||Center Mark Hotel (website)
Seoul, South Korea
- Daily full American breakfast included with two restaurants
- Shower/tub combination
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free wired high-speed Internet
- Connecting/adjoining rooms available
- Iron/ironing board (on request)
- Complimentary bottled water
- Coffee/tea maker
- Complimentary toiletries
- Hair dryer
- Air conditioning
- Self-service laundry facilities
- McDonald's 24-hour in lobby
- Transfer from TJC to DFW Airport, TBD for pick-up time
- American Airlines Flight No. 27 depart DFW 10:00 a.m., arrive Seoul 3:50 p.m. March 8th
- Arrive Incheon Airport Seoul with transfer and luggage porterage to Center Mark Hotel
- Planned performance at Camp Humphreys including hotel/base transfers roundtrip.
- After a breakfast at hotel, meet our tour guide at the lobby.
- Visit National Museum of Korea, the reassure house of 5000 year-old Korean history and Itaewon, the most exotic place in Seoul to spend a day of shopping, eating and hanging out.
- Continue to visit Gwanghwamun Square and Cheonggyecheon Stream.
- Visit Seoul Tower for a bird's-eye view of a whole city and Namdaemun Market, the largest traditional market in Korea.
- Get dropped off at hotel.
- National Museium of Korea
- The National Museum of Korea is the flagship museum of Korean history and art in South Korea and is the cultural organization that represents Korea. Since its establishment in 1945, the museum has been committed to various studies and research activities in the fields of archaeology, history, and art, continuously developing a variety of exhibitions and education programs.
In 2012, it was reported that since its relocation to Yongsan District in 2005, the Museum has attracted an attendance of 20 million visitors. A poll of nearly 2,000 foreign visitors, conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in November 2011, stated that visiting the Museum is one of their favorite activities in Seoul.
After a lunch at a local restaurant, visit Changdeokgung Palace, one of the 5 major Palaces of Joseon Dynasty. It is enlisted to World Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO.
- Changdeok Palace
- Construction of Changdeok Palace was started in 1405 by King T'aejong, and it was completed in 1412. In 1463, King Sejo expanded the palace and created Biwon (secret) Garden. The Japanese burned all the buildings during 1592. Although rebuilt, many of the buildings have burned and been rebuilt several times. Thirteen of Korea's kings lived here for a total of over 270 years, a longer period than at Gyeongbok Palace. The palace covers an area of over 110 acres. Only 30% of the original buildings remain, with an additional 28 in Biwon Garden.
- N Seoul Tower
- The N Seoul Tower, officially the CJ Seoul Tower and commonly known as the Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower, is a communication and observation tower located on Namsan Mountain in central Seoul, South Korea. It marks the highest point in Seoul.
Built in 1969, and at a cost of approximately $2.5 million, the tower was opened to the public in 1980. Seoul Tower was completed on December 3, 1971, designed by jangjongryul, with not inside the facility being equipped. By August 1975, the third floor of the observatory room, museum, open hall, souvenir shop, in addition to other facilities, were open. After completion of the tower, the use of the observatory was prohibited. The tower was open to the public for the first time on October 15, 1980. Since then, the tower has been a landmark of Seoul. It measures 236.7 m (777 ft) in height from the base and tops out at 479.7 m (1,574 ft) above sea level.
When N Seoul Tower's original owner merged with CJ Corporation, it was renamed the N Seoul Tower (official name CJ Seoul Tower). It has also been known as the Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower.
- Namdaemun Market
- One of Korea’s largest and most popular traditional markets, Namdaemun is an absolute haven for street shoppers. The area’s myriad walkways are flanked with streams of cozy shops and cluttered stands selling everything from inexpensive clothing, accessories and glasses to cameras, imported foods and tableware. And with a little extra effort, curious eyes and adventurous spirits will be further treated to an even greater scale of variety with a little more searching and digging around the area’s harder to reach nooks and corners. With all this selection and discount prices, it is no small wonder that Namdaemun’s appeal is so far reaching. If you can’t find what it is you’re after here, chances are you won’t find it anywhere else in Seoul.
