10-Day UNESCO world heritage sites tour
If you're passionate about culture and history, you'll find Korea to be a fascinating destination that blends both traditional and modern aspects seamlessly. This tour is designed with a focus on UNESCO World Heritage sites, giving you the chance to explore historic locations and immerse yourself in traditional culture.
Korea boasts an impressive diversity of architecture, traditions, and culture that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on you. Because this tour is conducted privately, you'll have the flexibility to tailor the itinerary to your specific interests and preferences.
By visiting some of Korea's World Heritage sites, you'll have the opportunity to gain insight into the country's rich history, religions, and traditions. In just a short amount of time, you'll develop a deep and comprehensive understanding of Korean culture and tradition.
Day 1 Seoul / Overnight in Seoul
Changdeok Palace - Jongmyo Royal Ancestral Shrine - Bukchon Hanok village
Today you will begin the tour with a visit to Changdeokgung Palace where constructed in 1405 and is now the best preserved of Seoul's five palaces of the Joseon Dynasty with its rear beautiful Garden. The palace was designated as the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1997. You will continue Bukchon hanok village. Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village in Seoul with a long history located on the top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is composed of many alleys, hanok and is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment.
Jongmyo Royal Ancestral Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was the place of worship for the deceased kings of the Joseon Dynasty (1392 ~ 1910). It is well known for its 600-year-old ritual ceremonies linking music, song, and dance that continue to this day.
Day 2 Suwon - Icheon - Sokcho / Overnight in Sokcho
Suwon Hwaseong Fortress - Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty - Icheon ceramic village; Ye's park
Suwon was one of four main regional government centers during the Joseon dynasty. Hwaseong Fortress, built to protect the city, was designated as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site on December 12, 1997 for its historical value. The walls stretch for 5.7 kilometers, with Paldalsan Mountain at the center. The fortress, constructed from 1794 to 1796, was built as a display of King Jeongjo’s filial piety towards his father and to build a new pioneer city with its own economic power.
Yunggeolleung, Royal tomb
Yungneung and Geolleung are two royal tombs from the Joseon Dynasty within an oak-forested park in Hwaseong. Yungneung is the joint tomb of King Jangjo (1735-1762) and Queen Heongyeong (1735-1815). King Jangjo was the father of King Jeongjo, the 22nd ruler of the Joseon dynasty. King Jangjo was the second son of King Yeongjo, the 21st ruler of the Joseon dynasty. He was installed as a Crown Prince in 1736. As the Crown Prince, he administered the state affairs on behalf of his father and showed great capability in various fields. However, he died in 1762 after being locked in a wooden rice chest for 7 days by the orders of his father, King Yeongjo.
The tomb of this ill-fated Crown Prince was originally located on Mt Baebongsan in Yangju-gun, Gyeonggi-do. His son King Jeongjo moved the tomb to Mt Hwasan in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi-do and changed the title of the tomb to Hyeollyungwon. Later, he posthumously gave his father the title King Jangjo and moved the tomb to its current place, and the title of the tomb was changed again to Yungneung. Geolleung is the joint tomb of King Jeongjo (1752-1800), the 22nd ruler of the Joseon dynasty, and Queen Hyoui (1753-1821).
King Jeongjo’s last wish was to be buried near his father’s tomb in Yungneung.
Ceramic village, ye's park
Ceramics is a leading handicraft in Korea as well as one of the nation's cultural assets. Several places in the country still make pottery by hand using a spinning wheel, one of which is located at the domestic hub for ceramics, Icheon, Gyeonggi-do Province.
Ye's Park, Korea's biggest crafts village, is a largest craft village with facilities for the production, display and sales of ceramics arts as well as those for artists' residence.
Day 3 Sokcho / Overnight in Sokcho
Mt Seokaksan National Park
Seoraksan National park was designated the 5th national park in Korea in 1970 and chosen as a nature preservation area on November 5, 1965 Also, internationally recognized for its rare species, Seoraksan is the area in Korea to have been designated as a Biosphere Preservation District by UNESCO in 1982, and in IUCN recognized its rich natural resources and labeled it category Ⅱ(National Park).
