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  Korea Winter Family Trip, Dec 2013  
     
   
  Korea Group Photo & In the Snow Nov 2013  
     
 
07D/05N Anneyonghaseo Sorak KoreaTours
     
7D5N Winter Korea
in March 2014
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7D5N Winter Korea
Jeju – Ski – Nami – Everland - Seoul
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7D5N Winter Korea KoreaTours
 
  Lost in Korea Trip 2014 KoreaTours
 
     
 
Korea Tours
Korean Wave Super Economy Tour
5 Days/4 Nights
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Korean Wave Economy Tour
5 Days/4 Nights
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Korean Wave Medium Tour
5 Days/4 Nights
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Korean Wave Luxury Tour
5 Days/4 Nights
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Jeju Island Tours
Jeju Island Daily Tour
 
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Jeju Island Tours
Jeju - Nami - Ski - Seoul Tour
7 Days/6 Nights
8 Days/7 Nights
 
     
 
Korea Tours
Korea Super Economy Tour
8 Days/7 Nights
 
 
Korea Tours
Korea Super Economy Tour
9 Days/7 Nights
 
 
 
     
     
     
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9D7N Korea Super Economy Tour, Jan 10-18, 2013
 
     
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Korea Medium Tour Package, Dec 24-30, 2012
[Day 1] Seoul City    
 
Gyeongbok Palace   Cheonggyecheon Stream
 
     
 

Gyeongbokgung (Palace), built in the 4th year of King Taejo's reign (1395), is where the Joseon Dynasty originated. It is the oldest and central palace of Joseon. It is for this reason that Gyeongbokgung is considered the most beautiful and biggest of the 5 palaces in Seoul, and praised as demonstrating the very height of architectural technology from the medieval period of Northeast Asia.

Parts of the palace were burnt down during "Imjin Waeran", the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592-1598). Since 1610 Changdeokgung played the role of jeonggung instead, until Heungseon Daewongun (father of King Gojong) restored Gyeongbokgung in 1865. Although the palace was seriously damaged once again, under Japanese Colonial rule, the current Korean government is continuing its predecessors' efforts to restore it to its original glory. Major attractions inside the palace include Geunjeongjeon (the main hall of the palace), Gyeonghoeru pavilions, Hyangwonjeong pavilion and the Amisan chimneys, all of which are valuable cultural and historical assets illustrating the essence of the traditional architectural design of the Joseon Dynasty.

There are several historical sites and artifacts of great value that can be found in every corner of Gyeongbokgung. Inside the palace are the National Palace Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum of Korea to take you on a trip back into Korean history.

Cheong-gye-cheon Stream
Seoul is the most cutting-edge and futuristic Korean city, and its urban beauty is well known abroad as well. High-rises stand proudly in great number, and roads and the roads and other facilities also boast of the traditional and modern grace of the city. An all-gray urban view, however, could strike both residents and visitors as dry and dreary. No one could fully enjoy his or her travel in a city that is apparently chic but feels cold and suffocating.
Fortunately, various streams run throughout the city of Seoul. Today, these streams, where dirty water and sewage once flowed, have been reborn as new cultural and recreational areas for Seoulites and visitors. The streams help to wash away soulless images of downtown as well as offer a natural touch and eco-friendly warmth.
In particular, Seoul streams are welcomed as a precious place to experience nature living in the heart of a metropolis. Chattering through a forest of buildings like in a fairytale landscape, with a shoal of fish lively swimming in them, Seoul streams give a clean and clear image to the city.
Four major streams of Seoul are Cheonggyecheon (Stream), Jungnangcheon (Stream), Yangjaecheon (Stream) and Hongjecheon (Stream), and their banks have been recently remodeled in a fancy and modernized way. They have now become public parks, with a variety of leisure and recreational facilities newly built. Fountains, bridges and various sculptures stand above the streams for a picture-perfect view. A stroll around any of these parks with a cup of coffee will give visitors to Seoul an unforgettable memory of their stay.
Especially, different trees and flowers in the environs of Seoul streams present very different scenic spectacles each season. The sweet-smelling flowers along the banks also wonderfully refreshing.

