Guide to Gyeongbokgung Palace
There are places that are so touristy you would think twice to include in your itinerary. You might think that the place would lose its charm because of overcrowding. And there are places that you would still include in your itinerary even though it’s jam-packed with people. Places that is too important to miss just because of the crowd. Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of those places. It left us with deep impression we had to go back for a second look.
Grandest, Finest, Largest. Only superlative words are used to describe Gyeongbokgung. It was the first royal palace built by the Joseon Dynasty and it served as the main palace. As amazing as it is today, it was actually burned down and demolished during the Japanese occupation way back 20th century. What it is now is a real testament of how Korean’s value their history, imagine the restoration and reconstruction efforts spent to put it back on its original form. Truly remarkable. Being one of the most iconic sights in all Korea, though all-time-crowded, this place will never disappoint.
Surrounded by Mt. Bugaksan and Mt. Namsan, the sights inside the palace especially on autumn are incredible. There are two standout structures inside that is on my “must-see” list. The Gyeonghoeru and the Hyangwonjeong.
Below is Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, it is a hall used to hold important and special state banquets during the Joseon Dynasty. It is registered as Korea’s National Treasure No. 224. It looks so prominent and straight outta Korean historical drama.
Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, is a small, two-story hexagonal pavilion built on an artificial island of a lake. Did you know that this is one of the most painted and photographed places in Korea? Yes sir, it is. I had this photo that I took on the autumn of 2016 framed, I always felt giddy and somehow proud every time I look at it. This area was closed when we went back on november 2017.
I get major envy every time I see people wearing Hanbok while looking around palaces. Feb and I gets cold feet (pun intended) whenever we attempt to wear one, for us autumn is just too cold to be a hanbok-wearing season. That’s why hats-off to those who can brave the cold for the sake of experience and aesthetics.
I swear, there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell but you’ll never know until you go.
Directions: Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5 or
Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2
Admission Fee: Included in Integrated Palace Ticket (KRW 10,000)