The total area of Seoraksan National park is 398.539㎢ and it is divided among the areas of Inge-gun, Goseong-gun, Yangyang-gun, and Sokcho-si, Naeseorak (Inner) is in Inje, Naeseorak (South) is the area from Hangyerteong (Ridge) to Osaek, and Oeseorak (Outer) lies in the eastern area across Sokcho-si, Yangyang-gun, and Goseong-gun. Seoraksan is one of Korea’s most beautiful mountains. Seoraksan National Park is the surrounding area, famous for its views, clear mountain streams and vibrant flora and fauna.
Over 2,000 animal species live in Seoraksan, including the Korea goral, Musk deer, and Other. There are also more than 1,400 rare plant species, such as the Edelweiss, here as well
Day 4 Sokcho - Yeongju - Andong / Overnight in Andong Hahoe village(Hanok stay)
Buseoksa Buddhist temple - Andong Hahoe village
Buseoksa Temple was built in 676, during the reign of King Munmu (661-681) of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC-AD 935). The temple was founded by Great Monk Uisang (625-702) upon orders from the king. When Uisang was studying in the Dang dynasty of China, he heard of a plot by the Dang dynasty to attack Silla. Upon hearing this, he hurried home and passed the message along to the king. The temple was created to pray for protection of the country.
Buseoksa Temple is home to many national treasures, including Stone Lantern at Muryangsujeon Hall of Buseoksa Temple (National Treasure No. 17), Muryangsujeon Hall of Buseoksa Temple (National Treasure No. 18), Josadang Shrine of Buseoksa Temple (National Treasure No. 19), Clay Seated Buddha of Buseoksa Temple (National Treasure No. 45), Mural Painting in Josadang Shrine of Buseoksa Temple (National Treasure No. 46), and more.
Hahoe Village is one of the most famous folk villages in Korea. Surrounded by the Nakdonggang River, the village is home to descendants of the Ryu clan of Pungsan, which still makes up 70 percent of the villagers. The village became even more famous after Queen Elizabeth of England visited on April 21, 1999 and President George H. Bush of U.S.A. in 2005.
The village has many cultural treasures and important cultural materials, earning the village the designation as National Folklore Cultural Heritage No. 122 in 1984. Hahoe Masks, National Treasure No. 121, is also an important feature of the village.
Day 5 Andong - Gyeongju / Overnight in Gyeongju
Bulguksa Buddhist temple - Seokgulam grotto - Daereungwon Ancient Tombs
Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple
Established in the 8th century on the slopes of Mount Toham, the Seokguram Grotto contains a monumental statue of the Buddha looking at the sea in the bhumisparsha mudra position. With the surrounding portrayals of gods, Bodhisattvas and disciples, all realistically and delicately sculpted in high and low relief, it is considered a masterpiece of Buddhist art in the Far East. The Temple of Bulguksa (built in 774) and the Seokguram Grotto form a religious architectural complex of exceptional significance.
Daereungwon Ancient Tombs
Within Daereungwon Tomb Complex is Cheonmachong Tomb (Ancient Tomb No. 155), which was excavated in 1973. Cheonmachong Tomb consists of a wooden coffin placed inside an underground chamber mounded with boulders and earth, characterized as a typical upper class tomb of the Silla period. The mound has a height of 12.7 m with a diameter of 50 m, and consists of a layer of rocks collected from streams. Below the rock layer is a wooden chamber that is 6.5 m long and 2.1 m wide, reaching 2.1 m in height, with the wooden coffin at its center. A total of 11,526 artifacts were discovered within the tomb, including Cheonmado, an artwork considered highly valuable as it is Korea's first artwork to be excavated from an ancient tomb.
