Woke up at five in the morning on September 19, 2015, esssss, not really it was more like seven in the morning when halmeoni (grandmother) woke us up for an early breakfast. Still in our comfy sleeping clothes we greeted the day with a cup of KOREAN coffee. 🙂
And to my surprise, also with great appreciation and regret at the same time, we also had another serving of BIBIMBAP for breakfast! If you read my previous entry you’ll know that we also had bibimbap for lunch the previous day.
After giving ourselves all the time in the world to take a shower we head out to our first destination. It’s Parokya ni Joyie in the Palace time! Changdeokgong palace is three blocks away from where we’re staying so we take out cameras and tripods and march our way to its entrance.
We made it to the entrance bought our tickets but first we made sure to try this red bean fried bread just outside the palace. Seriously, support the street vendors wherever you go, they need it. Just make sure it’s clean.
Halmeoni was friendly however she doesn’t speak English that well so we just tell her how many by lifting our fingers.
While buying our tickets and eating our breads (my breads and their bread), we of course took some pictures to commemorate this joyous occasion.
We paid 5,000 won for the entrance fee and entered the palace right away.
Stepping inside the Changdeokgong Palace takes you to a totally different world. While there are tall buildings and towers and neon lights during the night outside, here you are taken back to past with all the buildings and the trees together in perfect harmony before technology took over. Unlike other palaces in the world, Korean Palaces, the ones I’ve been to at least (Changdeokgong and Gyeonbukdong), are more wide rather than tall with only two to three stories on its tallest structure.
Their architecture and wonderful culture are clearly seen through every corner of this place. We spent some time in marveling the vastness of this place, taking photos every step of the way.
We chose the Changdeokgong Palace because it has The Secret Garden Tour. While waiting for our tour to begin we saw this cute couple vested in their Hanboks (hanbok: traditional Korean dress). According to the KDrama Beautiful Gong Shim it is not unusual to see people in hanboks near insadong. There are shops in Insadong that specializes in renting hanboks.
Below is our pictures with the kyuuuu couple.
As the tour began, we went our separate ways taking pictures in every nook and cranny of this wonderful place.
In case you will be wondering if have seen this place before without going to Korea, it is because this place is featured in Platinum Karaoke as one of the back grounds. Enjoy our photos as we go through the secret garden tour.
We were first greeted by the pond above with a tree growing in the middle. The surrounding is still as it is only “pa-fall” when we get there. You’ll see some trees on their autumn costume later when I write about or day in Naminara island.
“Maglalaing ang mahal na hari” kind of day.
If my memory serves me right, the crown prince spends his time here reading.
This area of the secret garden is where the crown prince learns how to farm in order to understand the hardship of its people.
Park Lee ChoNe in the house y’all.
Greens everywhere. It’s a refreshing treat after wandering the concrete jungle of Seoul.
Walling in the Palace Series.
Group shots below!
Tip: When going on a trip where it requires a lot of walking, bring your most comfortable shoes! I brought only one pair of NB shoes and my feet started to hurt big time starting on the third day. How I wish I had brought my running shoes instead. My NB is great for pictures and goes well with the clothes I brought (this is debatable but let’s just agree to disagree on this one) however it is not well padded for comfort.
Just do the peace sign Boyet!
Picture with the guide. She speaks fluent English and is open to conversation. I remember asking her why the trunks of some of the trees were wrapped and she told me that it is to prevent the “sickness” from spreading to the surrounding trees.