Palaces in Korea Part 3 – Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)

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The most popular palace everyone heard about. Gyeongbokgung is the largest among the 5 palaces in Korea and till now, I have yet to see everything of the palace.

In 1989, the South Korean government started a 40-year initiative to rebuild the hundreds of structures that were destroyed by Japanese. By the end of 2009, it was estimated that approximately 40 percent of the structures that were standing before the Japanese occupation of Korea were restored or reconstructed. As a part of the phase 5 of the Gyeongbokgung restoration initiative, Gwanghwamun, the main gate to the palace, was restored to its original design. Another 20 year restoration project is planned by the South Korean government to restore Gyeongbokgung to its former status.

The location of palace is very dependant on the surroundings and I would say, is situated in such a way the fengshui benefits the palace. The back of the palace is a mountain, in chinese we call it 靠山, which has a meaning of stability. The front of the palace is where Cheonggyecheon is, & in fengshui terms, water means money.

Gyeongbokgung also has guard changing ceremony every hour from 10:00hrs to 15:00hrs everyday. I must be damn lucky to catch them every time I visit the palace. One thing about these guard changing ceremony is that they have commentaries, which helps visitors understand what they are doing.

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The palace has a lake and many other rooms which we can walk around freely to view. Be sure to get a map of the place so that you will not get lost! Sadly, because every time when I go, there’s some reason and we have to leave the place before even looking through everything. ): I would say a 2 hours would be good to make sure that you walk through everything.

For anyone who thinks that all these culture stuffs wouldn’t attract you, maybe you could, for the sake of the pretty architects step in for some beautiful pictures. With vibrant colours on the building, backed with a mountain for a stunning view, it is pretty hard to put down your camera in this place.

I don’t call myself a photographer but I sure do love getting pretty pictures. Here are just some of what I took:

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To get there: Gyeongbokgung Palace Station Exit 5 or Gwanghwamun Station Exit 2. Closed on every Tuesday.

For best time to go, head there during the early mornings on weekdays! The crowd would be so much lesser.

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