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The Oriental Caravan's 

Postcard from Korea...

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Winter 2003

Dear All,

The Oriental Caravan visited Korea last Autumn as part of our research for this May's 'Caravan to the Heart of the Hermit Kingdom'.


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Pagoda at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul Bamboo helmet
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Korean schoolchildren Village totems

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Korea's architectural heritage suffered greatly during the long and ruinous Japanese occupation (1910 - 1945) and the ensuing Korean War (1950 - 1953)

Changing of the guard at Seoul's Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Chillies - vital for kimchi, Korea's fiery national dish of pickled, fermented cabbage Guide Stephanie
2003 marks the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean war and since then the South has come a long way in rebuilding itself into one of Asia's strongest economies despite the country's tragic and continuing partition. 
The people are welcoming, some of  the scenery stunning and visitors from the West still a relative rarity. For travellers looking for an unusual, but rewarding, destination Korea presents itself as an intriguing possibility. 

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Ling zhi mushroom - this highly prized polypore was once thought to be an elixir of immortality in China and is often used as a symbol of longevity in East Asian art

Ears cocked, waiting eagerly for some better news, these three pigs at Busan market still manage to raise a smile - despite their unpromising predicament 

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  The police in Seoul project a very friendly image 

Aerial view of a typical multi-course meal. Korean cuisine is excellent - including some great dishes for vegetarians and piscivores

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Dabotap Pagoda at Bulguksa, Gyeongju

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Celadon potter at Icheon Handling clay
The Oriental Caravan  approached the challenge of designing an itinerary that fully does justice to South Korea's scenic variety and long cultural history with typical gusto and abandon. The journey we have come up with is, as far as we know, unrivalled in its comprehensiveness, and promises to be an unforgettable one for those who wish to be true trailblazers to one of the least visited corners of Asia. Those who step aboard the Caravan to Korea, on a trip suitably timed to coincide with the Buddha's birthday and the spectacular Festival of Lanterns, will...
...sail through the islands of the East China sea; relax on subtropical Jeju-do; see the women shell divers of Seongsan; board a submarine to the coral bed (optional!); climb Mount Hallasan volcano explore Hwanseondonggul caves; stay at Magoksa (Zen) temple; visit the 15th century village of Seong-eup; watch the masked dancers of Hahoe; catch the Annual Bamboo Festival at Damyang; and hike in Songnisan and Seoraksan National Parks... there's also an optional excursion to Panmunjom and the 38th Parallel... and much more! 

If you'd like to know more about the 'much more' please request the dossier - 'a Caravan to Korea, the Ginseng Route'

Best wishes,

from Phil and all aboard The Oriental Caravan



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Pagoda at Gyeongbokgung  

The philosophical flag - Korea's flag is made up using the yin yang symbol surrounded by trigrams as used in yi jing divination 

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'Korea' as written using Chinese characters

Rooftops at Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul

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Classic Silla (7-9th century) ceramics - in Seoul Twin Towers Memorial - part of a modern art exhibition held on Busan beach during the recent Asian Games

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Korea: a Caravan to the heart of the Hermit Kingdom 

First departure : Seoul - October 2004

To receive the detailed dossier for this trip please click here

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             Revised and last updated: November 20th 2013. Links