Seoul Magic! Part 3

Activity 4: Gyeongbukgung Palace

On this wet morning, we set out to Gyeongbukgung Palace, which is a few train stations and a good 15 minutes walk from Ganghwamun Station (Subway Line 5). We took Exit 2 and walked another 400 meters before reaching our destination. 

Travelling by the train like the locals. We had gone after the morning peak hour so the trains were not as crowded.

Built in 1395, the palace is commonly referred to as the Northern Palace and it has the reputation of being the most beautiful and the largest. We spent 3 hours there yet didn't manage to cover the entire area.

The garden where the royals took leisure strolls and enjoyed the tranquil surroundings. 


Throne Hall Compound - Geunjeongjeon Hall where important state functions were held.
These stones indicates rankings. Court officials lined up in order from the lowest rank (9th) to the top rank (1st).

Gyeongbokgung Palace served as the main palace of the Joseon dynasty until the Imjin War when it was destroyed by fire. It was only 2 centuries later under the leadership of Prince Regent Heungseon that restoration of the palace were done. In the early 20th century, the palace was again destroyed by Imperial Japan when they invaded. As we walked around, we witnessed construction works being done and the palace is still regarded as being the most beautiful and grandest of all 5 palaces. 

Activity 5: Bukchon Hanok Village
Another quaint area we had on our list was the Bukchon Hanok Village which was within walking distance. This was where the aristocratic classes lived during the Joseon Dynasty. Although some families still live there, most of the hanoks have been converted into chic galleries, restaurants, caf├ęs and accessory shops. What we loved about the place: the juxtaposition between tradition and modernity.  

It was like we have been transported back in time... 

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Lionel n Rachel said...

Just wondering how come u did not stop at Gyeongbokgung Station, exit 5 instead. You would
have come right up to the palace grounds.

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  • It's been a while since we sat ourselves in a plane. Definitely itching to fly over, to let our hair loose, to catch up with friends and be tourists.