Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace
The largest of the ancient palaces in the South Korean capital, Gyeongbok Palace is one of the best sights to see in Seoul!
So grateful that the sun was out on this 20 degree weather!!! Brrrr!!!
The ornate buildings within the complex have amazing colors and contain poetic murals and carvings. The huge grounds are spectacular with calming ponds and modest pavilions. It is also one of the most historically significant sites in Korea, built in 1395 and destroyed twice by the Japanese. Located right in the middle of the city in the downtown Jongno district.
Geunjeongjeon, is the throne hall of Gyeongbokgung Palace where the king was formally briefed by his officials, issued proclamations, and greeted foreign envoys and ambassadors. It was also the central venue for various coronation ceremonies of the royal household.
Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, is where the king threw feasts for foreign envoys or his court officials. The name means that the king is capable of handling national affairs only when he has the right people around him; it was used on joyous occasion.
In ancient times, the royal guards of Joseon Dynasty performed the given task by guarding the Gwanghwamun Gate. So glad that we were able to experience the Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony. The guards’ splendid costumes, with their brilliant primary colors, was a real pleasure to see.
Bukchon Hanok Village
What would normally take a 20 min walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace to Bukchon Hanok Village took us 2 hours! Yep, that’s right…2 hours to locate this village!!! After an hour of searching and asking direction and still getting nowhere, Carlo was all ready to move on to the next destination. I was also ready to move on, but knowing that I’ve walked so far in the cold, I couldn’t just give up. Instead, I took charge of the map and became determined to find this old village and get my photo!!!
Bukchon Hanok Village is home to hundreds of traditional houses called ‘hanok’ that date back to the Joseon Dynasty. Hanoks are typically single-story structures made of clay, wood and stone with ondol heated floors topped by curved tile roofs called giwa. Today, many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, providing an opportunity to experience, learn and immerse in Korean traditional culture.
The N Seoul Tower, commonly known as the Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower
Access by taxis or car is prohibited so we had to hop on the zero-emissions buses, which as you can see was jam packed! The bus ride took about 15 minutes or so from Namsangol Hanok Village to get to the destination.
From the bus stop here, it was a short walk uphill towards the actual N Seoul Tower area. At first, I thought it was a fairly easy walk but it’s totally not. When we reach the top, we were both catching our breath plus it was sooo cold – hence our Rudolph noses!
Take a closer look at these trees that’s covered in thousands of padlocks. These curious objects are symbols of love fastened by young couples.
N Seoul Tower, is one of Seoul’s most popular tourist spots that is often visited not just by foreigners but by locals alike. It is located on Namsan Mountain and is a communication and observation tower. Over one hundred feet taller than Seattle’s Space Needle, the N Seoul Tower tops out at 1,574 feet above sea level. N Seoul Tower’s four observation platforms have helpful window displays that indicate Seoul landmarks and world capitals.