SIC Mainland - 8 Day Tour

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Royal guards at Deoksu Palace in Seoul
Royal guards at Deoksu Palace in Seoul
Deoksugung also Gyeongun-gung, Deoksugung Palace, or Deoksu Palace, "Five Grand Palaces"
Deoksugung also Gyeongun-gung, Deoksugung Palace, or Deoksu Palace, "Five Grand Palaces"
N Seoul Tower
N Seoul Tower
Jogyesa Temple
Jogyesa Temple
Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbok Palace
Gyeongbok Palace
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What To Expect

The tour is designed for independent yet adventurous visitors with more emphasis on flexibility in cost and program. Tour around the cities of Seoul, Gyeongju and Busan with a chance for leisurely exploration at your own pursuit.

Specifications

Type:
Multiday Tours in Seoul
Departs From:
Seoul
Meeting Point:
Pick-up from the airport
Duration:
8 days / 7 nights
Availability:
daily at upon request
Product Code:
5310
Voucher info:
Print voucher. You will not have access to the tour without this voucher.
Languages:
Featured On:
Seoul City Tours & SightseeingSeoul Multi-day & Extended ToursCity Tours & SightseeingMulti-day & Extended Tours

Description

Day 1 Arrive Seoul

Touching down at the ultramodern Incheon International Airport, with immigration and customs clearance behind, transportation at your own to the hotel.

Day 2 Seoul

We begin our big day by joining the city tour bus.

There are two different palace courses: the city cruiser, double-deck bus tour of the Cheonggyecheon, and a night view drive. We will explore Seoul with our full day tour coupon covering three courses including the Palace, city cruiser and the night view drive. The palace and the city cruiser tour bus leave at 09:00 and every 30 minutes from there on, but we currently have only two departures for the night view drive at 18:50 and 19:00.

(1) The Palace

Bus leaves Gwanghwamun and stops at the following points:

  • Deoksu Palace

  • Cheonggyecheon Square

  • KTO (Korea Tourism Organization)

  • Samilgyo Bridge

  • Jogyesa Temple

  • Antique Shop Street

  • Changdeok Palace

  • Daehangno (Youth street)

  • Changgyeong Palace

  • Insa-dong

  • Blue House (Presidential residence and office)

  • National Folklore Museum

  • Gyeongbok Palace

  • Gwanghwamun

(2) City Cruiser

Bus leaves Gwanghwamun and stops at the following points:

  • Deoksu Palace

  • South Gate market

  • Seoul Station

  • USO

  • Yongsan Station

  • National Museum

  • War Memorial

  • USA Army Base

  • Itaewon (Shopping street)

  • Crown Hotel

  • Myeongdong (Fashion and shopping center)

  • Korean Folklore Town

  • Sofitel Ambassador hotel

  • National Theater

  • N Tower

  • Grand Hyatt hotel

  • Tower hotel

  • Silla hotel

  • East Gate Market

  • Daehangno (Youth street)

  • Changgyeong Palace

  • Changdeok Palace

  • Insa-dong

  • Blue House (Presidential residence and office)

  • National Folklore Museum

  • Gyeongbok Palace

  • Gwanghwamun

(3) The Night view drive

Bus leaves Gwanghwamun and stops at the following points:

  • Deoksu Palace

  • Holiday Inn hotel

  • N Tower

  • Cheonggyecheon Square

The night view drive does not offer as many stops as others do, but it is a great opportunity to see the bustling night view of Seoul. We will get to see the National Assembly Hall, illuminated bridges of Yanghwa, Seongsu, and Hannam. We will also stop at Namsan Mountain for a superb view of Seoul. Finally, the bus takes us to Cheonggyecheon Square, where we can catch a glimpse of a Seoul's nightlife.

(4) Cheonggyecheon

Double-decker tour bus with multi-lingual audio guide service departs from Gwanghwamun building five times every day at 09:30, 12:00, 14:00, 16:00 and 19:00 except Monday. Around two hours of tour gives visitors an excellent opportunity to explore the 14.6Km long loop along the Cheonggyecheon bank. The bus stops once at Cheonggyecheon Museum, displaying the stream's historical changes, as well as the life and culture of the city's residents in the old days during the Joseon dynasty.

The day-tour coupon gives us the maximum opportunity to discover Seoul at an affordable cost and in a limited time. If there is any stop you have been to already, we can always change the course. The tour bus provides audio recorded guide service in five different languages including English.

