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Backpacking South Korea

Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of mountain temples, indulge in the rich flavours of local cuisine, and embark on thrilling adventures in a country that masterfully combines ancient charm with modern innovation. Get ready to discover South Korea!

  • 14 Meals (Vegetarian Options)
  • All Trips and Excursions
  • No Hidden Charges
  • All Accommodation
  • All In-Country Transport
  • Local English-Speaking Guides
  • Airport Pick Up & Drop Off
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance

Backpacking South Korea

$2925 from
Pay $350 deposit

Revel in the tranquil beauty of mountain temples, relish the delicious local cuisine, and embark on unforgettable adventures in a country where ancient traditions meet cutting-edge innovation. Prepare to explore South Korea!

  • Length 13 Days
  • Avg. Age 20-45
  • No. Of Activities 26
  • No. Of Meals 14
  • Avg. Group Size 8-22
  • Operator Trusted Partner
  • Starting Point Incheon
  • Ending Point Jeju Island

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Tour Dates

Tour Map

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Korea!

Day 1 of your thrilling South Korean adventure begins with an exciting arrival at the hostel in the lively centre of Seoul's renowned shopping area, Myeongdong. As soon as you step out, the city's vibrant energy will captivate you, igniting your sense of adventure. Gather with your group for an orientation session, then head off for your first Korean meal at the included welcome dinner with your new companions! Following dinner, we’ll enjoy the best night views of the city lights from the summit of Namsan Mountain.

  • Meals Included Dinner
  • Room Type Hostel
  • Activities Included Welcome dinner, Namsan Mountain by night
Day 2

K-pop dance class & HiKR Ground

After breakfast at the hostel, we'll head to the trendy neighbourhood of Hapjeong to kick off our day with a K-pop dance session! Learn from a professional dance instructor and choreographer, then explore the shops of Hongdae. We'll visit HiKR to discover the global K Wave phenomenon and record our own K-pop dance video! The afternoon is free for you to explore before we regroup for dinner and drinks in the lively Itaewon district.

  • Meals Included Breakfast
  • Room Type Hostel
  • Activities Included Kpop dance class, HiKR visit and Video
Day 3

The Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)

Today will be a day on our tour that you'll never forget. You'll have the chance to peer into the Hermit Kingdom of North Korea when we take you to the incredible Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Standing on the border between two worlds, you'll see the stark differences between North and South Korea. With our experienced guides, you'll explore tunnels dug by North Korea, hear stories of the area, and even talk with a North Korean defector as part of a cultural exchange. We'll return to Seoul around 4 pm, giving everyone time to freshen up before heading out for another fantastic Korean dinner!

  • Meals Included Breakfast, Lunch
  • Room Type Hostel
  • Activities Included DMZ visit, Infiltration Tunnels visit, Q&A session with North Korean defector
Day 4

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Insadong & food tour

Today, we'll explore Seoul's traditional areas, offering a different side of the city. Start with the changing of the guard ceremony at the magnificent Gyeongbokgung Palace, where you'll discover ancient courtyards, grand architecture, and serene gardens. You can even wear a traditional ‘hanbok’ for an authentic experience! Next, we'll stroll through the perfectly preserved Hanok Village and head to the lively Insadong art street. In the evening, your guide will take you on a street food tasting tour at the famous Gwangjang Market to sample some of the best street food in the city!

  • Meals Included Breakfast, Dinner
  • Room Type Hostel
  • Activities Included Changing of the Guard Viewing, Gyeongbokgung Palace visit, Hanok Village visit, Insadong visit, Gwangjang Market food tour
Day 5

Temple Time! Meditate, Chant, and Tea with a Monk

Prepare to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of a small, working temple nestled in the mountains outside Seoul. Surrounded by beautifully adorned temples and shrines, you'll feel worlds away from the city's hustle and bustle. Participate in temple life with a singing bowl meditation session, evening bell tolling, and prayer chanting. Enjoy a unique opportunity to have tea with a monk after your reflective, silent Buddhist dinner, where you can ask any burning questions about life. This is your chance to reset and recharge before continuing your adventure.

  • Meals Included Breakfast, Dinner
  • Room Type Temple Stay
  • Activities Included Singing Bowl Meditation Session, Evening & Morning Chanting, tea with a monk
Day 6

Hanok Village Walk & Makgeolli Tasting

After morning chanting and a wholesome Buddhist breakfast, we'll say goodbye to our mountain retreat and head to Jeonju, known for its food, drink, and traditional village. After checking into our charming Hanok guesthouse, explore the afternoon at your leisure. Join the group for a Makgeolli tasting session at the Hanok, learning about its production and sampling various types. Those keen to continue can head to Makgeolli Alley to enjoy more rice wine and savour ‘anju’ – special foods made to accompany drinks!

