12 Days | 14-26 October 2021 -$7268 pp, joining in Seoul

We know about the skilled crafts of Japan, but we ignore the same quality and diversity found in Korea. While there are similarities, there are substantial differences, providing many reasons why an exploration of Korea is essential for anyone who enjoys fine artisanal skills, be they fabric, wood, clay, jewelry, and even cuisine.

Our program commences in Seoul and over 12 days our journey circumnavigates south from the capital. Along the way we enjoy mountain scenery, coastal villages, farmland and forests. We visit important galleries, significant museums and participate in hands-on workshops. While our featured highlight is a day at the renowned Gwangju Biennale, there is much more to discover in our program such as velvet, mother-of-pearl, furniture, black ceramics, cooking, paper, and of course ramie. Accommodation is four-star, well located, western style hotels with breakfast. Group size is from eight to 15 guests.

Transport is by private vehicle and fast train, and a local English-speaking guide accompanies us throughout.


Your Tour Host, Christine Pearson, visited South Korea recently, and was impressed by the many small galleries and artisan studios to be explored. Christine welcomes your decision to join her on our new cultural adventure.Our cultural exploration of this fascinating country commences in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. You will be met on arrival at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport and transferred into the heart of the city for a 3-night stay.


Our journey also concludes in Seoul and transfers to the airport on the final day are provided. Guests make like to spend a few nights before or after this trip in Seoul or other Asian cities.
Contact us if you would like assistance planning a Seoul city stay or contemplating further exploration in Korea or surrounding countries.
Full joining instructions are provided in you final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask us.

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Seoul – Welcome to Korea
Wednesday 14 October 2020

On arrival at Incheon International Airport you will be met by our local English-speaking guide and transferred to Seoul and your accommodation at Center Mark Hotel (4*) or similar.

Day 2-3 – Exploration of Seoul

Over the next two days our program includes a number of important sites such as Gyeongbok Palace – seat of the Joseon Dynasty and built in 1395. We also visit artisans’ private museums & ateliers, and the National Museum of Korea amongst others. We also have the opportunity oftwo hands-on workshops and visit to a market featuring Hanbok traditional costume.

Day 4 – Seoul – Seocheon – Jeonju

After breakfast at hotel travel for 2.5 hours to Seocheon and meet our Ramie master weaver as well as visit a Ramie museum. Ramie has long been a fabric of choice for summer clothing in Korea. Cultivation of the ramie plant is only possible where appropriate soil and climate conditions co-exist. The Hansan area in Seocheon, has a longstanding reputation for ramie production. Intertwined with the natural climate and cultural features, ramie weaving takes on various forms depending on the region and helps to define the identity of its practitioners. We then proceed a short distance to Jeonju and their paper museum. The historic Hanok Village is home to more than 700 traditional houses. Overnight stay at Jeonju Ramada
Hotel (4*) or similar.

Day 5 – Jeonju – Gwangju – Biennale Visit

After breakfast at the hotel we travel a short distance to Gwangju. The city has been known for its historical tradition of art and culture and is home to Asia’s oldest biennial of contemporary art. This event has greatly contributed to the emergence of Korean art on the international stage.
Best known for the political uprising against the former military government, Gwangju has played a key role in the development of modern Korea. We visit ‘Art Street’ – a well-known centre full of local galleries and beautifully decorated shop windows. We include a visit to the local museum and try our hand at authentic Korean cooking and prepare Kimchi dishes. Overnight at Holiday Inn Gwangju Hotel (4*) or similar.

Day 6 – Gwangju – Boseong – Tongyeong

Leaving Gwanju after breakfast we travel through rural areas on our way to Boseong – one of the most important tea plantation areas in the country. The fields here produce more than 40% of Korea’s entire tea crop. There is an opportunity to walk in the tea fields and we enjoy tea tasting. Perhaps you might try the green tea ice cream?

From Boseong we proceed to Tongyeong situated on the southern coastline of the Korean peninsula. Here we visit and observe and a ‘Jagae’ (mother-of-pearl) master’s atelier and enjoy hands-on class. A wonderful cable car ride takes us to the summit of nearby Mireuksan providing fantastic views of the southern coastline.

A final highlight today is Dongpirang village – a living art gallery, with its narrow alleyways winding and snaking around the hill, past humble houses where walls display a dizzying array of colourful murals. Overnight at Tongyeong Stanford Hotel & Resort (4*) or similar.

