Search Results for: Changdeokgung

Changdeokgung Palace and Its Secret Garden

Changdeokgung Palace is the most unique Korean palace constructed way back 1405. Its exclusive landscapes and the secret garden were so popular and much visited than the other palaces in Seoul.

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Changdeokgung’s main entrance.

It was my second time visiting this grand palace and yet my first time to take a glimpse of this famous secret garden. This garden was only betrothed to the king and royal family of the Joseon dynasty.

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A pond used to be the resting area of the royal family.

As I walked through the walled alley, the maple leaves in fall colors are so stunning and it radiantly embellished the surroundings. Sixty percent of Changdeokgung Palace plenary embraces this secret garden. It took two hours of strolling and sightseeing for this part of this palace.

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This alley is the entrance to the secret garden which is also where the tour will start.

 

 

The well-preserved pavilions, valley, pond and adorned buildings showed an enticing and delicate panoramic view. Giving you a feeling of being part of Korean history.

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There are only a few structures inside the secret garden but the trees and ambiance are really amazing. I can imagine why the royal family made this haven only for them.

GOPR4476-01.jpegI strongly suggest that if you’re planning for a visit, wear hanbok, the Korean traditional dress, which are available for rent around the palace. This will give you one of a kind experience and in addition, you’re not going to pay for the entrance ticket, yes! It’s free in all palaces.

GOPR4518-01.jpeg Visiting this secret garden is only available with a guided and group tour, no one is allowed to go inside alone. Leaving the entrance at a scheduled time and no late admittance.

GOPR4533-01.jpegTours available at 11:30, 13:30, 14:30 and 15:30 for English speaking guide. Rather if you can understand Korean language well, it runs every hour from 10:00 to14:45.

GOPR4442-01.jpeg The admission cost for Changdeokgung Palace is 3,000won add 5,000 for the Secret Garden.

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Fall is really wonderful and perfect weather for visiting these palaces in Seoul. Have fun strolling.

 

 

Unhyeong Palace: The Hall of Royal Family Culture

Touring around the palaces in Korea is such a great experience. It’s topping the list of the foreigner’s itineraries. I may say that you’ve never been in the peninsula if you missed those primes.

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Just imagine these enfeebled royal residences preserved for thousands of years. A great culture and tradition located in the middle of the city and surrounded by modish sophistication.

I’d been to other palaces in Seoul and they all actually have a display of great design and architecture. However, honestly speaking they all look the same. They differ on the other hand on some special portion. For an instance, Gyeongbukgung has a beautiful pond with an immense landscape under the moonlight, Changdeoukgung with its splendid secret garden and Changgyeongung with a stream surrounded by cherry blossoms.

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Last spring, I came across a poster of The Royal Wedding Reenactment of Garye for King Gojong and Queen Myeongseong at Unhyeongung and all of a sudden I remember that I’ve never been there. So I checked the date and plotted it on my calendar.

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So here we are, the day of the reenactment falls on the same day of Lotus Lantern Festival for which the big preparation was at Joggyesa Temple. All right, we were late actually and sorry for that! Anyway we’ve got to see the last part and guess which was that? … the commemorative photography!

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Luckily, this royal program is done twice a year and the next and last reenactment this year will be on September 30, 2017 at 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon. and I’ll be making sure that I’ll be there on time.

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… the king and the queen after the ceremony…

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To give you a glimpse of these procedures, Garye is a royal wedding ceremony it will then portray the ceremony of King Gojong and Queen Myeongseong in 1866, a traditional dance about their beautiful beginnings, royal procession with palace officials and soldiers, palatial dances and the commemoration in which the King will receive the Queen.

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So, if you’ve no plan yet for this day, remember it’s September 30, Saturday this is great place to be as it happens only two times a year and in addition a walk inside Unhyeongung is a nice palace too. It may be the smallest palace in Seoul but with a beauty of its own.

Tip: Admission is free year round. There is also a hanbok rental shop inside.

Direction:

(1) Anguk Station of Orange line or subway line number 3, 2 minutes walk from exit 4, by just walking straight.

(2) Jungno 3-ga, Line 3, Exit 5

Changgyeongggung Palace

Palaces in Seoul are one of the best places to visit for a glimpse of cherry blossoms in the spring. There are five main palaces which you can visit for this season: Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Gyeonghuigung,Deoksugung and Changgyeonggung.

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Located in the heart of Seoul, Changgyeong Palace is the third palace built in Joseon dynasty. This palace has big greenhouse, a stream surrounded by cherry blossom trees, garden and zoo.

