Korean Adventures: Gyeongbokgung Palace

Now it seems like a common cliche for me to write "how long it's been since I wrote anything", but seriously, college is hard and life is busy. But I miss writing a lot, and I wanted to write about my stay in Korea more. Everything sort of led up to me finally moving here, but then I didn't write much after that. Since I don't want the "magic" of living here to slip away, it's time to start the new "Korean Adventures" series! I've traveled around quite a bit and done some pretty exciting things, and the first I'm writing about is my trip to 경복궁!

If you're looking for a very classic looking Korean tourist place to visit and take pictures, this is the place. I went during September last year and it was beautiful, but it was also sweltering hot! Mind you, I was adjusting to Korean weather and humidity at the time, however in general it was just really hot. It took a long time to look around, which is good! You feel like you get your money's worth since it's such a huge place.

When I went I was with a large group of friends from school, so we didn't have a guided tour where they told us all of the secrets about the palace. I think if you decide to go it would be best to either get a tour, or to look up interesting things about the palace before you go so that you'll know what happened where. After taking a Korean history class and learning a bit more about the palace after I was so excited to say, "Oh! I saw that place!" Another thing is that you really should take your time, because the intricate details that people put into the buildings really astounded me!

Gyeongbokgung is also known as the "Northern Palace", since it is the highest north out of all of them. There is such a beautiful view of mountains beyond the palace, and the contrast between the modern skyscrapers and the old palace looks very mysterious to me. It is such a wonderful place to take photos because of the beautiful architecture and vast gardens. Outside of the palace is a statue of "Sejong the Great", who is credited with the invention of Hangul (the Korean alphabet). You can see the original Hangul throughout the grounds, which only has dots (Heavens/yang), vertical lines (Humans/mediators), and horizontal lines (Earth/yin) for the vowels. Even the cafe that they build inside uses this form. (Also, the ice cream is really good, especially on a hot day!)

One of my favorite parts though were the statues. I loved the various statues that were placed throughout, as well as the zodiac statues placed in a circle. Everyone tries to find their animal and take a picture with them (I felt old because most of the people I went with were the same animal, but I was the Rooster).

There were also the giant fermenting stone pots outside that were everywhere, which to me looked so fun. (I really had to resist jumping into one of them...)

We also went inside to a museum with different modern galleries, a place to try on Hanbok, as well as displays showing different Korean ceremonies from the time.

If you'd also like to visit, they do have a website Here that you can look at. Admission is fairly cheap, around 10,000 won or less. So it can be fun alone, with friends, or even for a date (there were so many couples taking selfies/selcas). I hope you enjoyed looking through these photos, I really had so much fun going!

See you next time you jump down the Rabbit hole,

-C.A.M.