Day 1: Australia – – Seoul
Fly out of Australia today on your South Korea-bound overnight flight.
Please note that some flights may depart 1 day later.
Day 2: Seoul
Welcome to Seoul! You land in the exciting capital of South Korea and will be met at the airport by your hotel transfer.
Day 3: Seoul – Seoraksan National Park – Sokcho (B, L, D)
A day trip takes you out of the city and into the wilderness today, as the group travels away from Seoul towards Seoraksan National Park. This route first takes you through Sokcho Fishing Village where you have the chance to learn about how the village’s resident originally came to the South after fleeing conflict in the North during the Korean War. Continue to Seoraksan National Park and uncover its bounty, including Shinheungsa Temple and the castle ruins of Gwongeumseong Fortress – you reach the latter via cable car. Your tour guide will then drive the group back to the hotel in Sokcho and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 4: Sokcho – Andong – Daegu (B, L)
Today’s agenda sees you set off for Daegu after breakfast. Enroute there is a stop in Andong, a coastal city known for its well-preserved houses and fascinating mask dance performances. Andong is an ancestral home of the Pungsan Ryu clan, too. Continue to Mabijeong Mural Village for the next pitstop. Keen shoppers will eagerly anticipate arriving in Daegu and the opportunity to explore Dongseongno, one of the city’s premier districts for indulging in retail therapy.
Day 5: Daegu – Gyeongju (B, L)
The group makes its way to Gyeongju and enjoys a city tour on arrival. On the sightseeing list are some of the city’s temples and most important archaeological sites. First up is Cheomseongdae, the oldest astronomical observatory in Asia constructed between 632 AD and 647 AD. Look upon stone relics from the Silla kingdom on a trip to Gyeongju National Museum, and visit both Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto. These temples feature a number of pagodas, bridges and Buddhist statues. The last stop of the day is Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond in Gyeongju National Park. Both sites made up an ancient Silla palace complex, and the palace is perched in the centre of the pond with three smaller islands at its fringe. The park is brimming with beautiful photo opportunities. You are then taken to the hotel and have the remainder of the day as free time.
Day 6: Gyeongju – Seoul (B, L)
An unforgettable excursion takes you this morning to the North Korea 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, located in the Korean Demilitarised Zone (DMZ). This tunnel is an exceptional feat of engineering and has capacity to accommodate an entire infantry tunnel through its passage in an hour. Learn more about the Korean War and its impact at Imjingak’s Unification Park and North Korea Center, and even see into a part of North Korea by looking out from the platform at Dora Observatory and at Peace Village, People’s School and Gaeseong City. Head to North Hall and Exhibition Hall to learn about North Korean lifestyle and to see planes and tanks used during the Korean War. Overnight in Seoul.
Day 7: Seoul (B,L,D)
Get to know the sights of Seoul today. Among some of the landmarks you can expect to admire are the residence of President Cheong Wa Dae, plus the Gyeongbokgung Palace and a local amethyst store. Head to Insa-dong, a precinct of Seoul dotted with museums, eateries serving traditional fare, teahouses and quaint cafes. It is then onto the Korean Folk Village to gain understanding into what local life was like during the period of the Joseon Dynasty. Lastly, take a stroll at Seoullo 7017, one of Seoul’s beautiful green spaces that was actually built atop a former highway overpass. Tonight is your final evening in South Korea.
Day 8: Seoul – – Taipei (B)
A transfer collects you after breakfast and takes you to Seoul’s Incheon Airport for your short one-way flight to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. You will be met upon arrival at Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) and taken to your hotel.
Day 9: Taipei – Taroko National Park (B)
Head out into Taipei for a morning city tour. This is a perfect introduction to the Taiwanese capital and some of the places on the sightseeing list include National Palace Museum, Taipei 101 tower, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (CKS Memorial Hall), and the Martyrs’ Shrine. The group then drives via the world’s fifth-longest highway tunnel towards Taroko National Park. Along the way there is opportunity to stop at Qingshui Cliff to take photos of the stunning coastline. Arrive at the park in the late afternoon.