Day 6 Gyeongju - Busan / Overnight in Busan
Gyeongju national museum - Haedongyonggungsa Buddhist temple - Haeundae beach
Gyeongju National Museum is loved by visitors and residents alike as it houses numerous historical and cultural artifacts of the Silla dynasty (57 BC - AD 935). The museum recently went through renovation, separating into an art gallery, historical artifacts exhibition hall, Wolji Pond exhibition hall, and a planned exhibition space. As a significant cultural center, Gyeongju National Museum strives to preserve, exhibit, and research the rich history and culture of Silla.
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple is situated on the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. This superb attraction offers visitors the rare find of a temple along the shore line; most temples in Korea are located in the mountains. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple was first built in 1376 by the great Buddhist teacher known as Naong during the Goryeo dynasty. Haesu Gwaneum Daebul (Seawater Great Goddess Buddha), Daeungjeon Main Sanctuary, Yongwangdang Shrine, Gulbeop Buddhist Sanctum (enclosed in a cave), and a three-story pagoda with four lions can all be seen looking out over the ocean.
Haeundae Beach is the most famous beach in Busan. The white sand beach is roughly 1.5 kilometers long, over a 30- to 50-meter wide area, creating a beautiful coastline before a shallow bay, making it perfect for swimming.
People flock to Haeundae Beach every summer. All kinds of accommodations from luxury hotels to private guesthouses have developed in the area around the beach, making this the perfect summer vacation spot. Haeundae Beach is also famous for various cultural events and festivals held throughout the year. Other facilities in the area include Dongbaekseom Island, Busan Aquarium, a yachting dock, BEXCO, driving courses and more.
Day 7 Busan Jeju / Overnight in Jeju
Busan Tower - Jagalchi FishMarket - Amidong Tombstone village - UN MemorialCemetery
Busan Tower is a symbol of Busan that stands proudly at 69 meters above sea level at a height of 120 meters.
Loved by Busan citizens and tourists alike, the tower offers a stunning night view and plenty to see, such as the Statue of the Great Admiral Yi Sun-sin, the Bell of the Citizens, a flower clock and a bust of the Busan-based independent activist, Baeksan An Hee-je.
Jagalchi Market, located on the seaside road in Busan's Jung-gu, is Korea's largest seafood market, selling both live and dried fish. After the Korean War, the market solidified itself as a fish market. Most of the people who sell fish are women, so the vendors here are called Jagalchi Ajumma, "ajumma" meaning middle-aged or married woman in Korean.
This market represents Busan and is famous throughout the country. Visitors can eat fresh raw fish right at the market. Even nowadays visitors can see women selling mackerel, sea squirts (ascidians) and other seafoods on wooden boxes along the road outside of the market and along the shore.
Amidong Tombstone village, the village located on 19th street in Ami-dong was a Japanese cemetery built under Japanese imperialism. When the Korean War broke out and refugees were distributed around Ami-dong, the refugees who did not have the right materials to build their houses, used the tombstones of the cemetery for stairs or as the foundation stones of their houses. Even now, many tombstones used by refugees are embedded in the stairs and walls around Ami-dong.
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. It is the only memorial cemetery in the world dedicated to UN soldiers. While the cemetery originally held up to 11,000 graves, most of the fallen soldiers were repatriated at the request of their families, with only 2,300 graves remaining.
After Busan tour, you are going to Jeju island by air.
Day 8 Jeju / Overnight in Jeju
Handam Coastal Walk - Hyeopjae Beach - Songaksan walking trail - Yongmeori Coast
Jejudo Island, Korea's largest Island which is often described as "Emerald Isle" or "Island of Gods". It was added to the UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve List in 2002, the UNESCO's World Natural Heritage List in 2007, the UNESCO's Global Geoparks Network (GGN) List in 2010.
Handam coastal walk A 1.2-kilometer-long walkway is built as close to the sea as possible along the winding coastline. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll while enjoying the vast blue sea, making it a popular attraction. It is one of the Jeju's hidden wonders 31 that the Jeju city government announced in July 2009 after selecting 31 representative places around the city in addition to the existing tourist attractions.
