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Something Different

South Korea: Real Food Adventure

From €2420pp
Flights not included
Departure Date
01 Sep 2022 - 08 Sep 2022
Multiple departure dates throughout the year
Duration
8 Days
Destination
South Korea
Price
From €2420pp
Enquire Now
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Slurp, crunch and spoon your way into the belly of South Korea.

Immerse yourself in the choose-your-own adventure atmosphere of South Korean food, from bibimbap to immense street food markets that you could get lost in (if it weren’t for the local guiding you to the best stalls!). South Korea’s food scene is often delightfully informal and meals in South Korea are all about finding your flavours. Chow down on meals served with dozens of toppings, light and crispy Korean fried chicken washed down with a small-batch craft beer, silky glass noodles stirred with colourful salad and the various delightful iterations of kimchi. Discover the flavourful diversity and heritage of this rich culinary scene. 

Why you'll love this trip

  • Savour the flavours of South Korea’s slow food capital Jeonju, slurping kongnamul gukbap and soup noodles in local haunts and learning to craft kimchi and hangwa (sugar cookies).
  • Immerse yourself in monastic life during a temple stay in Gyeongju, following a vegan dinner with chanting meditation and, if you’d like, a martial arts class.
  • Spend a day diving deep into South Korean seafood in Busan, embracing the chaotic energy and of the port seafood market before munching clams in an oceanfront restaurant.
  • Visit a craft brewery in Jeonju for a taste of South Korea’s booming and inventive craft beer scene, which has exploded in popularity in recent years.
  • Follow your local leader to the best stalls in the labyrinthian Gwangang Market in Seoul, which featured in the Netflix series ‘Street Food’.

 

  • This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. In many countries, dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, please advise your agent at time of booking to receive information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed.
  • With so many included food experiences on this tour, it’s important to work up an appetite between meals. A good degree of fitness and a comfortable pair of walking shoes are recommended for this trip, as you’ll be exploring a lot on foot.
  • We suggest packing smart for this trip, as you'll be required to carry your own luggage between train stations and to hotels, which can include going up and down multiple flights of stairs in crowded areas. Elevators are available in most stations, but the lighter you pack the easier it will be.
  • A traditional Korean bed is a futon-like mattress placed on the floor, which may be folded up and placed in the cupboard in the morning. This trip includes three nights' accommodation with Korean-style floor bedding – two nights in a hanok (traditional house) in Jeonju, and one night at a monastery in Gyeongju. While floor bedding can be firm compared to standard western mattresses, the floors are heated and you will be comfortable. You can also request extra mattresses for your comfort.
  • The monastery stay provides both unique accommodation and an inimitable cultural experience, offering insight into monastic cuisine and rituals. Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities, including dress codes. You will be given pants and a tunic to wear during your stay, and socks must be worn in the temple. Rooms at the monastery are multi-share, which means you may have to share a room with up to three people of the same gender. Couples of opposite genders are not able to share a room on this night as it is against monastery rules. Smoking and alcohol consumption are prohibited at the monastery.

Day 1: Seoul

Welcome to Seoul, South Korea's vibrant capital of high-tech gadgetry, glittering skyscrapers and scrumptious eats.


Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1. Look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where this meeting will take place. Often it will take place on the lobby floor. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Your insurance details and next of kin information will be collected at this meeting, so please have these details to provide to your leader.


A modern Asian metropolis that blends bold futuristic intentions with strong links to the past, Seoul is one of Asia's great cities. After the welcome meeting, head out with your trip leader and be immersed in Seoul's sights, sounds, smells and, of course, tastes!

Start your Food Adventure with a taste of the local KFC – Korean Fried Chicken – known locally as chi-maek, short for chicken plus maekju (the Korean word for beer). Don't pass up the opportunity to try Soju, Korea's national alcoholic beverage. Your leader will be able to verse you in the etiquette involved. After dinner we take a walk to a local market for a food insight tour plus a spot of dessert. 

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Seoul - Welcome Dinner

Meals Included

  • Dinner

Special Information

If you are delayed at all today and will not be able to make the pre-departure meeting, please contact our local operator.

Day 2: Jeonju

After breakfast at your hotel, take the metro to Yongsan Station and take in the bustle of vendors selling everything from coffee and pastries to kimbap (Korean sushi rolls). Travel by train to Jeonju, then take a private bus to your hotel. For lunch head to a restaurant famous for its bibimbap and dozens of house specialty side dishes. In the afternoon, learn to prepare the iconic Korean side dish, kimchi. Afterwards, take a stroll around the town, where there are many hanoks (traditional houses) to admire. If you're keen for one more 'real food' experience, for dinner your leader will take you for locally brewed, cloudy rice beer which is served with yet another array of side dishes. 

Note: On the October departure, the cooking class will be replaced by a visit to the Jeonju Bibimbap Festival.

Accommodation

  • Hanok (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Jeonju - Kimchi Cooking Class
  • Jeonju - Hanok Village Visit

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Special Information

Tonight's accommodation will be in a hanok guesthouse. Similar to a Japanese ryokan, the bedding in a hanok comprises a futon mattress on the floor, with a light covering. The floor of your room is heated and provides for a comfortable and cosy nights' sleep.

Day 3: Sunchang to Gyeongju

This morning you'll have the opportunity to start your day with a breakfast of Kongnamul Gukbap – a hot soup of soybean and sprouts – in a local restaurant hidden in Nambu Traditional Market. From here, travel by bus to Sunchang Gochujang, a village famous for the production of gochujang (a traditional red chilli paste).

