Taipei – Taroko National Park – Sun Moon Lake – Tainan – Busan – Gyeongju -Seoul
The luxury tour brings you the best Taiwan and South Korea have to offer combining rich culture with spectacular scenery and fantastic food!
This small-group tour is intended for foodies and history lovers. A high level of fitness is required of all participants as hiking is an integral component of the itinerary.
- Small group size – 20 maximum
- Expert guide(s)
- Luxury accommodations
- All gratuities
- All applicable taxes and surcharges
- Gourmet food both local and western
- No forced shopping stops
- Cultural shows and cooking classes
- Daily breakfasts and most lunches and dinners
Meal Code: B = breakfast / L = lunch / D = dinner
Scroll down for dates, prices, hotel list and documentation requirements.
Day 1/Wed: Departing for Taipei
Fly to Taipei from a city of your choice. International air is not included. You’ll lose a day upon crossing the International Date Line.
Day 2/Thur: Arrival in Taipei
Upon arrival meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure. If you arrive a day or two early, you need to go to the hotel on your own by airport limousine shuttle bus or a combination of airport express train and taxi. More information on transfer will be provided.
Day 3/Fri: Taipei (B/L/D)
Taipei is the capital of the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan. ROC should not be confused with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party. With a population around 2.7 million, Taipei is also the economic, educational and cultural center of Taiwan and one of the major hubs of transportation in East Asia.
Our walking tour this morning begins at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, which is followed by the Presidential Palace, National 228 Memorial Park, and Taipei Botanical Garden. Be prepared to walk for 3-4 kilometres this morning.
We spend the afternoon exploring the National Palace Museum which houses a huge collection of national treasures removed from the Forbidden City in Beijing when the national government under the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang, KMT) fled to Taiwan in 1949.
The visit to the 508-metre-tall Taipei 101, a new symbol of the city, takes place after dinner.
Day 4/Sat: Taipei (B/L)
We begin the day with a tour of Dalongdong Bao’an Temple, an old house of worship that embraces Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism all at the same time. We then proceed to National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall.
We arrive at the venue for cooking lesson at 11:00 AM. The lesson starts with a trip to a local market for ingredients. During the 2-hour lesson you’ll learn to make xiaolongbao, Chinese beef noodle soup and a common appetizer or two.
We retreat to the hotel to rest up for a couple of hours before heading out to a popular night market where the main draw is the mouth-watering street food. The market is crowded but very safe. Everyone should be able to find something to their liking due to the abundance of choices available.
Day 5/Sun: Taipei – Taroko National Park (B/L/D)
This morning we drive 160km (3 hours) to Taroko National Park located on the northeast coast of Taiwan. Taroko is famous not only for its deep marble gorges but also for the aboriginal tribal culture.
After a delicious lunch at a popular restaurant staffed by local Austronesian aboriginals, we spend the whole afternoon exploring the spectacular national park on foot.
Overnight at a resort in the park.
Day 6/Mon: Taroko National Park (B/L/D)
Our exploration of Taroko National Park this morning features a 2-hour hike over mountainous terrain.
Free afternoon to relax or explore on your own.
Day 7/Tue: Taroko – Sun Moon Lake (B/L/D)
We drive back to Taipei in the morning to connect the high-speed train for Taichung, from where we continue on to Sun Moon Lake by motorcoach.
Surrounded by forested peaks and crisscrossed by foot trails, the 7.93-square-kilometre Sun Moon Lake is a popular resort destination all year round due to mild climate (elevation 748 metres). The area around the lake is home to the Thao tribe, one of the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. East of the lake, the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village is a theme park with a section devoted to re-created indigenous villages. Displays here include centuries-old carved lintel pieces, handicrafts and weapons.
Afternoon schedule includes a cruise on Sun Moon Lake and visit to the township nearby called Yuchi (Fish Pond).
Day 8/Wed: Sun Moon Lake (B)
We begin today with a visit to the aboriginal cultural village. This is followed by a hike on a scenic route around the lake.
We spend the rest of the day exploring on our own.
Day 9/Thu: Sun Moon Lake – Tainan (B/L/D)
After breakfast we drive two and half hours (170km) to Tainan, a historical city that once served as Taiwan’s capital between 1683 and 1887. Sightseeing in Tainan takes in An Ping Old Street, Fort Zeelandia and Grand Matsu temple.
Fort Zeelandia was a fortress built by the Dutch East India Company between 1624 and 1634 in the town of Anping, present-day Anping District in the City of Tainan. The fort is gone and part of the wall surrounding the fort is still standing. The small museum onsite is fairly informative giving the visitor a clear idea of what happened during Dutch colonization days. The terrace inside the compound was rebuilt by the Japanese during their occupation of Taiwan between 1895 and 1945.