Hyeopjae beach is located about 32 kilometers west of downtown Jeju and is near Hallim Park. The white sandy beach mixed with crushed seashells, Biyangdo Island appearing to float on the cobalt seat, and the lush pine forest all combine to create an outstanding scene. The beach stretches roughly 200 meters and is 60 meters wide with a shallow depth of 1.2 meters, making the beach perfect for family visitors
Songaksan Mountain is located in the southernmost point of Jeju. The trail is going around the volcanic mountain alongside the coast, making it a beautiful spot to admire the gorgeous nature that Jeju has to offer.
From Songaksan you can see Gapado and Marado islands, you can admire the Hallasan Mountain in the middle of Jeju and the impressive Sonbangsan Mountain.
The Yongmeori Coast got its name because the beach looks like a dragon that is jumping into the ocean with its head raised (“Yong” means dragon and “Meori” means head in Korean). Yongmeori is a sandstone bed created by layers of sand that have been deposited for tens of millions of years. The mysterious scenery of the coast is enough to make anyone who witnesses it exclaim in wonder.
Day 9 Jeju Seoul / Overnight in Seoul
Seongsan Iichulbong Peak - Walking Olle trail route 6
The peak’s Korean name, Seongsan Ilchulbong, encompasses its two most salient features; a seongsan is a hill in the shape of a castle, and an ilchulbong is a high point with a view of beautiful sunrises. Seongsan Ilchulbong is situated on Jeju‘s eastern side, and is said to have the best view of sunrise on the island. It opens an hour before sunrise all year round, and seeing dawn break from its peak is one of the most popular activities for visitors to Jeju.
Olle trail route 6, If you're looking for an eco-friendly vacation spot where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while walking on a well-maintained trail to stay fit, there's no better place to go than Jeju Island. In the local dialect, "olle" originally referred to the narrow path between the street and one's doorstep. Jeju Olle Trail, a series of walking trails that stretch around the entire coast of the island, is one of the many attractions and activities that Jeju has to offer. The trails pass through various landscapes along the way, including small villages, beaches, farms and forests. Each route offers a unique opportunity to soak in the beauty of Jeju and the island's culture. Olle trail route 6 goes along coast and through downtown starting at Soesokkak-dari(bridge) and passing through Seogwipo City. Past Lee, Jung-seop Street, the route continues to Jeju Olle Tourist Center. Hike past a salt hut and Seogwipo City where culture and life are embedded, you may experience the city's unique culture and ecology.
Day 10 Seoul
Gyengbokgung palace - Gwanghwamun square - Cheonggyecheon stream
Gyengbokgung palace, built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is commonly referred to as the Northern Palace because its location is furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeonghuigung (Western Palace). Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces.
Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, is one of the more picturesque places to visit in Seoul and attracts tourist and locals all year round. The main highlights of the square are the two Statues, one is of King Sejong the Great while the other is of Admiral Yi Sun-Sin. The plaza was opened on 1 August 2009 by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and is part of the City's plans for environmentally friendly renovation projects such as the Cheonggye Stream and Seoul Plaza.
Gwangjang market - N Seoul tower - Bukchon Hanok village - Naksan park
If you love Korean food, you don’t want to miss eating your way through Gwangjang Market in Seoul.
It’s one of the ultimate places to experience traditional Korean street food and culture all under one delicious roof. In this Gwangjang Market blog post I’m going to share with you all about one of the most mouthwatering Korean food experiences to have in Seoul.
The N Seoul tower, Korea’s first general radio wave tower, was built to promote the future of broadcasting and tourism industry. It combines a broadcast tower and an observatory, which embodies traditional Korean design. N Seoultower has become a symbol of Seoul and a popular tourist attraction for the last 40 years.
The tower has become the number one tourist attraction for domestic tourists, as Koreans are attracted to its unique structure and the view of Seoul it offers from its great height.