's main residing quarters with its fourteen chambers, rests on top of a tall stone foundation while Gyotaejeon, the queen's domain with ten chambers sits in the back of the king's quarters. The noted feature of these buildings is an absence of a top roof ridge. You cannot miss Amisan garden landscaped with four hexagonal chimneys in orange bricks and decorative roof tiles, and artistic patterns of brick on the walls of queen's quarters which are seldom noticed by the hurried visitors. Jagyeongjeon is the queen dowager's residence. Although less colorful, it is worth noting the wall of Jagyeongjeon, adorned with floral designs and the chimneys with ten longevity symbols.

Hyangwonjeong features a small pond with a man-made islet that supports a beautiful two-story pavilion and is one of the famous sites in the palace. Behind this serene garden is Geoncheonggung, where the king and queen could relax in peace and quiet. It was here that the first electric lights in the country were installed and a tragic chapter in Korea's history was recorded in 1895 when empress Myeongseong was assassinated by the Japanese. Upon exiting the Sinmumun gate, you will take a few minutes to take some pictures in front of the Blue House, the executive office and official residence of the president of Korea.

Onto the National Folklore Museum showcasing cultural wealth of this friendly and picturesque nation - life and work, costumes and ornaments, handicrafts and technology, educations, living quarters, dietary life, oriental medicine, performing arts and games, beliefs and rituals, and socio-cultural life of the Korean people from the prehistoric age to the Joseon Dynasty.

Visit Jogyesa, the head temple of Jogyejong the principal sect of Korean Buddhism. It emphasizes the Zen orthodox, meditation tradition and maintains the purity of monastic celibacy. The temple does not give off the solemn and traditional air of the other temples located deep in the mountains, but when you enter the temple the frenzy of the city start disappearing letting you explore the main worship hall, pagodas and bell tower. The Main Worship Hall holds triad Buddhas, Sakyamuni, Amitabha and Bhaisajyaraja. The figure in the center is Sakyamuni Buddha who has overcome greed, hatred and delusion. While here it is worth noting the 500 year old lacebark pine and 400 year old locust tree that still grace the property.

Next is Insa-dong, the center of traditional Korean art and antiques. Clustered along the main street and alleys are numerous shops dealing antiques, oriental art supplies, and modern Korean arts of all types and styles. A number of galleries also vie for attention with their exhibitions of works by modern artists. Here, you will look for some souvenirs or simply wander and browse at leisure.

Drive past Cheonggyecheon, a 5.8km-long creek that flows through downtown and under 22 little bridges. At the head of the stream stands a sculpture created by world-renowned artist Coosje Van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg.

Lastly, visit the centuries-old Namdaemun market where well over 11,000 shops selling anything you can imagine. Widely acknowledged as one of the Seoul's best tourist attractions, the market is seriously crowded, so be prepared to get bumped around. One of the most colorful aspects of the market is an endless sprawl of street-vendor stalls that setup in the alleys and walkways between the buildings. As you stroll through the market, you can haggle over the price to get the best deal on something you want or simply admire the vibrancy of this massive market.

Day 3 Seoul - Gyeongju - Breakfast

You will take a pleasant two hours journey on a speed train across the picturesque countryside to Gyeongju, an ancient capital of the Silla dynasty (BC57-AD935), often dubbed as Museum without Walls. As leisurely make your way to Gyeongju, you will see Korea's fertile farmland, glistening brooks, sheltered ginseng farms, apple plantations and lovely rice paddies that together forming a patchwork of colors and ever-changing textures of the rural Korean life. Today, you are treated to one of the world's ten most historically significant sites with numerous relics from that era. Temple sites with weathered stone pagodas, royal tombs, Buddhist bas-reliefs, and fortress ruins are scattered throughout this ancient city.

Visit Bunhwangsa temple with 10m-high three-storied rectangular pagoda, the main worship hall with Buddha of Medicine, and legendary well that is said to have saved the kingdom. The nearby open field was once occupied by Silla's largest temple Hwangyongsa. The 67 meter tall nine-storied pagoda made entirely of wood stood here until it was destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1238.

Next is the Gulbulsa site. Although the temple does not exist anymore, the site is more dominated with a rock carved with four sides of bodhisattavas and Buddhas. One single rock with its four sides of the 8th century sculptures is well preserved here. Medicine Buddha is in the east, Sakyamony in the south, Amitah in the west, and Avalokitesvara bodhisattva in the north.

Lastly, explore UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yangdongmaeul. It is a traditional village embracing a simple and unadorned natural beauty. Sheltered by forested mountains and facing out onto rivers and open agricultural fields, rustic tile-roof and thatch-roof homes line the hillsides and valleys in perfect harmony with the natural topography. Yangdong is a clan village which used to be a middle upper-class town during the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). Over 150 small and large houses and two shrines which were built according to the harmonious theory of Yin and Yang have been handed down from generation to generation in their original and elegant forms. They include the residences of the head families, pavilions, study halls, Confucian academies for learning, and clusters of mud-walled, thatched-roofed houses, formerly for commoners. Most of the houses are still occupied by villagers but some are empty, making it more comfortable for you to examine them. A walk through Yangdong will help you imagine the life of noblemen during the Joseon dynasty.