Day 7 – Tongyeong – Busan

Tongyeong has been known for ‘Najeonchilgi’ (mother-of-pearl crafts) for centuries. The celebrated Ottchil Museum displays a mixture of daily use crafts and contemporary lacquer art (including formative art pieces), both employing the finest lacquer extracted from lacquer trees. The displayed items provide the opportunity to appreciate the elegance of traditional Korean crafts.


After our gallery visit, we continue our journey towards Busan, stopping along the way at Gamcheon village, which was built in the 1950s by Korean war refugees. Slowly, the people started building brick houses and the village continued to grow. With the support of local government working together with local artists, the village has been reborn and it now attracts local and international visitors.


It is a hot spot for the creative and visual arts displayed in galleries, boutiques and through street art. This afternoon we explore the sprawling Jagalchi Fish market – the largest in Korea. Overnight at Busan Crown Harbor Hotel (4*) or similar.

Day 8 – Busan – Gyeongju

Often touted as the nation’s ‘museum without walls,’ Gyeongju is a city teeming with stunning architectural structures, ancient artifacts, and thousand-year-old temples. The Gyeongju National Museum is a must-visit attraction housing some 30,000 archaeological artifacts and art works that have been unearthed over the years from various sites around the city. There are some pleasant walks here including through beautifully manicured tombs which are concentrated at Daereungwon Tumuli Park. One such tomb was excavated in 1973, is open for display and is comprised of a wooden coffin inside an underground chamber, representative of the typical upper-class tombs of the Silla period. Check in at Gyeongju Suites Hotel (4*) or similar.

Day 9 – Gyeongju – Daegu – Seoul

Daegu distinguishes itself from other urban centres by retaining its traditional market culture, with the Seomun Market being one of the largest and oldest establishments of its kind in the country. Daegu is the hub city of Korea’s textile and fashion industries which have been vital to the country’s economic growth.
A highlight today will be a visit to Korea’s first dedicated textile musuem. Later this afternoon we board the KTX Bullet Train for our return trip to the bustling capital city of Seoul. Check in for 2-nights at Center Mark Hotel (4*) or similar.

Day 10 – Seoul Exploration

After a busy week of touring and exploration we enjoy a more leisurely day in Seoul today. There is an opportunity to visit one of the city palaces, or a fascinating furniture museum that focuses only on traditional wooden furniture.
The museum’s collection boasts more than 2,500 pieces of traditional Korean furniture. Rather than exhibiting the collection behind glass, the pieces are displayed in ten ‘hanok’ (traditional houses) to show visitors how these pieces would have actually been used in daily life. There’s time for individual pursuits including shopping in the many speciality locations in the city. Looking for something specific? Check with your Tour Host and our local guide. They can point you in the right direction.

Day 11 – Hongcheon Day Excursion

We have one last treat today as we head north-east to the regional centre of Hongcheon – a centre of agriculture in the country. On arrival we visit a carpenter’s atelier to observe the master craftsmen at work. A highlight of our visit will be a visit to a master of black ceramics which we expect will resound deeply with guests. Works are sought after by ceramic collectors the world over.

We return to Seoul this afternoon after almost two weeks of extraordinary discovery in Korea. No doubt our interactions with local artisans, enjoyment of wonderful meals, fantastic scenery and the congenial company of fellow guests will make this a memorable journey, with
all the hallmarks of an ‘Intentionally Different’ travel experience.

Day 12 – Seoul Departure

Our wonderful Korean experience comes to an end today.
After breakfast and at the appropriate time, we transfer to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport for onward travel. Programme concludes.

For me, travel is in my soul”. With over 40 years of constant travel to almost 70 countries, Christine knows what to pack, how to negotiate, care for ill guests, find that elusive local café, and has friends throughout the world. Christine, and her husband created Intentionally Different Travel with the aim of developing less usual travel journeys to more unusual destinations. Christine’s professional and personal interests in crafts, particularly textiles, ceramics, jewellery and folk art (she has a BVA from ANU), focusses her explorations, and is keen to share her knowledge and insights with her guests.

Your Expert Tour Host

Christine Pearson

For me, travel is in my soul”. With over 40 years of constant travel to almost 70 countries, Christine knows what to pack, how to negotiate, care for ill guests, find that elusive local café, and has friends throughout the world. Christine, and her husband created Intentionally Different Travel with the aim of developing less usual travel journeys to more unusual destinations. Christine’s professional and personal interests in crafts, particularly textiles, ceramics, jewellery and folk art (she has a BVA from ANU), focusses her explorations, and is keen to share her knowledge and insights with her guests.