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A visit in this palace and understanding its history will surely make your day. Admission is 1,000 Korean won and free if you’re wearing hanbok, the Korean traditional dress.

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Direction:  Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3. Walk straight from the exit along Yulgok-ro for about 1 km. Turn left onto Changgyeonggung-ro. Walk about 300 m to find the palace entrance on the left.

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Korea’s Best Fall Foliages

And so it’s autumn. The color turning of trees around the corner will always be a magical milieu to me and as it is my favorite season a walk in between those golden yellow and red trees will forever be so edifying. If you haven’t seen the grandiose of this season… it is now the perfect time to stroll around.

Definitely the countryside has the most gorgeous landscape for this time of year. Mountains are the best ones to explore and hiking will definitely a good experience. The crimson color is covering those bluffs flawlessly. My list below are the best one’s from my nature tripping and wandering Seoul solely gave me a wonderful picture perfect memories.

Let’s start from the farthest I’d been and to closest in Seoul:

1. Naejangsan  

This mountain is glorious and famous in all seasons throughout Korea, but most spectacular in autumn. The razzle-dazzle colors of fall foliage are what locals and foreigners behold.

How to go:

From Line 3, Express Bus Terminal Station, Honam line, take a bus to Jeongup. Travel time 3hours, bus start at 6:30am – 11:00pm. For train: Yongsan Station to Jeongup starts 5:20am – 11:10pm.

2. Korean Folk Village

One of a kind old village that is so popular among Koreans and foreigners. The village glory and prestige rooted from the Joseon dynasty, a Korean kingdom that lasted for approximately five centuries. A peaceful village encompassed by the Korean ancestor’s wisdom and wits.

How to go:

From Seoul, take Bus 5001-1 from Line 2 Gangnam Station, exit 10. It takes 40 minutes with a fare of 2,500won. From Suwon station, take bus no.37 or 10-5; from Jukjeon station bus no.30. The free shuttle bus ride is from Sanggal Station, Bundang line.

Admission Fees 
Individuals: Adults (ages 19 and up) 18,000 won / Teenagers (ages 13-18): 15,000 won / Children 13,000 won
Groups: Adults 15,000 won / Teenagers 13,000 won / Children 11,000 won

3. The Garden of Morning Calm

An oldest and private garden with beds of flowers artistically displayed and maintained.

How to go:

From Sangbong station take Gyeongchun line..get off at Cheongpyong station and take the shuttle bus. It costs 6,000won for one day ride around Gapyeong including Nami island.

Admission Fees 
[Individuals]
Adults: 9,000 won
Teenagers: 6,500 won
Children: 5,500 won

[Groups]
Adults: Weekdays 8,000 won
Teenagers: Weekdays 5,500 won
Children: Weekdays 4,500 won

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4. Nami Island

 A half-moon shaped island that is so popular for locals and tourist. It was a location of several Korean films because of its scenery. The fall foliage are most visited here especially by the tourists.

Direction: From Gapyeong Bus Terminal or Gapyeong Station, take a taxi to Namiseom (travel time: 10-15 mins.
Shuttle Bus (from http://www.visitkorea.or.kr)
* Bus stops
1) Insa-dong (Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3 next to Tapgol Park
2) Namdaemun Gate (Sungnyemum Square Bus Stop in front of Namdaemun Market)
3) Namiseom Island (Parking lot in front of ticket booth)
* Bus schedule (Insa-dong/Namdaemun Gate ↔ Namiseom Island

– Departing time: Insa-dong at 09:30 / Namdaemun Gate 09:30 / Namiseom Island at 16:00
* Fares
Adults 15,000 won (round-trip), 7,500 won (one way) / Children (age 24 months-12) 13,000 won (round trip),
6,500 won (one way)
* Advanced reservation required (inquiries +82-2-753-1247) online reservation.

5. Olympic Park

 It is a huge park with so much things to explore, you can go biking or just simply unwind. Walking around here is so delightful. There’s a lot to see and explore.

Directions 
[Subway]
Olympic Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 3.
Mongchontoseong Station (Seoul Subway Line 8), Exit 1.

[Bus]
Get off at Olympic Park Bus Stop.
– Green Bus: 3214, 3220, 3319, 3412

Get off at Olympic Park Peace Plaza Bus Stop.
– Green Bus: 3412, 3413
– Blue Bus: 340

Get off at Olympic Center Bus Stop.
– Green Bus: 3318, 3319, 3411, 4318
– Blue Bus: 340, 341, 351

6. Seoul National Cemetery and Park

 Surrounded by a sacred mountains that displays a vibrant blush of gingkos and maple trees. This park is open for public and one of perfect place for picnic.