[Day 2] Seoul City

Bukchon Hanok Village is the perfect destination for those seeking to learn about and enjoy the beauty of Hanok (traditional Korean-style house).
Bukchon is not an official municipal name; rather, it means that it lies to the north of Cheonggyecheon (Stream) and Jongno, the downtown area of Seoul. It used to be the high-end residential district for royal family members and high-ranking government officials.
The sight of a number of Hanok built next to each other, sharing a wall and touching each other's eaves, will give you a glimpse into the friendly and open-hearted lifestyle of Koreans. This might be the true charm of Bukchon Hanok Village.
Surrounded by Gyeongbokgung (Palace), Changdeokgung (Palace), and Jongmyo (Royal Shrine), the Bukchon area is a traditional residential area in Seoul that boasts 600 years of history. Its location reflects the views of neo-Confucianism, regarding the world and nature, during the Joseon Dynasty. Traditional Korean houses ("hanok" in Korean) are preserved here and clustered between two palaces; stretching alleys branch out across the beautiful surroundings. Home to some 920 Hanok, a museum, and various craft shops hidden away in the alleys, the Bukchon area is a popular spot for busy tourists to catch a glimpse into the 600-year history of Seoul in a few hours.
Hanok architecture places great emphasis on the topographical features of the land on which it is built. Structural arrangements, layouts, and other spatial aesthetics are major concerns here, as are the styles of the buildings themselves. Relatively smaller buildings somehow embrace and complement the beauty of wide fields, high mountains, and the endlessly stretched sky. Though different in atmosphere and form, a walk through Bukchon's narrow alleys will bring you the fun and excitement similar to a walk through the small streets of Venice.
One house looks like another, a seemingly dead-end alley meets the main street, and the main street somehow becomes a garden of yet another house here. Let your guard down and walk freely because you will not get lost in Bukchon. All alleys lead to Gyeongbokgung (Palace), Changdeokgung (Palace), or downtown Seoul. A slow walk through alleys growing narrow, wide, and then narrow again, surrounded by old Hanok, will take you on a trip back in time.

 
     
   
  Hongik University Street & Four Seasons House (TV Drama Set Studio)  
   
     
 

Hongdae refers to the area stretching from Hongik Univ. Station (line 2) to the main entrance of Hongik University and is lined with unique coffee houses, small venues for indie rock concerts, live music bars, jazz and dance clubs.
Hongik University itself is most famous for its art program and so naturally the area is full of arty boutiques, galleries, studios, craft shops and accessory stores, as well. The last Friday of each month is "Club Day" when clubbers can visit many different clubs in the area with a single ticket. The annual street art festival in October is another popular cultural event attracting a stream of young art lovers to this area.
Every Friday and Saturday night, Hongik University area becomes full of young people dressed to impress and following the sound of music and chatter. This area attracts both Koreans and foreigners in equal measure. House, trance, drum and base, hip hop, rock, and salsa rhythms transport you to a world of rhythm, light and dance.
Hongik University area is also famous for the many and varied works by artists who defy the bounds of a confined studio space; and many "Streets of Art" have come about in the area as a result. This has made the area Seoul's No.1 art district where the public freely interacts with the art all about them. Markets for the arts and crafts of amateur artists regularly open in the playground across the street from Hongik University. There are many hidden treasures to be found at these markets.

Four Seasons House (Yoon's Color Studio)
'Four Seasons House' is located in Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul and features props, items, photos and sets from director Yoon Suk-Ho's four seasons' dramas. Yoon Suk-Ho's series [Autumn in my Heart], [Winter Sonata], [Summer Scent], and [Spring Waltz] are among some of the most famous Hallyu dramas and capture the theme of pure love through vivid cinematography. The basement and first floor of the Four Seasons House also house exhibits from other well-known dramas including [Snow Queen]. Outside exhibits include a re-creation of the proposal room from [Summer Scent] and a bench used in [Winter Sonata] and [Spring Waltz]. Guests must make a reservation online or by phone before visiting the Four Seasons House.

