Monday, November 24, 2014

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace

It's been more than a month already but I'm still not finish posting about my trip to Korea. So yeah, here goes. On our third day, October 13, we headed to Gyeongbokgung Palace. From Namsan Guesthouse, we took the bus and got off at Gwanghwamun Square, located just in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace. In the plaza, you'll find two statues, that of King SeJong Dae Wang the Great of Joseon and that of Admiral Yi Sun-sin of Joseon Dynasty.
Statue of King SeJong

From the plaza, it's just a few minutes of walk to Gyeongbokgung Palace. The entrance cost 3,000 won. When we arrived, we got to witness the change of palace guards. It's a program (probably lasting from 15 to 25 minutes) with the guards wearing costumes and carrying flags and weapons. There's a narrator and if you don't understand Korean, fret not, for it's also translated in English, Japanese, and Chinese. The few minutes of watching the palace guards was really worth it. It felt like I traveled back in time.

After watching the change of guards, we then explored the palace grounds. It's amazing how the roofs of these palaces were intricately designed and painted. And while walking, I can't help but imagine people wearing traditional Korean clothes called hanbok.

We also found a shop selling Korean souvenirs. Look how cute these little hanboks are! I am definitely loving the different color combinations and the types of fabric used in these.

My most favorite part of the Gyeongbokgung Palace is the area below. There you can see the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion surrounded by a man-made lake. Several trees, which I think are willow trees, can be found in the area around the lake. 

Being in that open space is like having a breath of fresh air from all the palace quarters. It's a place where admiring the surroundings and contemplating about life seem like the most appropriate things to do.

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