July 21, 2024

South Korea is getting a dedicated vegan food tour to show off its vibrant culture, unique cuisine, and flourishing plant-based community.

The Korea Tourism Organization announced the tour earlier this month, which will be led by the US-based Green Earth Travel – specialists in vegan and sustainable trips and vacations.

The nine-day tour will include stops in major cities such as Seoul, Busan, and Jeju, showcasing local markets, restaurants, cooking classes, and other culturally significant activities, such as a stay at a temple and a visit to Gangcheon Mountain.

Throughout the tour, participants will be able to taste – and at times, even prepare themselves – authentic Korean dishes and ingredients like gochujang, makgeolli, kimchi pancakes, and bibimbap, all made using 100 percent plant-based ingredients.

“I had never seen a tourism board create an opportunity like this focused solely on promoting vegan dining and sustainability before,” explained Donna Zeigfinger, Travel Advisor and Green Earth Travel founder, in a statement sent to Plant Based News (PBN). “Witnessing the creativity and passion behind South Korea’s surging vegan movement first-hand made me realize there was enormous potential for a specialized vegan food tour here.”

Green Earth Travel’s “South Korea Food Adventure” will run from September 20 to 28, 2024, and cost USD $4120 per person with double occupancy accommodation. The tour includes an English-speaking guide throughout, accommodation, meals, and activities.

South Korea’s flourishing plant-based market

Photo shows a South Korean marketplace in Seoul, one of the cities a new all-vegan food tour will visit
Adobe Stock The vegan food tour will include a visit to the city of Seoul and its markets

The Korean Tourism Organization arranged the tour after noting a significant increase in the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle. As of 2021, there were at least 2.5 million vegans in South Korea, with the overall number increasing tenfold between 2008 and 2018.

Zeigfinger noted to PBN that booking vegan trips to Seoul a decade ago was a very different undertaking due to the strong influence of meat and dairy in traditional Korean cuisine. But since then, what she described to PBN as a “food revolution” has swept the country.

In October 2023 the country notably became the second in the world after Denmark to publish a national plan for boosting the plant-based food industry, including the establishment of a research center for alternatives to animal-derived foods.

This growing national awareness of the environmental and health benefits of producing and eating more plant-based food and a large uptick in the number of vegan and vegan-friendly eateries has made South Korea an ideal destination for plant-based travelers.

“Our new South Korea vegan food tour lets travelers feast on the country’s bursting plant-based dining scene,” said Zeigfinger. “Guests can indulge in innovative vegan takes on Korean classics across Seoul while learning about the traditions behind the cuisine. It’s a deliciously eye-opening culinary adventure!”

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