Day 4 Gyeongju - Breakfast

Today, you will explore two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Seokguram grotto and Bulguksa temple which were both built during the glorious period of the Silla kingdom (BC57-AD935). After taking a twisting ride up around eastern side of Tohamsan and about 10 minute walk through a lovely wood brings you to Seokguram grotto, the home of the serene stone Buddha of the eighth century. The basic layout of the grotto includes an arched entrance which leads into a rectangular antechamber and then a narrow corridor, which is lined with bas reliefs, and then finally leads into the main rotunda. Inside, a white statue of a seated Buddha, in a sublime state of enlightenment, is surrounded by 37 relief figures of Bodhisattvas, disciples, devas, and guardian kings. The Buddha image is sculptured in perfect proportion with stark simplicity while the garments were accomplished by shallow cuts. Curled knots of the head and the sacred jeweled spot on the forehead are evident but not conspicuous. The face is full and round with a comparatively small nose and clearly defined mouth. The eyes are half closed under long arching eyebrows while there is no hint of smile. The ears are long and stretching out. The hand mudra symbolizes witnessing the enlightenment. The grotto represents the magnificent harmony of religion, science and the arts of Buddhism, symbolizing the pure land in which Buddha resides.

Next, visit Bulguksa temple. Following the one-pillared gate and the four guardian's gate, you will reach two double level arched stone staircases - the symbolic bridges, leaving the world of sufferings behind and to enter Buddha's land. Up from the bridges on the terraced main courtyard stands the Hall of Great Enlightenment. The hall houses Sakyamuni Buddha who is flanked on the right by Kasyapa and Maitreya Bodhisattva and on the left by Dipankara and Ananda. Before this hall stands a stone carved lantern and two stone pagodas. Three-storied Seokgatap with its calm simplicity of lines and minimal decoration and Dabotap with highly ornate and the noted complexity of the universe stands blending well into the architectural harmony. While here, it is worth noting the carved wood fish and cloud shaped gong hanging from the beams and a large dharma drum resting on the back of a turtle. Behind the main hall stands lecture hall, Museoljeon literally Hall of No Words. The hall gets its name from the belief that Buddha's teachings cannot be taught by mere words alone. At the back of this hall is a steep flight of steps leading you up to the Gwaneumjeon housing an image of the Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of perfect compassion, and stands at the highest point of the complex. Below the Gwaneumjeon sits Birojeon and houses a gilded statue of Vairocana with the gesture of the first wisdom, a combined hand mudra formed with both hands positioned in front of the heart, with the raised forefinger of the clenched or vajra-fist' right hand encircled by the closed vajra-fist' of the left hand. Enshrined in the Nahanjeon hall is Sakyamuni attended by two bodhisattvas, and sixteen figures of Buddha's disciples sitting in deep meditation. Hall of Supreme Bliss, standing near the main compound, houses the gilt-bronze Amitabha Buddha, the ruler of the Western Paradise Sukhavati. You can hardly miss the boar in front of this hall where many are encouraged to hug and rub it. All sorts of pigs, for that matter, stand for good luck in Korean culture, as the chubbiness of the pig stood for prosperity. After all, only the rich could afford to eat and idle enough to get fat. The architectural design of Bulguksa is one of constrained dignity, peace, and harmony and the temple still remains one of the most remarkable achievements of the ancient Far East.

Stop off at Gwaereung, the tomb of the King Wonseong, which dates 798. The tomb is a 7.7 meters high circular ground mound made of piled-up soil with a bottom diameter of 21.9 meters. The stone fence and 12 animals of the zodiac carved around its base are excellent condition. What makes this tomb really significant and unique are the statues carved from granite along the promenades leading up to it - a two sets of lions, a couple of scholars, and a pair of military guards who are clearly Arabs in their clothing and the shape of their eyes.

Onto Gyeongju national museum featuring many thousands of priceless archaeological and historical artifacts including splendid craftwork such as gold crowns, earrings, belts, ornaments, glassware, potteries, clay figures, Buddha statues, tiles and a lot more. The Anapaji hall displays roughly 700 of the 30,000 artifacts dredged up from the Anapji pond including a royal barge. A gigantic Emille Bell from the eighth century is on display and you must certainly stand in awe before the bell with such artistic beauty of design.

You will see Cheomseongdae, known as the world's oldest existing astronomical observatory. Near sits Tumuli Park that encompasses 23 huge tomb mounds where Silla rulers were buried. One of the tombs, Cheonmachong, is opened to the public and you can go inside and see how the tombs were made and replicas of the treasures excavated in 1973.

