May 2011: Seoul: Palaces and Jongmyo Shrine

We visited 3 palaces in Seoul…  and the Jongmyo Shrine….

My friends and I actually envy South Korea of having beautiful and grand palaces for their king and queens. I drooled on the grandeur of the palaces and their rich history. I also hope that the Philippines have such beautiful palaces —- 😦

For our first day in Seoul, I was really amazed on how big and grand the Deoksukgung Palace is.. and I also loved the fact that I can have my picture taken anywhere without other person sneaking in…. I can have the whole palace alone or only with my friends… It was really peaceful and beautiful…

Tips:

  1.  Buy the package worth 10,000 KRW which include the entrance fee for 5 palaces + entrance to the Secret Garden and the Jongmyo Shrine
  2. Recharge your camera batteries
  3. Sleep Well because you will do a lot of walking
  4. If you think that palaces are boring…. you can visit either Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, or Daeksukgung… any of these places are wonderful…

1. Deoksukgung Palace

This is the first palace we visited in Seoul. We are amazed on how big it is… although this is really small compared to Gyeongbokgung but it has few visitors than the other palaces… It is also colorful and is also well preserved.

Daeksukgung palace with the guards

One of the things you should not miss during your visit in any of the Palaces is the Changing of the Guards Ceremony… Gyeongbokgung and Deoksukgung Palaces have this kind of ceremony. In Deoksukgung, we had witnessed the ceremony by 3:30 pm. The performance schedule is 11:00am / 2:00pm / 3:30pm.

throne hall
throne of the Emperor

2. Gyeongbokgung Palace

This is the 2nd palace we visited in Seoul. It is really huge! I was really tired after visiting this Palace.

In my own opinion, I prefer Deoksukgung palace than Gyeongbokgung since you can also see in the former the things you can see in the latter.  There is also more visitors in Gyeongbokgung than in Deoksukgung, which means that Gyeongbokgung is more crowded than Deoksukgung. However, there is no beautiful lake in Deoksukgung… So, if you wanna see the lake then visit Gyeongbokgung.

It is good if you have a local to accompany you… since this is really a big place and you might get lost easily and it’s better if there is someone to tour you around the area and to explain to you the importance of the places in the palace.

the lake

3. Changdeokgung Palace

The last palace we visited in Seoul. We only had 30 minutes to spend on this place, and we weren’t able to go to the Secret garden within this palace.

This palace is part of the UNESCO World Heritage, which is a really must-see in Seoul. What is also wonderful in this place is that they have interactive activities, such as you can see some employees wearing “hanbok” (Korean Traditional dress) and can give you coffee or snacks for free.

Moreover, once you bought the ticket for the Secret Garden, you can have a tour inside and they will provide you with a guide. However, they have tour times. The English speaking tour starts by 1pm (which we unfortunately missed)

Anyway, here are the pictures

4. Jongmyo Shrine

This is like the Temple of Heaven in China where they praise their gods and their elders. This is really a peaceful and a very beautiful place to visit. It is near Changdeokgung, so you can plan your itinerary for this place and the Changdeokgung in one day.

This place is also very peaceful.. however, this is more peaceful than Deoksukgung. But this place is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage, so it is a must-see.

Unlike palaces, which have mostly buildings which cover the area, this place have a lot of trees, which covers the whole area. It is a good place if you are asking for serenity.

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER POSTS FOR SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

HAPPY WANDERING!

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