Seat In Coach
Morning Seoul 3 hours
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
- National Folk Museum of Korea
- Amethyst Store
- Namdaemun Market
We book this tour through subcontracted out to other tour companies. Therefore the tour quality, conditions and prices by their nature may vary company to company.
Sometimes the unexpected can happen; If you have missed your tour departure, first call the relevant emergency number and speak to our staff who will be happy to help you catchy up with the group. Please note that you are responsible for any extra travelling expenses incurred due to you missing your tour’s departure, so please be on time.
Seoul / The Best of Morning (- - -)
Your exploration this morning begins with a driving tour of Seoul, featuring sites such as Seoul Plaza, City Hall, Cheonggye Square and pedestrian-friendly Gwanghwamun Plaza that is hemmed in on both sides by rushing traffic and office buildings. The plaza is lined on each side with 365m long streamlets, two centimeters deep and one meter across, the stone bed of the plaza's east side waterway engraved with important events in chronological order from 1392 to 2008.
Standing high on a stone pillar is a statue of Yi Sunsin who had engaged in twenty-three naval battles and emerged victorious in all of them during the Hideyoshi invasion (1592-1598). King Sejong who propagated the Korean alphabet in the 15th century is also honored with prominent statue. On August 16, 2014, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in this plaza to beatify 124 Korean martyrs. Near the southwest corner of the plaza is Korea's Kilometer Zero, marking the distances to 64 cities around the world, including Seoul's antipode, Montevideo, Uruguay, 19,606km.
Step back in time to when life was gracefully slow and discover Gyeongbokgung Palace, a particularly charming spot that represents a colorful and turbulent side of the capital's 500-year history. Depending on timing, you may witness the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony featuring parade, password verification, duty shift and patrolling the gate. Accompanied by a court band with its colorful costumes and royal flags, the ceremony is performed daily basis at 10:00 and 14:00 except Tuesdays, although it is cancelled in case of rain or extremely hot or cold weather.
Up from the gates is a spacious stone-paved courtyard that is fully enclosed by wooden cloisters, and at the center of which runs three footpaths through two rows of rank stones, indicating the positions of the officials with the highest rank being closer to the hall.
Standing majestically on top of a two-tiered stone platform that is lined with detailed balustrades is Geunjeongjeon Hall, where the king formally granted audiences to his officials, gave declarations of national importance, presided over large official functions, and greeted foreign envoys and ambassadors. Check out the royal throne and a large painting, depicting sun, moon, five peaks, streams and pine trees, which was the crucial signifier of the king. And up in the center of the ceiling, the bright golden dragons in bold relief indicate the presence of the king.
At the back of the throne hall is a group of court offices. Displayed in front of the King's official quarters is sundial, conceived in order to catch the shadow of the sun, which tells time and 24 periods of seasonal change from the winter solstice to the summer solstice.
Sitting on the island in the rectangular lake is Gyeonghoeru. Supported by 48 square and cylindrical massive stone pillars representing the idea of Yin and Yang, this magnificent pavilion was used for many purposes ranging from receptions to national examinations.
Gangnyeongjeon is the king's sleeping and living quarters while Gyotaejeon is the queen's domain containing a number of halls. The noted feature of these main buildings is an absence of a top roof ridge.
Amisan Garden, landscaped with four hexagonal chimneys in orange bricks, is seldom noticed by the hurried visitors. Jagyeongjeon is the queen dowager's residence. Although less colorful, it is worth noting the wall, adorned with floral designs and the chimneys with ten longevity symbols.
Hyangwonjeong features a small pond with a manmade islet that supports a beautiful two-story pavilion. Behind this serene garden is Geoncheonggung, where the king and queen could relax in peace and quiet. It was here that the first electric lights in the country were installed in 1887 after 8 years of Thomas Edison's invention and a tragic chapter in Korea's history was recorded when empress Myeongseong was assassinated by the sword-bearing Japanese assassins in the early morning of 8 October 1895, allegedly under orders from Miura Goro.
