Sansa are Buddhist mountain monasteries located throughout Korea. Seven temples – TongdosaTemple,
In the past, Korean temples consisted of both flatland temple sites and mountain temple sites. However, during the Joseon dynasty, most of the flatland temples were removed, leaving only the mountain monasteries remaining today. UNESCO rated the temples as having outstanding universal value thanks to their preservation of the traditional aspects of Korean Buddhist temples, serving as living centers of faith and daily practice. These seven temples include many individual characteristics as well as notable features that can only be seen in Korea's monasteries. The temples are praised for their authentic value in aspects of durability, historical significance, location and setting, and purpose.
Royal Tomb of King Muryeong
Royal Tomb of King Muryeong
To start our Korea history tour today, you will depart from your place with your tour guide. Firstly you will head to Chungcheongnam-do Province two hour's drive from downtown Seoul. Here, you visit 4 places of Baekje Historic Areas on Royal Tomb of King Muryeong, Busosanseong Fortress and the Jeongnimsa Temple Site. The Baekje Historic Areas are a group of monuments located in three South Korean cities: Gongju, Buyeo, and Iksan. They relate to the last period of the Baekje Kingdom, representing the period from 475 to 660 CE, which was one of the three kingdoms that flourished from 18 BC to 660 AD. It was property designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has eight archaeological sites.
Royal Tomb of King Muryeong is the 7th tomb of songsan-ri tombs, and it is the resting place for Baekje's 25th King Mu-Ryeong and his queen. It was built with bricks like the 6th Tomb, and many national treasures were found inside, supplying scholars studying Baekje culture with precious research material.
Busosansung Fortress - Jeongnimsa Temple site - Buyeo National Museum
Jeongnimsa Temple Site
Gilt-bronze Incense Burner of Baekje
Busosansung Fortress was built to protect the last capital city of Baekje. It is currently located at the southern foot of Busosan Mountain (106m). The Geumgang River flows around the downtown area from north to west, and then south. To the south of Busosanseong Fortress, a flat terrain in Buyeo was suitable for a location of the royal palace. Excavation into these sites began in 1980. After more than thirty years of research, most of the structure of the royal palace of Baekje has now been identified.
Jeongnimsa Temple Site is located in the flat land of the center of Buyeo. Geumseongsan Mountain stands to the east and Busosan Mountain stands to the north of the temple site. Jeongnimsa Temple was constructed in the central part of the capital city during the Sabi Period. The surface of the stone pagoda is engraved with Chinese characters celebrating the victory of the Tang Dynasty in China over Baekje, after General So Jeongbang from Tang who destroyed Baekje by allying with Silla inscribed a comment on first story body of pagoda saying “Monument for the conquest of Baekje.”
Buyeo National Museum exhibits approximately 1,000 pieces of relics that have been excavated from Buyeo and its surrounding regions, such as Buddhist art, statues of Buddha and stone pagodas, all of which date back from the Bronze Age to the Sabi Baekje era. The Baekje Gilt-bronze Incense Burner shown here is a rare masterpiece representing the artistic excellence and advanced metal craft techniques achieved by Baekje artisans. It was discovered in 1993 at the site in Neungsan-ri of Buyeo, where a Buddhist temple, supported by the Baekje’s royal family, existed. Experts believe that the incense burner was used at important royal ceremonies. Rich with images reflecting the influence of Taoism and Buddhism, which are represented respectively by immortal sages and lotus blossoms, this gilt-bronze incense burner is widely admired as a tangible example that shows the distinguished achievement Baekje made in art and philosophy.
Day 2 Outdoor Activities / Goksung - Namhae - Jinju / Overnight in Jinju
Rail Biking along Seomjingang River - Boriam Hermitage
Meet your guide in the morning, head to Jeollanam-do, approximately half an hour drive from Namwon. You will have the opportunity to ride rail bike along Seomjingang river of Korea’s most beautiful and pristine river. Afterwards, transfer to Boriam Hermitage, Sangju Silver Sand Beach, German Village and Museum in Namhae island. Overnight in Jinju.
You will Ride rail bike along Seomjingang River from Chimgok Station to Gajeong Station for about 30 minutes. Rail biking is a self-powered pedal vehicle and runs on railroad tracks. work in a pair or 2 pairs, and it is great fun for family and friends. Enjoy the gentle breeze, blue sky and clear river water run through peacefully as you pedal through the railroad.
