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South Korea Tourism, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1422

Essay

Introduction

South Korea is a country with a long association with the United States. American soldiers have been stationed there for over 60 years, since the Korean War of 1950-52. In this paper, a trip to South Korea to experience its unique culture and history will be presented. The aim of the itinerary is to see as much which is authentically Korean in the time available.

Area History and Background

The country of South Korea was created in 1948, when the Korean Peninsula became split between the Communist North and the capitalist South. Since 1950, when the Korean War began with an invasion from the North, Korea has been split into two countries who regard each other with great animosity. The South’s correct name is the Republic of Korea. While there has not been any considerable political turmoil here since the 1980s, the historical and political situation can still become heated, both in terms of relations with the North and relations with other Asian powers, such as Japan.

A landmark of particular interest to Americans is the Demilitarised Zone, or DMZ. This dates from the end of the Korean War and marks the dividing point between North Korea and South Korea. This border remains the most heavily fortified border in the world, and is a focus for much tension between the countries.

Travel Motivations

Visiting the locations detailed here allows visitors to see what the real Korea has to offer. Many westerners are often very ignorant of the traditions and lifestyles of Asian countries, so a main motivation for visiting this type of location is to feel more informed and knowledgeable, in a much more specific and empirical way. This feeling of authenticity makes every location a great draw for visitors who want to know what Korea is like in terms of food, art and other cultural activities, without having to live in the country for many years. While leisure and recreation are also motivating factors, the quest for knowledge is the main factor in influencing people in their choice of these destinations.

There has also been an explosion of interest in Korean popular culture, following the explosion of the Gagnam dance on the internet. Many people might be drawn into visiting the country because of this, but would want to experience culture such as this at close hand.

Specific destinations on the tour include the capital city of Seoul, as well as more rural locations and other towns too. This forms a good and useful focus for any first time visitors to South Korea, providing a good overview of the country. They can expand their knowledge of any other areas of the country in subsequent visits, should their curiosity be piqued sufficiently.

Overview of Tourism Development

There has been talk recently of attempts to improve Seoul’s tourist infrastructure, with the amount of tourists increasing by increasing by 10 per cent annually, according to the Korea Tourism Organisation. While local media has sometimes expressed embarrassment at the country’s tourist facilities, generally speaking there are a good range of facilities on offer to visitors.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has committed to improving the infrastructure further though, in an attempt to attract 10 million visitors per year. As their website states: “The key strategy is to turn places like the Hangang, Cheonggyecheon, Insa-dong and Namsan (Mt.) into vivid tourist places.”

This mentality means that the city is very welcoming, generally, to outsiders, and there is a very low crime rate when compared generally to the United States. Crimes against property like burglary and robbery do occur though, so visitors should still be careful. Crimes against the person such as rape do take place, so women travelling alone should make sure that someone they trust has their itinerary. The usual guidelines for travel in a foreign city apply, like taking rides from strangers after dark, apply here as well.

The political tensions between South Korea and North Korea can sometimes lead to tense situations in the city, according to USA Today’s guide to travel in the region. Stay away from areas where demonstrations or protests are taking place, as emotions can often become heated and violence sometimes occurs. If an emergency does take place and you are in danger, then call 112 for the police or 119 for an ambulance or the fire department. The emergency services offer an interpretation service for visitors who do not speak Korean. If you are worried about picking up local infections then drink only bottled water and avoid eating fresh fruit and vegetables.

Currency/Visa Requirements

The local currency is known as the Won. There are currently 1083 Won to the US Dollar.

To enter South Korea you will need an up-to-date and valid passport. If you have a valid US passport then you can stay in South Korea for 90 days without a visa. If you are entering the country for reasons other than short-term business reasons or tourism or for a stay of longer than 90 days, then you must have a valid visa obtained from the South Korean embassy.

Itinerary:

This is a complete bespoke package tour, with all prices inclusive. The total cost is stated at the end of the itinerary.

DAY 1 – Departure

Depart for Seoul, Korea.

Day 2 – Seoul

Arrive in Seoul. Take airport limo service to hotel.

Room will be available for occupancy by 1.00 PM local time.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Lunch and Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at hotel such as Grand Hilton / JW Marriot

Day 3 – Seoul

Full day city tour visiting Gyeongbok Palace, Folklore Museum, Insadong Alley, The Blue House, Jogesa Temple and South Gate Open Market.

