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Get to know the person behind the tour

David M.

Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea

I am an American citizen who has lived for 34 years in South Korea, exploring it myself, leading tours, working in its tourism field and writing about its history & culture.

I have mostly served as a Professor of Korean Cultural Tourism at leading universities in Seoul.

My main passion remains continuous discovery of the beautiful Korean mountains, and the spirituality going on in them -- and showing and explaining the best of Korea's assets to others!

I truly enjoy living here, and people respond that the enthusiasm shows and is infectious.

Having guided more than 200 tours in Seoul and the rest of Korea, for an astonishing variety of people, I think that I know pretty well how to create excellent memorable experiences for whatever your particular interests are. Especially if you're looking for deep learning-experience of cultural, spiritual, religious and historical sites/events, I'm your guy!

I'd be glad to show you around for a half-day (3-4 hrs), or a full day, or several days. Anything you need is possible, from just 1 hour at a nearby temple to overnight expeditions in wonderful areas outside of Seoul. Meals at great Korean restaurants can be included before or after the walk, or a visit to a charming traditional tea-house. I can pick you up at your hotel or meet you at an easy designated place, and we'll go from there, until you're satisfied and safely back.

From 2001 I worked for the national Ministry of Culture and Tourism in various positions as a Tourism Marketing and New Programs Consultant for five years, gaining a lot of valuable knowledge and experience. I am an adviser to the authorities on cultural tourism for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

I helped to design and launch the famous "Buddhist TempleStay" program. We can do one of those together if you like -- half-day, 24 hrs or 48 hrs. Or simply visit one of the best temples to see and learn about its artworks, views and history.

I earned a Masters' Degree in the History of Korean Religions from Yonsei University in 1997. This led to my career as a teacher, speaker, writer and guide on the religious character of Korea's mountains, which goes ever-onward.

I have published ten books on Korean culture and tourism, incuding the 1996 edition of the Lonely Planet KOREA guidebook. The most-famous of my books was "Spirit of the Mountains" (1999) about Korea's deep and varied traditions of veneration of mountains. My 9th in 2014 was the 600-page English Encyclopedia of Korean Buddhism, and my 10th in 2016 was a biography of Korea's greatest ancient Sage.

A Recent Review of this guide

David was a fabulous guide. We had a 12 hour layover in Seoul and wanted to make the most of our brief time in Korea. David accommodated our early arrival (6:30 AM) and limited time in Seoul by rearranging his class lecture at the local university. David's knowledge of Korean history, architecture, folklore and religion even had the locals listening in on our talks. There wasn't a moment in our 4.5 hour tour that we weren't seeing or learning something fascinating. I would highly recommend David.
Teresa Hanson

Read Reviews

Credentials

Tour Guide in Korea for 20 years, for many organizations and individuals.
10 years as a Professor of Korean Cultural Tourism at two of the nation's top university Tourism departments.
Have written 10 books and many academic & popular-media articles about Korea's traditional spiritual culture, siites, mountains and tourism.
Master's Degree in the History of Korean Religions.
National Honorary Ambassador of Korea's main mountain-system.
Consultant to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
popular public speaker on all these matters.

Restrictions

I am a good driver, but only have a good car in Dumaguete, not in Korea. I can arrange for a rented car if you wish. Otherwise we will use the cheap taxis, and Korea's excellent and fast public transport system of subway trains, and buses, together.

Guide Requirements for South Korea

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Message David M.
Web address (URL) of this page: http://www.toursbylocals.com/korea-prof-guide

Tours by David M.

See all of the tours offered by this guide.

Seoul's Greatest Hits -- half-day

the best sights of historic downtown, with an expert American-resident,...

365 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

3 hours 30 min.

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Seoul's Greatest Hits -- 3/4 of a Day

a chance to tour the best sites of Seoul with an expert professor

495 USD per tour

(for up to 8 people)

6 hours

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Seoul's Greatest Hits -- Full Day

the best sites of historic downtown and beyond, in Korea's capital,,...

595 USD per tour

(for up to 10 people)

8 hours 30 min.

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Bongeun-sa, one of Seoul's Great Temples

 unrated

"Offering Mercy Temple", so easy to get to in Gangnam-gu District of,...

375 USD per tour

(for up to 10 people)

3 hours 30 min.

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Bukchon Traditional Houses Area

 unrated

great walking tour through a downtown neighborhood with preserved Hanok,...

395 USD per tour

(for up to 10 people)

4 hours

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Shrines of Benevolent King Mountain

Exploring Korean Shamanism in downtown Seoul

395 USD per tour

(for up to 10 people)

3 hours 30 min.

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Tao Abundance Monastery at Triple-Horns,...

Doseon-sa, the greatest ancient Buddhist temple in Seoul

395 USD per tour

(for up to 3 people)

4 hours

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Jeong-dong, Seoul's Legation District,...

 unrated

the charming "Heart of the Daehan Empire" 1880s~1920s

395 USD per tour

(for up to 10 people)

3 hours 30 min.

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Treasures of Myeong-dong Area

 unrated

A Historic Stroll through Downtown Seoul's Center

395 USD per tour

(for up to 10 people)

3 hours 30 min.

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Seoul (Incheon port) Shore Excursion,...

Traditional Sites of Seoul with an expert American-resident Professor,...

775 USD per tour

(for up to 8 people)

8 hours

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Dumaguete Area - one full day

 unrated

charming town and and nearby natural attractions

585 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

12 hours

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