Boriam Hermitage is located at the summit of Mt. Geumsan where the gnarly rocks of the mountain and the beautiful scenery of the southern sea can be taken in. On the grounds of the hermitage is a rock called Wonhyobawi (a rock where Great Monk Wonhyo sat in meditation). Nearby, Ssanghongmun Gate is well known as the rock cave most worth seeking out amongst the “38 Views of Mt. Geumsan.” The view from Boriam Hermitage is especially beautiful for its coastal view and sunrise and has a spectacular backdrop with rocks splayed in unique shapes.
Sangju Silver Sand Beach - German Village and Museum
Sangju Silver Sand Beach
With clean and clear seawater and quality mud flat, the sea of Namhae is great for various activities such as swimming and water sports. The most famous beach in Namhae is the Sangju Silver Sand Beach in Sangju-myeon. The name Sangju Silver Sand Beach was given to the beach in appreciation of the beautiful sandy beach. The 2 kilometer-long pine tree grove surrounding the sandy beach in a semi-circle offers another splendid scene.
It is busy all year long, with professional athletes coming for physical training in the winter, students camping in the spring and fall, and vacationers visiting the beach in the summer.
The German Village was built for Korean residents who returned from living in Germany. Many Korean lived in Germany where they earned foreign currency during the modernization of Korea in the 1960s. The area is now a unique tourism spot related to German culture.
Namhae German Exhibition Hall was opened on June 28, 2014, to display the history and artifacts of the Korean miners and nurses who were sent to Germany for work in the 1960s. At that time, Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world, with an unemployment rate of 30%. The exhibition hall shows the sad and lonely reality these workers lived through while working in a far place in order to send money home to their families.
Day 3 Busan Marin City Tour / Jinju - Busan / Overnight in Busan
Songdo Marine Cale Car - Busan Tower - Jagalchi Fish Market
Marine cable car
Jagalchi fish market
Jagalchi fish market
Today you explore the city of Busan, the second largest metropolitan area in Korea, is heavily visited by national and international tourists alike. No matter how extreme the temperature gets throughout the seasons, the city always bustles with people heading for the many attractions to see and explore! Absolutely wonderful beaches, glamorous night scenes, and traditional markets are scattered around the city. You'll go to the Songdo for riding the marine cable car and visit Busan tower, Jagalchi fish market, Gukje Market, UN Memorial Cemetery and Gwangalli Beach. Overnight in Busan
Songdo marine cable car
The Songdo Maritime Cable Car runs across the sea at an altitude of up to 86 meters, allowing passengers to feel the thrill in the middle of the sea, as well as enjoy the stunning scenery of Amnam Park, Namhang and Youngdo. On a clear day, Japanese Tsushima island can be seen.
Busan Tower is a symbol of Busan that stands proudly 69m above sea level at a height of 120m. Beloved by Busan citizens and tourists alike, the tower offers a stunning night view and plenty to see such as Youngdo bridge, Jagalchi fish market, Kukje market, Busan port.
Jagalchi fish market
Jagalchi fish market mainly deals with live and freshly caught seafood. Fish and shellfish are caught daily and sold fresh to consumers, almost right off the boat. The area is lined with tanks containing all sorts of fish, eels, squid, shellfish, and mollusks. Some areas have workers preparing the seafood for long term storage. You can watch as the fish get scaled, beheaded, chopped up, and dumped in a box of ice, all in record time.
Kukje Market and Movie 'Ode To My Father' - Gwangan Bridge - Haeundae Beach
Gukje meaning "international" where’s one of Korea’s largest markets. Following the Korean War, refugees who had fled to Busan set up stalls in order to make a living. It is one of Korea’s largest markets; each alleyway is crowded with stalls, and it connects to Bupyeong Market, Kkangtong Market, and other smaller markets. The market stocks such a wide variety of goods, that you can find almost everything you need right here.
UN Memorial Cemetery
The UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea honors UN soldiers from 16 countries and UN aids from five countries that were killed in battle during the Korean War from 1950-1953. This serene park spreads across a grassy plain area of 135,000 square meters.
Gwangalli Beach is famous for its fine sand. During summer, visitors can enjoy various festivals and performances, including the Busan Sea Festival, numerous beach sports. Sports enthusiasts can water ski, Jet Ski, windsurf, and others. Also it is sometimes called Cafe Town. During summer, cafes with unique interior and exterior styles and colorful lights entice many visitors. Even in the winter, you can enjoy a different type of fun, sitting down by the big picture windows or enjoying romance.
