The Korea Tourism Organization and Avanti Destinations have partnered to launch an educational e-brochure for travel agents, showcasing both traditional and modern culture, UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning mountain and coastal scenery, and culinary and spiritual experiences, all with private local guides and drivers.
The new, 20-page e-brochure, South Korea: Immersed in Tradition, is available on Avanti’s agent portal and introduces four new destinations within South Korea, as well as 14 new activities and experiences, including staying overnight in one of South Korea’s three most important Buddhist temples; Taekwondo lesson plus jjimjilbang (Korean sauna); private “Memories of the War” experience; kimchi- and fishcake-making lessons; and strolling through a historic hanok village wearing a traditional Korean outfit (hanbok).
“Most American travelers interested in visiting Asia are unfamiliar with South Korea as a destination,” explained Paul Barry, Avanti’s executive chairman, in press material. “This relatively undiscovered country is a tantalizing mixture of a very old and distinctive culture, beautifully preserved villages, dynamic modern cities, and spectacular natural scenery, particularly on the volcanic island of Jeju.”
Heesun Kim, executive director of the LA-based Korea Tourism Organization, added that, “This off-the-beaten-path destination, rich in cultural and culinary delights, is a favorite with experienced independent travelers. Combining South Korea with Japan makes a perfect Asian vacation.”
Four New Destinations
Each of the new destinations is featured in 1- to 3-night city stays, which can be extended and added to a longer itinerary that includes Seoul, Busan and Jeju, South Korean destinations Avanti began offering in 2016.
- Gyeongju—Called “the museum without walls,” Gyeongju was the capital of a kingdom, Silla, that ruled most of the Korean peninsula for nearly 1,000 years beginning in 57 BC. Not surprisingly, it’s brimming with historical treasures, including the Seokguram Grotto, Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju Historic Areas and Yangdong Folk Village, all designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. Avanti’s 3-day city stay includes private tours of the major sights, a private hiking tour of Mt. Namsan with its many statues of Buddha and ruins, and roundtrip private transfers to the KTX high-speed train station connecting Gyeongju in southeastern Korea with Seoul.
- Andong—Known as the birthplace of soju (Korean distilled spirit), for its famous Confucian academy, and for the Hahoe Folk Village and Mask Museum, Andong and its surrounding area are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Avanti’s 2-day basic itinerary stay includes staying in a traditional Hanok-style house, as well as private tours to the folk village, mask museum, academy, private city tour, and private roundtrip transfers by car to Seoul.
- Jeonju—A favorite vacation destination for Koreans, the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for gastronomy. It also has a historic Hanok Village of traditional architecture and a shrine to the 14thcentury founder of the Joseon Dynasty. The 2-day basic itinerary includes staying in a Hanok-style house, private tours, and private roundtrip transfer by car to Seoul.
- Haeinsa—One of Korea’s three most important Buddhist temples, Haeinsa is famous for housing the Tripitaka Koreana, the world’s oldest and most comprehensive Korean Seon Buddhist canon, consisting of more than 80,000 wooden blocks carved with 52 million characters. Clients will spend a night in the temple, and can meditate, share monastic meals and participate in programs to better understand Seon Buddhist teachings. Includes roundtrip private transfer by car to Seoul.
The e-brochure also describes city stays with new tours and experiences in Seoul, Busan and Jeju. It can be downloaded on Avanti’s agent portal.