Lastly, visit Poseok bower, a summer pavilion where the later kings of Silla often forgot their loyal duties and spent most of their time with royal banquets. All that can be seen now is the abalone-shaped stone channel through which at one time a cool stream of water was directed into the banquet. The 55th King Gyeongae of Silla killed himself at the party here in 927 when Gyeonhwon, the king of the Later Baekje attacked Gyeongju. The elm, in large trunk and gnarled with age, may have witnessed the final day of Silla.

Day 5 Gyeongju - Yangsan - Busan - Breakfast

En route to Busan, stop off at Yangsan and visit famous Tongdosa temple, literally meaning 'pass through to enlightenment'. The approach to the temple is completely entrancing. Magnificently set by a lane of pine trees dancing in the wind and beside which a mountain stream sings a babbling song a distinctive and exalting place. Tongdosa was founded in AD 646 and it is comprised of 35 buildings. The main hall is unique in that it has no statue of the Buddha, only a window looking out onto the Diamond Precepts Altar which leads up to a platform containing the bell shaped stupa housing the cremated remains of the Buddha himself, thus earning a name the Temple of the Buddha. The Diamond Precept Altar is a unique and elaborately-built artifact. After visiting this sacred temple, you will make a journey to Busan, a Korea's second largest city surrounded by the ocean on one side, and mountains on the other. Its deep harbor and gentle tides have allowed it to grow into the largest port in Korea and the fifth largest in the world. It is also a center of industry and commerce, a thriving metropolis formed unusually long in shape along its coastal line.

A short break at Haeundae, a world-class beach resort blessed by beautiful water. The soft sand stretches 1.5km along the beautifully curved coastline, which culminates in the summer. There is a Dongbaek Island off Haeundae. This tiny island became more popular after holding the 13th APEC summit conference here at Nurimaru in 2005. It offers a stunning view of ocean vista on one side and that of skyscrapers on the other. A scenic trail is well established around, making it a great venue for walking tour.

Next, explore the fascinating and bustling Jagalchi fish market located right off the downtown docks. The market offers a wide variety of fish including sea bream, sea bass, snapper, saury, pollack, halibut, corvina, cutlass fish, mackerel, octopus, sea squirt, cuttlefish, frogfish, flounder, abalone, crab, shells, to name just a few. One big draw of this market is its flexible pricing system. Since a wide array of foods from the sea sold here do not have fixed prices, visitors are free to haggle over what they expect to pay. There are also many restaurants selling raw fish at reasonable prices. Trying them here in the market is really a visual and culinary treat. Across the street is BIFF square, packed with trendy shops movie theaters and even a walk of fame where famous stars and directors have pressed their handprints into the sidewalk. Neighboring block is Gukjesijang, the largest traditional market in Busan, where a variety of items that included cosmetics, accessories, folk art crafts, hats, belts, stationery, bags, clothes, food, kitchen utensils, and more are available at very reasonable and affordable prices. Here, you will discover all that local merchants have to offer, at the same time, enjoying the ambience of this massive market with exceptional offerings.

Then, on to Yongdusan park located at the head of a steep slope that looks over the city and harbor in a breathtaking view. The most conspicuous is the 120m high Busan tower topped by an observatory dominating the most of the area of the city, and the harbor views spreading below are spectacular. And smack dab in the middle of the park stands the statue of Yi Sunsin, the Korea's greatest naval hero who is credited with the perfection of the first iron-clad warship in history. In the park's octagonal pavilion, you cannot help but appreciate the collection of countless musical instruments from basically every part of the world: The instruments included the accordion, organ, guitar, viola, flute, violin, clarinet, drums, ivory horn, balafon, marimbas, and several others.

Day 6 Departure - Breakfast

Transfer to transfer to Gimhae International Airport or Busan International Ferry Terminal for your onward destination.

Tour Highlights

  • Gyeongbok Palace

  • National Folklore Museum

  • Jogyesa

  • Antique Shop Street

  • Namdaemun Market

  • Bunhwangsa

  • Gulbulsa Site

  • Yandong Village

  • Seokguram

  • Bulguksa

  • Gwaereung Tomb

  • Gyeongju National Museum

  • Cheomseongdae

  • Tumuli Park

  • Poseok Bower

  • Tongdosa

  • Haeundae

  • Jagalchi Fish Market

  • Gukjesijang

  • Yongdusan Park


  • Full coverage of accommodation (sharing basis, 4* hotel)

  • Meals as per itinerary

  • Full coverage of transfers and transportation as per itinerary

  • English-speaking guide

  • Entrance fees


  • Optional activity costs

  • Travel insurance

  • Tips and gratuities

  • Personal expenses

Please Note

  • German, French, Spanish or Russian speaking guides are available at an additional cost.

  • Rates for 3 pax and up are available. Please inquire.

Cancellation Policy

  • 25% Cancellation Fee (75% reimbursement): 45 days prior to date of activity.
  • 50% Cancellation Fee (50% reimbursement): between 16 to 44 days prior to date of activity.
  • 100% Cancellation Fee (no reimbursement): 15 days or less prior to date of activity.

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