안녕하세요: Changdeokgung Palace & Huwon

18:20:00

For some reason, I love Korean palaces. Or rather, all the places that provides a glimpse of what Korea was like way before modernization, including the Goguryeo Blacksmith Town 고구려 대장간마을 which I visited on the same day after my tour around Changdeokgung and Huwon 창덕궁과 후원 was completed. Will blog about it as soon as I manage to squeeze some time out!



Anyways, Changdeokgung Palance was constructed back in 1405 as a secondary palace in the Joseon Dynasty, and served as the main palace for about 270 years when it was rebuilt in 1610. It was said that Changdeokgung Palace was loved more than any others by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty because of the spacious and beautiful rear garden, previously known as Bukwon, Geumwon and then Biwon, but Huwon (literally rear garden) or Secret Garden to us now. Admission to the palace itself costs ₩3,000, to Huwon (inclusive of tour) is a top up of ₩5,000 though you might be interested to know that entrance to the palace is free for visitors in hanbok. So go rent your traditional costume at Insadong before heading over for a unique experience at the same time!



To get there via the Subway, you can alight at Jongno-3(sam)-ga Station on Subway line 1, 3 or 5, take Exit #6 and walk straight for about 10 minutes, or at Anguk Station on Subway line 3, take Exit #3 and walk straight for about 5 minutes. You probably won't need to worry about getting lost since the palace is so huge and you can't possibly miss the entrance. At most you might just end up at the palace next door, Changgyeonggung Palace, which also has an inner gate that links you back to Changdeokdung Palace, just that you need to fork out the entrance fee for the former. But you get to visit two palaces at one shot! And the greenhouse in Changgyeonggung Palace looks ravishing too.


Kyujanggak, the royal library of the Joseon Dynasty


The King's residence, Huijeongdang Hall


Nakseonjae Hall, originally belonging to Changgyeonggung Palace


I forgot what the top tile meant but according to the guide, the spider-looking tile is supposed to bless the royal family with many progenies.

By the way, because there are specific timings for the Huwon tours in English, Chinese, Korean or Japanese, and that there can only be a maximum of 100 participants for each tour, you may want to consider making a reservation beforehand over here. Well, I did make one for the English session but I overslept so I joined the Chinese one instead lol. It wasn't too bad though except for a few spoilsports. The guide did a good job in explaining various details in a humorous way, and was very generous to give us free postcards out of his own pocket as souvenirs ^.^



Time to enter the Secret Garden!
(Be prepared for lots of walking if you are intending to visit the place)


There is supposed to be a poem inscribed on the rock. Can you see it?



It was a pity I didn't think of visiting the palace earlier during fall when the autumn foliage is at its peak. I could imagine how the entire palace and garden will be at its best, most beautiful and majestic at that time. Then again, I thought winter where there is this sad, desolate atmosphere ain't that bad either *plays The Moon That Embraces The Sun OST*. Or maybe I am thinking too much lolol. In any case, Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon are still beautiful to me even in the stark winter when the trees are bare and ponds frozen.

Must visit Korea again during Spring some time,
Yvette

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