Ibike Korea People-to-People Program


Fact Sheet: Exploring Eastern Korea (동부 한국탐방) *   


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This route has the most topography (ups and downs), beautiful long stretches of forests, narrow mountain river canyons, rugged coastlines and grand vistas.

Photo Essay: Exploring Eastern Korea

Schedule: September-October  (see full schedule and status).  The program usually is scheduled right before or right after the Chusok holiday.  It alternates with the other Korea itineraries.

Program Price (lodging, two meals/day, guide, museum fees and more): US$1990 (less than six people add $100) (airfare is not included). Average out of pocket expenses per program $150 plus or minus $50.

Description: Day 1-3: orientation, and exploration of Seoul bustling streets, plazas, markets, palaces, temples and government buildings. Day 4-11: Cycle up river valleys, past farmland, through forests, across mountains and down the east coast visiting, the DMZ, farming communities, temples, fishing villages and national parks. Day 12-14: Visit many of the historical jewels of Gyeongju. Korea Tour's Route Map

Features: Small group, people-to-people bicycle tour.  Travel from the former capital of the Choson Dynasty to the former capital of the Silla Dynasty absorbing the lifestyles, history, and cultural diversity of the people of eastern Korea.  Day-to-day, on an ongoing basis, there will be discussions on history, architecture, culture, ethnic diversity, social systems, gender rights and roles, politics, agriculture, music, language, religion, geology, botany, and ecology.

Start / Finish: Seoul to Gyeongju, South Korea

Skill Level: Suitable for fit cyclists, who aren't intimidated by long hills.

Mileage Daily / Total: 35-90km, 21-58 miles per day / 800km, 500 miles total.

Cycling Conditions: Paved roads and paths, mix of relatively flat valleys with long climbs and descents between them.

Accommodations: Mostly small Korean-style hotels, usually one temple-stay, no tent camping. Traditionally, Koreans slept with pads and quilts on heated floors. Note: We try to include an overnight temple-stay on most programs. Some of the temples we use don't routinely accept ordinary travelers/tourists. Many people find this a highlight of the tour, but it is also privilege.  While we are guests we are expected to participate in some temple life.  This includes accommodations in Korean-style dormitory (segregated by gender), wearing simple temple cloths (provided), quiet vegetarian meals, participation in morning prays (4am), and  maintaining austere, modest, respectful, contemplative behavior.

Van Support: None, but the local transportation system is extraordinary and can be used as a back-up.

Meals Included: Two Korean-style meals per day, generally breakfast and dinner (rice, noodles, soup, stew, beef, pork, chicken, eggs, soybean, bean curd (tofu/dubu), kimchi, seaweed, shrimp, squid, mackerel, etc.)

Other Activities: Discussions, visits, and walking excursions.

Bike: Mountain bike or sturdy-tired touring bike are recommended. 

Bike Rental: It is hard to find suitable rental bikes.

* Itineraries, fares and dates are subject to change.  20% of the land portion is U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, for those registering directly with IBF.

Registration: It is easiest, and saves paper, if you register online. Or, you can register by mail by downloading and printing the Registration Packet (PDF file). Or, you can begin the registration process by sending your name, address, phone number, name of the program(s) and a deposit of $300 (of which $300 is a non­refundable registration fee) to Ibike. Deposit and payment may be made by check, money order, credit card or PayPal. Upon receipt of your this information a the registration packet will be forwarded to you.  It must be completed, signed and returned before your registration is considered complete. Registrations submitted less than 60 days prior to departure should include the full fee. Registrations received less than 30 days prior to departure will be accepted subject to availability and a late fee of $50. Payments within 30 days of departure must be by cashier's check, credit card or electronic transfer. Early registration is encouraged. Due to limits on group size and the advisability of starting the reading list, registrations at least 90 days prior to the departure date is suggested.

Full Payment: Due 60 days prior to departure. If payment has not been received and no special arrangements have been made, we reserve the right to assume withdrawal and fill the space.

Withdrawals: To receive a refund if withdrawing, submit a letter of withdrawal in writing to Ibike. Our policy is as follows: (1) A $300 registration fee is forfeited for all withdrawals. (2) A fee of 50% is assessed for withdrawals within 60-30 days prior to departure. (3) The full price of the land costs is assessed for withdrawals initiated less than 30 days prior to departure. Changes in medical circumstances are not considered as exceptions to our normal refund policy. Insurance coverage for trip cancellation/interruption is available from several companies.

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