 
   
     
  Han River – Moonlight Rainbow Fountain & Floating Island  
   
     
  Banpo Hangang Park is located between the Hannamdaegyo (Bridge) and Dongjakdaegyo (Bridge) near Banpo-dong in Seocho-gu and Heukseok-dong in Dongjak-gu. With 1,140m in total length (570m on each side), the "Moonlight Rainbow Fountain" on the Banpodaegyo is recognized as the world's longest bridge fountain in the Guinness Book of Records. Whenever the 380 nozzles spout water, lights illuminate the bridge in a kaleidoscope of colors, creating a breathtaking view.  
     
 

[Day 3]

 
     
  Apgujeong Rodeo Street, Brand Shops Street Cheongdamdong
Luxury-brand stores lining the street, hip new restaurants and high-end coffeehouses open everyday, a sighting of celebrities. This about summarizes what you can expect in the Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong areas, the No.1 trend-setting district of Korea. Home to some of the wealthiest people in Korea this district is rapidly rising as an economic, cultural, and educational hub of Seoul. Most of the stores, restaurants, and bars offer opulent atmospheres and high-quality goods and services. Cheongdam-dong has recently grown in stature as the new center of the art market as well. Top galleries from Korea and abroad, artwork auctioneers and art fund companies are all crowding around the new Gallery Tower to form the New Art Valley.
 
   
     
  Experience of Making Kimchi & Try on Korean Traditional Customs  
   
     
 

Kimchi is perhaps the one single dish that is indispensable to Korean people. You can easily mimic its appearance but can never mimic its taste because its thousand-year long secret recipe is hidden in its fresh ingredients from the Korean soil. Its nickname "the taste of a thousand years" highlights the craftsmanship and touch of artisans who have breathed and swallowed the spirit of Korean soil. Kimchi has become an essential part of Korean history and culture. Now we will begin a journey to find its historic taste.

[KIMCHI: Food fermented in lactic acid, at low temperatures, after mixing the main ingredient - the salted Chinese cabbage - with the spicy seasonings of red pepper power, garlic, ginger, scallion, and radish, and storing the seasoned cabbages in a pot]. This is the definition of kimchi as stated in the CODEX standard. Kimchi is a famous side dish that Koreans have fallen in love with. Almost all Koreans serve kimchi with every meal at home. In a restaurant, you will be served one or two kinds of kimchi with your main dish, even though you didn't order them.

"Gimjang" is one-time event throughout the year for preparing and storing kimchi for the winter; "Gimjang Pumasi" is a cooperative event where neighbors and relatives gather around helping with winter kimchi preparations; a "kimchi refrigerator" is made for storing aging and fermenting kimchi for a long time. All these explain how important kimchi is to Koreans. This single, simple food captures the heart of Koreans and has been a huge influence on Korean culture and industry. Koreans even wrote song lyrics like, "I can't live a single day without kimchi, I really mean it."

 
   
     
 

The history of kimchi goes way back to the period of the Three States on the Korean peninsular, which is around 1300 years ago. At that time, people enjoyed a type of kimchi preserved in salt or paste. As red pepper started to be imported from overseas, in the early 17th century, kimchi was transformed from a simple salt-preserved dish into a reddish and spicy delight. In addition, when people started to grow Chinese cabbage, around 1850, a whole Chinese cabbage style kimchi, made by putting the seasonings, varied vegetables and salted fish sauce into each layer of the cabbage leaves, has been dominating at every table since.

