Despite dealing with some family things while I was recently in Korea, I was still able to go sightseeing a few of the days. My sister lives in Kuwait, but she flew over for about a week of the time that I was over there with my mom. It worked out great because it meant I had some else who spoke English and someone to do touristy things with, since my mom isn’t interested. Plus it was extra nice to spend some time with my sister, who I usually see just once a year. We took the train into Seoul a couple times and some of my fave sights were the Korean palaces – so pretty so I need to share some (of the manyyyyyy) photos.
First we went to Gyeongbokgung, which was actually my favorite. It was originally built in 1395 and was the principal royal residence until 1592. It was destroyed in a Japanese invasion and in ruins for nearly 300 years. Work to restore it began in the 1800s and it was fully restored more recently. I loved the sprawling lush grounds around the buildings. It was the perfect season to be in Korea.
Above are the traditional jars for “jang” or sauces, like soy sauce, hot pepper paste etc. Lots of jars, lots of sauces yum. Below – I loved see some of the girls dressed in the traditional Korean hanbok dresses. So pretty. I think they were just randomly walking around in them. Like, whatevs. I like it.
Next we went to Changdeokgung, which my travel guidebook suggested was the must-see palace. But I gotta say I liked the first one more. I don’t know if we didn’t give ourselves enough time to explore but it seemed like there wasn’t as much to see. But I think we kinda got lost. And there is apparently an amazing secret garden which we accidentally didn’t buy tickets for. Oops. This is what happens when you plan a trip in only a few days. It had the most restored interiors though which was cool to see.
Lastly we went to Deoksugung. There are four main palaces in Seoul and we only made it to three. Oops. This palace didn’t have as much grounds to see really and was more in the city, right near City Hall and taller buildings. But we went for the changing of the guards ceremony which was really cool to see.
It was really cool to see these palaces which had so much history. I wish we would’ve had more time to explore and planned better so that we could’ve taken some of the guided tours in English. The architecture of the palaces was really similar but each one had its own unique qualities too. And I guess next time I go to Korea, I will just need to hit up that fourth major palace (Changgyeonggung, in case you were wondering). Good reason to go back, right? Right.
Are you a fan of visiting foreign palaces too? Don’t they make you dream of being a fancy princess? Sigh. Well I hope everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. I’m looking forward to catching up on house things, life things, relaxing, Game of Thrones and sleeping!