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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

Professor David lead us on an amazing 2 day tour of Buddhist temples & huge statues. along many other amazing sights in Gyeongju. We hiked up a mountain trails exploring all of these wonderful sites. He is an expert on many of these sights have written many books on these topics. We learned more in 2 days about, Buddhism, Confusion-ism, and the Mountain Spirits then would could in side a lecture hall. Getting out of Seoul experienced the beautiful red pine forest and clear mountain springs.
Glenda Webster

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Tour Guide in Korea for 20 years, for many organizations and individuals.
13 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.


I do not have a car in Korea, do not drive. I can arrange for a mini-bus or taxi if you wish, at extra expense. Otherwise we will use the cheap taxis that are easy to catch, and Korea's excellent and fast system of subway trains, and buses, together.

Private tour guide David M.

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