Monday, June 27, 2011

South Korea: Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace

First Visit on 2011 June:

We find our way for the tickets (we though, that we can buy it cheaper with the Seoul City Pass Plus, but we did not get any discount). We were able to attend the English Tour in the palace – it was a good learning experience.

In Summary, the kings live on their own palace separate from his queen. The queen takes good care of all the servants and other wives of the king. The heating system of the palace does not use woods due to the smoke it produce, instead they use charcoal. Most of the buildings and arches found in the place were restored pieces due to the destructive invasion of Japan. The uneven flooring in the courtyard is for it not to be slippery in winter.

If you notice, the roof are already covered with nets.  This is to prevent the birds from building nests in between the roof design.

We were able to watch the exchange of guards in the palace at 1pm, the ceremony lasted for 10 minutes. They use big drums and old flutes before the guards do their marching.

Hours of Operation:
- Changing of the Royal Guard Ceremony: 10:00, 14:00
- Gwanghwamun Gate Guard on Duty Ceremony: 11:00, 13:00
- Royal Guard Costume Experience: Before and after the Changing of the Royal Guard Ceremony
- Gatekeeper Military Training: 9:30, 13:30 (running time 15 min.)

We were also able to visit National Palace Museum of Korea.

Since we are still hungry, and to satisfy our craving – we need to look for McDo or KFC (yeah, nothing beats that type of food), we decided to have a quick visit at Myeongdong – and near Exit 07, we had fish sandwich from KFC.

Breakfast? It was hard looking for an open restaurant or café during early Sunday morning at Namdaenum area. We tried to stop at one station, but every store we saw are still closed. Until we reach Gyeongbokgung Station, we saw this coffee shop near National Museum – we had this cold beef with bean sprouts for 15000won (600php).

Updated with photos taken on our second visit on 2016 November 10 (for your autumn color reference):

We normally take the Orange Line Gyeongbokgung Station Exit 5, when going to the palace.  This time, we took Purple Line Gwanhwamun Station Exit 9, to roam around the square and meet Admiral and King Sejong.  Crossed the street to go to the palace gates.

Upon buying a tikcet, please present senior citizen card to get discount (this is applicable for foreigners).  You can either join the english tour or watch the 10:00 exchange of guards, every after 15 minutes.

I just finished watching my first full length traditional drama, Bogum's Love in the Moonlight, and it made me appreciate seeing the interior of the main hall.  

Good thing, we are still able to chase the ginkgo leaves and able to watch the exchange of guards.

Then we moved to Insadong, it is just so quiet in the morning just like Myeongdong. Don’t go there early, better to visit after 3pm to taste the street food as well.

Drama Location:
Goblin (aka Guardian: The Lonely and Great God; Gong Yoo, Lee Dong-wook) Episode 2 (19:50-20:49th minute, aired December 2016)
The scene when Kim Shin and Eun Tak return from Canada to Seoul.

Last updated: 2017 September