Korea - Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls (Jeju Island). Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - Haeundae Beach. Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - Pyeongchang Ski lift. Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - Seoul Folk flea market. Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - Restaurant in Seoul. Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - Ganjaemi Hoemuchim (Raw Baby-ray with Vegetables). Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
tba - photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - International Taekwondo Hanmadang. Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - Cheongdam Bridge. Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - Woljeongsa Temple. Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea - Jeju Seongeup Folk Village. Photo courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization
Korea’s ancient name of “The Land of the Morning Calm” rose from the mists of its 5,000 years of dramatic history. Indeed the source of the English name "Korea" is "Goryeo" – a Korean dynasty which dates back to 1392. The Korean peninsula, located in North-East Asia, is surrounded by the ocean on three sides. With Seoul as its capital city, its area is roughly 1,030 km long and 175 km wide at its narrowest point. Korea's total land area is 100,033 square km. It shares a border with North Korea and nearby Japan is to the east and China to the west.
Now Korea is even easier to get to with Air Canada’s new daily non stop service commencing June 2016 to Seoul aboard comfortable, state of the art, Dreamliner aircraft. This is a very civilized country for tourists to visit as the infrastructure is first class, accommodations are excellent and there are many guided and self-guided touring options available. Once you are there it is easy to get around, thanks to Korea’s first rate transportation systems. The signs are even in English as well as Korean! Five of its major cities have excellent subway systems - Seoul’s being the largest and extending well beyond the city centre. Buses and trains are also very efficient, including bullet trains that, for example, link Seoul with Korea’s second largest city of Busan in 2 to 2.5 hours.
Accommodation standards are high and the tourist can rely on categories created by the Korean National Tourist Organization:
The capital city of Seoul has a metropolitan population totaling over 25.6 million and is by far South Korea's largest city. It is also one of East Asia's financial and cultural epicentres. Seoul is a city filled with stark contrasts with a fascinating blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge digital technology! It is home to endless street food vendors, vast nightlife districts and an extraordinarily high-pressure educational system. Yet you can also find serene Buddhist temples. Seoul’s contradictions also include a trend-setting youth culture merged with great cultural respect for tradition. And you will discover extraordinary modern architecture side by side with more ancient structures.
No surprises then that major tourist sites include five Grand Palaces dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries and the N Seoul Tower, once the tallest tower in Asia and still with panoramic views. Visitors are also drawn by Korea’s pop culture explosion; Hallyu or the “Korean Wave” is a term now widely used to refer to the popularity of Korean entertainment and culture across Asia and other parts of the world. Seoul offers vibrant restaurants, non stop nightlife and frenetic shopping, But don’t worry – there are also parks and gardens that are havens of peace and tranquility.
Beyond Seoul the contrasts continue. You can ski in Korea, and you can also go to the beach! The Taebaeksan Mountain Range forms the backbone of the peninsula and provide an opportunity to ski November to April. In 2018, Pyeongchang county in Gangwon-do will host the Winter Olympics. A new ski resort called Alpensia is being built and will accommodate most winter sports. The South coast of Korea has a heavily indented coastline and about 3,000 mainly small islands lie off the western and southern coasts of South Korea. Many beaches around the peninsula boast beautiful scenery and world-class facilities. So between June and September Koreans head to the beach!
Located at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, Busan is South Korea's second largest city and largest seaport. Busan is known for its beaches, hot springs and nature reserves, and is a good destination for those seeking a more laid back atmosphere than Seoul. The southern island of Jeju is another place to discover Korea’s quieter side. This is where most Koreans go for their honeymoon. There are beaches, scenic touring options and magnificent sunsets, particularly from the central volcanic mountain.
Every visitor will want to try Korean cuisine. Hansik refers to traditional Korean food, as well as the manners and rules required in serving them beautifully. Korean royal cuisine is by far the most lavish version of hansik, originally served to kings and queens. What makes Korean food culture different is mainly its combination of diverse side dishes, served with a simple bowl of rice. As well as kimchi (fermented cabbage), other widely known side dishes include bulgogi and bibimbap. Bulgogi is a marinated beef or pork dish that is sweet and tender in texture. Bibimbap is a complete meal in itself; rice mixed with all kinds of condiments and topped with red chili sauce (or gochu-jang) for that extra kick.
Tourists are also drawn by the year round calendar of unique festivals in Korea. Perhaps the most iconic are the cherry blossom festivals that occur all over Korea. They begin in March in the South of the country and work their way up to Seoul in late April. A symbol of the more modern Korea is the Busan International Film Festival, which is growing in importance every year and which takes place in October. The festival screens a variety of movies including international premieres as well as showcases new experimental films.
Korea provides a wealth of possibilities, a dizzying array of contrasts, year round opportunities – and most of all, a very unique and fascinating culture. And with Air Canada’s new non stop service from Toronto to Seoul, it is now even more accessible as a destination.
Air Canada’s routes to Asia keep on growing! Air Canada has announced that from June 2016 they will offer daily non-stop flights from Toronto to Seoul aboard their state of the art B787 Dreamliner aircraft. The new route will provide some of the fastest travel times for customers travelling to and from Korea. This will be in addition to the existing daily non stop service from Vancouver. These two routes together mean that Air Canada will operate the most flights of any airline between Canada and Korea with up to 14 flights per week.