Ode to My Father(Gukje Market)
Ode to My Father (Korean title: Gukje Shijang, translation: International Market), directed by JK Yoon and starring Hwang Jung-min as lead character Deok-soo, is far from subtle - it’s an unabashedly sentimental journey through some of the most important, tragic and difficult times in Korea’s modern history. The film was a huge hit in Korea, managing to stick towards the top of the charts for eight weeks after its release, and drawing crowds upwards of 13 million, making it the second most successful Korean film of all time.
Day 4 Ulsan Industrial Cluster Tour / Busan - Ulsan - Gyeongju / Overnight in Gyeongju
Ulsan Plant Of Hyundai Motors - Hyundai Heavy Industries
After breakfast, you will hop on a Ulsan city tour bus for a Ulsan Industial Tour. This is a tour through the Industrial area in Ulsan city, with the opportunity to spend some time visiting Hyundai Motors and Ship Building and so on. Ulsan was designated as a specific industrial zone in 1962 and became a metropolitan city in 1997. As Korea’s largest industrial cluster for automotive, shipbuilding, maritime and petrochemical industries. Overnight in Gyeongju.
Ulsan Plant of Hyundai Motor Company, the world’s largest single plant Hyundai Motor Company is the world’s leading automobile company, both nominally and in reality. Its plant in Ulsan is the world’s largest single plant built on land spanning 5,000,000 square meters, and produces an average of 1.6 million vehicles annually. The approximately 10,000 vehicles lined in rows at the plant’s own port exclusively for export create a magnificent spectacle.
Hyundai Heavy Industries possesses an unprecedented record in the world history of shipbuilding as it built two oil tankers with a capacity of 260,000 tons as soon as it constructed a dockyard.
It is the world’s largest shipbuilding company and has constructed approximately 1,800 large ships so far. The company’s gigantic facilities, including the world’s largest dock with a capacity of one million tons and a gantry crane with a capacity of 900 tons, are truly jaw-dropping.
HANGUK MOLD has started as professional mold manufacturing company, which is the root technology that serves as the basis of almost all industries.
Currently, it has developed into a manufacturing company that specializes in production of injection mold products used as interior and exterior automotive component, composite molded products and base materials.
Ulsan Plant of Hyundai Motor Company
Hyundai Heavy Industries
Hyundai Heavy Industries
Day 5 Korea Buddhist Art Tour / Gyeongju - Danyang / Overnight in Danyang
We begin day 3 at the Temple of Budhha Land, which was where old Koreans intended to embody the happy land. From there, you will be taken to the Sukgulam Grotto, which is master piece of Asian Buddhist art. You will get to view the picturesque scenery of Gyeongju city. Afterwards, You will visit Gulgulsa temple. Your day will conclude with a stopover at the Gyeongju National Museum, before being taken back to your hotel.
Overnight in Danyang.
The Temple of Bulguksa is the grand centerpiece of a religious architectural complex of exceptional significance. Built in the year 774, Bulguksa has been inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List as a masterpiece of Far Eastern Buddhist art. The temple complex is not only an outstanding example of religious architecture of the region, but also of the material expression of Buddhist belief.
As the name indicates, Bulguksa was designed to be an illumination of the blissful state of the Buddha in the present world. It was intended to embody the happy land where the mortal being is released from the suffering of life by following the teachings of the Buddha or the Lotus Land, as promised in the Avatamsaka Sutra. This embodiment of the Lotus Land offered the theoretical foundation for the construction of the temple. Thus, the purpose of the temple design was two-fold it was to be faithful to the teachings of the Buddha, and it was to be beautiful
One of Korea's most popular tourist destinations, Seokguram differs in construction from cave temples in India and China where Buddhism flourished before arriving in Korea. The cave pantheons in India and China were mostly built by digging into hillsides and carving on natural rocks. Instead, at Seokgurm, an incredible artificial cave was created using great granite stones high on the mountain some 750 meters above sea level. The unique architectural technique used to construct Seokguram is unprecedented the world over.
