Gyeongbokgung Palace, Korea

In an exciting turn of events, this blog post is about two things!  First, my trip to Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul.  But also about the fact that I have a new camera.  Well, a new to me camera (I’m on a budget.)  There were a few issues, mostly with the fact that I don’t know how to process .RAW files.  But I am nothing if not a learner.  So here’s to hoping things smooth out.  I also tried photo editing a little bit, for pretty much the first time… (other than instagram) (You should follow me on instagram: Placestorunto) Now, onto the palace.  We planned on getting to the palace around 2:30, because there was a changing of the guard ceremony at 3pm.  I’m the only one that actually made it there by 3, but I am so so happy that I did.  The changing of the guard ceremony was really fun to watch, with explanations in Korean and English as to what was going on.  I mostly didn’t listen though- so I’m making this up as I go.  🙂 01.jpeg First, this guy banged the drum.  Because… well, because it’s his job.  I suppose he also needed to signal to the guards on duty that the new guards were approaching. 05.jpeg The new guard arrived to the gate complete with flowing banners and a band.  Because if you’re going to make an entrance- Make. An. Entrance.  I assume this type of ceremony would not have been effective if stealth were in anyway important. 06.jpeg Once the new guard was in place, it was time for the retiring guard members to be led away with the banners and band.  They marched back into the palace. After the guard ceremony, I was (finally) joined by my friends and we started to explore a bit of the palace.  Gyeongbokgung was the royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty, and it is the largest palace from that time period.  It was damaged by the Japanese but has since been carefully restored back to it’s original beauty. After passing through the main gate, we came to the inner gate, which created a large courtyard in front of the throne room. 08.jpeg The throne room was really impressive.  What I found most impressive about it, was the detailing inside the room.  I’ve said it before about Korean traditional architecture, but the detail and painting are so intricate and beautiful.  Instantly recognizable as Korean, as well. 09.jpeg Near the throne hall, was the banquet hall.  It was used for throwing fabulous parties, and entertaining visiting dignitaries.  As such, it was spectacular as well. The name of the banquet hall is Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, which means: the king is capable of handling national affairs only when he has the right people around him.  I really liked that. 10.jpeg After the pavilion, we traveled around to different places in the palace complex.  The palace is so large that it now houses several museums as well as a folk village.  One thing that I really liked was that while it had a lot of traditional Korean things: 02.jpeg It also had a “street to the past,” where things looked like they did in the mid 1900s.  They had a printing shop, and a comic book shop, barber shop… all the things you would really need.  My favorite, though, were the old movie posters they had up. 04.jpeg   (In the background is an original model Hyundai.) There were so many buildings and pavilions spread around, it was cool to see this Pagoda.  Sitting atop a high platform (with enough stairs for us to think staying on the ground was the best idea) it was easily the tallest building. 11.jpeg   And now I leave you, with possibly the least threatening totem poles I’ve ever seen.  How jolly. 🙂  All in all it was a really fun afternoon, even if it was super hot.  I’m not a fan of summer.  But I’m into my last few weeks/months of living in Korea, so I’ve got a lot of stuff planned coming up.  Really excited to make a last push to see the varied sites of Korea.  Any suggestions are always welcome!  🙂 03.jpeg

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One response to “Gyeongbokgung Palace, Korea

  1. I like using picmonkey.com to edit my photos, has all the basics and some filters also, just really easy to use for a quick edit. Good for me since I hate all those weird programs and am definitely not a learner.. 😀

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