The difference between kimchi and Chinese or Japanese pickles is that Korean kimchi is fermented with fish sauce. "A big difference between Korean kimchi and Japanese Kimuchi would be 'fermentation'," said Park Chaerin, curator of the Korean Kimchi Museum. While Japanese Kimuchi, which is pickled in salt and seasoned with red pepper power and sugar, is similar to salad in the West, Korean kimchi is a fermented food that goes through a certain amount of time to ripen and mix with fish sauce. The high nutritional value of kimchi comes from the lactic acid and lactic acid bacteria generated during fermentation. 1 gram of well-ripened kimchi contains about 100,000,000 lactic acid bacteria - up to 4 times more bacteria than yogurt of the same weight. Lactic acid is good for the intestines and has excellent antifungal properties because there are around 15 species of lactic acid bacteria in kimchi, such as leuconocstoc bacteria, that are more powerful than other lactic acid bacteria. kimchi became very popular throughout Asia because of its "SARS" preventive effect when the disease began to spread widely.

It was the excellent antifungal properties of lactic acid that did all the magic. Any vegetable can be turned into kimchi as long as it can be fermented. Currently, there are approximately 200 different types of kimchi that could be reproduced by referring to historical archives. You cannot imagine how various types of kimchi could be made; they range from well-known basic vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage or radish, to other vegetables, such as cucumber, scallion, perilla leaf, leaf mustard, to squid or pheasant and chicken meat. Kimchi varieties are determined by factors like the region of the country, temperature, or family history. Among these, the magical touch of a mother's hands is a crucial determinant of the success or failure in kimchi taste. Many housewives still prefer to make kimchi at home, even when they can easily buy it at stores, because they want to achieve their hometown taste and be transported back there. Kimchi is a delicious reminiscence that excites Korean appetites. Baechu Kimchi, the most famous type of kimchi, is made with salted and washed Chinese cabbage filled with a seasoned mixture. Baechu kimchi is one of the most popular kimchis made for winter. It is filled with thin strips of radish, leaf mustard, parsley, scallions, garlic, ginger, and red pepper and is rich in flavor and nutrition. Experience of Making Kimchi and Try on Korean Traditional Customs called 'Hanbok'.

 
     
 

[Day 4]

 
  KBS (Korea Broadcasting System) Drama Center in Suwon City  
   
  In and out door drama set. Guided tour only.  
     
  Korean Folk Village in Yongin City  
   
  The Korean Folk Village is home to numerous collections of Korean cultural artifacts, providing an opportunity for Korean children to experience and learn the culture of their ancestors firsthand. The site provides a venue to promote traditional Korean culture to both domestic and international visitors, and provides an open-air learning place for succeeding generations. The village has been developed to convey the wisdom and the spirits of our ancestors to both domestic and international tourists.

The village has reproduced over 260 traditional houses reminiscent of the late Joseon Dynasty and has recreated the life of Korean people through the exhibition of various household goods. In about twenty workshops, various handicrafts including pottery making, winnows, round bamboo baskets, bamboo ware, round willow baskets, Korean paper, brassware, knotting and embroidery, paper umbrellas, musical instruments, furniture, farming tools and accessories are exhibited. Overall, visitors can catch a glimpse of the lifestyle of the ancient Korean people in the 300,000 pyeong natural location, experience diverse traditional life at the Folk Village, and enjoy the museum in addition to the folk museum.
 
     
   
  Dongdaemun Market is a haven for fashion-forward shopaholics. With large shopping malls like Migliore, Doota and Mesa, and various events, the area never sleeps. Boasting the reputation as Korea's largest fashion Mecca, Dongdaemun Market is always bustled with a sea of people who come to the market just for fun as well as for shopping, regardless of age and nationality. This area is the only tourist spot for night shopping, which makes it special and memorable. Take a look around the Jongno area in the direction of Dongdaemun and, all of a sudden, you will encounter a cluster of tall buildings and huge crowds with shopping bags in both hands. Upon entering the department store-like shopping malls, you will be surprised to see rows and rows of tiny stores on each floor. Those shops may be small, but that does not mean their goods are not good enough in terms of quality.  
     
 
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