5. Seoul City 1-Day Tour & Nanta Or Korean Folk Village Option
Explore Korean history and culture with a knowledgeable local guide. Begin your tour from your hotel in the Seoul area between 8:00 AM and 9:20 AM. Stop first at Jogyesa Buddhist Temple, the center of Zen Buddhism in Korea famous for being located in the center of the city. Enjoy the peaceful air of the temple before moving on to Gyeongbok Palace. Observe the Changing of the Guard Ceremony and explore the palace itself. Built in 1395, Gyeongbok Palace is arguably the most beautiful palace in Korea and remains the grandest of all the five main palaces in Seoul.
Following a tour of the palace with your guide learning the history and secrets of this beautiful building, pass by the Presidential Blue House and walk to Cheongwadae Sarangchae. This historic center gives visitors a chance to follow in the footsteps of the presidents of Korea and learn about the fascinating history of Seoul. It encompasses the past, present and even the future of Seoul as well as the entire nation.
After lunch, head to the Changdeok Palace built after Gyeongbok Palace in 1405 and discover another beautiful palace steeped in Korean heritage, declared a UNESCO heritage site several years ago. Stop next at two famous markets in Seoul - Insadong and Namdaemun Market. Insadong is the most reliable place to purchase antiques in Seoul. Browse antique shops, art galleries and secondhand bookstores. Namdaemun is the largest traditional market where you can browse a multitude of goods for bargains and search for the perfect souvenir to take home.
Have the option to see a non-verbal performance called 'Nanta'. Nanta is a hybrid artwork, the combination of a traditional Korean folk performance called 'Samulnori' and Western forms of performances. Be entertained by a lively performance where the stage is a giant kitchen and four cooks appear and start cooking dishes for a wedding reception. In the process, they perform Samulnori using the various cooking utensils, such as pots, pans, and plates, etc. The show ends at around 6:30 PM.
For the Korean Folk Village Option, you will be able to see well preserved customs and lifestyles of the past generations. Set in a natural environment, visitors can experience this traditional atmosphere with over 260 houses reminiscent of the late Joseon dynasty. See where various handicrafts such as pottery and basket-making, are produced. You can also visit the folk museum as well as the art museum (scheduled to open) to learn about Korean culture and folk customs which are not suitable for display and in an open-air setting.