Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) Palace & National Folk Museum in Spring


Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)

Within Seoul there are 5 palaces and Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) Palace, which was built during the Joseon Dynasty, is one of the most visited palaces. Gyeongbok (경복) means “Greatly bless by heaven” while gung (궁) with its similarity to Chinese just means “palace”. Though much of the palace was destroyed during the Japanese occupation, it is still a wondrous place to visit; parts of it are being gradually restored.

Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Overview of how the whole palace (should) look(s)like
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Notice for restoration of part of the palace

It’s best to visit Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) during the morning when the crowds seem to be lesser (or at least during the time I was there), or even at night when the night lights are turned on. As afternoon approached, more crowds of visitors and students on excursions were evident. We arrived at about 10 in the morning and managed to catch the guards changing ceremony passing through, though there wasn’t enough time to take any photos of the procession passing through. (>.<)

Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
The entrance and ticket booth, with a drum to boot ^^
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Entering after getting the tickets
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Tickets! 3,000 won each

There is a free hourly tour in English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese with staggered timings. The free English guided tours are at 11.00am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. You can get more information for the website. Unfortunately for us, we woke up late so we give the tour a miss and decided to roam about the palace ourselves with information booklet in hand.

Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Whether with tour or not, don't forget your guide book which would come in handy! Located on your right when you enter
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
The throne room
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Panoramic view of the throne room
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Groups of school children on excursion marveling the throne room. :) As the day went on, there were more groups.
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Was feeling 'artistic' for this photo :p
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Exploring the palace grounds Part I
Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Exploring the palace grounds Part II

While we were at Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) we also managed to visit the National Folk Museum (admission is included in the price of the ticket). It was a nice change of pace to view how life was like in the past with the traditions and culture.

National Folk Museum
National Folk Museum
National Folk Museum
One of the National Folk Museum Exhibit Areas
Ggyeongbokgung (경복궁)
A step back into the past



I even purchased two boxes of (nicely scented) handmade soap from the National Folk Museum’s souvenir shop. ^^

National Folk Museum
The pretty handmade soap!

Overall, it was a (half) day well spent touring the palace and museum (with lots of photos!), enjoying the interesting Korean architecture against the lovely spring backdrop and getting a better understanding of life during the Joseon dynasty period. I had initially thought that it was possible visiting at least two palaces within a day (not to say that it is impossible, but it involves a lot of walking!), but it turned out to be a very tiring affair with all that walking. So we decided that this would the palace for the day while we visit a different one for another day.

On our way out (to DramaQueen’s highlight of the day – Ginseng Chicken at Tosokchon) via the Gwanghwamun Gate, there were imperial guards in brightly colored robes ‘guarding’ the entrance and whom everyone was ‘fighting’ to take photos with.

Gwanghwamun Gate
See all the people wanting to get a 'shot' at the guards? ^^
Gwanghwamun Gate
The guards in their colorful robes!

Seeing as I missed out on the guided tour and trying on the hanbok, if I ever have the chance, I would definitely visit Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) once more. Moreover, the National Palace Museum and Blue House (Presidential Office) are right next to Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), which gives me more places (and reasons) to visit upon my next trip to South Korea (hopefully soon)!

National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum before the palace once out of the subway
On our way out to Ginseng Chicken at Tosokchon!


How to get there
Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5.

Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3)

Price of Admission Ticket: 3,000 won per adult (well worth the price as it includes admission to the National Folk Museum too!)






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      When travel collides with a byte, a unit of information made up of bits, TravelBytez is formed: snippets of ramblings on travel, food, shopping, living and anything else that comes to mind.
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