If you aren’t based in Toronto, don’t worry – the flight times fit in with convenient connections within Air Canada’s North American network (a network that includes Montreal amongst 61 other Canadian cities).
In fact, Air Canada flights are timed to offer connections across their entire network, and for onward flights with Star Alliance partners such as Air China, ANA and Asiana Airlines. Korea can be part of a multi-destination trip as it is a great jumping off point for other parts of Asia such as Japan, China and Hong Kong.
The Dreamliner B787 aircraft represent the latest generation of aircraft and provide an unparalleled onboard experience - everyone on board benefits from a quieter and smoother flight with these ultra-modern planes. Plus technological advances mean less travel fatigue. Ambient mood lighting eases the time zone changes, lower cabin pressure means better oxygen absorption and increased humidity reduces dehydration. The air you breathe is cleaner thanks to continuous circulation through an advanced filtration system and the water is pure thanks to ultra-violet light water treatment. These aircraft offer the largest windows of any aircraft flying today – and forget about blinds as these windows have an electronic dimming system! Click here to find out more.
Air Canada offers you a choice of three cabin classes:
And best of all, Air Canada passengers earn Aeroplan miles on every flight - which they can then use towards future travel. Maybe you even have enough Aeroplan miles to fly to Korea.
The easy way to see many of the highlights of Korea is to not only fly there with Air Canada, but to use sister company Air Canada Vacations to make all the arrangements for your trip once you’re there. Air Canada Vacation offers packages to Seoul which include flights, accommodations and tours. Naturally you earn Aeroplan miles on the whole booking, as well as being able to tap into Air Canada Vacation’s deep knowledge of the destination.
Your Travel Agent can help make your reservations with Air Canada Vacation or check out the many options available at www.AirCanadaVacations.com.
Air Canada Vacations feature a total of 18 hotels in Seoul, from the five star Grand Intercontinental Parnas and Ritz-Carlton Seoul to the three star Hyundai Residence Seoul. And there are tours to see both Seoul and the rest of the country.
Visit the presidential residence (the Deoksu Palace), the old district and the Itaewon shopping centre.
DAY 1 WELCOME TO SEOUL
Transfer from airport to hotel in Seoul.
Accommodation in Seoul (2 nights)
DAY 2 CITY TOUR
Take a morning city tour to see the presidential residence, followed by Deoksu Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, built in 1395. The tour continues in Seoul’s old district and ends at Itaewon shopping street.
DAY 3 DEPARTURE
Departure transfer to airport.
2 nights of accommodation in selected category
All airport transfers
City tour of Seoul
Meals as per itinerary
For more information visit www.aircanadavacations.com.
Seoul - Jeju Island - Busan - Mount Sorak – Seoul
Of course there's Seoul, the modern and flourishing capital that successfully hosted the Olympics and the World Cup, but for Korea to reveal all its secrets, you need to explore the peninsula. Visit the Seoraksan National Park and its breathtaking landscapes. Stop by Gyongju to discover the country's fascinating history and experience hanoks, the traditional Korean houses. Enjoy unique cuisine in one of the many bucolic fishing villages and discover the heart of a very popular destination in Asia.
DAY 1 DEPARTURE FROM CANADA
Board your Air Canada flight to Seoul.
DAY 2 SEOUL
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Fraser Place or similar (2 nights) DAY 3 SEOUL
Take a half-day tour of South Korea's Demilitarized Zone.
DAY 4 SEOUL - JEJU ISLAND
Breakfast & lunch included
Fly to the volcanic island of Jeju. Visit the Yongduam Rock.
Jeju Lotte Hotel or similar (2 nights)
DAY 5 JEJU ISLAND
Enjoy a full day discovering Jeju, including Cheonjiyeon Waterfall, the Gyulimseong Citrus Farm and the Spirited Garden.
DAY 6 JEJU ISLAND - BUSAN
Visit Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak and the Seongeup Folk Village before your flight to Busan.
Novotel Busan or similar (1 night)
DAY 7 BUSAN - GYEONGJU - DAEGU
Travel towards Gyeongju to see the famous Bulguksa Temple as well as the world’s oldest astronomical observatory. Travel to Daegu to spend the night.
Daegu interbulgo or similar (1 night)
DAY 8 BUSAN - MOUNT SORAK
Transfer to the Mount Sorak National Park area with a stop en route at the Andong Hahoe Village.
Seorak Maremons Hotel or similar (1 night)
DAY 9 MOUNT SORAK - SEOUL
Spend a day exploring Mount Sorak National Park. Afterwards, transfer to Seoul.
Fraser Place or similar (2 nights)
DAY 10 SEOUL
Enjoy a half-day tour of Seoul.
DAY 11 RETURN TO CANADA
Transfer to the international airport for your return flight to Canada.
Transpacific flights aboard Air Canada; domestic flights within Korea
9 nights in First Class (FC) accommodation
All airport transfers
City tours of Seoul and Gyeongju; 1 full-day and 2 half-day tours on Jeju Island
Meals as per itinerary
Note: Transfer back to hotel after tour on day 3 is not included.
For more information visit www.aircanadavacations.com.
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