  • Meals Included Breakfast
  • Activities Included Hanok Village Walk, Makgoli Tasting Session
Day 7

Bike Tour, Historical Sites, Anapji Pond by Night

After bidding farewell to Jeonju, we’ll catch a bus to Gyeongju, the ancient capital known as the "Museum Without Walls." This enchanting city is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient temples, and royal tombs that tell stories of a distant past. Once we've dropped off our bags and freshened up, we’ll hop on bikes to explore the town, visiting tombs, burial mounds, and historical sites. In the evening, we’ll head to Anapji Pond to admire the mirrored reflections of the surrounding structures on the water.

  • Room Type Hostel
  • Activities Included Guided Bike Tour, Historical Sites Visit, Anapji Pond at Night
Day 8

Bulguksa Temple & Taekwondo

Today, we continue exploring Gyeongju, starting with a visit to one of the country's most important temples, Bulguksa. Nestled in lush forests and scenic landscapes, this ancient temple is a masterpiece of architecture, history, and tranquillity. After freshening up at the accommodation, we’ll visit a Dojang to learn the art of Taekwondo, mastering high-flying kicks, fast punches, and precise movements from seasoned professionals. In the evening, join the group to check out some of the bars and restaurants in the old town.

  • Room Type Hostel
  • Activities Included Visit to Bulguksa Temple, Taekwondo Class
Day 9

Markets, Cable Car & Karaoke!

Today, we head to Busan, a coastal city surrounded by beaches and mountains. After checking into our downtown accommodation, we’ll explore the famous Jagalchi market and shopping districts before riding the Songdo cable car for stunning views over the water and city. The afternoon is free for you to explore; consider visiting Gamcheon Cultural Village or relaxing in a jjimjilbang (public bathhouse). For our final night, we’ll gather in one of the city’s nightlife districts to sing the night away in a famous karaoke room with your family.

  • Meals Included Breakfast
  • Activities Included Market Visit, Songdo Cable Car, Karaoke Room
Day 10

On to Jeju Island!

The morning is yours until we board our flight and arrive in Jeju by early afternoon. After checking in, we'll find a place to eat and prepare for the exciting days of exploration ahead! Jeju Island offers a variety of activities and sights to enjoy.

  • Meals Included Breakfast
  • Room Type Hotel
Day 11

Lava Tubes and Hikes

You'll need a hearty breakfast this morning because we have an active day ahead! We'll start by boarding our private transport to the spectacular Manjangul Lava Tubes. Formed over 200,000 years ago, these tubes stretch over 7 kilometres, making them one of the world's longest lava tube systems. After exploring the underground, we'll head to the famous Seongsan Ilchulbong for brisk sea air and unbeatable views. Next, we'll visit the volcanic rock formations of Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliffs for some epic photos. After lunch, you can visit one of Jeju's famous beaches or waterfalls before we all meet at The Cliff for sunset drinks overlooking the ocean. The perfect way to end the day!

  • Meals Included Breakfast
  • Room Type Hotel
  • Activities Included Lava Tube visit, Seongsan Ilchilbong Hike, Daepo Jusangjeolli Rock Formations Visit
Day 12

The Big One - Olle Trail Hike & Jeongbang Waterfall

Today, we'll hike the breathtaking Olle Trail, covering various sections of the island. Expect sweeping ocean views, picturesque fields, charming villages, dramatic rock formations, and Jeju's most famous waterfall. Jeongbang Waterfall, a stunning 23-meter cascade that crashes onto the oceanfront rocks, is truly awe-inspiring. Spend the afternoon exploring at your leisure before gathering for a grand farewell dinner to bid goodbye to Jeju and South Korea!

  • Meals Included Breakfast
  • Activities Included Olle Trail Guided Hike, Jeongbang Waterfall Visit
Day 13

Farewell for now

It's time to bid farewell to this amazing country and its people. Enjoy one last breakfast with your travel companions before heading off.

  • Meals Included Breakfast

Optional Extras

  • Welcome Dinner
  • Namsan Mountain by Night
  • The Traditional Hanok Village
  • Learn a K-pop Dance
  • HiKR visit and video
  • DMZ visit
  • Infiltration Tunnels Visit
  • Q&A session with North Korean Defector
  • Changing of the Guard Viewing
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace Visit
  • Hanok Village Visit, Insadong Visit
  • Gwangjang Market Food Tour
  • Singing Bowl Meditation Session
  • Evening & Morning Chanting
  • Tea with A Monk
  • Hanok Village walk, Makgoli Tasting Session
  • Guided Bike Tour
  • Historical Sites Visit
  • Anapji Pond at Night
  • Visit to Bulguksa Temple
  • Taekwondo Class
  • Market Visit
  • Songdo Cable Car
  • Karaoke Room
  • Lava Tube Visit
  • Seongsan Ilchilbong Hike
  • Daepo Jusangjeolli Rock Formations Visit
  • Olle Trail Guided Hike
  • Jeongbang Waterfall Visit