Welcome to South Korea! Day 1 of your epic Korean journey launches with an exhilarating touchdown at the hostel in the vibrant heart of Seoul's most famous shopping district; Myeongdong. The minute you step outside, the pulse of this bustling city will draw you in, filling you with the spirit of adventure. Meet your crew for an orientation and then head out for your first Korean feast at the included welcome dinner with your new One Life family! After dinner we will take in the best views of the city lights by night at the top of Namsan Mountain.
After breakfast at the hostel, we make our way to the hip neighbourhood of Hapjeong where we will start our first activity of the day; Kpop dance! Learn from a professional dance instructor and choreographer before heading out to explore the shops of Hongdae. We will visit the HiKR to learn about the K Wave sweeping the world, and record our own Kpop dance video! The afternoon is yours to explore before we all head to vibrant Itaewon district for dinner and drinks.
A day on our tour that you'll remember forever. Today you will be able to gaze into the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea when we take you to the remarkable Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). As you stand on the border of two worlds, you'll witness the stark contrast between North and South Korea. With our experienced guides, you'll explore the tunnels dug by North Korea into the south, hear the stories of the area, and even speak with a North Korean defector as part of a cultural exchange. We will arrive back in Seoul by around 4pm, just enough for everyone to freshen up before heading out for another amazing Korean dinner!
Today is all about exploring the more traditional areas of Seoul to see another side of the city. Your adventure begins with the changing of the guard ceremony at the awe-inspiring Gyeongbokgung Palace. Truly a symbol of grandeur and history, where you'll explore ancient courtyards, majestic architecture, and serene gardens. You also have the chance to wear the traditional ??hanbok' while exploring the palace for that extra authentic feel! We will then walk through the perfectly preserved Hanok Village before heading to the bustling Insadong art street. Later in the evening your guide will take you on a street food tasting tour through the famous Gwangjang Market to sample the best street food in the city!
Get ready to experience the serenity of a small, working temple nestled in the mountains outside Seoul. With beautifully decorated temples and shrines dotting the grounds, you will be transported to a world away from the noise and neon of the big city. You will be taking part in temple life including a singing bowl meditation session, evening bell tolling, and prayer chanting. You will also get the special opportunity to sit down with a monk for tea after your Buddhist dinner (eaten in reflective silence!) is served to ask those burning questions about life. This is your opportunity to reset and recharge before the next leg of your adventure.
On to Jeonju
After morning chanting and another healthy Buddhist meal for breakfast, we will say goodbye to our little retreat in the mountains and make our way to the small city of Jeonju. Famous for its food, drink, and immaculately preserved traditional village area, we will head out to explore after checking in to our beautiful wooden Hanok guesthouse. Explore the afternoon at your leisure and join the rest of the group for a tasting session at the Hanok for one of the most famous things in Jeongju; a rice wine called Makgoli! You will learn about how it's made, and try a series of different types. For those who would like to continue, the group will head of Makgoli Alley to try some more plus eat your way through some ??anju' - special foods made to be eaten while enjoying a few drinks!
After we say goodbye to Jeonju, we'll jump on a bus to our next destination; the ancient capital of Gyeongju! Known as the "Museum Without Walls," this mesmerizing destination boasts an extraordinary collection of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient temples, and royal tombs that whisper tales of a bygone era. After dropping our bags off and freshening up, we will jump on bikes to explore this magical town on 2 wheels. We'll visit tombs, burial mounds, historical sites, and some spectacular scenery. In the evening, we will make our way over to the Anapji Pond and gaze upon the mirrored reflections of the structures around the water.
We have another day of exploring Gyeongju today, so after breakfast we will make our way to one of the most important temples in the country; Bulguksa. Nestled amidst lush forests and scenic landscapes, this ancient temple is a true masterpiece of architecture, history, and tranquility. Next up, get ready to fight! After freshening up at the accommodation, we will visit a Dojang to learn the famous fighting art of Taekwondo. During your session, you'll learn the art of high-flying kicks, lightning-fast punches, and the precise movements from seasoned professionals. Join the rest of the group in the evening for testing out some of the bars and restaurants in the old town.
Today we head to Busan, a city on the water surrounded by beaches and mountains. After checking in right in the centre of downtown, we will check out the famous Jagalchi market and shopping districts before jumping on the Songdo cable car to get the best views over the water and city. The afternoon is yours to explore with visits to the Gamcheon Cultural Village or maybe bathing in the steaming water of a jjimjilbang (public bathhouse) as suggestions. Our final night will be spent in one of the famous karaoke rooms to sing the night away with the rest of your One Life family in one of the nightlife districts of the city.
Sadly it is time to say goodbye. Fill up on breakfast before leaving the hotel and on to the next part of your journey. We are sure that the memories you created, the places you explored, and the friendships you forged along the way will stay with you forever! You can either take the train from Busan back to Seoul Station, or fly back from Gimhae Airport. Annyeonghi gaseyo!