An Asian economic tiger, South Korea is a mosaic of old and new: rural folk villages and cutting edge technology, ancient stone pagodas and rock music bars, buzzing modern cities and feudal-era fortresses, densely forested mountains graced by some of Asia’s finest Buddhist temples. It’s a compact and little-explored country where Asian traditions, Western fashions, Confucian ideals and democratic ideas mingle to form an identity based on language, national pride and a fondness for nature’s beauties. Somerset Tours & Travel are excited to be showcasing the best that this beautiful country has to offer and invites you to join us on our tour to explore the culture, traditions and amazing scenery.

The tour departs from South Africa on 31 March 2025 and flies on Singapore Airlines via Singapore to Seoul where two nights will be spent as an introduction to the country. Royal palaces, markets and traditional villages offer a unique cultural immersion into Korean ancient times

Next on the itinerary is Seoraksan National Park visiting the Shinheungsa Temple complex which has stood on this site since AD 652 but has been destroyed and rebuilt many times and the Gwongeumseong rock fortress, built in the 13th century.

From Seoraksan the tour travels through the beautiful region of Gyeongpondae to Andong, cradle of Confucianism and dance masks.

En route to Gyeongju we’ll make a stop in Daegu to visit the Oriental Medicine Museum and the market before heading to Haeinsa Temple in the Gaya National Park. We’ll have two nights in Gyeongju, ancient capital of the Shilla kingdom. This living museum, dubbed “Museum without Walls” was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

It a short distance from Gyeongju to Busan and en route we’ll visit two UNESCO World Heritage Site temples; the Bulkugsa Temple with its fabulous architecture and paintings on wood and the Seokguram Cave whose sanctuary is considered a masterpiece of Buddhist art in the Far East.

We’ll have two nights in Busan with time to stroll through the fish market of Jagalchi and visits to the Gamcheon Culture village, Yongdusan Park and the Cemetery of United Nations’ Memorial which pays tribute to the 37 895 members of the UN forces who died during the Korean War between 1950 and 1953.

The tour then proceeds to Jeonju for a night with visits to a traditional Korean Hanok village whose houses have been preserved since the period of the Shilla kingdom.

Travelling back to Seoul, there are visits to more UNESCO World Heritage Sites viz the Songsan-re Tombs and the Royal Tomb of King Muryeong, dating back to the 6th century and the Buyeo National Museum. We’ll also explore the Hwaseong fortress, one of the largest military structures in the country, built during the Chosen (Joseon) dynasty.

The tour will be led from South Africa by Liz Cotton and local professional English-speaking guides will accompany the group adding insight and value.

For all the centuries of tradition and copious natural blessings, we’ve planned our visit to coincide with a time of pure arboreal magic; the spring cherry blossom season. South Korea is one of the planet’s great travel destinations. It’s safe, friendly and possesses superb instrastructure. This rewarding tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and should NOT to be missed.

Space on the tour is limited. If you have any queries, or would like to secure your reservation or register your interest in the tour, please do not hesitate to contact Liz on tel: +27 (0)21 786-2598 or cell +27 (0)83 357 4855 or email info@somersettours.co.za. We look forward to booking your space on this fascinating tour.