Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!


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Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Famed for its gardens, Changdeokgung Palace’s Secret Garden (Biwon 비원 / Huwon 후원) is the place to be if you want to admire some pretty spring/autumn blossoms!


It was a slight mad dash to Changdeokgung Palace after brunch, just to catch the Huwon (Secret Garden) Tour. We were about 5-10 minutes behind, but we were still able to catch up with the tour group at the Hamyangmun Gate about to set off to the Buyongji Pond area. [If you want to know about the ticketing process and/or what it is like to visit Changdeokgung Palace during spring time, please read this!] 

Do note that the ticket for the tour is additional and not inclusive of the admission fee upon enter (unless you booked in advanced online). You can actually pre-book your preferred timeslot (and language) for the Secret Garden Tour. But if you are not able to so, no need to worry as there is another counter at the entrance of the Secret Garden where you can purchase the (separate/additional) ticket at 5,000 won. It takes about another 10-15 minutes from the main entrance to the Secret Garden.

The tour guide that we had this time round was not as engaging (or as interesting) as the one we encountered the last time we visited in spring. But nonetheless, it was still a beautiful experience with the foliage in all its autumn glory set amidst the ancient palace architecture. The walk was just as expected: navigating the vast garden of hilly steep slopes and steps amidst the lovely autumn blossoms, scenery and architecture made for good exercise. Thank goodness for the cool autumn breeze which was a nice reprieve from all that walking.

Tour route: Hamyangmun Gate > Buyongji Pond (부용지) area > Uiduhap Building > Bullomun Gate > Aeryeonji Pond area > Yeonggyeongdang House > Jondeokjeong area > Ongnyucheon > Donhwamun Gate

Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Making our way to the Hamyangmun Gate
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
and finally catching up with the tour group
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Pretty autumn colors
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Buyongji Pond (부용지) area: Juhamnu Pavilion 주합루 - library and reading area
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Library
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Prominent autumn colors
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Greens, reds and oranges set amidst the ancient architecture
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Aeryeonjong "Love of Lotus" Pavilion 애련정
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Just looking at the sky makes one feel at ease
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Gwanramjeong Pavilion 관람정 and Bandoji Pond 반도지
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Translucent orange and red peeking amidst the green - a sign that autumn is here
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Living quarters of the servants: Entering via Jangrakmun 장락문
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Rooms where the servants slept.
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Beautiful display of autumn
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
Men and women were in separated living quarters. The only difference? Everything for the men were on a bigger scale (women weren't really highly regarded and thought of being beneath men - Confucianism... bleh)
Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
The women's quarters

Just like the last time, after all that walking and marveling at the gardens natural beauty and architecture that was incorporated into it, the tour concluded at a (almost) thousand year old tree (which was also near the entrance).

When the tour concluded, the group soon dispersed and headed their own ways: the tour guide on to lead another group, some lingered around and decided to walk about, and the rest headed out of the Secret Garden, back into Changdeokgung Palace. As for us, all that walking made us hungry so it was off to dinner!


Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and Secret Garden Tour in Autumn!
On the way out after the tour

Overall, it was an enjoyable tour (with many photo opportunities). The garden tour alone took about 3 hours, so expect a good half day or longer spent here getting mesmerized by the pretty (spring/autumn) blossoms and a piece of history. [If you want to know about the ticketing process and/or what it is like to visit Changdeokgung Palace during spring time, please read this!] 


Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁)

Address: 110-360 서울특별시 종로구 율곡로 99번지
Tel: 02-762-8261 / 9513
Directions: 5 mins walk from Anguk Station (안국역) Exit 3 (just follow the signage, it’s very straight forward and easy)

Admission Fees

Entrance Ticket / Regular Tour
Adults: ₩3,000
Youth (7-18 year olds): ₩1,500
Free for kids below 6 years old

Secret Garden Tour
Adults: ₩5,000
Youth (7-18 year olds): ₩2,500
Free for kids below 6 years old

Online Reservation or you can always purchase it on the spot


Operating Hours:
Palace / Regular Tours - check here
Secret Garden Tour - updated schedule here (as of Apr 2013)

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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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