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16 days itinerary

Old Jul 5th, 2017, 12:16 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 36
16 days itinerary

we are heading to South Korea for about 16 days (not including flights) for a family trip (4 adults, no kids) in the 2nd half of Oct.
this will be my second time (spent about a month in Korea on my previous trip) and 1st for everyone else.
I want to skip Seoraksan and Jeju on this trip (don't really want to repeat my 1st trip exactly). we're definitely including Seoul (5 days I think) & Busan (3-4 days, maybe a day trip to Gyeong-ju?).
for the rest of the time we want some small towns, nice views, things to do and see, some hiking (but nothing physically hard as my parents are in their 60's).
I was thinking to spend the other 8 days in Jeolla. Suncheon (wetlands, Buseong), Mokpo (islands around) & Jeonju, 2-3 days in each. what do you think? is there enough to see and do in those places (we're not into many temples and lots of history stuff)?
we plan to rely on public transport and the occasional taxi.
any other suggestions in that area?
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 01:25 PM
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We found the Korean Space Center very interesting - not far from Suncheon, Mokpo,etc.

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/...jsp?cid=813942
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 03:08 PM
  #3  
kja
 
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You might find some useful information in my trip report:
http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...outh-korea.cfm
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 04:39 PM
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We really liked Seoul. A trip to the DMZ made an interesting and thought provoking day.

Gyeongju was a highlight for us but if you " are not into temples and history stuff" I am not sure how much you would enjoy it. We found it fascinating. Renting a bike was a great way at to explore the area.

Some photos and detail on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/south-korea/

Busan was ok, but not our favourite place. The weather wasn't great when we were there so maybe we didn't make the best of our time there.

We used public transport entirely within Seoul. Bus from the airport and MRT back.as I recall, we paid for individual fares on the MRT but there is a prepaid card available from 7-11 which may make life easier. We took the train from city to city. Quick, cheap and comfortable.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 07:36 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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In contrast to crellston, I think there may be enough in Gyeongju to meet your interests and I loved Busan!

As for the DMZ…

I think the choice of whether to go to the DMZ is a VERY personal one. The more I thought about it, the ONLY real reason I could identify for me to visit it would be that it is a border between two sides of an ongoing civil war, even if that war was then (largely, generally) in abeyance. I have, over the years, felt the importance of paying my respects to those who fought or died in various wars -- including, on this trip, a stop at the UN Cemetery in Busan, and in other trips, visits to Auschwitz / Birkenau, Hiroshima, etc. Those visits were, for me, ways to honor those who had lived or died and ways to pay homage to the lessons we can learn about the atrocities of war and the need to find peaceful solutions to even the most intractable of dilemmas. I couldn't find a way to imagine that a visit to the DMZ would engender those feelings for me. Instead, it seemed to me like honoring a war, and it seemed voyeuristic, and it even seemed disrespectful to ask those who guard the DMZ to have to worry about tourists when they have such heavy responsibilities. I just couldn't bring myself to go. It really came down to a gut reaction for me -- it just did NOT feel right to ME.

That said, I can understand that others might find value in visiting the DMZ because their reasons might be VERY different from mine or might fit within a VERY different context. I certainly mean no criticism of crellston, who I’m sure gave the option serious thought. These are all (I think) really personal interpretations and perspectives. I made a choice for myself; I am not making a choice for, or judging, any one else.
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Old Jul 5th, 2017, 11:51 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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I do appreciate all your replies and I will read them more thoroughly a bit later.
Seoul and Busan are pretty much fixed and we'll plan what to do in each a bit later.
at the moment I'm more interested in the rest of the trip and looking for input on the Jeolla part of my itinerary.
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 04:03 PM
  #7  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I’d say yes to parts of Jeolla, but not necessarily the places on your list, and perhaps some places elsewhere in South Korea. That’s why I suggested that you take a look at my trip report….
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Old Jul 11th, 2017, 06:02 PM
  #8  
 
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We rented a car for a week from Busan and stayed in the south. Highlights for us were Maisan Provincial Park, the Daehan Dawon tea plantation, and Nagan Stone Village. We also spent a very nice day on Namhae Island, specifically a coastal walk in Darangyi. Therere are terraced fields there, though they were fallow in the summer when we were there. If you want to avoid the 500 or so stairs at Maisan, the south entrance is an easy stroll to Tapsa, which is a tiny temple hemmed into the mountain surrounded by about 90 stone pagodas erected by a hermit. So this spot is one of both natural beauty and a vast work of folk art.

There are so many places we would have liked to go but didn't. The tea valley where Daehan Dawon is located is beautiful and ripe for exploration. The garden island of Oeda (you'll need to take a boat there) has a garden that looks spectacular, but we didn't have the time for it. A hurricane prevented us form seeing the fortress at Jinju.

You also might want to check out what festivals are going on. I see there is a Chrysanthemum Festival in Masan that starts the evening of the 28th of October for about 10 days.
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