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Spring in Korea and Taiwan

Taiwan & South Korea

  • Festivals & Events
  • Walking
  • Food
  • Culture
12 Days
1 Flights
Not Child Friendly

Itinerary

In East Asia, nothing is more synonymous with Spring than Cherry Blossom. This trip celebrates the Cherry Blossom of Korea, which is less known, but probably more intense than the Sakura- the Japanese Cherry Blossom. We begin on the island of Taiwan, where we hope to catch the last days of the Cherry Blossom in some of the most stunning nature reserves of Asia, and continue to the Korean peninsula, where we arrive just in time for the peak of the Cherry Blossom. This is when the local festivals are taking place, celebrating this amazing natural phenomena admired by locals and foreign visitors alike.

DAY 1, 26 MARCH 2021. ARRIVAL IN TAIPEI

  • Dinner

Arrive in Taoyuan Airport, the largest airport in Taiwan. Upon arrival, meet the local guide and take the one-hour drive to the city of Taipei, the national Taiwanese capital since 1886. After checking-in the hotel, go to explore Taipei (check-in time at 14:00, earlier check-in time depend on room availability or on early check-in supplement). Begin with a visit to Mengjia Longshan Temple, one of the oldest temples in Taiwan, dedicated to both Buddhism and Taoism, incorporating practices and icons taken from the Chinese Folk Religion. The temple was originally built by immigrants from Fujian, China, back in 1738, but was since destroyed and rebuilt several times. It serves today as one of the city’s main temples, and a gathering place for city elders. Rising 508 meters (1,671 ft) above street level, Taipei 101 held for several years the title of the world’s tallest building and has re-reshaped the city’s skyline since its completion in 2004. Ascend to the observation deck up on the 89th floor for a stunning view over the city before enjoying a welcome dinner. Late in the evening revert to the hotel for a first night in Taiwan.

DAY 2, 27 MARCH 2021. EXPLORE TAIPEI

  • Breakfast

Begin the day at the monument built to commemorate the father of the modern Taiwanese nation- Chiang Kai-Shek. The General’s complex life story reflects in many ways China’s turbulent history in the first half of the 20th century. Here, in the monument built on the scale of some of the most iconic tombs known to mankind, the story of General Chiang, and of China at the turn of the century are intertwined and displayed in a graphic and most comprehensible way. Then continue to the National Palace Museum- probably the world’s best museum of Chinese ancient art. The museum exhibits a collection of artifacts which were owned by the Chinese Imperial dynasties. When Chinag Kai-Shek realized he was losing his rule over China, he ordered for trunks of these priceless items to be shipped to the island of Taiwan, to which he, his army and supporters retreated as China was taken by the Communist party. At the afternoon visit Taipei’s oldest tea shop, run by Lin Hua Tai Tea Company for more than 130 years. Visit the tea processing factory at the back of the shop before going on a tea tasting experience while hearing about the routes of tea culture in Taiwan, and especially in the Dadaocheng area of Taipei. Wrap up the day visiting one of the bustling night markets for a snack and mingling with the locals before heading back to the hotel for a second night in Taipei.

DAY 3, 28 MARCH 2021. TO TAROKO GORGE

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Leave Taipei and drive to Taroko Gorge. Located in the north-east part of the island’s backbone ridge, Taroko Gorge National Park is known as one of the island’s most scenic regions, offering plenty of hiking trails along the Leewoo Ho River and its tributary. Upon arrival in the park visit the Eternal Spring Shrine, the Qingshui Cliff, and take a walk along Baiyang trail to the Water Curtain Cave. In the evening hours check in the hotel in the heart of the national park.

Day 4, 29 March 2021. TO THE SUN-MOON LAKE

  • Breakfast

Depart Taroko, and drive along the island’s main mountain range, commonly referred to as the island’s backbone, as it runs all the way from north to south, dividing the country into two separate regions that are connected only by few roads which cross the mountain range (and are shut from time to time due to harsh weather conditions). Stop at the foot of He Hua Shan, The Mountain of Harmonic Joy, for a rather challenging hike to its peak for a view over the surroundings and the mighty mountain range. Revert to the car and pause for a view over the Jade Peak (Yu Shan), Taiwan’s highest peak at 3,952 meters (12,966 ft) above sea level. At the afternoon arrive at the shores of Sun-Moon Lake and stop for a visit at the Sun Moon Lake Wen Wu Temple. Wen Wu temples, dedicated to both civil and military gods are rather rare throughout Chinese influenced cultures, but were popular praying venues for those attending the Imperial Exams back in the day, as the exams were taken for both civil and military positions. This is a rather new temple, built in 1938 following the construction of a dam by the Japanese in 1919, flooding the sites at which two old temples were set. The two temples have been then relocated to the place where now stands the current temple. From here drive to the hotel on the lake’s shores.

