What is Hana Tour ITC?
So, you’re looking for a memorable, tailored, and uncomplicated trip around Korea. Perhaps this is your first time visiting the country, or perhaps you’re already living here and looking to explore further. Well, your calls have been answered by one of the leading travel companies on the peninsula: Hana Tour ITC.
The travel company has been one of the leading tour guides in South Korea since its debut. Their trips are particularly attractive due to their unique itineraries in out-of-reach areas of Korea. If you’re looking for a more authentic and personal experience, Hana Tour ITC should be at the top of your list.
I have personally been on tours with this company and have felt well taken care of, as well as incredibly thankful for their expert guidance, ability to be flexible, and unique destination options.
A note from the company on COVID-19:
With the unfortunate outbreak of the coronavirus, we want to ensure everyone that our trips are completely safe since we are constantly checking updates of the virus and taking all preventative measures. Please read and follow these rules listed below for your safety:
1. Make sure you are experiencing no symptoms of the virus before each trip
2. We will check your temperature before each trip and if you have a temperature of 37.5 or above, you will not be able to join
3. We will provide hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations
4. We are keeping in contact with all hotels, restaurants, and destinations we are visiting to ensure it is safe for travel
5. We will send updates on any changes or cancellations
Pick-up & Drop-off Service
Hana Tour ITC provides pick-up and drop-off services in a timely and safe manner, starting around 9AM in the morning and 6PM in the evening, respectively.
The car seats seven people, although most trips are only available for groups as big as four. The seats are as comfortable as the lounge seats of a high-end cinema. I fell asleep as soon as our driver put the pedal to the metal; it was warm, quiet, and also equipped with a phone charging station.
Our guide was also happy to let us head to the convenience store before heading off. Food and drink were happily consumed in the van, and any bathroom ‘business’ breaks were not rushed. Overall, the guide is responsible for making travelers feel comfortable and at home, and you have no reason to expect otherwise!
Another great thing that should be mentioned about Hana Tour ITC is their flexibility with dietary restrictions. As a life-long vegetarian, I’m always nervous about venturing out of Seoul in relation to food. During my most recent trip, I visited an island famous for its seafood, so you can imagine my concern.
I told the company of my dietary restrictions beforehand. This is important, as Hana Tour ITC tends to book a restaurant reservation in advance, and will need to double-check the menu options. If you have a specific dietary request, please report it at least three days before your journey.
One aspect of travel with Hana Tour ITC that guests should prepare for is that the itineraries on the website may be different when you actually set out on your trip. This could change due to concerns with the weather, late arrivals, or issues with the tourist spots (such as closure due to COVID-19), among other things.
That being said, a positive aspect of this is that there were additional spots not listed on the original itinerary. If you look at my Ganghwa Island review, our Seaweed Making Experience and the Goryeo Emergency Palace was not originally on our to-do list. Visiting these places was a very happy surprise, as we essentially got two free experiences free of charge.
Cost & Additional Payments
Hana Tour ITC is a very affordable option for those looking to make their way around Korea with an expert guide. The price for a 1-Day itinerary is less than $100USD and includes full transportation in a comfortable and clean vehicle, pick-up and drop-off services, one meal, one coffee, free entry to all tourist attractions, full coverage for one or two experiences, and what is essentially a photographer (your guide).
I absolutely feel that the price is worth what you will get with Hana Tour ITC. However, pushing past what is already set on the itinerary will cost you. For example, a basic coffee is covered, but if you’re looking for a whipped strawberry frappuccino with extra sprinkles, you will be asked to pay the price difference. Cake and snacks are also not included; the only food that will be paid for is lunch. Please be wary of this and bring some extra cash and/or snacks if you think that you will get peckish along the way.
As a Korean historian, it should come as no surprise that I’m interested in the nooks and crannies of this country, rather than the beaming lights of big city areas. The fact that Hana Tour ITC provides this in off-the-beaten-track itineraries such as Ganghwa Island, Seoraksan, and even North Korea, was an immediate charm for me.
One of the biggest perks of Hana Tour ITC is its reasonable price range, as mentioned above. If I had to state any qualms that I had during my trip, it would be that I tend to take things at a slower pace than most travel companies. The Korean tourism way is to see as much as possible in a short amount of time, so if this isn’t your travel style, consider a custom-made trip with Hana Tour ITC, or speak with the company in advance about taking it slow. At the end of the day, I was still incredibly grateful and impressed for all that we got to see in a such short amount of time.