Day 10/Fri: Tainan (B/L)
This morning we visit Chih Kan Tower and Confucius Temple. The architectural style of Chih Kan Tower looks unmistakenly Chinese but it was built on the site of the original Dutch outpost known as Fort Provintia or Providentia; part of the foundation of Fort Provintia remains and is protected by the government. Free afternoon for you to explore on your own.
Day 11/Sat: Tainan – Busan (B/D)
Transfer to the airport for noon flight to Busan (via Kaohsiung or Taipei). Meet the local guide on arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Busan is South Korea’s second largest city. Bursting with mountains and beaches, hot springs and seafood, Busan is a rollicking port town with tonnes to offer. Later today we visit the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, a seaside Buddhist temple built in 1376.
Tonight we enjoy a delicious Korean seafood hotpot dinner.
Day 12/Sun: Busan (B/L)
Today we visit the bustling Jagalchi fish market, Gukjesijang market and Yongdusan Park.
Day 13/Mon: Busan – Gyeongju (B/L)
Following breakfast we drive 100 kilometres northeast to Gyeongju. After dropping off bags at the hotel, we driver another 16km northbound to Yangdong Folk Village – a UNESCO World Heritage site from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897).
Day 14/Tue: Gyeongju (B/L)
Gyeongju is a city on South Korea’s southeast coast. It was the capital of the 1,000-year-long Silla dynasty and is known for its extensive historical remains. The 8th-century Bulguksa Temple features twin stone pagodas, a series of wooden staircases and a large bronze Buddha. Nearby, Seokguram Grotto houses a towering seated Buddha and offers panoramic views of the sun rising over the Sea of Japan.
We spend the day exploring Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple – both inscribed as UNESCO Heritage Sites in 1995.
Day 15/Wed: Gyeongju – Seoul (B/L)
We travel to Seoul by express train (2 hours, 300 km) this morning. Capital of South Korea, Seoul is a huge metropolis where modern skyscrapers, high-tech subways and pop culture meet Buddhist temples, palaces and street markets. Notable attractions include futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a convention hall with curving architecture and a rooftop park; Gyeongbokgung Palace, which once had more than 7,000 rooms; and Jogyesa Temple, site of ancient locust and pine trees.
Our sightseeing after lunch includes Gyeongbokgung Palace, Myeong-dong district (fashion, market, churches) and N Seoul Tower.
Day 16/Thur: Seoul – DMZ – Seoul (B/L/D)
Today we go on a full-day excursion to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) and the Joint Security Area (JSA) within the village of Panmunjom. The DMZ divides North Korea and South Korea and is one of the last remnants of the Cold War. The DMZ runs across the Korean Peninsula and roughly follows the 38th parallel north (popular name given to latitude 38° N) on an angle, with the west end of the DMZ lying south of the parallel and the east end lying north of it. With over a million soldiers on watch each day, this stretch of land measuring 250 kilometres (160 miles) long and about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) wide is the most fortified border in the world. Our itinerary also includes Freedom Bridge and the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel and observing life on the other side from the Dora Observatory. If the JSA is not available, we will include War Memorial of Korea in Seoul after return from DMZ.
Our farewell dinner featuring famous Korean dishes is at a restaurant within walking distance from the hotel.
Day 17/Fri: Seoul – Home City
Your memorable China and South Korea tour ends this morning. Transfer to Incheon International Airport, 50km west of Seoul, on your own. Taxi costs between 70,000 and 100,000 Korean Won ($65-$90 USD) including expressway toll charge, but most travellers prefer the Airport Railroad Express which costs 14,800 Won ($12.50) one way per person. The guide will escort you to the train station and help you buy ticket.
|Taipei||3||The Sherwood Taipei||luxury/5 stars|
|Taroko National Park||2||Silks Place Taroko||luxury/5 stars|
|Sun Moon Lake||2||Fleur de Chine||luxury/5 stars|
|Tainan||2||Silks Place Tainan||luxury/5 stars|
|Busan||2||Lotte Hotel Busan||luxury/5 stars|
|Gyeongiu||2||Hilton Gyeongju||luxury/5 stars|
|Seoul||2||Westin Chosun Seoul or similar||luxury/5 stars|
Dates and Prices
* Land Only price does not include international air. Contact us for a competitive fare quote.
|Tour price includes:
||Tour price does NOT include:
Visa is not required of visitors from Western countries.
Budget a few hundred dollars for incidentals and meals not included in the tour price.
See Terms & Conditions for more information.