Day 3 Seoul - Gyeongju

After a hearty breakfast, we board our early morning train for a pleasant five hour's journey through the picturesque countryside of Korea to Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla dynasty. As we leisurely make our way along the Seoul-Busan railroad line, we will see Korea's fertile farmland, glistening brooks, ginseng farms, apple plantations and lovely paddy fields that together form a patchwork of colors and ever-changing textures of the rural Korean life.

Once we arrive at the station, we will take bus No.10 from the bus stop across the street to the hotel located near the beautiful Bomun Lake. Gyeongju is one of the ten historical cities in the world. Temple sites with weathered stone pagodas, royal tombs, Buddhist bas-reliefs, and fortress ruins are scattered throughout the countryside surrounding this ancient city. The rest of the day is at our own pursuit. We can bike around the lake or stroll along the lakeside trails.

Day 4 Gyeongju

Following breakfast, we will go for a full day tour of Gyeongju by joining the Cheonma tour bus at our hotel. We may find the English audio guide somewhat lacking, but local tour assistant will give us a great help on tour.

Our visit includes UNESCO's World Heritage Bulguksa temple built in the eighth century. It is undoubtedly one of the most frequented and famous temples in the country. The architectural design of Bulguksa is one of constrained dignity and peaceful harmony and the temple still remains as one of the most remarkable achievements of the ancient Far East.

We will also visit a folk art center and Bunhwang temple, inside which stands a rectangular 10m high three-storied pagoda, along with the main worship hall of the Buddha of Medicine. Inside Bunhwangsa temple is the legendary well that is said to have saved the kingdom. The nearby open field was once occupied by Silla's largest temple Hwangryongsa until it was destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1238. We will visit the tomb of Kim Yusin, Silla's great general who unified the kingdom during the time of King Muyeol in the 7th century.

Afternoon tour includes: Poseok bower, a summer palace where later kings of Silla spent most of their time with women and wine; Gyeongju museum displaying the 23t cast of the Emille Bell made in AD 771; thousands of priceless treasures, and Anapji Pond dug in AD 674. We will also visit Cheomsongdae, known as the world's oldest astronomical observatory and Tumuli Park with its rare exhibits of ancient tumulus.

The tour bus will drop us at the hotel around 16:30, and we are free to explore the city by ourselves or look for souvenirs.

Day 5 Gyeongju - Busan

After breakfast, we take an express bus to Busan, the second largest city in Korea. It is also a center of industry and commerce, a thriving and growing metropolis formed along the southern coastal line of Korea. About an hour of pleasant ride will take us to Nopo-dong terminal located at the north eastern part of Busan . Downtown Busan (Nampo-dong and Gwangbok-dong) is another 40 minutes ride from the terminal by subway or city bus.

After checking in at the hotel, we will board our city tour bus at Busan station. The tour operates four times a day, leaving Busan station at 09:30, 13:00 , 15:00 and 16:00. Overall three hours tour makes stop at Yongdusan Park, and drive along the scenic coastal roads of Tadejongdae Park and pass the famous Jagalchi Fish Market, a great attraction located on a dockside away from the bustling downtown and International Market. Even though it takes another bus ride to get to Busan station, we will enjoy our time at the fish market, leaving at our leisure. From the station, five minutes of taxi will take us to our hotel.

Day 6 Busan - Seoul

With leisurely time to pack, we travel to Seoul by KTX train. Check in hotel and balance of the day at own pursuit. We can explore the city ourselves or look for souvenirs.

Day 7 Seoul - Panmunjeom - Seoul

We take an hour-ride through Jayuro (Freedom Road) motorway to the Imjingak, the northernmost point bordering North Korea. On our way, we will witness tank trap, barbed wire and military guards on duty all the way along the river, as well as serene paddy fields and the North Korean propaganda village over the confluence of the Han River and the Imjin River.

After time for lunch, we stop at the Imjingak Pavilion for a short tour of the Freedom Bridge through which 12,773 Korean War prisoners walked to freedom in 1953. The Mangbaedan memorial altar, which was established in 1985 for those who were separated from their families or displaced from home during the Korean War (1950-1953), is a symbolic spot to hold traditional memorial service for ancestors or pray for the families in the North and reunification of the country. Later we view the giant Peace Bell and the Peace Stones collected from 86 battlefields from 64 different countries that bear witness to the suffering and devastation of war.

Upon security clearance at the Unification Bridge and the Camp Bonifas, we go into the briefing room where we learn the dos and don'ts of the tour.

