Thursday, 24 December 2015

Visit Korea Special VIP Tour [Day 2-5]

"Visit Korea VIP Special Invitation Tour : Deoksugung (Palace) | by Meheartseoul"
We need to go to The National Folk Museum of Korea as our bus will wait for us there and bring us to another palace...

 Kim eonni's sunshine smile~^^

Kukje and Hakgojae galleries with sculpture arts on the rooftops. 

Been there with my Korean friend waiting for the bus. Quite embarrassing when I couldn't read the Chinese characters of Hakgojae (学古斋), but he read and explained each of the words to me.

 The National Folk Museum of Korea (국립민속박물관).

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Statue outside the museum showing Malttukbakgi (말뚝박기) game
which Korean kids love to play in two teams.

Deoksugung (덕수궁 / 德壽宮) |
Daehanmun (대한문 / 大漢門), main gate of Deoksugung (덕수궁 / 德壽宮).

Daehanmun (meaning: Seoul becomes prosperous) was originally called Daeanmun (meaning: Greatly peaceful). It's the eastern gate of the palace and the main gate was originally Inwhamun. Daehanmun only took the role of main gate after construction of new roads as the east-side of the palace became the center of the city.

The moment we reached Daehanmun Gate, 
we're all ready to take photo with Royal Guard.

Our mission was easily completed in a count of minutes thanks to Kim eonni.
She helped us to check with the staff to make sure that we snap photo with
the Chief Royal Guard because there were 3 guards standing there.

Geumcheongyo Bridge and beautiful 'traffic light' tree!

All with smiling face because of lovely Autumn atmosphere in the palace.

 These trees really know how to dress themselves in beautiful foliage!
So picturesque!

 Deoksugung means 'Palace of virtue and longevity.' 

It was originally residence of  royal family and it's used as temporary palace when the primary palace Gyeongbokgung was heavily damaged due to Imjin War. King Gwanghaegun was crowned in this palace in 1608, and renamed it Gyeongun-gung (경운궁). Then it was not used for about 270 years after the official palace was moved to the rebuilt Changdeokgung in 1618. 

Only after King Gojong returned from refuge with Russian legation, he chose to reside at this place.  He then expand the facilities and constructed Seokjojeon, Western style palace. His son, Emperor Sunjong renamed the palace to Deoksugung to a wish for longevity of Emperor Gojong. (Source)

Junghwamun (中和門) is the main gate to Junghwajeon.

Two dragons engraved on the stone panel on the middle of the stairs to
Junghwajeon - the throne hall of Deoksugung.

None of the other palaces in Korea have this unique feature of the hall. Junghwajeon is listed as a National Treasure of Korea together with Junghwamun (Gate).

Leaves fell to the ground in drifts creating this natural golden carpet.

Suddenly, I was teleported and landed in front of Gwangmyeongmun Gate.

Gwangmyeongmun Gate (光明門), the south gate at Deoksugung Palace
was once the main gate of the Palace. 

It contains a self-striking water clock (자격루 = Jagyeokru), a hanging bronze bell from 1462, and a rocket cannon. The gate, which resembles bell pavilion once led to Hamnyeongjeon Hall, where the king resided. (Source)

Thankful that I was in Deoksu Palace to witness the loveliest season.

 Royal Guard Changing Ceremony is held three times a day
11:00 / 14:00 / 15:30

 Wow! so many Royal guards... I need to hide myself before
they notice me trespassing around palace ground.

 During the Joseon Dynasty, the royal guard was responsible for opening and closing
the palace gate as well as patrolling around the gate area.

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It's nice to soak in this charming ancient ambiance...
too bad I didn't have time to rent a hanbok and wear it there.
Alright... it's time to 'jump' to the future now~!

Wait! am I still in Korea?!
Why this building looks like mini Buckingham palace?

This Neo-classical building with triangular roof is Seokjojeon Hall,
built in 1910 which used as an audience hall and sleeping quarters of King Gojong.

The fountain in front of the building was the first fountain to be built in Korea. It is believed that the erection of a western style building inside Deoksugung was part of the modernization in place during the Korean Empire period.

The west wing of Seokjogwan is now serves as
National Museum Of Modern And Contemporary Art Deoksugung.

Unique with appropriate blending of ancient Korean and modern Western-style.

Few shots with Tere before we went to watch 
Royal Guard Changing Ceremony in front of Daehanmun.

Although this palace is not that big, but it's nice
to stroll under the colorful shades of the trees.

This beautiful moment will forever remain in my heart.

Romantic Doldamgil (Stone wall road). |   |
Famous Doldamgil (Stone wall road).

We didn't have time to stroll along this 'break up' street. There's old grandma's saying that if a couple walking together at this street, they will end up break up. Jinjjayo (Really)?!! Not sure, but maybe it's because a divorce court is around this area. Anyway, that doesn't freak people to stroll at this romantic doldamgil~^^

Check out this video for impressive performance of Royal Guard 
changing ceremony and password exchange for verification.

Add: 99, Sejong-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul.
Ticket: 1,000 (Adult), 500 (Child).

City Hall Station (Exit 2) |  
Direction: City Hall Station (Exit 2).

As mentioned above, Daehanmun is facing the heart of Seoul. It's a stone throw to Gwanghwamun Square where you can find statue of King Sejong the Great and Admiral Yi Sun Shin. 

We're going to meet these 2 historical figures too, but at Grevin Museum not Gwanghwamun.

Calligraphy Crafting outside the palace. |
I noticed this man when walked to the palace. He has super good
Calligraphy crafting skill in Hangul and Chinese characters!

Today is Christmas Eve, I wish everyone a blessed and joyful Christmas~!^^

This trip is made possible by VisitKorea organised by Korea  Tourism Organization. 

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