|killing some time to wait this be cooked. yummmm!|
The trip to Anguk Station from where we were staying took more than an hour. We have arrived at Chandeokgung Palace by 2PM. Good thing it was only ten minutes by walking from the station and we already saw this gate and immediately bought tickets.
|The gate to Chandeokgung Palace|
Set at Jongno-gu, Seoul, Changdeokgung Palace is one of "Five Grand Palaces" constructed during Joseon dynasty. It is also referred to as the "East Palace" to signify its location. The 600-year-old palace is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts outstanding architectures and is also famous for its marvelous display of nature's beauty at the Biwon or Secret Garden.
Changdeokgung has been one of the important palaces for the Joseon kings as it was used as a resting place of the kings during that time. It has been burnt down during the Japanese invasion in the 15th century and was then later on restored.
|Entrance to Secret Garden|
We only took a stroll around the palace and did not go to the Secret Garden as we did not have much time. Also, there was a different entrance pass to the garden that costs 5,000 won so I just took pictures of nature around, being there during autumn added an extra charm to the entire palace.
We quickly headed to Gyeongbokgung palace as the changing of guards ceremony will start by 4PM and we did not want to miss it.
|Just in time!|
|Changing of Guards ceremony at Gyeongbokgung|
|Since I was not able to wear the real hanbok...|
Also built during Joseon dynasty, The Gyeongbokgung Palace is also known as the "Northern Palace" and like most historical structures in Korea, it has underwent restoration as was also destroyed by fire during the Japanese invasion. The literal translation of its name means "Palace of Shining Happiness" and is thus known as one of Korea's grandest and most remarkable architectures at present.
|Gate to the palace|
Another fail moment probably was we, or rather, my friend stayed at the Hyangwonjeong Pavilion and met with a Filipino and had a chat and a photoshoot there until closing time so I was not able to explore the whole area. :( Oh well, more reasons to go back to Seoul next time. :)
Next off, we headed to Ganghwamun Square to check out the place as it was just across the palace.
|Goodbye, Gyeongbokgung, and hope to see you again soon|
Ganghwamun Square houses the statue of Korea's most prominent people namely Admiral Yi and of course, Kim Sejong. It's quite a long strip which is very hard to miss given the flock of tourists that also visit this site.
|view at Ganghwamun Square by dusk|
Kim Sejong is the fourth ruler during the Joseon dynasty and is probably one of the most prominent kings in their history as he was the one who has invented "Hangul", Korea's alphabet. You can also see his face in the 10,000 won note.
|statue of King Sejong the Great|
We alighted at Gyeongbukgong station and it was quite a walk from the station and when we arrived at Bukchon Folk Village, it was already dark. Though I still took the opportunity to take pictures, it's still not enough to show the amazing views of the traditional houses in the area.
|alleys at Bukchon Hanok Village|
Bukchon Hanok Village is one of Seoul's traditional folk village located nearby Gyeongbokgung and Chandeokgung. The village is said to be preserved for over 600 years now and displays hanok, a traditional Korean home, that gives its visitors a very authentic atmosphere of the Joseon dynasty.
One could opt twalk around the village or better yet stay for a couple of nights and experience the traditional Korean style of accommodation. There are a number of hanok homestay in the area that would probably be one of the highlights on your visit to Korea.
One lesson for me for today was to do research. Lots of events and plans were not enjoyed because we didn't know the directions and schedules. Anyway, I was still able to enjoy the day and was able to see a different side of Seoul.
Directions and Admission:
Anguk Station, Line 3, Exit 3
Regular Tour (Changdeokgung Palace)
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Group (over 10): 1,200 won
Huwon Tour (Secret Garden area)
Adults (ages over 19): 5,000 won
Children (ages 7-18): 2,5000 won
Gyeongbokgung Station, Line 3, Exit 6
January-February, November-December: 09:00-17:00
March-May, September-October: 09:00-18:00
* Last admission: 1 hr before closing.
- Admission to the Four Palaces (Changdeokgung Palaces (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine
- Ticket price: 10,000 won per person (Valid for 1 month after purchase)
- Refunds are not available after the ticket has been used at the first site.
※ Closed on Mondays: Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Changgyeonggung palaces
※ Closed on Tuesdays: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine
Gwanghwamun station, Line 5, Exit 2
Bukchon Hanok Village:
1. Anguk Station, Line 3, Exit 2 (Subway Line # 3) walk straight for about 500-800m
2. Gyeongbokgung Palace Station, Line 3, Exit 5, walk for around 10-15 mins