EXODUS DMC

tour

SPECIAL INTEREST

Bike Combination 5 days



Tour Highlights

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • National Folk Museum of Korea
  • Insa-dong Antique Shop Street
  • Namdaemun Market
  • Cycling
  • Silleuksa Temple
  • Yeongneung Tomb
  • Korean Folk Village
  • Hwaseong Fortress



   Tour from April through October
   Lunches and dinners paid locally
   Day backpack for anything you may need while cycling



  Tour facts and features
  Accommodation

 4 hotel nights in 4 star twin share accommodation
 Single room avaialble at surcharge

  Meals  4 breakfasts
  Transport  All transportation by private vehicle
  Guided  Services of an English speaking guide
  Group size  Maximum 14
  Age range  18+
  Activity  Cycling of 65km
  Degrees of difficulty  Normal

 

Click on the days to access the programs quick
Days Visits and Activities Distance
Day 1 Arrive Seoul 60km
Day 2 Seoul  
Day 3 Seoul - Paldang - Yangpyeong - Yeoju 100km
Day 4 Yeoju - Yongin - Suwon - Seoul 130km
Day 5 Departure 60km

Day 1 Arrive Seoul (- - -)
60km

Touching down at Incheon International Airport places you in the heart of Korea. After you clear Passport and Customs control, your tour guide will greet you at the main passenger terminal and transport you to your hotel.

Day 2 Seoul (B)
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.

Your visit to the National Folk Museum of Korea will familiarize you with wealthy culture of this friendly and picturesque nation. It is an excellent facility to illustrate the history of traditional life of the Korean people from the prehistoric age to the Joseon dynasty. The permanent exhibition features 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.


Insa-dong is known as the center of traditional Korean art and antiques. Clustered along the main street and alleys are numerous shops dealing in antiques, oriental art supplies, and modern Korean art of all types and styles. Many scour the main street, but the back alleys do spring some unexpected surprises. Here, you may want to buy some souvenirs or simply wander and browse at leisure admiring upscale art galleries, antique shops and cultural ambience.

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.


Day 3 Seoul - Paldang - Yangpyeong - Yeoju (B) 100km
With time to hassle over the city's traffic, travel on a bus for 35km to Paldang, where you will begin your cycling to Yoeju (65km). The bikeways are well established and marked properly for any to follow. There is no better way to enjoy the nature and culture than cycling along the Namhangang. The bikeways with lot of flat and rolling are suitable for fit cyclists with basic skills, but not for professional races or intense competition. With short breaks at Ungilsan station, Yangpyeong and Ipobo weir and finally pedal to Yeoju. From there on, enjoy a rolling ride of 7km over the defunct railroad and bikeway to Sinwon by passing a number of tunnels. This paved stretch follows the line of the old Jungangseon Railroad, which was built in 1939 to connect Gyeongju.

Your cycling to Yeoju on a fairly flat path is pleasant and scenery is beautiful. Yongdamri, Sinwonri, Guksuri, Yangpyeong, Hajapo, Sangjapo are among the villages and towns you will pass by. The weirs were constructed as part of the river restoration project to improve water quality, control the flood and to help with water shortages. One such example you will pass by is Ipobo that was built in the shape of an egret flying up into the sky. Other weirs in Yeoju are Yeojubo and Gangcheonbo.

You will stop at Silleuksa, a rare temple that is perched on a riverbank amid an attractive waterfront whose cove forms a snug and cosy enclosure for this ancient sanctuary. Many pray at a beautiful seven-tier marble pagoda, that is masterfully adorned with dragon and lotus carvings. Incense burning in the temple and sights and smells mixed offer visitors a really magical experience. A 500-year-old aromatic juniper tree and a 600-year-old ginkgo tree grow on the temple grounds, and on a small hill stands a seven-story brick pagoda, the only existing Goryeo brick pagoda (918-1392).

Day 4 Yeoju - Yongin - Suwon - Seoul (B) 130km
You will visit UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yeongneung, a tomb of royal couple of King Sejong who is widely regarded as the most enlightened king in Korean history. He promulgated Korean Alphabet and also invented such scientific devices as a rain gauge, a celestial globe, sundial, armillary sphere, water clock, promoted the development of classical court music, and improved metal type printing techniques. Many replicas of inventions that were commissioned by the king are displayed near the entrance to burial mound. Near the tomb and all around it are life-sized statues of warriors and horses, put here to protect the King.

Next, you will experience the heritage of the Korean people and soak up the local culture. A village entrance is marked by an eye-catching stone tower topped by a symbolic stone serving as fertility and protective totem, where people write a wish on the paper and tie to the ropes. Korean Folk Village is a functioning community displaying the diversity of Korean lifestyle and culture of several centuries ago. On entering the village, you are greeted by goofy looking group of wooden Jangseung signifying village boundary and preventing bad luck.

The village holds a wide assortment of residential structures from the straw-thatched cottages of commoners to the 99-room mansions of the noble class as well as governor's office. There are many workshops where the real artisans and craftsmen dressed in traditional costumes ply their trades, demonstrating centuries-old craftsmanship in the art of pottery, pyrography, bamboo craft, Korean paper, brassware, and many more. While strolling past the houses and workshops one by one, you will get the feeling of walking through time in an ancient village.

Depending on timing, enjoy farmer's music and dance, which has been the beloved form of entertainment of Korean people, bearing testimony to the gregarious character of Korean fun-making and festivity. Jultagi or acrobatics on a tightrope is something you cannot miss. The rope walker executes a variety of acrobatic feats on the rope, along with jokes, mimicry, or songs, while a clown engages the tightrope walker in joking banter, and a team of musicians plays music to accompany the entertainment.

You will experience some of long-observed seasonal customs, beliefs, folk games or plays that have been comprehensively reflected the daily life of the Korean people. A traditional wedding ceremony is also performed on a daily basis, although it may no longer be explicitly followed.

A traditional marketplace offers the exotic flavors of Korean cuisine from different regions. Shops stock a variety of handicrafts and souvenirs, many of which were made on the premises. With all these features combined, the tour offers a fascinating insight into the unique Korean lifestyle of the days gone by.


Toru also includes UNESCO World Heritage site of Hwaseong Fortress from the 18th century. Though it is relatively small in scale, it is well acknowledged as the best structure of its kind ever built in Korea. A 5.74km-long fortress enclosing both flatland and hilly terrain is parapeted with crenels and merlons and highlighted by four main gates and well over 50 structures including temporary palace where the king sought refuge during war and found rest during times of peace. A walk through the whole fortress could take several hours but it is well worth making a short walking tour to enjoy the splendor of the fortress, including the Korea's largest Janganmun Gate.

Day 5 Departure (B) 60km
After this wonderful trip exploring Korea and with time to reflect on your surprise in your experience, you will return to the airport in time for your flight. By boarding, you are already high above Incheon heading for home.