Due to the current situation that the whole world is facing, travel has become a mere dream for many. However, in Korea, the situation is a bit different. While the exact guidelines differ at times, domestic travel is still an option for a weekend (or week!) away.
There are currently many incentives that are trying to encourage domestic travel within the peninsula. One of these incentives is the tour program run by KTravelBus. KTravelBus runs many different tours throughout the country. These range from one-night tours to six-night tours.
I am generally not someone that likes tours. However, I found the programs offered by KTravelBus to be some of the best in the industry. Not only do they have a better pace (with better activities), but they offer great (private) accommodation options with big discounts.
It is always important to check the travel guidelines before you travel. Make sure to stay up to date with the recent advisories. But, domestic travel is not necessarily off the table, and in many cases, it is being encouraged when safe.
If you are looking for a way to explore Korea make sure to check out KTravelBus. They not only run tours to most of the most popular destinations in South Korea, but they offer great activities and accommodation on their tours. In this article, I will cover more about domestic travel in South Korea as well as the tours offered by KTravelBus.
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Disclaimer: KTravelBus sponsored this article. However, all opinions stated in this article are my own and this article was not pre-read by them. I will never recommend a product or service that I don’t believe in.
Domestic Travel During 2020/2021
Unfortunately, the whole travel industry has taken a massive hit since the beginning of 2020. On top of that, many people haven’t been able to travel due to lack of income or travel restrictions. However, for the people who can manage travel during 2020 it is a good choice as the whole industry is suffering and needs some support.
Providing that precautions are taken, travelling during 2020 can even be a better experience due to the social distancing requirements that are enforced on tours. Where tours used to be very crowded and busy, they are now a lot less so. You can also rest assured, as KTravelBus follows the current social distancing requirements.
Since international travel is largely a dream at this point, domestic travel is a great alternative. While domestic travel is always a great option (and often an overlooked one), this is one of the best times to make the most of domestic travel because for many people it is the only travel option available.
There is something good to be said about domestic travel. Not only is it cheaper than international travel, but there are often just as many (or more) interesting locations and beautiful pictures to take. Although we often feel like we are familiar with our countries, more often than not there is a lot more to see that we haven’t even considered.
The same goes for Korea. I know no locals at the moment who have visited everywhere in the country, and I definitely know no visitors who have done so either. However, every different region of Korea offers something different and it’s unfair to judge Korea by a few places alone. Therefore, why not try to visit as much of Korea as you can?
KTravelBus offers tours to most of the major cities and attractions around the country. The major exceptions here are Seoul and Busan, however, since most people will be based in either of these two cities during their visit this makes sense.
The buses depart from either Incheon Airport, Seoul or Gyeonggi Province. You can get a customised pick-up service from within these areas for an extra cost. If you decide to use this service, the bus will come to somewhere that is close to where you are based. If you don’t use the extra service, buses depart from Jonggak in Seoul. From Seoul, the buses move all over the country.
The locations covered are Daegu, Gangwon-do, Chungbuk (Chungcheongbuk-do), Jeonnam (Jeollanam-do), Gyeongbuk (Gyeongsangbuk-do), Gongju-Si & Boryeong-Si and Dongnam-gu. There are also longer tours that cover the whole eastern and western sides of the country, as well as a tour that covers the whole country.
Although these tours don’t cover every major destination in the country, they do cover the majority of popular destinations. When visiting Korea, most travellers only get the chance to visit Seoul and potentially Busan. However, these two-day (to week-long) tours offer a great way to get out of these major cities while still being affordable and relatively short.
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These tours have a great variety of activities that cover both the traditional and modern sides of South Korea. One of my favourite aspects of the country is the blend between old and new, as such, I appreciate that these tours have been designed to show travellers both sides.
Each tour offers varying activities. You can expect to find a lot of visits to traditional places such as fortresses, cultural villages, and palaces. You can also find more modern attractions such as cable cars, rail bikes, and markets. One thing that KTourBus does well is creating tours with a good balance of activities.
You will usually get between 1-2 hours at each attraction. While some attractions may be better experienced with another hour or two, it’s a good time/activity balance. Many of the locations you visit on the tour will also have other activities (such as cable cars at Yeosu).
My Recommended Tours
There are quite a few tours to choose from and it’s often difficult to pick just one. While each tour is suited for different people, I want to go ahead and recommend some of my favourite tour itineraries.
For anyone looking for a quick getaway from Seoul there are seven different 2 day/1 night itineraries covering many cities on the peninsula. For people looking for a more comprehensive tour, there are also two 4 day/3 night tours. These cover the western and eastern side of Korea.
Finally, the longest tour is a 7 days/6 nights tour. This tour covers locations all over the country and will give you a great, albeit quick overview of the whole country.
Sunrise at Dodamsambong.
The first tour that I want to recommend is a two day (one night) tour to Chungbuk-do. This tour is a great option for anyone that loves nature and wants to see more of the nature that South Korea has to offer. Chungbuk is located right in the middle of the country, and as such it offers some stunning mountain views.
While this tour is great year-round, I would highly recommend visiting in fall if possible. That is because the fall foliage is stunning – Korean nature is beautiful during fall.
You will first visit Dodamsambong, a river where three rock peaks rise out of the water. This area has a few different activities and it also makes for great photos. After this, you will arrive at Danyanggang Jando Trail, a trail that follows a cliff-face just south of the river from Dodamsambong. This is another great photo spot and makes for some very unique views.
