NECESSARY INTRO: Because of the blog, I was invited to take a tour of Korea by bus. It is called the K-shuttle, and it offers tours from 2 days and 1 night up to 5 days and 4 nights, and its intent is to quickly introduce a visitor to the many cultures and histories of Korea. It is awesome in several ways, not the least being it is a “hop-on”/”hop off” service, so you can stay overnight if someplace catches your fancy, and simply catch the next tour bus the next day (NOTE: You have to tell them this, of course, because they don’t run busses on days where there are no riders^^). This, sadly, was the day we had to hop off, as we had business in Busan, which I’ll talk about briefly after the tour.
After breakfast at our spectacular hotel (I don’t think I mentioned last time that it had a complete view of Yeosu Bay?) the highlight of our last day was, Suyeong Fortress at Jinju.
This was in spectacularly good shape, and had an awesome museum. We went here because Suncheon Bay was closed due to fear of norovirus, but I couldn’t really have been happier about how it ended up. This place was awesome, and is the famous site of a murder-suicide in which a Korean gisaeng gave up her own life to drown a drunken Japanese general. You can read more about that story here:
I’m not sure if this is true of every tour, but on our tour we found the staff super-flexible,
and if one thing didn’t seem right for the group (or available), they kind of took the consensus of the bus, and then we went off and did that.
In this case it meant we had a fortress nearly all to ourselves, except for the very friendly senior citizens who were sprinkled here and there. We walked to the rock where the murder/suicide took place, then took in the museum. Because we were with a group of slow-walkers^^ my wife and I were also able to walk the entire fortress wall, which had great views of the river and the city.
Then, sadly, it was off to Busan, where we jumped off the tour before it went to the fish-market. We had a date with Book Alley downtown, so that’s what we went off to check out.
So… how did it all add up?
Really well – this is a tour I would recommend to anyone who was staying in Korea long enough to check out Seoul and then realize, “hey, there’s more to Korea than just Seoul!”
Hundreds of kilometers, a dozen new friends, and several new destinations later, we sadly parted.
I heard a rumour that there may also be a tour to Jeju that can be linked with the K-Shuttle, and if that’s true it’s awesome. Korea is not necessarily an easy place for a foreign tourist to navigate, and the K-shuttle takes all those worries away.
Two big thumbs up!!