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David M.

  • Company Website

Guide at a Glance

  • Company


  • Locations

    Seoul, South Korea

  • Activities

    Heritage-History Tour, Private Tour, Sightseeing

  • Languages

    English, Korean

Guide Bio

I am an American citizen who has lived for 30 years in South Korea, exploring it myself, leading tours, working in its Tourism field and writing about its history & culture.

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 private tour (3-4 hrs, as most of my tours are designed), or a full day private tour by combining two of those. 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 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-onwards.

I have published nine books on Korean culture and tourism, the most-famous of which is Spirit of the Mountains (1999) about Korea’s traditions of spiritual mountain-worship. My 10th was just published in February 2014, a 600-page English Encyclopedia of Korean Buddhism.


ToursByLocals is made up of a group of dedicated professionals based out of Vancouver, Canada, who are committed to changing the relationship between travelers and the local people who deliver travel services.

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