Upon exiting the Sinmumun gate, you will take a few minutes to take some pictures in front of the Blue House, the executive office and official residence of the president of Korea. Then back into the palace and learn about the cultural wealth of this friendly and picturesque nation at the National Folk Museum of Korea. You visit to the museum will familiarize you with wealthy culture of this friendly and picturesque nation. It is an excellent facility providing insight into the daily life and work, costumes and ornaments, handicrafts and technology, educations, living quarters, dietary life, oriental medicine, performing arts and games, beliefs and rituals, and socio cultural life of the Korean people from the prehistoric age to the Joseon dynasty.
With time to stop off at Amethyst Showroom for souvenirs, you will tour the centuries-old Namdaemun Market brimming with well over 11,000 shops selling anything you can imagine. The whole area is a labyrinth of street vendors and buildings. The market is seriously crowded, so be prepared to get bumped around. A fantastic place to haggle over the price to get the best deal on something you want or simply admire the vibrancy of this massive market.
At the western entrance of the market in the middle of a traffic circle stands Sungnyemun. It is a formidable and iconic construct that served as the southern gate of the wall that surrounded Seoul during the period of the Joseon Dynasty.
The tour ends at Myeongdong, allowing you to explore it at own. Or you will continue your ride to Lotte hotel Seoul. Myeongdong has been the center of fashion. Boutiques, cafes and swanky shops that sell clothes and accessories lined on both sides of the narrow alleys of Myeongdong. The alleyways come alive with shoppers walking past the fancy displays of shoes and handbags, tailor-made suits and shirts, latest design dresses, handcrafted modern jewelry, stockings and cosmetics. Of the most notable attraction here is the Gothic style Myeongdong cathedral. It was built in 1898 and serves as the administrative seat of the Catholic church in Korea. At the end of the tour you will be dropped at the Lotte Hotel Seoul.
In the event of Gyeongbok palace being unavailable for any reason or closed (Tuesdays), the visit will be substituted with Deoksugung Palace.
With the destruction of Gyeongbok palace by Hideyoshi's invasion in the late 16th century, it had been the detached palace and not used by kings for 270 years with exception of several years by King Injo. In 1897 when King Gojong ended his one year stay in the nearby Russian legation, he refused to return to Gyeongbok palace, and settled here. Attractions are Daehanmun, the main gate of the palace which was moved back from its original location in 1971. Junghwamun gate, in accordance with palace architecture, there is a stone bridge to cross after entering the palace grounds. There are three series of steps in front of the three doorways to this gate; The king used only the middle entrance. The royal dragon insignia is in the center flanked by four Haetae (fire eating monsters) on the step railings. The audience hall, originally a double-roofed building, was reconstructed with only one floor after fire of 1904. The throne chair is seen in the center. The dragon theme, symbol of royalty, is prevalent throughout the design of the throne chair. The huge incense burners located on the corners of the platform were lit during a royal audience. Seokjojeon is the art gallery designed by an English architect in 1901 and completed in 1909. Chunmyeongjeon, the King Gojong's residence, Jukjodang, the King Injo's residence, Seogeodang, the King Sunjo's residence, inner palace residences, a bell cast in 1306 to honor Queen of the first king of Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) and a statue of King Sejong who invented the Korean Alphabet Hangul in 1443.
The tour is subject to operation with minimum two persons and will be conducted in English
Tour by taxi or van
Pick up service not available
Tour starts at Lotte hotel Seoul at 08:40 and ends at Myeong-dong at 12:00
45,000 Won (Approx. USD 45) per person
Full payment required at the time of booking
Cancellation notice received one day prior to departure : 50%
No Show : 100%
30% off for one child on two or more full paying persons signed up
On Tuesday, Gyoengbok palace and National Folklore Museum to be substituted with Deoksu palace and Palace Museum