(Seat in a coach tour)

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at Grand Hilton / JW Marriot

Day 4 – Seoul

This afternoon visit Korean Folklore Village.

(seat in a coach tour).

Meals: Breakfast

Lunch and Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at Grand Hilton / JW Marriot

Day 5 – Mt. Soraksan

Morning departure for Mt. Soraksan. Afternoon tour of Beeryong Waterfall and Kwonkumsong.

Meals: Breakfast

Lunch and Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at Hotel Sorak Park / Kensington

Day 6 – Seoul

Morning excursion to Shinhungsa Temple and Flying Fairy Rock. Afternoon departure for Seoul.

Meals: Breakfast

Lunch and Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at hotel Grand Hilton / JW Marriot.

Day 7 – Mt. Songnisan

Leave Seoul for overnight excursion to Mt. Songnisan.

Visit Popjusa Temple and Mt. Songnisan.

Meals: Breakfast

Lunch and Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at Songnisan Tourist Hotel.

Day 8 – Gyeongju

Visit Haeinsa temple and Mt. Kayasan enroute.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Dinner at a local restaurant

Upon arrival in Gyeongju, check into hotel Commodore/ Hilton/ Hyundai.

Day 9 – Gyeongju

Full day sightseeing tour visiting Pulguksa temple, Sokkuram Grotto, designated a national treasure and one of the finest Buddhist shrines, Chomsongdae Observatory, built to represent the lunar calendar; National Museum which exhibits the treasures from the Royal tombs, Pulkuksa Temple, Tumhli Park, Anapji Pond and Shilla Kiln.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Dinner at a local restaurant

Overnight at hotel Commodore/ Hilton/ Hyundai.

Day 10 – Busan

Drive to Pusan en route visiting Tongdosa Temple. Afternoon tour of Yongdusan Park, Taejongdae Beach park, U.N. Cemetery and Fishery Market.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Dinner at a local restaurant

Overnight at Busan Commodore / Westin Chosun Beach / Paradise Beach.

Day 11 – Jeju

This morning you will fly to Jeju Island.

Arrive in Jeju. Take airport limo service to hotel.

Room will be available for occupancy by 1.00 PM local time.

Breakfast

Rest of the day at leisure.

Afternoon city tour Moksokwon, Folkcraft & history Museum, Dragon Head Rock and Samsunghyul.

Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at The Hotel& Vegas Casino/ Hyatt Regency/ Jeju Grand.

Day 12 – Jeju

Full day tour to Sanbanggulsa, Chungbang Waterfall, Chonjiyon waterfall, Sungeup Folk Village, Sungsan Sunrise Peak and Manjang Cave.

(coach tour)

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight at The Hotel& Vegas Casino/ Hyatt Regency/ Jeju Grand.

Day 13 – Seoul

Fly back to Seoul.

Take airport limo service to hotel

Balance of the day at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight at Grand Hilton / JW Marriot

Day 14 – Seoul

Morning free for shopping and other independent activities.

Check out from the hotel by noon.

Take airport limo service to airport.

Depart on your onward journey / home.

Cost of the Vacation: Double Occupancy   $ 4575.00

Airfare-Tour itinerary

Busan – Jeju – Seoul   $ 290.00

Total: $4865

Plus money for meals (estimated): Dinner in South Korea usually costs between 5000 Won and 10,000 Won, and food is cheap by American or European standards.

Therefore estimated cost for meals: 140,000 Won = $129.19

Total cost = $4994.19

Airline: Air India

Tour Operator: Exotic Journeys Inc.

References

Author unknown, ‘Infinitely Yours, Seoul’, ‘Tourism and Convention Industry’ (2011) http://english.seoul.go.kr/db/kcp/6nge7.php

Author unknown, Exotic Journeys article ‘What It Includes’ (2012) http://www.exoticjourneys.com/whatincludes.html

Kimberley Sharp, ‘Safety in Seoul’, USA Today (2012) http://traveltips.usatoday.com/safety-seoul-korea-102007.html

US Department of State ‘Korea, Republic of, Country Specific Information’ (2012) http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1018.html#safety

Yonhap News Agency, Editorial, ‘Time to drastically improve tourism infrastructure’ (2005) http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/yhedit/2012/10/05/49/5100000000AEN20121005007300315F.HTML

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