8 Days Korea + Jeju Discovery Tour (Spring)

6:02 PM artcher 2 Comments



Visited Korea with my family this April on SA Tour package. I tried to do some research on actual user feedback before my trip but didn't get much result, so I've decided to share my experience in my blog now for people who're interested in this tour package.

Price Paid

  • Package Price $1748(inclusive of $318 airport/fuel tax)
  • Tips for Tour Guide, Tour leader, Driver in total USD$44
  • Printed photographs by local photographer who not only take pictures but also assisted and helping to guide the group of 31pax in our case = S$132 for about 26 photos
  • Minimum Currency exchanged in my case for 3 adults on meals, snack and minimum shopping for local souvenir = S$650


It's a 7hrs flight on Asiana airline from Singapore to Seoul International airport. And I had my first Korean meal for this trip on the plane - Bibimbap!

The flight was at 10pm and it's actually consider as 1 Day out of the 8 Days, the actual days that we're in Korea is actually 6 and half day strategically speaking because on the 8th day, the departure flight was at 4pm.



Scenic View
Was told by the local tour guide that we've chosen a very good timing for this spring season (12th-19th April 2011) to visit Korea for it's blooming flowers and cooling weather. Especially delighted to see the much anticipated Cherry Blossom and bright yellow canola blossoms almost everywhere we go, be it on a road side passage or even a spacious field in Jeju. Everyone in the tour group just went crazy over taking picture amongst the flowers. Look at the camera and say "Kim Chi" instead of cheese...

The cable car ride at Yongpyong Dragon Peak to the top of Mt. Balwang (1,459m) was quit spectacular and we're lucky that the cable car was in operation when we reached, which is the reason why they didn't include the cost of this ride to the package in the first place I guess as it depends highly on the weather and wind speed etc. There're still snows on the naked tree branches and left over snow on the mountain slope even now in April. The cable car went up and down over 3 mountain to reach the top. The temperature on top is simply freezing but beautiful!



Experience Local Tour Guide
Our local tour guide was from a local tour agency that only deal with Singaporeans group referred by either SA Tour or CTC Tour agency. She is half taiwanese and half Korean, speak fluent mandarin and equipped with 14yrs of guide experience. We're fortunate to have her as out tour guide because her knowledge, social and organization skill is highly praised by all of us, which makes up for the value of this tour experience. She is always sharing with us her health knowledge, advice on traveling, the local cultures among common families and even tips on what to shop for, what snacks to try and the kind of mentality we should have for a more enjoyable tour experience. Thank you Ms Ellena Kim.

Food Culture
The meals included for this trip let you try some of the most authentic korean cuisine in their food culture such as BBQ Black Pig - Pork, abalone seafood steam boat, Jin Sheng chicken, Bibimbap and Kim Chi as side dish in every meal. I can simply summarize the cooking style of Korean cuisine as BBQ, steam boat, blend and mix boiled vegetables and Kim Chi all the way...LOL. You simple don't find traditional Korean food with deep fried or stir fry. Considered a very healthy diet and choice of cooking style. It was known that Korean had the lowest risk for stroke and colon cancer in Asia as emphasized by Ms Kim.

Kim-Chi making class
Hands on experience
Beside looking, eating and shopping, we actually have some so call hands-on experience such as Farm activity(milk and feed the cow, horse ride with photographing $$, plucking Strawberry), Ice-cream making (too tiring and time consuming, don't think will try at home at all), Kim-chi making (help to spread the marinated sauce on the white cabbage without knowing the actual ingredient - trade secret! Just want to promote and sell their product), wear the traditional costume for photo taking, Ice-sculpting with very limited time and lot's of strength working on a block of ice. Facial lesson that promote the goodness of Korean uniquely invented facial care products (very tempting promises that will clear all your wrinkles, dark spot, black heads..etc). And I had my first experience with public hot spring pool... with lots of naked ladies... hmmm.. memorable....

Everland
Fun experience?
Visited Everland on the first day in Korea after a tiring night flight and bus ride. It was a Wednesday, so the crowd is still consider small if compared to weekends, which gave us the advantage of not wasting too much time when queueing for rides. All the staffs and guides in the theme park are trained to waves both their hands in gestures that resemble "nothing nothing" at all visiter to symbolize " welcome welcome". There's a lot of teenagers in school uniform on school excursion obviously. Most of the rides are suitable for all age group.. hmm..ya..that's about it.
Lotte World

We also visit Lotte World on a different day in the evening this time but only for a short while... hmm..little train rides, laser show...that's about it too.. not much impression on that... maybe I'm already too old for this kind of fun land or we wasn't given enough time to explore before it close for the day...








Shopping
Street shopping for snacks and souvenirs is quite straight forward even if you dun know their language, simple point your finger at what you want if it's a food stall or bring the souvenir to the cashier. But if you're shopping for fashion wear which you need assistant for sizes or color variation would be more challenging because korean shop owner simply don't have that kind of patience for non-korean speaking tourist shown in their face! Yeah! that's the bold and straight forward korean style!

Conclusion
Korea is definitely a country worth visiting for the first time. And I'm fairly satisfied with my tour package arrangement, especially the local tour guide. I think she did a great job in introducing her country from a fair perspective! I've took a few hours to think and write this piece of blog and hope it helps some people on their research. Cheers!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to write this review as I'm also looking at Satours's korea package.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Hope you enjoy your holiday to Korea too!

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