Monday, March 26, 2012

Backpacking Korea: Gyeongbokgung Palace

After we arrive from Busan and had late lunch near Myongdong, we decided to spend the rest of teh afternoon walking around Seoul. We agreed to go to Gyeongbokgung Palace since my firends haven't entered it the first time they were there. And so, from Myongdong station, we took the subway to there.

We alight at Gyeongbokgung Station exit 5 and from there, walked to the entrance of the palace. You can also exit at Ganghwanmun Station but it is a longer walk going to the palace.

The entrance to the palace is very big and spacious. From there, you can already take pictures. Most of teh tourists takes photos here for remembrance.

Palace from the outside, near Gyeongbokgung station

Gate near the Gyeongbokgung station

Palce gates
 Here are some information on Gyeongbokgung Palace:
Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the “Northern Palace” because it is the furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeongheegung (Western Palace). Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest of all five palaces. 

The premises were destroyed by fire at the time of Japanese occupation from 1592-1598. However, all of the palace's 7,700 rooms were later restored under the leadership of Heungseondaewongun during the reign of King Gojong (1852~1919) . 

Remarkably, the most representative edifices of the Joseon Dynasty, Gyeonghoe-ru Pavilion and Hyangwonjeong Pond are still relatively in tact. Woldae and the sculptures of Geunjeongjeon (The Royal Audience Chamber) represent past sculpture of contemporary art. 

The National Palace Museum of Korea is located south of Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum is located east within Hyangwonjeong.  

As we walked to the ticket booth, we discovered that they do not accept visitors a few minutes before 4pm. And it was already 10 minutes to 4pm the time we arrived. Too bad we cannot enter the palace. We were quite sad since we couldn't go in but it was okay, we just took photos outside.
Front gate

Front Gate View across the street

Here are more information for the palace:
Every Tuesday
Operating Hours
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
Parking Facilities
280 spaces
※ Parking Fees - 2,000 won for 2 hrs / after 2 hrs, 500 won for every 15 mins
Admission Fees
Adults (ages 19-64) 3,000 won / Group 2,400 won (10 or more people)
Youths (ages 7-18) 1,500 won / Group 1,200 won (10 or more people)
※ Age 6 and under are free.

Integrated Ticket of Palaces - Four Palaces (Changdeokgung Palaces (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine
- The ticket is 10,000 KRW and may be used within a month after purchase.
- Visitors cannot receive any refund upon visiting at least one place.

※ Visitors may take a combined tour of Changdeokgung Palace and Changgyeonggung Palace (additional ticket purchase must be purchased at Hamyangmun Gate).

※ The Jongmyo Shrine tour will be offered only at specific times during the day, except on Saturdays, when visitors may tour at their leisure. The passage connecting Jongmyo Shrine and Changgyeonggung will be closed to public access.

※ Closed on Monday: Changdeokgung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace
※ Closed on Tuesday: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine
Facilities for the Handicapped
Free wheelchair rental service, disabled restrooms, disabled parking access
Available Facilities
Money Exchange, storage locker, souvenir shop
Interpretation Services Offered
* In front of information center, Hongryemun Gate (main gate)
Tours depart in front of the Information Office inside Heungnyemun Gate. Tour takes approximately one hour.
* English: 11:00, 13:30, 15:30
* Japanese: 10:00, 12:30, 14:30
* Chinese: 10:30, 13:00, 15:00

* Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more.
For group reservations, call: +82-2-723-4283
For reservations in Chinese, call: +82-2-732-4268
Baby Stroller Rentals
Available at the kiosk behind the Hongryemun Gate (main gate)
Not allowed
1. Use exit #5 of Gyeongbokgung Station (Subway Line #3),
2. From Exit #2 of Ganghwamun Station (Subway Line #5), walk 400 meters

Next Time I get back to Korea, I promise, I'll get to go inside this famous landmark in Seoul!

Gyeongbokgung Palace

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