Days
9
Price from
$2,495AUD

Fiery, red and funky – there’s a reason the Koreans go crazy for kimchi.

South Korea is kind of like Japan’s little brother – raucous, loud, obsessed with video games and even more obsessed with food. After all, this is the country that gifted the world rice beer, kimchi, bibimbap and crunchy Korean Fried Chicken. Prepare to dive into a gastronomic adventure where everything is on the menu – ancient ruins, sprawling metropolises, buzzing nightlife and more dishes than you can be bothered pronouncing. One minute you’re making kimchi in a crowd of thousands, the next you’re belting out your best K-pop in a karaoke bar or downing shots in a craft brewery in Seoul. Pack an appetite and come expecting the weird and wonderful.


Start
Seoul, South Korea
Finish
Seoul, South Korea
Country
South Korea
Code
GKZF
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 4, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Get involved in a mass kimchi-making class in the heart of Seoul as part of the annual Kimchi Festival.

  • Bust out some K-pop karaoke in Seoul, the city where it all started.

  • Chow down on iconic dishes such as Korean BBQ, KFC and bibimbap.

  • Check out the ancient capital of Gyeongju and its many tombs, temples and palace ruins.

  • Visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to learn about the volatile history between South and North Korea.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This tour will be registered to see the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). To be eligible for this visit, all travellers must submit a copy of their passport one month in advance of their visit. Please note that due to the volatile politics between the North and South Korea, the visit to the JSA may be cancelled suddenly without notice and replaced with alternative activities. Refer to trip notes for more details about these replacement activities.

  • While in Jeonju, you will stay in a hanok (traditional Korean House) in an ondol-style room where you sleep on yo (mattresses) rolled out on the floor. While this may not be quite as cushy as a bed, it is a great opportunity to get an insight into Korean life.

Itinerary

Touch down in Seoul, South Korea’s buzzing 24-hour capital. The Airport Express train is a great way to get from the airport into the heart of the city. A welcome meeting will be held at 6pm this evening in the hotel foyer/lobby. If you’re unsure where to meet, check in with reception for details. At this meeting we’ll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information, so make sure you’ve got everything on hand to give to your leader. We also hope you packed an appetite as you’ll be invited to visit a chicken and beer restaurant nearby for some deliciously authentic Korean Fried Chicken – the best kind of KFC there is!
Accommodation
  • Bobo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, head to the Seoul Kimchi Making Festival in Seoul Plaza. Here you’ll find over 4,000 people working together to make nearly 50 tonnes of fresh kimchi! Afterwards, enjoy a steaming bowl of soondubu (a soft tofu and vegetable stew) at a nearby restaurant. In the afternoon visit Bukchon Hanok Village and see hundreds of traditional houses, including the Blue House that serves as the Presidential Residence of Cheong Wa Dae. There will also be an option to visit the impressive Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of Seoul’s five palaces. Finish the day with a locally brewed craft beer at one of Seoul's hip bars.
Accommodation
  • Bobo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Seoul - Bukchon Hanok Village and Blue House
  • Seoul - Kimchi Making Festival
Optional Activities
  • Seoul - Kwangjang Market Tour with Savory Pancakes - USD15
  • Seoul - Gyeongbukgung Palace - USD5
Meals Included
  • Lunch
This morning, journey to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea to learn about the history and conflict between these two nations. The group will be booked to see the Joint Security Area (JSA) however, due to the volatile politics between the two countries, this may be cancelled suddenly without notice. If the JSA tour is cancelled, alternative arrangements will be made to visit the DMZ Museum, the Freedom Bridge – a train station built to join the two countries should they one day unite – and the Third Tunnel, a tunnel dug by North Korea in preparation for invading South Korea.