Day 5, 30 March 2021. ALISHAN NATIONAL SCENIC AREA

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

The Sun Moon Lake region is famed for its green tea. After breakfast leave the hotel for a hike along tea plantations perched on the mountain slope, to enjoy the serene landscape and beautiful views. Continue for another short hike to Ci En Pagoda, built by Chiang Kai-Shek in honor of his mother. From the top of the pagoda enjoy the view over the lake and mountains surrounding it. Then hop back in the car and continue driving along the main mountain range south, to Alishan Forest. This ancient forest was heavily exploited by Japanese during the time of occupation. Heavy logs were harvested and shipped to Japan to build temples and other wooden structures. However, the forest still boasts some very impressive trees hundreds of years old. Arrive in Alishan National Scenic Area, and if time allows, take a first walk through the mysterious forest before checking in the hotel for the night.

DAY 6, 31 MARCH 2021. SUNRISE OVER ALISHAN, NIGHT AT TAOYUAN

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

With a very early morning call, head to the train station. Here, on a railway built by the Japanese to support the logging industry, ride to a high vantage point to observe the sunrise. Stand high above the sea of clouds that covers the valleys just beneath, and wait for the first rays of sun to appear over the horizon. Then take a 45-minutes’ walk back to the hotel, and after breakfast, take a hike through the beautiful pine forest Alsihan is so famous for. Along the way stop by hundreds of years old trees, beautiful ponds, and ancient temples. In the afternoon board a vehicle and drive to the train station to board the bullet train which travels in speeds of up to 300 km/h to Taoyuan Airport. Arrive at the airport in the evening, and transfer to a hotel by the airport, for a last night in Taiwan.

DAY 7, 1 APRIL 2021. FLIGHT TO BUSAN, KOREA

  • Breakfast

After breakfast take the hotel’s shuttle bus to the airport, to board the flight across the East China Sea to the city of Busan. Busan is Korea’s second largest city, the country’s biggest port and the center of the “Southeast Economic Zone”, the beating heart of Korea’s economy. Upon landing and after the unavoidable immigration procedures, drive to the hotel. After checking in and some time to recuperate take a walk through the city streets to Jagalchi Fish Market, probably not as famous as other fish markets around Asia, but definitely on a similar scale to the best known and largest ones, covering a huge area from the dock, where the fishing boats unload wide range of fish and other sea-creatures, all the way to street stalls who make this fresh produce into a mouthwatering meal served on the spot. In the evening stroll the Busan International Film Festival Square. When there’s no current festival it serves as the city’s lively pedestrian street, which comes to life in the evening times, when city dwellers coming to enjoy their time in leisure after office time.

DAY 8, 2 APRIL 2021. JINHAE CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL

  • Breakfast

Depart Busan and head to Jinhae, the place which probably produces the most iconic Cherry Blossom images of Korea. Here pause by the famous train station, where petals cover the tracks, and as the train approaches the station, a rain of white and pink occurs. Then take a stroll along Yeojwacheon Stream, and if time permits, take a walk to a scenic spot out of town to yet another famous site to admire the marvelous sight of cherry trees in full blossom. In the afternoon drive to Gyeongju. Gyeongju served as the capital of the Silla Kingdom, ruled by one of the longest ruling dynasties in history over a period of 960 years. Accordingly, the ancient capital of the kingdom, which at its height ruled over 2/3rd of the Korea Peninsula, is scattered with historic relics and thus known as a “museum without walls”. Prior to arriving in Gyeongju visit Seokuram Grotto. This hermitage, perched 750 meters above the sea, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Evidences suggests works in the grotto begun in 742, and completed in 774, resulting in some of the most important and best-preserved Buddhist sculptures in the world. From here take an easy walk along the winding trail gently descending through the forest to Bulguksa Temple. This 8th century temple serves as the main temple of the Jogye order, and is home to several national cultural treasures. Amidst these are significant stone pagodas, the Blue Cloud and White Cloud Bridges, and gilded Buddha figures. Wrap up this busy day with a visit to Anap Pond, formerly the centerpiece of a royal recreational garden, lavishly lit as a reminder of the city’s past glory. Then drive to the hotel for the night.

DAY 9, 3 APRIL 2021. THE ANCIENT CAPITAL GEYONGJU

  • Breakfast

Begin the day at the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival. The appeal of this particular festival is in the mesmerizing images of the blooming trees amidst the old relics scattered around town. Pause at Seongdong Sijang, one of the best open-air markets in Korea before leaving for Chungju. Arrive at Chungju and take a hike along the banks of the man-made lake, visit Gosu Cave which is known as one of the country’s most beautiful caves, and end the day with a cruise over the lake, for a view over the entire surroundings of the lake, all covered in blooming cherry trees. In the evening drive to the hotel in Chunju.

