Dive into Korean history with an expert guide on this half-day coach tour of Seoul. See ancient relics along with calligraphy, painting, ceramics, sculpture and more at the National Museum of Korea. Then explore the imperial grounds of the Unhyeongung Royal Residence, the former home of a Joseon emperor. After a savory lunch of ‘bibimbap,’ a typical rice dish, get dressed up in traditional Korean dress called ‘hanbok.’ Round-trip hotel transport is included.
Hop aboard your comfortable coach upon hotel pickup in the morning. Your sightseeing tour of Seoul begins at the National Museum of Korea, the largest museum in the country. En route, pass Yongsan Family Park, a wooded natural habitat featuring more than 80 kinds of trees and home to a variety of birds. Inside the museum galleries, explore vast collections of national and international pieces on display, and learn from your insightful guide about a number of Korean cultural assets housed here. Hear about relic collection and preservation as you discover Korea’s fascinating history, from prehistory to the present day. See Buddhist paintings, ceramics and excavated artifacts in areas of interest, including the Ancient History Gallery, Medieval and Early Modern History Gallery, Calligraphy and Painting Gallery, Donations Gallery, Sculpture and Crafts Gallery, and Asia Gallery. Your next stop is the Unhyeongung Royal Residence, once home to Emperor Gojong, the 26th king of the Joseon Dynasty (1392 – 1910). Damaged under Japanese occupation and during the Korean War, the royal home was renovated in the 1990s. Follow your guide through the front gate and past servants’ quarters, and see where a royal wedding ceremony was held. Visit the women’s and men’s quarters, the spacious kitchen, and the Exhibition Hall, which displays a small collection of cultural artifacts such as writing tools, traditional wedding garments and a scale model of Unhyeongung. After a delicious lunch of bibimbap — a favorite rice dish made with sliced vegetables, fried egg and sauteed greens — you have the opportunity to try on hanbok. This brightly colored Korean formal attire, typically reserved for festivals or celebrations, includes a jacket with a full, wraparound skirt for women, or a blouse and pants for men. After taking plenty of photos, change back into your regular clothes for the return to your hotel, where your half-day tour ends.