We entered our hotel lobby early and three of them were already waiting for us--a driver, Jeanie our tour guide, and another lady who said little probably tour-guide-in-training. Good start.
And it turned out we were their only guests, so it was essentially a private tour.
Jeanie's English took some effort to understand/follow, but she was very patient with us.
At first we worried we had inadvertantly signed up for a duplicate tour of the previous day's sites, but she took us to a different, temporary, Palace, a Shrine, and a different Village--this one was an actual village where people lived, not where the government moved houses from different places to make a village of five houses. We saw an actual Fortress still active, where we walked part of the grounds, then rode a trolley around the rest of it. We attended a Martial Arts show with a crowd of locals. We visited the Palace Museum on the grounds of the Palace we had toured the previous day and learned about the history of Korean royalty.
Lunch was bibimbong--delicious!
Best thing: no mandatory factory tours!
We've had this tour on feb 04: cold weather but fine and memorable day however, thanks to Jong as she was a nice and knowledgeable guide, telling us about Korean history and dynasties as well as rites and habits.
We were on a three days stop in Korea en route to Fiji and Wallis Island from Paris.
My wife ans I much enjoyed being on a private tour indeed. We could appreciate Hwaseong fortress and Haenggung Palace in the morning even although we had to pay attention to frozen soil in some places. We had the chance to watch a performance led by students in Joseon martial suits as we were on Saturday.
Back to Seoul we could taste the most delightful bibimbap in our short journey to Korea, in a restaurant actually located just in front of our hotel, just in time to feel warmer and strenghtened before the afternoon sites: Bukchon Hanok village then the magnificent Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine.
When Chung left us in Insa-Dong we still could talk with some students in that street and also with people demonstrating every Saturday in Myeong-Dong area.
We highly recommend this day-tour and warmly acknowledge Jong. We now wish to learn more about culture of lovely and engaging South Korea.