- After breakfast at your hotel, meet our tour guide at the lobby.
- Visit Bongeunsa Buddhist Temple for 'Temple life' experience including the temple tour, tea ceremony, meditation and making lotus lanterns.
- Continue to visit COEX Aquarium.
- After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Samsung D'light, an exhibition space that showcase all the latest consumer electronic products by Samsung Electronics. You can try out all the latest devices.
- Then take Hangang River Cruise, one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery around Hangang River that flows through Seoul.
- After the cruise, you will watch a famous non-verbal show, 'Nanta' (or 'Jump') at a theatre.
- You will be dropped off at your hotel.
- COEX Aquarium
- The COEX Aquarium in Gangnam district, Seoul, is one of South Korea's largest Aquariums with over 40,000 creatures from over 650 species on display. The COEX Aquarium features 90 exhibition tanks grouped in fourteen "discovery zones", including six themed areas. The aquarium is housed within the COEX mall, which is, itself, part of the larger COEX Convention & Exhibition Center. The aquarium opened in 2000.
- Samsung D'light
- Located within the Samsung Electronics building in Seocho-dong, Seoul, ‘Samsung d’light’ is a global exhibition space that showcases the latest product lineup by Samsung Electronics. The name d’light combines the words ‘digital’ and ‘light’ to correlate with the company’s vision of being ‘a guiding light to the digital world’ and sharing the excitement and delight of digital technology through interaction with visitors. The ‘d’ also carries with it the connotation of ‘dynamic,’ ‘dream,’ and ‘diversity.’
The three-storied exhibition space is not merely a display of electronic products, but a space of interaction that allows visitors to experience new life patterns through state-of-the-art digital technology categorized by theme.
- Hangang River Cruise
- Despite being over one kilometer wide in places, the shallow Hangang isn’t fit for deep-hulled boats, which limits its navigation to flat-bottomed barges and pleasure craft. Fortunately, since 1986, a small fleet of cruise ships operated by the C& Hangang Land company has ferried passengers on a Hangang river cruise through Seoul on one-way and roundtrip tours from seven docks.
Seeing Seoul from its main artery is a great way to get your bearings in such a huge city. Along the way, you’ll no doubt see numerous landmarks, including the main stadium from the 1988 Olympic Summer Games, and neighborhoods like Apgujeong-dong and Hannam-dong.
Despite the lack of copious skyscrapers, a highlight to any Hangang river cruise through Seoul is passing under many of the city’s 27 bridges. In fact, anyone who’s taken a cruise of late has enjoyed the colorful fruits of a just completed, 3-year project.
Since 2006, Seoul City has worked with lighting designers to create new illumination systems for the bridges that span the river. The result is a diverse array of bright and beautiful pieces of light art that paint not just the bridges, but the surrounding river as well in a colorful glow.
- Nanta Show
- "NANTA" figuratively refers to reckless punching as in a boxing match. It is a non-verbal performance of free rhythmical movements that dramatize customary Korean percussions in a strikingly comedic stage show. Integrating unique Korean traditional drumbeats in a western performance style, Nanta storms into a huge kitchen where four capricious cooks are preparing a wedding banquet. While cooking, they turn all kinds of kitchen items - pots, pans, dishes, knives, chopping boards, water bottles, brooms and even each other- into percussion instruments.
Since its debut in October 1997, the theater has filled its seat capacity and since then, the show has drawn the largest audiences in the history of performing arts in Korea. Winning international acclaim, it also became the first Asian show to stage a long Broadway musical off-stage in February 2004. Nanta has been hailed for successfully adapting Korean tradition percussions to modern performances. The show is designated as one of the ‘Top Ten to See in Seoul’ by the Korea Tourism Organization.
"Nanta", which literally means random drum-beats is a non verbal performance based on the rhythms of samullori (traditional Korean percussions) that is uniquely Korean. The typical Samullori musical percussions have been replaced with diverse drums improvised from kitchen utensils. Going back and forth from cooking to pounding out their rhythmic cadences, from cheerful banter to playful animosity, the kitchen crew creates visual humor and aural fun that entices the audience to participate. As they complete the best dishes of the day, the performance culminates in a feast that is shared with the audience to highlight and celebrate the communal bond found in a traditional Samulnori performance.
