• Explore the pagodas, palaces, temples and tumuli of South Korea
• Discover maritime Hallyeo, a panoramic seascape strewn with hundreds of islands and rocky islets
• Take in six UNESCO World Heritage sites: Changdeokgung, Gyeongju, Haeinsa, Jongmyo, Seokguram and Bulguksa
lecturer in art history and architecture
Depart London Heathrow 1255 on British Airways.
Arrive Seoul 0850 and transfer to Grand Ambassador Hotel for two nights. Some free time.
Visits in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung (Joseon dynasty royal palace), National Museum, Namsangol Hanok Maeul (village with traditional Joseon houses), 19th century Myeongdong Cathedral and Heunginjimun (East Gate).
Depart Seoul by KTX high-speed train for Busan (Korea’s largest port) with visit to UN Cemetery. Afternoon excursion to Tongdosa and Beomeosa Temples (situated in Mount Gajisan National Park). Overnight in Golden Tulip Haeundae Hotel, Busan.
Depart Busan via Chungnyeolsa (temple shrine) and Sebyeongwan (historical naval headquarters) for Hallyeo Maritime National Park (one of South Korea’s scenic wonders) with boat trip to naval headquarters of Admiral Yi Sun Shin. Transfer to Tongyeong for visit to Tongyeong Harbour and overnight stay.
Depart Tongyeong for visit to Jinju: Cheoksongnu (beautiful riverside pavilion). Continue to Naganeupseong Folk Village and Boseong (tea plantations). Transfer to Ecograd Hotel, Suncheon for overnight.
Morning: Jogyesan Provincial Park (Songgwangsa and Seonamsa temples). Continue to Jirisan National Park for visit to Hwaeomsa Temple followed by Ssanggyesa Temple for overnight temple stay programme, or overnight stay at nearby three-star hotel.
Optional early morning ceremony at Ssanggyesa Temple. Reconvene for visit to Haeinsa Temple (site of Tripitaka Koreana library). Continue to Gyeongju (former Silla capital) for two nights at Hotel Hyundai.
Visits in Gyeongju: National Museum (Silla relics), Anapji Pond (in grounds of Silla palace), Cheomseongdae Observatory (Asia’s oldest astronomical observatory), Bulguksa Temple (founded in 528), Seokguram Grotto (lofty Buddhist shrine), Bunhwangsa Pagoda and Tumuli Park (royal burial grounds).
Depart Gyeongju via tomb of General Kim Yu Shin. Continue for visits to Yangdong Folk Village, Oksan (Confucian Academy), Byeongsanseowon (Confucian Academy) and Hahoe Folk Village. Transfer to Andong for two nights at Richell Hotel.
Visits in Andong area: Beongjeongsa Temple (South Korea’s oldest wooden structure), Buseoksa Temple and Donsanseowan (Confucian Academy).
Depart Andong for Gongju (former Baekje capital) via Beopjusa Temple (largest timber pagoda in Korea). Visits in Gongju: National Museum, King Muryeong’s Tomb and Fortress. Continue to Seoul for three nights at Grand Ambassador Hotel.
Seoul: Jongmyo (oldest and most authentic Confucian royal shrine), Changgyeonggung Palace (originally built as a summer palace for Goryeo kings), Changdeokgung Palace (seat of royal power for 300 years, Huwon secret garden), Sungkyunkwan University, Jogyesa Temple (centre of Zen Buddhism in Korea), Tapgol Park (Wongaksa Pagoda), Insadong district and Jeongneung royal tomb.
Free day in Seoul for optional independent visits. Free evening.
Day 15 Depart Seoul 1045, arriving Heathrow 1415.
17 Nov — 1 Dec 2020
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'Dr Koller is an articulate, lucid and pleasant Tour Director, who made the (outstanding) cultural content of this course readily comprehensive on the basis of his extensive knowledge.'
“Alex Koller made this tour a valuable and fascinating one by means of his research, scholarly knowledge and obvious pleasure in sharing it with us”
-Customer on a previous ACE tours with Alex Koller
This tour has a full itinerary and requires a good level of fitness. There are several hotel changes and a moderate amount of coach travel. Several sites are located in mountainous or forested areas and participants will be required to walk uphill, over steps (particularly at Beomeosa Temple) and across uneven ground. There are longer walks at Beongjeongsa and Haeinsa temples.
OVERNIGHT TEMPLE STAY
This tour includes the opportunity to partake in an overnight temple stay programme at Ssanggyesa Temple, where participants will be accommodated overnight in rooms of 3 people, split by gender. Rooms will be in traditional ondol style, with underfloor heating and a yo mattress (a soft sleeping mat on the floor). Rooms have private bathrooms. A member of the Sales team can discuss this accommodation with you further upon booking; if you have any concerns, alternative accommodation options may be available.
The rest of the tour will be spent at hotels of four-star standard.
Cost of £4395 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, twelve dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement (except overnight stay at Ssanggyesa Temple) £735.