Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles throughout the day; approximately 1.5 hours total. Walking about 1.5 miles, approximately 1.5 hours; paved and gravel paths, some steps and inclines.
At the hotel, the buffet breakfast will include a variety of local dishes plus eggs, cereals, fresh seasonal fruit, pastries, juice, coffee, tea, water.
We'll gather in a hotel meeting room where a local expert will begin an Introduction to Korean History and Culture. We’ll then set out from the hotel by motorcoach for a field trip to the National Museum of Korea. With our Group Leader, who is an expert on Seoul, we'll explore the Medieval and Early Modern History sections of the museum to examine historical and cultural items from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897), and Korean Empire (1897-1910). We'll learn about events, conflicts, and achievements in these three most significant periods of Korea's national development. We’ll also have some time for independent exploration to see what interests each of us most.
At a local restaurant, we'll have a family-style Korean meal with choices such as samgyetang (Ginseng chicken soup) and a varied selection of typical small dishes that are spicy, salty, or sweet; water included, other beverages available for purchase.
Next, we'll ride to Changdeokgung Palace and explore its “Secret Garden.” The palace was the most beloved of the kings of the Joseon Dynasty thanks in part to the garden that occupies sixty percent of the palace grounds. It was dubbed “secret” because it was forbidden to any but members of the royal family. The landscape encompasses a series of small, undulating valleys where a stream meanders, accented by small pavilions. The garden was a place of relaxation for the royal family and where they pursued hobbies such as sericulture and experimental plantings. The palace complex has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. From the UNESCO inscription, “The garden was landscaped with a series of terraces planted with lawns, flowering trees, flowers, a lotus pool and pavilions set against a wooded background. There are over 56,000 specimens of various species of trees and plants.” Return to the hotel by motorcoach after our field trip.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Perhaps you’d like to try Korean fried chicken and beer!
At leisure. Be sure to bring your passport for our field trip tomorrow.