Closer to the evening, the tour will then take you to Mancheonha Skywalk. Beginning to notice a theme with this tour now? It’s all about great views and photo locations! The Mancheoncha Skywalk is another great viewpoint that is located about 90 metres above the river below. If you are feeling daring, there is also a zipline!
Once the sun sets you will head to the Suyanggae Light Tunnel, the only non-natural attraction on the trip. This light tunnel is famous for its LED displays that cover not only the tunnel itself, but also the surrounding area. There are thousands of flowers that are lit by LED lights, and it gives the area a rather fantasy feeling.
After these attractions the first day is over. You will be able to get some rest at the provided accommodation before getting up in the morning to proceed to the final two attractions – Cheongpung Cultural Heritage Complex and Cheongpungho Lake. The cultural heritage complex is a small village of relocated traditional Korean buildings and Cheongpungho Lake is a beautiful lake with cable cars and a monorail.
Western Korea Tour
Yeosu in summer.
One of the longer tours that is available, the western Korea tour is a 4 day/3 night tour that covers many attractions on the western half of South Korea. This tour covers a lot of different locations and it would make for a very long post to list all of the attractions that you will visit here. However, I will go over some of the most notable places that you will visit.
On the first day of the tour you will visit Cheongnamdae, otherwise called the Blue House. This was the presidential retreat from 1983 to 2003 and is a famous modern landmark in the country. While at the Blue House you will get the chance to explore the grounds as well as learn about Korea’s presidents and their history.
Afterwards, you will get to visit Korea’s historical site No.12, otherwise known as Gongsanseong Fortress. This fortress stands tall as a royal castle of the Baekje almost 1500 years ago. Although the fortress has been rebuilt since, it has been reproduced in an authentic feeling way and you can get a feeling of what life in Korea was like in the past.
On the next two days you will get to take in some more of Korea’s stunning views. One of the is from Yudalsan Nojeokbong Peak and the other from the Yeosu Marine Cable Car. While these views both offer very different feelings, they are both fantastic and will make for great photos. Yudalsan Nojeokbong also offers a great feeling of Korean mountain culture.
On the last day, before heading back to Seoul, you will get the chance to explore another famous castle in Jinjuseong Fortress. This fortress is famous standing against the Japanese invasion in 1592. It is another stunning castle and perhaps one of the most beautiful in Korea since it stands right over Namgang (South River).
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As I mentioned previously, I am generally not someone that enjoys the structure of tours. Often, they are too busy and there are too many activities squeezed into too short of a time. However, while KTravelBus still covers many activities, it doesn’t feel like the tour is crowded for time.
For example, most of the tours will drop you off at your accommodation at around 8-9 pm and will only depart again in the morning at 9 am. This means that each traveller can actually have a proper sleep and that there won’t be a rush to depart in the morning. It is quite standard for other tours in Korea to depart before 8 am, meaning that you will need to be ready a couple of hours before.
KTravelBus tours also include all of the essentials. When you pay for the tour you are paying for accommodation, food, and the tour itself. The only additional cost is if you want a custom pickup location in the Incheon, Seoul or Gyeonggi-do areas.
Further, the tours are generally well priced because they KTravelBus as part of Hanatour receives discounts on many of the attraction and accommodation costs. This means that in the end, the prices actually come out cheaper than if you were to pay for everything yourself.
Also as previously mentioned, the number of people on each tour is much lower with KTravelBus. Rather than having tours that are almost full and are very crowded, these tours have a minimum requirement of four people. This also means that the tours can adhere to social distancing requirements.
Conclusion – a Great Way to Explore Korea
Daegu Yangnyeongsi Museum of Oriental Medicine
Domestic travel is a type of travel that is often overlooked, especially in times like the present. However, there are often hidden gems within your own country that are just as fun and interesting to explore. While it’s important to follow guidelines and to keep up to date with the latest restrictions, now is a great time to explore Korea – even if it is your own backyard!
KTravelBus is a great way to explore Korea while taking the stress out of planning a trip yourself. The tours are designed to show you a wide variety of what Korea has to offer while not being rushed. As someone who usually doesn’t like tours, I found these to be some of the most well-thought-out tours currently available.
With tours that include great accommodation options, include all costs including food, and have smaller group sizes, I think that many people will find these tours interesting. If you want to learn more, please feel free to refer to their website.
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What Tour Lengths are Available?
The shortest tours available are 2 days/1 night. There are also tours that are 4 days/3 nights and 7 days/6 nights.
How Much Do the Tours Cost?
The cheapest tours start at around $200. This price is for the shorter, 2 day tours. The longer tours cost $600 and $1000 (for 4d/3n and 7d/6n respectively).
Where Does KTravelBus Travel?
Almost anywhere in Korea! Most major cities and attractions in the country will have at least one tour that visits them. The big exceptions are Seoul and Busan, since Seoul is the departure location for the tours and Busan tends to require at least a few days in the city alone.
What Is Included in the Price?
The listed price includes access to all of the attractions/locations on the tour itinerary. It also includes a double room for accommodation and food. Extra spending (gifts, snack foods, etc) are not included.
What Languages are the Tours in?
The KTravelBus offer English, Chinese and Japanese speaking tour guides.
Is KTravelBus Cheaper Than Traveling Alone?
Due to the fact that KTravelBus has many agreements with local governments and attractions, the travel bus is cheaper than traveling alone. This is especially true when factoring in accommodation, transport, and meal costs.
Where Can I Book a Tour?
You can either book a tour via the KTravelBus website or by emailing email@example.com.