South Korea tour – luxury small-group trips for discerning travellers!
The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea, has never been more popular among Canadian travellers. The East Asian nation of 52.5 million is not just famous for its high-tech industries. South Korea also appeals to visitors with its rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscape and mouth-watering cuisine.
In partnership with Korea Tourism Organization (KTO Toronto Office), Laurus Travel is pleased to present the following 12-day Best of South Korea tour. May we cordially invite you to join us for an exciting journey to the Land of Morning Calm! Scroll down for our limited time offer.
Limited Time Offer
Sign up by February 29 and save $100 per couple! This offer can be combined with our early bird discount if applicable. Please mention discount code LTKTO2020 at the time of booking to qualify.
Protection against Novel Coronavirus
If the coronavirus pandemic affects your travel, we will cancel the tour and issue you a full refund.
12-day Best of South Korea Tour Itinerary
Seoul – Jeju Island – Busan – Gyeongju Seoul
Day 1/Mon: Departing for Seoul
Your South Korea tour begins with international flight departing from a city of your choice. The tour price doesn’t include international airfare.
Day 2/Tue: Arrival in Seoul
Upon arrival transfer to the centrally located hotel on your own. To cover the 50 km, taxi fare from Incheon International Airport costs between 70,000 and 100,000 Korean Won ($65-$90 USD) including expressway toll charge, but many passengers prefer the Airport Railroad Express to Seoul Station which costs 9,000 Won ($8 USD) one way per person. Taxi from Seoul Station to the hotel costs only a few dollars.
Day 3/Wed: Seoul (B/L)
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets. Notable attractions include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a convention hall with curving architecture and a rooftop park; Gyeongbokgung Palace, which once had more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, site of ancient locust and pine trees.
Our sightseeing today includes Gyeongbokgung Palace, Myeong-dong district (fashion, market, churches) and N Seoul Tower.
Day 4/Thu: Seoul – Jeju Island (B)
Morning flight to Jeju City, capital of Jeju Island. The 1,849 km² island in the Korea Strait is famous for beautiful beaches, volcanic landscape of craters and cave-like lava tubes. Hallasan Mountain, a dormant volcano, features hiking trails, a crater lake at the 1,950m summit and nearby Gwaneumsa Temple.
Enjoy a half-day sightseeing that includes the Manjang Cave, Seongsan Ilchulbong, Seongeup folk village, and Sangumburi crater.
Day 5/Fri: Jeju Island (B)
Free day to relax or explore on your own.
Day 6/Sat: Jeju – Busan (B/D)
Free morning. Transfer to the airport for noon or early afternoon flight to Busan (1 hr 10 min). Transfer to the hotel on arrival.
Busan is Korea’s second largest city. Bursting with mountains and beaches, hot springs and seafood, South Korea’s second-largest city is a rollicking port town with tonnes to offer. Later today we visit the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a seaside Buddhist temple built in 1376.
Tonight we enjoy a delicious Korean seafood hotpot dinner.
Day 7/Sun: Busan (B/L)
Today we visit the bustling Jagalchi fish market, Gujesijang market and Yongdusan Park.
Day 8/Mon – Busan – Gyeongju (B/L)
Following breakfast we drive 100 kilometres northeast to Gyeongju. After dropping off bags at the hotel, we drive another 16km northbound to Yangdong Folk Village – a UNESCO World Heritage site from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897).
Day 9/Tue: Gyeongju (B/L)
Gyeongju is a city on South Korea’s southeast coast. It was the capital of the 1,000-year-long Silla dynasty and is known for its extensive historical remains. The 8th-century Bulguksa Temple features twin stone pagodas, a series of wooden staircases and a large bronze Buddha. Nearby, Seokguram Grotto houses a towering seated Buddha and offers panoramic views of the sun rising over the horizon.
We spend the morning exploring Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple – both inscribed as UNESCO Heritage Sites in 1995. In the afternoon, we will visit Tumuli Park, Cheonmachong, the National Gyeongju Museum and Anapji Pond.
Day 10/Wed: Gyeongju – Seoul (B/L)
We travel to Seoul by express train (2 hours, 300 km) this morning.
Free afternoon to explore on your own.