In Nanta, four chefs react the sounds of samullori using all sorts of kitchen utensils as they prepare for a wedding reception in an open kitchen. As they get ready to start the day, the unpleasant manager gives them some unexpected news. Not only do the chefs have to prepare the entire wedding meal by 6pm, but they also have to give the manager’s nephew some cooking lessons. None of them are happy with the situation, but they set out to work.
In the process, they must solve a whole array of difficulties. Gradually, the audience and the players become one. Finally, they pull all their ideas together to finish the cream cake, and the ceremony proceeds without any troubles. In the course of the fantastic wedding party, the audience bonds through lots of laughter and humor, the friendly kitchen atmosphere, and above all five characters whose magnetic spirits create the various rhythms and sounds.
Unlike other non-verbal shows, which have been criticized for monotonous repetition of rhythmic drumming, Nanta is set in a kitchen, a universal space, which adds a lot of dramatic and comic elements. It is entertaining for all ages and nationalities. Since it is based on Korea’s traditional samullori, visitors can experience Korea’s traditional culture as well.
The audience is swept along in the primitive sound explosions and actions on stage. Though the performance is built primarily on captivating rhythms and has very few spoken words, audiences of all ages and nationalities can easily enjoy the plot and drama of this show.
- After breakfast at your hotel, meet our tour guide at the lobby and transfer to Yongin for a one-hour drive.
- Visit Korean Folk Village where visitors can experiences the natural atmosphere with over 260 traditional houses reminiscent of the late Joseon Dynasty, including various household goods from different regions.
- After lunch at a local restaurant, transfer to Suwon and visit Hwaseong Fortress registered on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List.
- Transfer back to Seoul - you will be dropped off at your hotel.
- Korean Folk Village
- Minsok village is a living museum type of tourist attraction in the city of Yongin, a satellite city in the Seoul Metropolitan Area in the province of Gyeonggi in South Korea. Korean Folk Village is a popular tourist destination for both Koreans and foreigners. It is located near Everland, South Korea's largest amusement park.
The purpose of Korean Folk Village is to display elements of traditional Korean life and culture. There are multiple sections to the park. There are numerous replicas of traditional houses of the different social classes from various regions.
The park also has a traditional street market, restaurants, and showcases of traditional wordworking and metalworking techniques. There are performances of traditional dances, equestrian skills, marriage ceremonies, and recreational activities.
An amusement park section has rides and games, an art museum, a sculpture garden, a Korean Folk Museum, and a World Folk Museum which highlights traditional lifestyles from around the world.
About 30 folk villages were relocated and recreated in the approximately 200,000 pyeong (660,000 square meters) vacant land around the area of 107 Bora-ri, Giheung-eup, Yongin City, Gyeonggi-do on August 5, 1973 and opened to the public after completion on October 3, 1974.
- Hwaseong Fortress
- Hwaseong (Brilliant Castle/ Fortress) is the wall surrounding the center of Suwon, the provincial capital of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. This fortress was built from 1794 to 1796 by King Jeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty to house and honor the remains of his father Prince Sado, who had been murdered by being locked alive inside a rice chest by his own father King Yeongjo after failing to obey the command to commit suicide. Located 30 kilometers (19 mi) south of Seoul and enclosing much of central Suwon, the Fortress includes King Jeongjo's palace Haenggung. The site was designated as a World Heritage site by the UNESCO in 1997. The Suwoncheon, the main stream in Suwon, flows through the center of the fortress.
- Today will be a free day with optional tours and activities including tour of Demilitarized Zone.
- Evening farewell dinner buffet river cruise with transfers.
Transfer from hotel to Incheon Airport for flight to DFW.
- American Airlines Flight No. 26 departs Seoul at 4:50 p.m., arrives at DFW at 3:45 p.m. same day.
- Bus transfer from DFW to Tyler.