Follow Morgan: Visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, Korea!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

My mom and I decided to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace the second day we were in Seoul, Korea. Again, this is another you must do if you're ever visiting Seoul.



Since we started our day off by visiting the palace, my mom and I needed to get something to eat. We ate at this little cafe, The Healing Place, which is across the street from the Gyeongbokgung Palace.  
I can't remember how much it cost to get into the gates but I don't think it's too expensive. Once you're inside, you can spend a couple hours checking out the whole area. There's a lot of land to cover so if you're really interested in looking at the entire area, I would definitely wear comfortable walking shoes! 
What's crazy about this palace for me is that this historical spot is located smack in the busy center of Seoul. Although, most of it was destroyed during the Japanese occupation in the early 20th century, several restoration efforts have been made to re-establish it's former glory.
On a side note, one really cool thing about the Gyeongbokgung Palace is that it has free tours is several different languages. Just head over to the information booth to see what time they are held and where to meet. This was the english-speaking one and as you can see, the tour guides wear traditional hanboks, so they're fairly easy to find. 
One of the first buildings you'll come across is the Geunjeongjeon. This the royal throne hall where the king was formally briefed by his officials. 

This is what the inside looked like. As you can see, this is the throne that the king would sit on. Isn't it so pretty?!
 One thing you'll notice on many of the buildings are gargoyles lining the roofs. Our tour guide pointed these out and told us it's supposed to ward off evil spirits and energies. Be sure to look out for these! I find them so interesting!
 I think at this point, my mom and I decided to wander off from the tour. We'd gotten a lot of interesting information from it, but wanted to walk around a little bit for ourselves. The actual area is so gorgeous and green! Here is the Gyeonghoeru. Look familiar?? That's because this is the same structure that is on the 10,000 won! The King also held formal banquets here.
 Another beautiful structure to check out is the Hyangwonjeong. This was the King's informal banquet hall. Although, I have to say, it still looks pretty dang nice to me for being "informal".
 We found these statues outside of the museum. I believe it represents the 12 Korean Zodiac Animals...
 Like I said earlier, what's really amazing to me is how all of this is located right in the center of Seoul. You almost forget you're in such a busy city! If there is ever a day you feel like you need to get away from the crowds and connect with nature, you should definitely visit here!

The last thing I wanted to mention was the changing of the guards! I would check before you go to see what time of the day they change, but every day, they have a traditional ceremony. It's pretty fun to watch and you can also take pictures with the guards, who of course, are emotionless and don't move. But hey, it's all still fun! 
Well I hope you enjoyed this post! I know some people enjoy seeing pictures and reading about traveling versus watching videos so I wanted to do both!

xoxo,
Morgan