Day 10: Taroko National Park – Chihpen (B)
Spend the first part of the day discovering the natural beauty of Taroko National Park. Begin by seeing the archway that doubles as the gateway to Taroko Gorge, and then move on to the Eternal Spring Shrine and Swallow Grotto. The gorge itself is the main drawcard of the park and is the only marble gorge in the world. You later make the five-hour drive to Chihpen near Taitung. There is plenty of scenic coastline to see along the way, including at Siao Yeliou and Sanxiantai. The Chihpen area is particularly well known for its thermal hot springs and you can sink into the healing waters upon check in at the hotel.
Day 11: Chihpen – Kaohsiung City (B)
Follow the South Link Line from Taitung to Kaohsiung City, the biggest city in the south of Taiwan. Your first activity is boarding a ferry to nearby Cijin Island where you have a chance to explore. Make the return ferry trip to Kaohsiung City and head to Lotus Pond to see the Dragon and Tiger Pagoda, and the Spring and Autumn Pavilion. Both sites are located on the banks of the Pond. Tonight is at your leisure and you may choose to discover the city’s illuminated streetscapes or peruse stalls at the Lihue Night Market.
Day 12: Kaohsiung City – Tainan City (B, L)
Enroute to Tainan City, the final destination on today’s agenda, there is a stop at Fo Guang Shan Monastery. Wander the grounds of the biggest monastery in Taiwan and take in its main shrine, immaculate gardens and nearby Buddhist Museum. A light vegetarian lunch is also served here for you. It is then a one-hour drive to Tainan City. Set out on a walking tour of this historic city to learn about its heritage and to take in Anping Fort plus its mix of Chinese and Taiwanese culture.
Day 13: Tainan City – Sun Moon Lake – Taichung City (B)
Go from Tainan City to the landscape surrounding Sun Moon Lake. While here you will take in a myriad of sites and natural beauty, including Wen Wu Temple, Syuentzang Temple (Holy Monk Shrine), Ita Thao Village and Ci En Pagoda. The itinerary then takes the group to Taichung City. To become acquainted with the city, you may opt to meander around the stalls at Fengjia Night Market, finding local delicacies, souvenirs and knick-knacks along the way.
Day 14: Taichung City – Taipei (B)
See more of Taichung City this morning on a city tour led by your guide. Among the tour’s main pitstops are the appropriately vibrant Rainbow Village, the National Taichung Theater, Calligraphy Greenway and Miyahara. Later on, make the return two-hour drive to Taipei, where you will have free time for the remainder of the afternoon and evening. This is your last night in Taiwan.
Day 15: Taipei – – Hong Kong (B)
A transfer picks you up after breakfast and takes you to the airport in time to board your flight to Hong Kong. You will also be met and transferred to your Hong Kong hotel upon arrival.
Day 16: Hong Kong (B)
Sit down to a delicious breakfast at your 5-star hotel in Hong Kong and head out on a half-day tour of Hong Kong Island. One of the inclusions on this tour is one-way travel in the Peak Tram up Victoria Peak. From the lookout point you will be able to see a view dotted with sampans, houseboats and skyscrapers. From Victoria Peak you move to Stanley Market to shop and try some local cuisine, and then Aberdeen Fishing Market to see its popular seafood eateries and large floating restaurant. The remainder of the day is yours to spend however you wish.
Day 17: Hong Kong Island (B)
Indulge whatever whim you have with a day of complete leisure time. Flex your shopping muscles at high-end boutiques or bustling local markets, including Ladies Market. Get your thrills at Hong Kong Disneyland or Ocean Park Hong Kong. Other popular sites around the island include Temple Street Night Market, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Golden Bauhinia Square, Avenue of Stars and Lan Kwai Fong.
Day 18: Hong Kong – – Australia (B)
You will be picked up at the necessary time and taken to the airport to catch your return flight to Australia.
Day 19: Australia
Arrive back in Australia today.