Highlighted by the majestic seated Buddha with a serene, all-knowing expression as the primary object of worship, Seokguram enshrines an impressive assembly of 40 different divinities embodying various aspects of Buddhist teaching. The grotto chapel has an exceptional feeling of peace and harmony resulting in an intense spiritual impression. Modern scientists studying the history of Seokguram have discovered that, aside from the incredible skill needed to handle solid granite, the Silla architects used complex mathematical equations including the geometric theories of the golden rectangle and symmetry to construct the cave temple. Seokguram is an ancient architectural marvel indeed
Golgulsa Temple (“Bone Cave Temple) is located in a narrow valley on Mount Hamwol. The temple dates back to the 6th century. It was first built out of solid rock by Saint Kwang Yoo and his followers from India. Golgulsa Temple is known for two things: Seonmudo (zen martial arts) and a 20 foot tall stone carving of the Seokgamoni Buddha (The Historical Buddha). The practice of Seonmudo dates back to Silla Dynasty, when the priests Won’gwang and Wonhyo taught the martial art of mind and body to an elite corp of military personnel. Seonmudo was passed on from generation to generation until it was finally surpressed by Japanese colonizers during their occupation from 1910-1945. Finally, in the 1970’s, Seonmudo was revived under the watchful eye of the head monk Yangik. Training people started in the 1980’s. And in 1990, a practice studio was built for monks and people to learn the ancient martial art. Free demonstrations are given daily at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The other key attraction at Golgulsa Temple, and what has historically drawn more people to the temple, is the 20 foot tall depiction of Seokgamoni Buddha (The Historical Buddha) on a mountainside rock face. This sculpture dates back to the 9th century during the Silla Dynasty.
Day 6 Mountainous Area Tour / Danyang - Jecheon - Seoul / Overnight in Seoul
Danyang Gosu Limestone Cave - Experience Korean traditional Archery
South Korea is 70 percent hills and mountains cut by steep river valleys. Twenty percent of the land is arable river bottoms. Taebaek Mountains on the east coast give rise to rivers that flow westward across the peninsula. Taebaek Mountains run parallel to the east coast, spilling small rivers onto a narrow coastal plain that includes uplifted terraces. The Sobaek Mountains arc from the Taebaeks into central South Korea, extending southward toward the Mt. Sobaek, Danyang and Jecheon city. A little gem of a resort town, Danyang is cozied right up to the mountains of Sobaeksan National Park, at a bend in the river Namhan-gang. This is small-town Korea at its most charming: you can explore limestone caves, hiking trails and going on a cruise, basking in mountain views wherever you go. It’s a great place to dawdle for a couple of days.
Designated as a natural monument, Gosu Cave is a limestone cave situated in Danyang-gun, well known for its mystery and beauty. The cave is roughly 1,700m-long and features stalactites, stalgmites, undgerground lakes, cave pearls, and other cave formations. Gosu Cave is also home to rare formations such as aragonite. Other unique features are the many rocks with interesting names, such as Lion Rock, Dodamsambong Rock, Virgin Mary Rock, and Love Rock. The cave is a valuable resource for researchers and educators.
Korean Traditional Archery
You will also have a chance to try your hand at Korean traditional archery, which is called Gukgung at a village around Cheongpung lake.
Cheongpung Lake cruise - Cheongpung Lake Monorail
Cheongpung Lake Ferry
At the Cheongpung Ferry, visitors can ride a large ferry that passes through Chungju and Janghoe or a round-trip ferry that offers a magnificent view of Oksunbong Peak and Gudambong Peak in a single stop. Cheongpung lake cruise is the best way to enjoy sceneries of Chungju Lake and mountains around.
Cheongpung Lake Monorail
As you take the Monorail for 23 minutes, you will reach the top of Bibongsan Mountain. It is easy to climb there but it doesn’t have an easily forgettable view. Under your feet, there will be a refreshing scene spreading out as if you were flying.
Day 1 Seoul - Royal Tomb of King Muryeong - Busosansung Fortress - Jeongnimsa Temple Site -Buyeo National Museum - Overnight in Namwon
Day 2 Namwon - Seomjingang River Railbike - Boriam Hermitage - Sangju Silver Sand Beach - German Village - Overnight in Jinju
Day 3 Jinju - Songdo Marin Cable Car - Busan Tower - Jagalchi Fish Market - Gukje Market - Gwanganri Beach - Haewundae Beach - Overnight in Busan
Day 4 Busan - Hyundai Motor - Hyundai Heavy Industries - Hanguk Mold - Overnight in Gyeongju
Day 5 Gyeongju - Bulguksa Temple - Sukgulam Grotto - Golgulsa Temple - Gyeong National Museum - Overnight in Danyang
Day 6 Danyang - Gosu Cave - Korean traditional Archery - Cheongpung Lake Ferry - Cheongpung Lake Monorail - Seoul
- All admission fees
- English speaking guide
- Roundtrip transfer service with private vehicle
- Accommodation (3-4 star Hotel, 5N/ double, twin, Triple sharing room based)
- Meal (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)