Korea 2016: Gyeongbokgung Palace

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“Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace 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 Gyeonghuigung (Western Palace) Palace. Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful, and remains the largest of all five palaces.” – Visit Korea website 🙂

Smack right in the middle of the busy Korean capital, Gyeongbokgung Palace might just be the first place to be when in Seoul. I liked how Koreans built buildings and roads around the palaces, it just goes to show how they respect and celebrate their culture.

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Those commercial buildings outside the palace grounds are visible from the inside. Oh, hi there, Mama!

Just upon entering we can see how wide the area is. Inside the first gate, we watched the Changing of Guards Ceremony which took place at 10 am. The ceremony is accompanied by narrators (English and Chinese) so we could understand what’s going on with each part. We were there on a Saturday so the place was jam-packed with tourists of various nationalities.

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I’m not particularly proud of this outfit lol

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My beautiful mom (nasisilaw)

 

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I bet you couldn’t see him

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Can you see him now?

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He was not in the first picture, so you really you wouldn’t see him

I appreciate the intricate designs of this gate. Yep, that’s just a gate, and there are PLENTY of gates before we reach the actual palaces. They are built that way to protect the king and queen and members of the royal family.

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After the Changing of Guards Ceremony, visitors were allowed to take photos with the guards. That’s Mama who chose a guard dressed in red hanbok, her favorite color.

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Off we went inside the gate! Yep, that’s another gate

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Inside the second gate is this palace. A palace! Finally! Unfortunately I don’t recall what it houses.

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A closer look

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What’s inside the first palace

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An eskimo posing for photo at the back of the first palace.

 

Can you see those mountains? Do you recall the buildings at the front of this place? I’m always impressed when mountains, buildings and old structures are within close proximities, it’s like harmony of the past and present, man-made and nature. Off we went to the other parts of the palace!

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Alms, alms for the eskimo. Kidding! I love my Mama, that’s why I brought her in Korea in the first place. lol

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From what I recall this is the 2-storey Banquet Hall

After the first palace, there are separate palaces for the king, queen, prince and princess. They pretty much look alike, except for the sizes. We also learned that the young children of the royal family are not allowed outside the palace grounds so they are obliged to play inside. The place is vast, anyway, we actually got tired of walking.

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Our group!

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It was a great educational experience and I recommend visiting the place for first-timers. And if you don’t have time constraints then why not visit all the 5 palaces! There are other places to visit that are within walking distance from Gyeongbokgung Palace, unfortunately we didn’t have the luxury of time to visit them all. So then, another reason to go back in the near future! 🙂

You can read my entire Korea 2016 series of posts below:

https://virtuallytalkative.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/how-to-get-korean-visa-for-freelancers/

https://virtuallytalkative.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/korea-2016-myeongdong/

https://virtuallytalkative.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/korea-2016-myeongdong-2/

https://virtuallytalkative.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/korea-2016-petite-france/

https://virtuallytalkative.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/korea-2016-nami-island/

https://virtuallytalkative.wordpress.com/2016/07/04/korea-2016-jade-garden/

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