Budget Trip Korea | Seoul | Gyeongbokgung Palace




Gyeongbok Palace or Gyeongbokgung is one of the many popular tourist attractions in Seoul. It was built in 1395 and is also commonly referred to as the 'Northern Palace' because its location is furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeongheegung (Western Palace). The word 'gung' in Korean means palace, so it's no surprise when the 2 other popular palaces are namely called Changgyeonggung and Deoksugung hehee. Checkout the interior of the main hall that houses the King's throne;



 

Very simple isn't it? Not too many things going on in the furnishing but checkout that ceiling work.. very detailed craftsmanship. 



What I absolutely love about this palace is that it is so ancient, but  is still standing strong and proud of its hundreds of years of history amidst the modernized world. Just take a look at that skyline just outside the Gwanghwamun gate (above).. modern architecture meets the old country. Korea is doing a good job at preserving its heritage whilst providing the world with its various technologies. I don't know about you but I'd be a proud Emperor if I live in that palace and see that view as I look out my window everyday! Hahaa.. 

By the way, Gwanghwamun is the main gate into Gyeongbokgung. That photo above is its view from the inside of the palace complex area. I will write a whole post just on it alone lol HERE is the post on it ^^ .. yeaa this place is so huge that I need to write just about the gate separately lol.  

You can also dress-up as guards and take photos for free; just go to the building on the right side of the Gwanghwamun gate.

My guests from one of my trips to Seoul 



Palaces in Korea are really complexes of buildings. All functioning rooms are not connected to each other and built separately. Picture above is the Queen's quarters; located right behind the King's. Their children live with the Queen. There's a man-made hill garden behind it but i didn't capture a good photo of it so be sure to check it out when you come here :). 

On the west side of both quarters is a passage into a huge garden with very wide grassfields practically located in the back area of the palace complex. This is a photo of me standing at the entrance but I was actually facing the garden hehee.. so you can see the city behind me, where the main gate is ;)

 



And below is the photo of the Gyeonghoeru pavilion which is built on the pond west of the KIng's living quarters; this was where the King threw feasts for foreign envoys or his court officials on joyous occasions.




Some of the premises in this palace complex were once destroyed by fire during the Imjinwaeran War (Japanese Invasion 1592-1598). However, all of the palace's 7,700 rooms were later restored under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong (1852-1919).

In one of my subsequent visits to Seoul, I was lucky enough to witness the changing of Royal Guards Ceremony ^^



The Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony is actually a very simple ceremony which takes about 20 minutes to complete but we feel that it is worth the time to actually witness the ceremony ourselves since we are already there, why waste it right ?

There is only 3 slots a day for the Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony which is at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.


As I said earlier, this palace grounds is huge; so take your time to discover it. Just my 2 cents; if you plan to visit Seoul on your own and don't know where to start, start here! ;)

Here is a Muslim Tour to the palace by Trazy that will also include a visit to the Seoul Masjid in Itaewon and a lunch at Eid restaurant / Kervan: Seoul Highlights: 1 Day Muslim Tour  OR, simply opt for the Seoul City Tour Bus Ticket tour that will take you to all the 4 palaces and much more.

Otherwise, just take the subway ;)

Getting here:
The easiest by subway, get down at Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Line 3, orange) Exit 5. It'll take you right into the palace east grounds via the National Palace Museum of Korea.





Admission Fees
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10 years): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Group (over 10 years): 1,200 won



Integrated Ticket of Palaces - Four Palaces (Changdeokgung Palace (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine

- The ticket is 10,000 won and may be used within a month after purchase.

Operating Hours
January-February 09:00-17:00 / March-May 09:00-18:00
June-August 09:00-18:30 / September-October 09:00-18:00
November-December 09:00-17:00

* Closed on Tuesdays

* Last admission: 1 hr before closing
* Operating hours are subject to change depending on conditions or circumstances.



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