Located only 60km north of Seoul is Panmunjeom, a small farming village where the Armistice was signed that ended the Korean War (1950-1953). We visit the Military Armistice Commission building, Military Demarcation Line, the historical axe murder site and Bridge of No Return. We can view the North Korean propaganda village Gijeong-dong where the world's largest flag (35m x 28m) hangs on a 160 meter-tall flagpole.

This tour reminds visitors of the stark reality and immense tragedy of divided Korea. Despite the turbulent past, both sides continue to meet at the Military Armistice Commission Building.

To join the tour, early reservation is strongly recommended

NOTE

  • Children under age of 10 are not allowed

  • Waving, talking, gesture or smiling to the North Korean army is NOT ALLOWED

  • Please be advised to not touch anything in the Armistice Commission Building which belongs to the North (Microphone, flag, chair or table).

  • Passport required on tour

  • Full name, Passport number, Nationality and Date of Birth have to be provided at the time of reservation.

  • Visitors to the joint security area are requested to read and sign VISITORS DECLARATION (UNC REG 551-5)

Dress code

  • NO sleeveless tops or shirts, T-shirts, tank tops, or similar attire

  • NO Jeans. This includes "designer jeans" and all color of denim jeans

  • NO Shorts of any style, including hiking, Bermuda knee, cutoffs or short-shorts

  • NO Miniskirts, halter tops, backless dresses, or other abbreviated items or attire

  • NO Items of outer clothing of sheer variety

  • NO Form fitting clothing including tight knit tops, tight kit pants, stretch pants or warm ups of any kind

  • NO Sandals, shower shoes, thongs or flip-flops, tennis shoes

  • NO Items of military clothing not worn as an integral part of a prescribed service uniform

  • Hair must not be shaggy nor unkempt

*In any circumstance that Panmunjeom tour is not available due to military operation or meetings there, the tour to be substituted with DMZ tour with following itinerary.

Seoul - Imjingak - DMZ - Imajingak - Seoul

We take an hour-ride through Jayuro (Freedom Road) motorway to the Imjingak, the northernmost point bordering North Korea. On our way, we will witness tank trap, barbed wire and military guards on duty all the way along the river, as well as serene paddies and the North Korean propaganda village over the confluence of the Han River and the Imjin River.

At Imjingak, we visit the Mangbaedan memorial ritual altar which was established in 1985 for those who were separated from their families or displaced from home during the Korean War. We walk over the Freedom Bridge, the very locale where 12,773 Korean War prisoners walked to freedom to South Korea in 1953. Later we view the giant Peace Bell and the Peace Stones, collected from 86 battlefields from 64 different countries that bear witness to the suffering and devastation of war.

We then board a tour bus that will take us to first to the 3rd infiltration tunnel dug up by North Koreans. Upon boarding the bus, picture taking is prohibited. On the 20-minute ride to the tunnel, we pass through the check points, military camps and mine fields. Mine warning signs and red flight panels are highly visible around.

Before going down to the tunnel, we will view a short video presentation and visit exhibition hall for more information on the divided Korea.

A seven-minute tram ride through a narrow and steep interception tunnel leads us to the lower platform where we stand only 170 meters from the Military Demarcation Line.Our next stop is the Dora Observatory where we can view the whole expanse of the Demilitarized Zone, North Korean propaganda village, Gijeong-dong, where the world's largest flag hangs on a 160 meter-tall flagpole, South Korea's northernmost village of Daeseong-dong and Panmunjom where the armistice that ended Korean War was signed.

Finally, we visit the functioning northernmost railway station Dorasan located only 700 meters from the Southern Limit Line of DMZ. Here, the mile marker "Seoul 56km/Pyeongyang (the North Korean capital) 205km" still stands tall for all to see.

NOTE for DMZ tour

  • Anyone who suffers from a weak heart, claustrophobia, or asthmatic symptoms is not allowed to enter into the 3rd tunnel.

  • Passport required on tour

  • Picture taking is prohibited upon boarding the bus to the 3rd infiltration tunnel

  • The DMZ tour does not operate on Mondays and public holidays.

National Holidays

May 1 and 5

June 6

August 15

October 2, 3 and 4

December 25

Day 8 Departure

Own transfer to the airport.

Highlights

  • Seoul city tour

  • Gyeongju tour

  • Busan tour

  • Panmunjeom tour

Includes

  • Half twin use accommodation

  • Meals specified

  • Train ticket

  • Tours specified on SIC

Excludes

  • 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 available on request. Please contact us for a quotation.

  • In the event Panmunjom tour is not available in any reason, the tour will be substituted with a visit to the DMZ.

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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