Travel: Gyeongbokgung Palace (through a digicam) in Seoul, Korea

Whenever I finish watching a drama, I feel like my life is over. What can I do now that there’s no more Rooftop Prince 옥탑방 왕세자 (pronounced as oak tap bang wang se ja) to catch? Who should I root for? Meh! Yes, yes, I know. Major drama queen much.

But anyway, if you haven’t watched it, you are totally missing out. It’s got the perfect blend of comedy, romance, drama, time travelling and weepy moments. Because it’s set across different time periods, I’m quite surprised that the writers managed to gel it together so perfectly.

Part of the drama is set in ancient times and shot in the palaces in Korea. And since monkey see monkey do, I have decided to dig out my photos of Gyeongbokgung Palace  경복궁 and blog about them! These photos were taken across many trips from 2009 – 2012.

This palace is one of the four palaces still existing in Seoul (the others are:  Changdeokgung Palaces (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, and Deoksugung Palace).

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Address: Seoul-si Jongno-gu Sejong-ro 1-1

Entry Fee: KRW3,000 per pax

March to October 09:00-18:00 / November to February 09:00-17:00
* Admission is available until one hour before closing time.
* Operating hours can be changable for cultural assets protection and visitors safety

Website: http://www.royalpalace.go.kr/html/eng/main/main.jsp

Let’s start off with the exterior of Gyeongbokgung Palace.

And now for a ridiculously-beautiful scenic shot of the second gate

Just like Buckingham Palace – the guards stand vigil.

And similar to Buckingham Palace’s guards, they are unfazed by tourists who go all up in their faces and take photos.

Different coloured robes, different duties. I’m assuming the red robes are combat guards while the green ones are like Gandalf “You shall not pass!”

It’s time for the changing of the guards!

First, the blue-robed guards lead the way…

… then the combat guards in red and the Gandalf guards in green follow…

… lastly, the procession aka marching band.

A superbly colourful and vibrant scene as all the guards and procession march into the main square to change their shifts.

The procession marching their way around in the main square

coming closer…

… andddd Elvis has left the building.

But enough stalking of the men. It’s time to do some actual sightseeing.

The main square when void of any guards – the palace was built with its back to the mountain so as to avoid any invaders coming to get them.

The front of the palace –  a strange juxtaposition against the modern buildings.

Tourists standing in designated positions for either scholars or advisors and political party members

The big pavillion in front of the main square. If I remember correctly, it’s kind of like the King’s conference room – where he had his political meetings, debated on policies & war, held court and listened to his citizens who were seeking redress.

The interior of the King’s conference room / court room.

Check out how high the pillars are.. it’s amazing they managed to build these in olden times.

And that’s all the pictures I have of the interior. It was cordoned off, so we could only lean over the velvet ropes, stick our arms out, press the shutter and hope for the best possible photo.

Walking around the compound.. Love the ornate details in the roof

Back in olden days, everything wasn’t under one roof, especially if you’re royalty and have an abundance of land to spare. One block was the King’s housing, another for his business meetings, yet another for the Queen’s housing. If they wanted to visit each other, they had to walk a damnnnn long way. Tedious much.

See what I mean by walking a damnnnn long way? You can barely even see the other living quarters in this photo.

Making our way to one of the many different living quarters.

Long and seemingly never-ending corridors.

Another one of the King/Queen’s something.. could be a study or tiny meeting room. Seating cushions for the scholars or advisors.

Here’s a segment of one of their living quarters. I can’t remember exactly whose living quarters these were.

Going around the corner of this housing quarter, we found this. Seemed to be the servants’ quarters or the kitchen.. or pantry.. or something.

Look at what we found here! It was the heating system so that the floors would be warm even during winter. They slept on futons back then so this was especially essential. Just shove the wood chunks in and burn them, and the steam/heat would spread through the system.

Getting water ancient-style – pumping the water out is no joke!

Sorry for the blurry photo, but recognise this lake?

It’s the lake that Buyong drowned in in Rooftop Prince! 😀

I also think this is another pagoda/pavillion that Buyong went to to have a chat with her good-for-nothing sister before she drowned herself.

Here’s the Pavilion that the King (real Korean king) would entertain his foreign guests in and also hold  celebration / parties at.

One taken without the tourists

Only one way into the party pavillion

Just before entering

The view from the pavillion

The view of the other side of the party pavilion

On my way out, we got accosted by really cute Korean students who were there to do surveys in Mandarin as a school project. They looked really embarrassed at having to speak in a foreign language, but they did a great job!

Last photo before the Palace closed – my very own souvenir.

I’ve done up a second blog entry on Gyeongbokgung Palace with much better photos, so do take a look! 😀

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One thought on “Travel: Gyeongbokgung Palace (through a digicam) in Seoul, Korea

  1. Huge fan of that drama, so it is very cool to see where some of the scenes were shot. The Gyeongbokgung palace is quite amazing.

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