Seoul, South Korea
Today I walked to the Changdeokgung Palace, a nice palace with many traditional styled buildings and though not as large as Gyeongbokgung Palace, it was still very impressive, as evidenced by the number of photos I took today.
I then moved on to see the neighboring Changgyeonggung Palace, which was more quaint then Changdeokgung Palace (I must admit that the names are a bit redundant since ‘gung’ means ‘palace’, but I’m following most western writing I’ve encountered on the subject).
I then took a tour around the Huwon or ‘rear garden’ (also known as the secret garden) of Changdeokgung Palace, which had many beautiful pavilions, ponds, and landscapes.
After finishing with the garden tour, I quickly walked south to the Jongmyo Shrine (where they keep the mortuary tablets of the deceased royalty and still perform memorial services for then). Since I didn’t feel like waiting forty minutes more for an English tour guide, I tagged along with a tour in Korean – I was mostly interested in the sites not the stories, besides, there were at least still signs along the way for me to read.Also, there is a stone wall for the spirits to journey only – no living person is supposed to walk on it.
After the tour, I walked down to the Bukchon Hanok Village area to look at all the old-style Korean buildings. Some spots along the way offered fantastic views of the structures.
I then utilized the subway to get to the Mount Inwangsan trailhead. Unfortunately photography is prohibited along much of the route for security concerns, but I did summit it and I did see some great views of the city and Gyeongbokgung Palace. I finished the day with some grilled spicy duck and Cass beer, yum yum.