In the evening, you will have the option to experience South Korea's obsession with tech. Check out a PC Bang – a type of internet cafe where competitors meet to play online games together. Later, visit the Samsung D-Light Building and see a showcase of the latest Samsung electronic gadgets before finishing up in the whiz and burr of a Korean arcade.
Accommodation
  • Bobo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • De-Militarized Zone Tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Board a public bus to Jeonju. In 2012 Jeonju was named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, due in no small part to the city’s reputation for making the best bibimbap going around. But Jeonju is more than just a one-trick pony. Wander around and you’ll find the city is bursting with traditional treats. After arriving and checking in at the guest house, enjoy a taste of Jeonju’s signature bibimbap for lunch. Later, set out on a tour of the city and the colourful Art Village. Your accommodation while in Jeonju is in a hanok (traditional Korean house) in an ondol-style room. Ondol describes a floor heating system, whereby wood smoke is used to heat a thick masonry floor. You'll be sleeping on Korean style yo (mattresses) on the floor, so you'll enjoy a toasty slumber.
Accommodation
  • Hanok Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jeonju - City Orientation Walk and Tour of the Art Village
Meals Included
  • Lunch
For those with an adventurous palate, wake up with a steaming bowl of bean sprout rice soup – a regional delicacy – at a nearby restaurant. Afterwards, dye your hands dirty at a cooking class led by a local chef. In the afternoon you’ll be able to enjoy some free time before  heading to a famous restaurant where, instead of food, you order a kettle of makgeolli (deliciously sweet rice beer). Food is then served as a rolling service. To taste every dish on the menu you’ll need to finish at least three kettles of rice beer. Challenge accepted.
Accommodation
  • Hanok Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jeonju - Rice Beer Party
  • Jeonju - Cooking Class
Meals Included
  • Dinner
After breakfast, board a bus headed to Busan City – the largest port city in South Korea – that’s also home to sandy beaches, wooded mountains and coastal temples. After settling in, check out the incredible array of seafood on offer at Jalgalchi market and savour some of the surrounding street food. You’ll also be able to choose from a variety of optional activities. Perhaps see the city on a bus tour, try crab soup at Taeyongjae Lighthouse, take a stroll over the bendy Songdo Skywalk Bridge, or simply hang out by the beach. Tonight perhaps join the rest of the group for dinner and beers at a local craft brewery.
Accommodation
  • Kimchi Guesthouse or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Busan - Jalgalchi Seafood Market and Street Food Tour
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Depart Busan for Gyeongju, a city that is also known as the ‘Museum Without Walls’ thanks to its vast collection of tombs, temples, rock carvings and palace ruins. Discover some of the key sites on a bus tour and learn about the city’s history as a capital during the Shilla dynasty. The tour will visit the Bulguksa Temple, Silla Folk Museum Village, Cheomseongdae Observatory and waterside Gyeongju Donggung Palace. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant and experience a Ssambap feast – where many side dishes are brought together to form a banquet. Think Spanish tapas but uniquely South Korean and you’re on the right track. The afternoon and evening are then yours to explore. Perhaps visit the Gyeongju National Museum or visit neighbouring Seonggeon-dong for karaoke and university crowds.
Accommodation
  • Sugar Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gyeongju - Ancient Capital Bus Tour
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Return to Seoul by bus, where you’ll have a final afternoon to continue exploring this huge metropolis. Perhaps spoil your inner child by visiting the Toykino Museum, where over 30,000 toys and figures have been collected from around the world for display. You could also check out the Trick Eye Museum and its wonderfully absurd (and interactive) exhibits, or put your wit to the test in an Escape Room experience. Escape Rooms are themed puzzle rooms where you and your teammates must find the clues and solve the puzzles within a set time frame. Hit up the Sangsu area for your last dinner in Seoul. Order some Korean pork belly and soju to start things off before finishing up with K-pop karaoke in the Hongik University area nearby.
Accommodation
  • Bobo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Seoul - Korean BBQ Farewell Dinner
Optional Activities
  • Seoul - Toy Museum - USD20
  • Seoul - Trick Eye Museum - USD20
  • Seoul - Escape Room - USD20
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This festival tour finishes in the morning and you are free to depart at any time. If you’d like to spend more time in Seoul we can arrange extra accommodation for you, just let us know at the time of booking.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

4 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Bus, train, private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights), hanok (2 nights), hostel (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Seoul - Bukchon Hanok Village and Blue House
  • Seoul - Kimchi Making Festival
  • De-Militarized Zone Tour
  • Jeonju - City Orientation Walk and Tour of the Art Village
  • Jeonju - Rice Beer Party
  • Jeonju - Cooking Class
  • Busan - Jalgalchi Seafood Market and Street Food Tour
  • Gyeongju - Ancient Capital Bus Tour
  • Seoul - Korean BBQ Farewell Dinner

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SCANNED PASSPORT REQUIRED:
A scanned copy of your passport is required at least 30 days prior to departure for the visit to the De-Militarized Zone.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.