Day 11/Thu: Seoul – DMZ – Seoul (B/L/D)
Today we go on a full-day excursion to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and the Joint Security Area (JSA) within the village of Panmunjom. The DMZ divides North Korea and South Korea and is one of the last remnants of the Cold War. The DMZ runs across the Korean Peninsula and roughly follows the 38th parallel north (popular name given to latitude 38° N) on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it. With over a million soldiers on watch each day, this stretch of land measuring 250 kilometres (160 miles) long and about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) wide is the most fortified border in the world. Our itinerary also includes Freedom Bridge and the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel and observing life on the other side from the Dora Observatory.
Our farewell dinner featuring famous Korean dishes is at a restaurant within walking distance from the hotel.
Day 12/Fri: Seoul – Home City (B)
Your memorable South Korea tour ends this morning. Transfer to Incheon International Airport, 50km west of Seoul, on your own. Taxi costs between 70,000 and 100,000 Korean Won ($65-$90 USD) including expressway toll charge, but most travellers prefer the Airport Railroad Express which costs 9,000 Won ($8 USD) one way per person. The guide will escort you to the train station and help you buy ticket.
Pre- or post-tour extensions to Japan or China available on request.
More South Korea Tours from Laurus Travel:
- 16-day China & South Korea
- 17-day Taiwan & South Korea
- 19-day Best of Japan & South Korea
- 20-day South Korea, Taiwan & Japan
What is the best time to visit South Korea?
South Korea has four distinct seasons. The answer to the question of when is the best time to visit South Korea depends on what you would like to do. If you are into winter sports, the best months would be December to February. However, for most travellers whose main purpose is sightseeing the best time to go to South Korea obviously would be April, May, September and October when sky is mostly blue and temperatures agreeable. Some feel June is also a good month weather-wise. Late March and April is the season for cherry blossom viewing. Those interested in fall colours would find October and November ideal. If you have to pick a single season, go with spring (March to May).
South Korea’s summer can be very hot and humid. Also to be avoided if possible is the monsoon season between early July and early September when the country receives more than half of its annual precipitation. Sometimes the monsoon season may extend to mid-September.
Do I need a passport to enter South Korea?
Valid passport is required of foreign nationals. Please check with your local Korean embassy or consulate to see if your passport must have a minimum validity of 6 months beyond the intended date of exit.
Do I need a visa to enter South Korea?
Citizens from many countries including the United States and Canada are permitted to enter South Korea visa-free for a limited period (180 days for Canadians). Please check with Laurus Travel for more information if you are ready to book a tour with us.
Are there any direct flights between South Korea and Canada?
Air Canada and Korean Air both operate daily non-stop flights between Canada and South Korea. Current city pairs are Vancouver/Seoul and Toronto/Seoul. The price can be very affordable if you book early enough. You can also travel easily between Canada and South Korea on a Chinese or Japanese air carrier with a stop in such major cities as Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo.
What is the dress code for tour participants?
South Korea is a fairly liberal society. You won’t offend anyone if you walk around in shorts and sandals. However, we do require our guests to appear presentable. That means the guest should refrain from wearing shorts, tank tops or basketball jersey in public.
What if I don’t like spicy food?
We can accommodate guests who can’t handle spicy dishes. In fact, Many popular Korean dishes are not spicy at all.
What time zone is South Korea in?
Korean Standard Time abbreviated as KST is TUC/GMT +9. The whole country operates to one time zone. South Korea does not observe Daylight Saving Time. The Eastern Standard Time (EST) in Canada and the United States is UTC/GMT -5. In the summer, when it is 9:00 AM in Seoul, it would be 7:00 PM the night before in Toronto and New York.
What is the South Korean currency called?
The South Korean currency is called won (/wʌn/; Korean: 원; symbol: ₩; code: KRW) . The Korean won, like the Japanese yen, is derived from the Chinese character 圓 (yuan), which means the same in all three languages. A single won is divided into 100 jeon, the monetary subunit. As of Februrary 5, 2020, one Canadian dollar would buy 891 won.
Who’s the best South Korea tour operator in Canada?
Vancouver based Laurus Travel is the best South Korea tour operator in Canada:). You can learn all about the Canadian tour company and its current offering at https://laurustravel.ca/