Tuesday, 31 December 2013

September in Seoul - Gyeongbokgung Palace [Day 6]

Gyeongbokgung Palace - a must visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul | by Meheartseoul
Back in Seoul from Gangneung City. Maybe we bought the wrong bus ticket, as the bus stop at Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Station) instead of Express Bus Terminal. Anyway, we arrived in Seoul... ㅋㅋㅋ 

Bus fare from Gangneung to Dong Seoul is cheaper than from  Express Bus Terminal to Gangneung. Adult: 14,600 Won  and Child: 7,300 Won. 
Took a taxi from Dong Bus Terminal directly to Capt Ryan's Nest. Instead of hotel room, we booked this entire apartment in Yongsan-gu through BnBHero.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Cosy and beautiful apartment 

Kids love this quite spacious loft apartment. It's new, neat, clean and comfortable. It's accessible to the city's must-see places. clean and spacious. Essential amenities and wifi facilities are provided too.

The owner, Mr. Ryan Kim is a very nice guy,  and very helpful and responsive to our messages. Overall, I felt it was worth the price as it was a pleasant experience throughout our stay.
1.  Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)
Gyeongbok (경복 = Greatly Blessed by Heaven)
Gung (궁 = Palace)
Gyeongbokgung was the first royal palace built by the Joseon Dynasty, built in 1395, three years after the Joseon Dynasty was founded. It served as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty.
Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
 Gyeongbokgung is situated in the middle of Seoul city.
Admission Ticket: 3,000 Won (Adult) and 1,500 Won (Child)


The most prominent and grandest of the Five Grand Palaces (Gyeonghuigung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung, Changdeokgung), which consisted of 330 buildings. It's also called Northern Palace because of its location.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
 Geunjeongjeon (근정전 = Imperial Throne Hall), where the king was
formally briefed by his officials and the central venue for various
coronation ceremonies of the royal household.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Rank Stones with numbers carved on them
Court officials would line up according to rank using the rank stones
in the courtyard outside Geunjeongjeon Hall.

   
Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Gwanghwamun is the main gate of Gyeongbokgung,
It's comprised of three arched gates called Hongyemun, with the middle gate
reserved for the king and the other two for his officials. Gwanghwamun was
severely damaged during the Japanese occupation and the Korean War.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Heungnyemun (흥례문) is the second largest gate of Gyeongbokgung,
and the first gate that visitors see after Gwanghwamun Gate.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
This gate was totally demolished during Japanese occupation, and 
restored to its original form in 1995.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Pictureque Hyangwonjeong Pavilion (향원정)

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
This hexagonal pavilion was constructed by order of King Gojong on an artificial
island in a lake (Hyangwonji) and was connected to the palace grounds by a bridge.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Hyangwonjeong means ‘Pavilion of Far-Reaching Fragrance’
 and Chwihyanggyo bridge translates as ‘Bridge Mesmerized with Fragrance’

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Geoncheonggung (건청궁)
Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Jangandang is a part of Geongcheonggung. living quarter of Gojong, the last emperor.
King Gojong built this palace (gung) inside Gyeongbokgung (palace) in 1873.
I particularly like this unpainted wooden quarter, but there's sad story behind it


Too bad we're late to join the free guided tour. I really recommended this free tour because we're just wandering around over 40 hectares of this palace but not knowing what are the purposes of each halls.  We joined Changdeokgung free guided tour in our previous trip and we can really appreciate and learn more about this historical site. The guide will show you around and briefly explain some of the major buildings with their functions and their own stories behind them. It's available in English and other languages too.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
We missed out Gyeonghoeru Pavilion (경회루) on another side of the palace



Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
and walked pass this National Folk Museum, located on the Gyeongbokgung grounds.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
National Folk Museum with blue-tiled 5-story pagoda on top of it.

Must Visit Tourist Attraction in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung Palace | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
This photo was taken when we just arrived... still full of energy and smiles.
But, they decided to go out and had dinner as they're tired and hungry...

2.  Tosokchon (토속촌)

Must Eat Food in Seoul: Tosokchon Samgyetang | meheartsoul.blogspot.com Chicken stew with Wild Mountain Ginseng

Tosokchon is famous for their Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup). Samgyetang is a whole spring chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, ginseng and other healthy ingredients like jujube, garlic, ginkgo nut and different types of medicinal herbs and and grains. It makes Samgyetang not only delicious but also healthy because each ingredient of samgyetang has its own special functions. Ginseng is effective in tackling multiple symptoms, rejuvenates body, boosts metabolism, reduces stress, treats diabetes, improve respiratory illnesses, and many more.

Koreans especially enjoy eating it on three hottest days in July and August, called Chobok (초복), Jungbok (중복) and Malbok (말복) for restoring their stamina and health due to exhausted of the summer heat.

Must Eat Food in Seoul: Tosokchon Samgyetang | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
Tosokchon restaurant

Tosokchon is located near Gyungbokgung. You can easily identify this unique Hanok style restaurant. It's quite big with few halls/rooms. You need to take off your shoe, as you'll sit and eat on the floor.

We ordered Chicken stew with ginseng (15,000 won) and another one with wild mountain Ginseng (21,000 won). Basically it's the same chicken stew, just additional a small bottle of wild ginseng to pour on the soup for Chicken Stew with wild ginseng.

They also served 2 small cups of ginseng wine... I like the taste of ginseng wine.

We reached around 5:45pm, and it was quite crowded... and very fast our room was fully occupied with the rest of the customers. It's better to avoid lunch and dinner hours.

Must Eat Food in Seoul: Tosokchon Samgyetang | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
You can see the immediate effect after healthylicious Samgyetang...
Cute and happy faces! LOL!!!

3.  Caffe Bene

Must Eat Food in Seoul: Tosokchon Samgyetang | meheartsoul.blogspot.com
to make them even happier and wider smiles...  but they couldn't smile,
 as they couldn't scoop and eat until I finished taking photos. Hahaha... sorry~!

Caffé bene served this sweet and tasty bingsu (빙수= shaved ice usually with sweet red beans, nuts, or fruits toppings). It's our favourite dessert as a small treat after tired walking...

Actually we wanted to order 3 glasses of bingsu, but the staff kept saying that it's very big glass.... So we ordered Green Tee Bingu and Oreo Bingsu... and the cute staff still told us that it's very big glass and showed us the glass. Maybe she was afraid that we're unable to finish them and wasting food. But, we insisted to order 2 glasses and finished them cleanly :P

Then, we rushed to Kyunghyang Newspaper Building to catch Fantastick show. But there's no show on 8pm. Actually, I'd asked my Korean friend to reserve it, but blamed me that didn't ask him the timing and thought it's only one show on 8pm everyday. But, actually they have 2 shows (5pm and 8pm). So, we changed it to 5pm show the next day.

Since it's cancelled, we just went back to Capt. Ryan's nest to rest and pack our luggage as it's our last night in Seoul...

And today is the last day of 2013... and before 2013 ends, I would like to thank all of you, who made this 2013 beautiful for me.

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed and fantastic year ahead. 새해 복 많이 받으세요~! Cheers...^^

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