DAY 10, 4 APRIL 2021. HIKING ALONG NAMHANSANSUNG FORTRESS

  • Breakfast

Spend most of the day hiking along the path leading to Namhansansung, or “the fortress in the southern Han Mountain”. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this beautiful trail leads to where the Korean kings kept a fortress which was planned to serve as an alternative capital should Seoul surrender to an aggressor. Though this never happened, this vast fortress has served as the front command center to some of the most epic battles in Korean history. After enjoying the easy walk along the trail, and the so called ‘Cherry Blossom Street’, board the vehicle for the short drive to the Korean national capital. After checking-in the hotel, take a cable car ride to the top of Seoul N-Tower for a view over the city at night. Then take to Myeongdong night market, for a taste of some local delicacies before setting in the hotel for the night.

DAY 11, 5 APRIL 2021. EXLPORE SEOUL

  • Breakfast

Today join the people of Seoul, as they take a break from the somewhat hectic lifestyle of most city dwellers in the super-competitive Korean society, and admire the cherry blossom along the city streets. Walk along Yeoido Street, where, for a week, street performances replace the usual waves of suited men and women often seen through the super busy streets of the Korean capital city. Then embark on few hours’ hike along the city’s old wall. Running over the hills surrounding the city, the trail takes past beautiful forests, offering great views over the city that at this time of the year is beautifully colored. In the evening take a leisurely stroll through Bukcheon, once the residential neighborhood of officials and clerks serving the royal court and today a hip place of trendy restaurants, art galleries and coffee shops, showcasing the fusion of new, rebellious culture with the old traditions and architecture. Late in the evening return to the hotel for the last night of the trip.

DAY 12, 6 APRIL 2021. DEPARTURE FROM KOREA

  • Breakfast

After breakfast visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, which unsurprisingly resembles the structure and characteristics of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The palace, first constructed in 1935, is the largest of the five palaces of the Joseon Dynasty. Like many other significant buildings in Korea, it was totally burnt during the Japanese invasion at the end of the 16th century, and then reconstructed only to be destroyed once again in the Japanese takeover of the early 20th century. Then pay a visit to the National Folk Museum, located at the palace compound. Around noon leave Seoul for the one-and-a-half-hour drive to the city of Incheon, where the country’s largest airport is located, and where the trip comes to an end.

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Dates & Pricing

Trip rates valid for two confirmed travelers and above. If you are booking this trip for a party of four travelers or more, please contact us for our special rates.

Note: Trip rates are valid all year round, but are not valid for trips that occur (in whole, or in part) during Chinese national holidays: May 1st to 3rd, September 15th to 17th, or October 1st to 7th, Some surcharges might apply on December 24th to January 1st due to high demand, or compulsory dinners in the hotels.

[email protected] reserves the right to change tour prices and programs due to changes in flight schedule, changes in airfares, and other local circumstances.

Prices are based on twin share occupancy.

Discounted rates for groups of 4 travelers and above:

  • 4 travelers- US$3633/ person
  • 6 travelers- US$3416/ person
  • 8 travelers- US$3104/ person

Applicable only for travel groups of 4 people or more booking their trip together.


26th March, 2021–6th April, 2021

  • $4,980 Per Person (From 2 people)
  • $1,270 Single Room Supplement

Additional Information


Inclusions
  • ​International flight Taipei to Busan
  • Local English speaking guide/driver (the guide is the driver)
  • Transfers with private A/C vehicle
  • Accommodation at selected hotels
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Meals as indicated in the program (Breakfasts and 3 dinner)
  • Entry fees for all sightseeing as mentioned on the program

Exclusions
  • International travel to Taipei, and from Seoul
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tourist visa to Taiwan (if required)
  • Tourist visa to South Korea (if required)
  • Excess luggage
  • Gratuities
  • Expenses of personal nature (food and drinks beyond those provided, laundry, etc.)
  • Anything not clearly mentioned in the program

Accomodation
  • Taipei- S-aura Hotel 4-star
  • Taroko- Silks Place 5-star
  • Sun Moon Lake- Fuli Hot Springs Hotel 4-star
  • Alishan- Alishan House 4-star
  • Taoyuan- Novotel Taoyuang Airport 5-star
  • Busan- Crown Harbor Hotel 4-star
  • Gyeongju- The Suites Hotel 4-star
  • Chungju- Hanwha Suanbo Resort 4-star
  • Seoul- PJ Hotel 4-star

Note: the listed hotels are tentative. Final hotel list shall be confirmed upon placing a booking and paying a deposit.


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