What To Expect
Touching down at Incheon International Airport places you in the heart of Korea. After you clear Passport and Customs control, your tour guide will greet you at the main passenger terminal and transport you to your hotel.
Taekwondo Program operates daily from March to November at Gyeonghee Palace (11:00, 13:00, 15:00).
We go on a short walking tour of Cheonggyecheon, a lively commercial district filled with shopping malls, arcades and commercial facilities. with its 22 lovely bridges, Cheonggyecheon provides a great venue for a walking tour, a variety of cultural events and performances staged by amateurs and street artists and shopping as well.
We proceed to Gyeonghee Palace for Taekwondo practice. A rare opportunity before, especially in downtown Seoul, it has become more accessible with the new program provided at one of the ancient palaces.
Taekwondo is the Korean traditional martial art and a kind of sport and exercise that mainly involves hands and feet. It helps you maintain physical and spiritual health through practicing various defense and offense skills. Taekwondo has been in existence for thousands of years and performed at ancient ceremonies and rituals. Today, Taekwondo is a sport that anyone can pick up at any time without any special instrument. It is a discipline of mind and body, a modern world sport, as well as a philosophy.
The program begins with a short introduction on Taekwondo followed by meditation and Pumsae where We will have a chance to practice the hand and foot techniques. Pumsae is performed by following lines of movement in a systematic and consecutive way against single or multiple imaginary opponents by using various Taekwondo techniques. Program also includes Chagi (Taekwondo kicks) of different forms. Taekwondo enthusiasts are known for their versatile and powerful kicks, no other martial arts place as much emphasis on kicks as Taekwondo does. Gyeokpa is the skill of breaking wood blocks, roof tiles or the likes with hands. The purpose of Gyeokpa is to test our focus and strength and to help us overcome the fear of striking the board. Gyeokpa is not only an impressive demonstration of skill, but a useful tool to develop confidence.
You will explore Ganghwado, a fascinating island that is often called a microcosm of Korean history. But, due to its strategic location, Ganghwado has historically been one of the first targets of many foreign attacks particularly in the late 19th century when Korea unsuccessfully sought to maintain its status as a "Hermit Kingdom".
Visit Ganghwa History Museum displaying historical records of the entire spectrum of Korean existence, from the mythical foundation of Korea to the opening port to the outside World marked by Ganghwado Treaty signed in February 1876.
On the nearby ground sits a huge Ganghwa Jiseokmyo Dolmen. This 53-ton capstone of 6.4 meters long, 5.2 meters wide and 1 meter thick rests on two sturdy supporting prop stones. This prehistoric dolmen including many others in Gochang and Hwasun has been registered by UNESCO in December 2002 as a World Heritage for their archaeological value.
Temple stay programs may vary depending on individual temple situation, but it basically includes morning and evening services, meditation, tea ceremony, garden walks, lantern making and much more. - Yebul, meditation, tea ceremony, Ulyeok, lotus lantern making or prayer bead making. You will experience temple meal, perhaps first time in your life. The food doesn't have spices and is neither hot nor salty. It is another mysterious experience for the commoners to try. The warm Ondol floors (heated from below) of the temple are clean and large enough to accommodate a small group of visitors. Rooms are sparsely furnished with mattress, quilt and pillow. It is advisable to bring your towel.
03:00 Wake up and morning Yebul.
Early-morning Buddhist Dharma Ceremony. Everyone in the temple will gather at the Main Buddha Hall and have the ceremony. This magnificent Dharma Ceremony will clear all dust from the mind and all stray thoughts from the head.
During the Yebul, we offer 108 prostrations to the Buddha, along with the monks. This ritual represents the Buddhists belief that the prostrations free you from 108 passions and delusions that disturb and pollute the body and mind.
After a short ride from the temple, you will see one of Ganghwa fortresses, Chojijin that speaks to the battles against foreign powers.
While in Suwon, you will enjoy Kimchi making program. The program runs with minimum 10 persons, but no tour on Sundays. After Kimchi program, explore UNESCO World Heritage site of Hwaseong Fortress from the 18th century, and learn some of Korea's long history and see beautiful natural surroundings.
Continue on to the town of Yongin to explore Korean Folk Village, a functioning community displaying the diversity of Korean lifestyle and culture of several centuries ago. Experience the heritage of the Korean people and soak up the local culture.
Breakfast - Baru Gongyang
Baru Gongyang, or four-bowl meal, is a unique and special dietary arrangement of Buddhism. "Baru" means a bowl containing a moderate portion of food, indicative of the monks' eating style. With Baru, only rice and vegetables are served, following the Buddhist principle of respecting all sentient beings. This seemingly simple act of eating will allow one to reawaken his mind to the value of nature and all the life within. In Buddhism, eating is called "Gongyang" and is emblematic of the monk's dietary regimen and general lifestyle. Talking while eating is discouraged during the meal and guests are expected to wash their own dishes. The temple way of eating is available to laymen though, we will simply have our breakfast in the temple dining hall.
Get to try your hand at pottery making. Icheon has long been the cradle of Korea's high quality porcelain. Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln to induce reactions that lead to permanent changes, including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape.
See Silleuksa temple from the Silla dynasty (BC 57-AD 935). Most Korean temples were built high in the mountains to avoid worldly noise and trouble. But, it is a rare temple that is perched on a riverbank amid an attractive waterfront whose cove forms a snug and cosy enclosure for this ancient sanctuary.
Tour the Yeongneung - one of 119 royal tombs of Joseon dynasty. The tombs have different names of 42 Neung, 13 Won and 64 Myo, which were given based on the status of their owner. Yeongneung is a tomb of royal couple of King Sejong, who promulgated Korean Alphabet in the 15th century. This tomb is the first one to have separated rooms for each coffin inside. Enjoy seeing the celestial globes, equilibrium sundial, armillary sphere, water clock, gnomon, rain gauge, and many other inventions by the king including a fascinating museum that features his life.
Cycle on the bike path along the Namhangang River. The trails are not for professional races or intense competition. More suited for relaxed biking than racing.
With time to reflect on our surprise in our experience of Korea, transfer to the airport for our onward flight.
National Folklore Museum
Ganghwado History Museum
Goryeo Palace Site
Korean Folk Village
Full coverage of accommodation based on 2 people sharing standard twin rooms in 4 star combination hotel
1 night accommodation based on small group sharing Korean style room in the temple
Meals as per itinerary
Full coverage of transfers and transportation as per itinerary
English speaking guide
Meals and drinks not specified
Optional activity costs
Tips and gratuities
Rates available on request. Please contact us for a quotation.
Passport required on tour
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.
18 days / 17 nights
6 days / 5 nights
6 days / 5 nights
7 days / 6 nights
2 hours and 30 minutes