Want to experience something truly unique and utterly delicious? Look no further than the busy streets, misty mountains, blooming cherry blossoms, and abundant beaches of South Korea.
Join Cheema’s Travel and an intrepid group of like-minded foodies for 8 nights of adventurous gastronomy, as we search out every scrumptious delicacy that this exotic peninsula has to offer. This trip is not for the faint of heart! Korea is known for having spicy and pungent dishes, such as kimchi and tteokbokki.
Over the course of the trip, you will have mastered a few Korean specialties including gochujang (traditional red pepper paste) and makgeolli (rice wine) with the best and most notable Korean chefs/cooks, including Monk Jeong Kwan from the Netflix original show, “Chef’s Table" all while experiencing cherry blossom season.
On this trip, you won't just visit South Korea, you will be fully immersed in Korean culture. You’ll get to experience the absolute best of the country: historic palaces, traditional villages, relaxing and indulgent saunas, and more.
This guided trip is all-inclusive and there are no supplementary fees whatsoever.
I'm inviting you to join me on this once-in-a-lifetime small group culinary trip . This trip along with all my other trips are a culinary dream itinerary that I personally curated with my preferred partners to make sure it is the perfect experience for all parties involved.
Please understand that the concept of these adventures is similar to traveling with friends. Like-minded individuals who not only love to eat, drink, make, and have immersive experiences, they want to connect with our "cousins" on the other side of the planet. If you love eating, drinking, adventure, laughs, and great company... this adventure is like no other.
Cheema's Travel is a travel agency, not a large group tour operator so no umbrellas or flags to locate our local guide.
Rani Cheema; Founder of Cheema’s Travel.
"My goal isn't to visit as many countries as possible, but to truly understand the place I'm visiting and the people that I meet... also, to eat anything and everything. I tend to base my adventures on the things I want to eat rather than the sites I want to see."
Recognize as a Travel Specialist by Bloomberg Pursuits & The New York Times
Former Art Director at the Food Network
Born and bred New Yorker
Loves to bake, even though she’s not great at it.
Former Food Editor of the Gwangju News
Photo taken in Gyeongju, South Korea during Buddha’s Bday
Your 8 Night Itinerary
Welcome to South Korea
Arrival day. We’ll check into our hotel, freshen up, then hit the ground running with by warming up are bellies with something familiar. A feast of Korean BBQ. Trust me, this isn’t your NYC K-Town BBQ.
Will need everyone to arrive at their hotel on April 3rd before 5:00 pm. Miss dinner? We’ll send you food.
After slurping up Kalguksu at Namdaemun Market, our first stops will include two historic palaces and a traditional village smack in the middle of the city. Samgaetang (Korean ginseng chicken soup) for lunch, followed by your first cooking class. After enjoying your culinary creations, you’ll be delighted by the street food and charming shopping options in Insadong Market before heading back to the hotel for the night.
SEOUL – SUNCHANG – BEAKYANGSA
This morning you’ll head to Beakyangsa Temple. Before reaching the temple, we will stop at Sunchang Village, known as the Gochujang Village where you'll stretch your cooking muscles again by learning to make gochujang, as well as tteokbokki, at this immersive class experience. You can digest your lunch during the drive to Baekyangsa Temple, the home of Philosopher Chef, Monk Jeong Kwan. After the welcome tea ceremony, we'll be able to hike about the peaceful mountains (weather permitting), and enjoy your first vegan temple meal. You’ll have a true temple experience, sleeping in communal rooms.
NOTE: This experience is run solely by the monks. Cheema’s Travel surrenders to the monks.
BAEKYANGSA – BUSAN
Morning prayers start early at the temple. After breakfast comes the hands-on cooking class from Monk Jeong Kwan’s kitchen. If you have yet to watch her on Chef’s Table, it’s a great way to get excited about the trip. For lunch, you’ll get to eat the meal you’ve worked all morning to prepare. We’ll bid the monks a fond farewell, and drive over to the port city of Busan. Once in Busan, we will check into our hotel where you'll have the rest on the evening to explore or rest.
IMPORTANT - Keep the Temple’s rules and regulations for the program. Please keep the noble silence during your stay. No smoking, no alcohol. "I take full responsibility and liability for my own health and safety during the participate temple stay program. I agree to abide by all the temple's rules and regulations for the duration of the temple stay."
For a jam-packed day, you’ll start it off with a hearty Busan-style pork soup meal. First up will be a stunning coastal temple, followed by the Jagalchi market for a seafood stew lunch. Ggangtong and Gukje’s markets present an opportunity to try some Busan-specific street foods that will knock your socks off. Dinner will be at a restaurant specializing in pufferfish dishes.
We are going to be kind to you and let you have the morning till about 11:00am. Then, it will be time to drink – but the catch is, you’ll be making your own liquor. Everyone will learn to make makgeolli and taste the various versions of this ancient Korean rice wine before eating dinner at the makgeolli studio.
BUSAN - SEOUL
After breakfast, you’ll head back to the capital via train. The afternoon will be free, until our Michelin Star dinner.
The last full day will be a last chance to do whatever your heart desires on this mostly free day. Relax and be pampered at a traditional Korean spa/sauna, a jjimjilbang. This is a unique and unforgettable experience. Take another cooking class. Visit the DMZ and get the chance to step into North Korea at the JSA. We will help you arrange your preferred activities before having a life-changing meal at Jungsik, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Seoul’s Gangnam district.
That’s all! We bid a fond farewell to a life-changing experience.
Don’t fret, we can all meet again in in Japan, India, Italy, or any of the other fabulous countries we’ve planned adventure in.
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