Taste local varieties of soy sauce, bean paste, red chilli paste and Korean pickles, then see how the chilli paste is made during a demonstration. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant that specialises in fermented bean soup, then take a stroll around the base of Mt Gangcheon. Return to Jeonju, and catch a public bus to Gyeongju, arriving by early evening. Tonight is free for your own exploration, although your leader will have plenty of great dining tips.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Sunchang - Gochujang (traditional chilli paste) Cooking Demonstration

Meals Included

  • Lunch

Day 4: Temple Stay

The city of Gyeongju is an area rich with temples, tombs, pagodas, and palace ruins (many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites). Start your day with a stroll through the local market, learning about the ingredients and produce that form the building blocks of this amazing cuisine. There should also be time to explore some of the royal tombs - conspicuous grassy hills which punctuate the landscape around the city.

Lunch will be a tasting of Korean comfort foods, including hotteok, tteokbokki, chicken on a stick - not to mention red bean bread, a specialty of this region. In the afternoon drive to the Bulguksa Monastery for an overnight temple stay. The monks at this temple practice a specific type of martial arts known as sunmudo. Be treated to a sunmudo display, then enjoy time to wander around the tranquil temple surrounds.

Dinner will be vegan, in line with monastic custom. In the evening, choose to be guided through a martial-arts style meditation and yoga session or simply settle in for an early night's sleep.

Accommodation

  • Temple Stay (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Golguksa Temple - Temple Stay Program with Sunmudo (Martial Arts) Training and Meditation
  • Gyeongju - Korean Street Food Tour at a Traditional Market

Meals Included

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Special Information

The monastery stay provides a unique and special experience, with an insight into monastic cuisine, rituals - even martial arts-style meditation! Conservative dress is required, although you will also be given pants and a tunic to wear during your stay.

Please remember to bring socks, as bare feet are not allowed in the temple. At night, you will be sleeping on traditional futons on a heated floor. Blankets and sheets are provided, although you'll need to bring your own toiletries and towel. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited at the monastery stay. 

The monastery is located on a hill, which does require some aerobic fitness to ascend. The martial arts meditation session also requires reasonable fitness. All activities at the monastery are optional and you can opt-out at any time if you feel the activity level is too strenuous. 

One of the highlights of the monastery stay is an early morning Buddhist service. This does require rising by 4am, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Day 5: Gyeongju

Your life as a monk continues today with a 4 am wake-up for a memorable morning meditation (you can opt out of it, though, if early mornings are not your thing!). Following breakfast, learn about the spiritual values and beliefs of Korean Buddhism over tea with a resident monk.

Leaving the monastery, drive on to a local farm for an insight into agricultural life. After a walk around the farm, you'll be treated to some home-made snacks. Returning to Gyeongju, the rest of the day is free to explore the city and its many UNESCO-listed sites. 

Note: In the case of bad weather, the farm visit will be replaced by an alternate activity.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Gyeongju - Farm Visit
  • Golguksa Temple - Martial Arts Meditation Demonstration

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 6: Busan

Drive on to the bustling port city of Busan. Visit Jalgalchi Market (an enormous seafood market situated by Busan port), then savour a clam bake lunch overlooking the ocean. In the evening, head to a local craft brewery for a behind-the-scenes tour and a tasting.

South Korea’s craft beer scene is exploding all across the country after a rise to popularity in Seoul. Busan boasts a fairly formidable range of brewpubs itself, many of these offering a fantastic range of beers with delicious food to boot.

Local IPAs such as the Doljianchi are crafted with special yeasts that give off delicious peach highlights, surprisingly lacking in punch for a beer with 9% alcohol content. Local sour beers also make for a fine drop, some of these coming with a sting that needs to be pushed past in order to truly appreciate the unique flavours.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Busan - Lighthouse Visit
  • Busan - Craft Brewery Tour
  • Busan - Jalgachi Seafood Market Tour
  • Busan - Clam Restaurant Lunch

Meals Included

  • Lunch

Day 7: Seoul

After breakfast at the hotel and a free morning to explore Busan, travel by Korea Train Express back to Seoul arriving late afternoon. There may be free time to wander around Gyeongbok Palace, marvel at the views from Namsan Tower or check out Seoul’s most eclectic neighbourhoods of Sinsadong and Gangnam.

For your final feast, head to the Majang Dong Beef Market and pick out some top-grade cuts of Korean beef for a mouth-watering Korean barbeque.

Accommodation

  • Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Seoul - Dinner at Majangdong Beef Market

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 8: Seoul

Your South Korea Food Adventure comes to an end this morning.

Optional Activities

  • Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) - Joint Security Area Half Day Tour - USD90
  • Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) - 3rd Tunnel Half Day Tour - USD70

Special Information

The optional DMZ tours can only be booked through our local operator 1 - 2 months in advance, no earlier (depending on the political atmosphere). 

Price is per adult sharing and includes:

Meals

  • 3 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

  • Private Vehicle, Train, Public Bus, Metro, Taxi

Accommodation

  • Hotel (5 nights), Temple stay (1 night), Hanok (1 night)

Included activities

  • Seoul - Welcome Dinner
  • Jeonju - Kimchi Cooking Class
  • Jeonju - Hanok Village Visit
  • Sunchang - Gochujang (traditional chilli paste) Cooking Demonstration
  • Golguksa Temple - Temple Stay Program with Sunmudo (Martial Arts) Training and Meditation
  • Gyeongju - Korean Street Food Tour at a Traditional Market
  • Gyeongju - Farm Visit
  • Golguksa Temple - Martial Arts Meditation Demonstration
  • Busan - Lighthouse Visit
  • Busan - Craft Brewery Tour
  • Busan - Jalgachi Seafood Market Tour
  • Busan - Clam Restaurant Lunch
  • Seoul - Dinner at Majangdong Beef Market

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Flights- we'll find the best fare based on your chosen travel date and departure airport
  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email info@shandontravel.ie, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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