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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Korea: Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace is the largest palace in Korea, it's one of the Five Grand Palaces build during the Joseon Dynasty. Just stepping foot on the sprawling palace grounds, makes one feel part of those historical
Koreanovelas, kulang nalang mag traditional attire and I'm ready to take part in a royal tea ceremony.

Gyeongbukgung Palace translates to "Palace of Shining Happines". Nice name right? :) 
For more historical info while touring the palace, do not forget to get guides from the ticket counter. 

There is usually a changing of guards ceremony in the palace where one can see people in traditional attire. Seeing these costumes in the palace setting somehow the palace tour more authentic, it's like going back in time!

Ready.... fight! 

The palace is filled with detailed sculptures of different animals. This sculpture of a horse is quite cute!

The each beam, wall and column is intricately and colorfully painted. Imagine those painters hand-painting this ceiling alone (as well as the maintenance!). Amazing!

Even the rooftops were not spared from decors. 

These pictures were taken during the cusp of winter to spring so it was still a bit dark and chilly.

Because there is so much open space in the palace grounds, it's common to see children taking not just field trips but also using the palace as an open air classroom. It was such a nice day, being out in the sun and fresh air would be more conducive for learning.

Pine cones from the garden outside. The trees were just beginning to sprout leaves but I'm guessing going to Gyeongbokgung in the summertime or autumn would be breathtaking.

Some more interesting details of the palace. I love the forest green color of this carved wooden panel.

Several rooms inside the palace still house traditional furniture to give tourists an idea of how people inhabited the palace during the olden times.

It's a homeless person! (Just kidding, this is my friend Allen sleeping because walking around the palace is very tiring =)))

There are a lot of gates and doorways leading to different parts of the palace. This would give you an idea of just how big Gyeongbukgung actually is.

Bare trees. But see how huge this place is!

Cute kids all bundled up. Something about little kids in winter clothing makes me want to go "Squeee!!!"

Hyangwonjeong Pavilion. It was a late addition to the palace, build in the 1800's. The lake surrounding it is man-made. Still, the reflection of the pavilion on the lake makes for a wonderful picture-taking spot.

There are parts of the palace that are not painted. From what I remember, this is for the people living in the palace that are not part of the royal family. Guest houses, maybe?

Still the natural color of wood is nice in a rustic sort of way.

Gyeongbokgung also houses the National Palace Museum of Korea as well as the National Folk Musuem of Korea. Entrance to these museums are included in the W3,000 entrance ticket to the palace. (That's around Php120 folks! Sulit!)  

Pictured above are minature sculptures of the Chinese Zodiac. Pictured below are  theactual sculptures found just outside of the museum. Here's a picture of  a Rat sculpture (because I'm a Rat, y'all). This reminds of Voldemort, maybe it's the squinty eyes and the no-nose face.


More information on the different kinds of kimchi from the Museum. Kimchi is truly an acquired taste and I must say that during my stay in Korea, I have grown to really like it!

This is a wall acknowledging the generous donations to the museum over the years. Each square block is inscribed with a name or company.

The steps are are painted with two dragon murals. 

Outside of the palace are traditional gardens as well as life-sized versions of old houses. The signs or information boards for these things are all in Korean so it's important to get the guide pamphlet.

Waffle! One of the main things that I love about Korea is the food! The street food is especially delicious and cheap! Below is a warm waffle filled with cream and strawberry syrup. Yum!

After all the walking around the palace, it's important to recharge with a good, hearty meal. This is Samgyetang or Ginseng chicken. It's whole chicken stuffed with rice in a soup that is said to be very nutritious.  It's a bit bland but it is served with salt on the side that you can add to the soup based on how you like it.

Our little trio. We met some Pinoys in the palace and asked them to take our picture so that we could finally have a complete group shot. It was a good day for an outing! :)


Gyeongbokgung Palace

Operating Hours: March to October 09:00-18:00 / November to February 09:00-17:00 (Closed Every Tuesday)
Admission Fees: Adults (ages 19-64) 3,000 won / Group 2,400 won (10 or more people)
Youths (ages 7-18) 1,500 won / Group 1,200 won (10 or more people)
※ Age 6 and under are free. 
1. Use exit #5 of Gyeongbokgung Station (Subway Line #3), 
2. From Exit #2 of Ganghwamun Station (Subway Line #5), walk 400 meters


killerfillers said... Allen un ah!:)

Skiper said...

nice pics
sarap naman work/vacation at the same time:)

namiss ko tuloy ang andong jimdak

facebook fans said...

Missile country :)

makati hotels said...

that is a HUGE palace!

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Portico Club said...

I think Korea is one of the most beautiful place to travel! Looks lovely. Thanks for the sweet post.

Portico Club
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Korea is a beautiful country located East Asia in the Korean peninsula. They are a favorite vacation destination for shopping, technology, sightings and food.

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