How to go:

Directions 
[Subway]
Dongjak Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 2 or 4.

[Bus]
Take Bus No. 5524, 6411, 361, 362, 363, 642, 640 or 360.
Get off at Seoul National Cemetery (Gungnim Myoji) Bus Stop.

Seoul Palaces and fortress are absolutely worth to visit too, and I may suggest that you wander wearing their traditional dress, hanbok. You’ll love it surely!

7. Seoul Fortress from Dongdaemun to Hyewadong

How to go:

Dongdaemun Station Line 1 or 4.. walk to exit 6…cross the road, the fortress can be seen from the exit  or Hansung University Station Line 4….exit 4. Wlak along the side of the road until you see the stairs.

Needless to say that walking along Seoul’s fortress wall is one of “must do” things when in Korea. The fortress from Dongdaemun stretching to Hyewadong area has the best view of the city. My excitement on witnessing the transition of those leaves from green to bright yellow and sunset silhouettes never ceases. The breathtaking panoramic view will keep you dazzle.

8. Changdeokgung and the Secret Garden

The most unique Korean palace constructed way back 1405. Its exclusive landscapes and the secret garden were so popular and much visited than the other palaces in Seoul. It has a royal garden with an exquisite beauty and we were able to enter trough a guided tour only.

Admission Fees 
Adults (ages 25-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10 people): 2,400 won
Students (ages 24 and under): Free (* Except for foreign visitors)

* Huwon Tour (Secret Garden)
Adults (ages 25-65) 8,000 won
Young adults (ages 19-24) 5,000 won
Children and Teenagers (ages 7-18): 2,500 won
Groups of 10 people or more: 7,400 won
* Free admission: Children (ages 6 or under) / People with disabilities / Men of national merits

9. Gyeongbukgung

The largest among the five grandiose palaces in Korea.

Directions 
[Subway]
Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 5.
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and Exit 1.

[Bus]
Take Bus No. 1020, 7025,109, 171, 172, 601 or 606 and get off at Gyeongbokgung Palace Bus Stop.

Take Jongno Bus No. 11 and get off at National Folk Musuem of Korea Bus Stop. 마을버스 종로11

Admission Fees 
Adults (ages 25-64): 3,000 won / Groups (10 people or more): 2,400 won

10. Bongeunsa Temple

A temple located near Coex and one of a popular temple in Seoul.

Directions 
[Subway]
Bongeunsa Temple Station (Seoul Subway Line 9), Exit 1.
– Walk straight for 150 m.

Autumn doesn’t last long, and falling of leaves  will eventually fall in…but don’t feel anguish! It is even more magical. The falling colorful leaves upon your head and feet are quite a serene experience, a precious moment.

And so those are my best places for autumn! Yet, there’s more to see and to blog. I’m gonna keep it coming guys… it isn’t the peak of autumn yet in Seoul and festivals will be held this weekend on its prime.

 

 

 

Hanbok in Chuseok

“Chuseok” means Thanksgiving Day in Korea. It is one of the biggest and most important holidays that Koreans celebrate.

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This three-day holiday is also a celebration of good harvest festival. Traditionally Koreans visit their ancestral hometowns and families come together to share food.

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For foreigners living and working in Korea, this holiday is one of the most anticipated one as it is a long break from those hard works. Often they wander around Korea with their friends.

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For Filipinos in South Korea (FILIPOS), they celebrated the first day of Chuseok on their photo walk at Gyeongbukgung Palace wearing the Korean traditional dress, Hanbok.

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Gyeongbuk palace, was the main royal palace during the Joseon dynasty. It is the largest among the five grand palaces in Korea: Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, Gyeonghuigung and Gyeongbokgung.

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Wearing hanbok and walking around the palaces is one of a great experience that you may try when in Korea. It feels like you’re part of their formidable history.

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You can visit Gyeongbokgung any day of the week, but if you want to experience a special visit, though that will be a lot of visitors I’m sure, you must choose the date of those special holidays.

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Multi cultural family.

Why? Simply, because a lot of these palace visitors will wear a special Korean traditional dress and that will complete the ambiance of this historic landmark and will make your visit a really good one.

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The King and Queen.

Hanbok rentals are available near the palace vicinity, but ours was rented at Hanbok Plus Shop which can be found at exit 2 of Gyeongbokgung station, line 3.

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Filipos in Hanbok.

Gyeongbokgung is located at exit 5 (about 2 minutes walk) of Gyeongbukgung station, line 3 or Gwangwhamun station.

Enjoy the rest of Chuseok holidays!