The third day of our Korea trip (March 6th) was the day to visit palaces in Seoul. First, we visited Nam Dae Mun market before visiting the Deok Su Gung Palace. Nam Dae Mun was a market which sold many kinds of things with cheap price. We bought several souvenirs from Nam Dae Mun, actually in the end we spent quite a lot of money here. 😀
Deok Su Gung served as the main palace for Great Han Empire (1897-1910). Actually, it was not listed in our trip plan, but because there was palace guard changing ceremony on that day, so we visited this palace first. This is the video of the guard changing ceremony.
There was a booth which provided free hanbok (Korean clothes) to wear and we could take some pictures with the palace guards while wearing hanbok. It was my first experience to wear a hanbok. 😀
After taking some pictures, we went into the palace. The entrance ticket was 1000 Won, not so expensive. 🙂 In the palace we could see many traditional royal buildings made of wood. There were also stones marking the positions of each minister during the meeting with the king in the old times. The front seat was for the high rank minister, while the rear seat was for low rank minister.
After visiting the Deok Su Gung Palace, we went to Gyeong Bok Gung Palace. The entrance ticket was 3000 Won. It was built in 1935, but was reduced to ashes during the Japanese invasion in 1592. The restoration of Gyeong Bok Gung began in 1990 and it was still restored when we visited it. It was already afternoon when we got there, almost 5 pm. Actually there was free hanbok wearing in Gyeong Bok Gung too, but we were too late, the booth was closed right before we got there. Besides the buildings for residence, there was also a performance stage which was surrounded by water. There were also stone sculptures of the twelve Chinese zodiacs.
On the way from Deok Su Gung to Gyeong Bok Gung Palace, we visited the Museum of King Se Jong and also the Haechi Madang. King Se Jong was a very famous king in Korea who invented the Hangul (Korean writing system). Haechi was the symbol of Seoul, it was a lion-like horned yellow creature.
From Deok Su Gung, we walked to Cheong Gye Cheon. It was a public recreation place in Seoul. Initially, there was a small stream there, but it was widened and illuminated, which made it look more beautiful. There were also stones where we could step on to cross the stream.