We already visited some palaces on our 1st trip to Korea (last April 2014), but since there are some area in the Palace that we skip last time. so we decided to visit two palace today….
The first palace we visited was the CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE in which Secret Garden is located. Secret Garden or was called Huwon is located at the back of Changdeokgung main courtyard. Secret Garden is mostly the top reason why most visitors visit Changdeokgung.
We arrived at Changdeokgung Palace around 9am, since we don’t have much time for us to wait for the English language guided tour which was scheduled around 11:00 am so we decided to join the Korean Language tour. Yes! we don’t understand a thing, all we can do is follow them and took pictures 🙂
a pose before entering….
Ongnyucheon – it is a running stream surrounded by pavilions & a rounded water channel called Soyoam, because of its secluded location this is the most favorite spot of all kings.
Overall Changdeokgung is a beautiful place to visit especially if you love nature… if you are tired from all the bustle in the city , this place is a good place to stop by. 🙂
Let’s go to our next stop….
The next palace we visited was Gyeongbokgung Palace…. we all know that it’s one of the most famous Palaces in Seoul.
we visited Gyeongbokgung Palace already on our first trip in Korea last April 2014 but same with Chandeokgung there are some area that we missed so we decided to come back. Since we bought the Integrated Ticket at Chandeokgung so no need for us to purchase another one. Just as we arrived at the palace, the changing of guard ceremony kicked off! If you missed it, don’t worry there will be changing of guard every hour.
Before entering the palace I met my friend young. Yes he is Korean and we never met in person this gonna be our first time to see each other. 🙂 good thing to have friends from other country. Glad to know this good friend of mine… Thanks Young for spending your off day with us. Hope to see this friend again… 😉
Anyways, after entering the palace we immediately search where’s Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, but instead we pass by Gyeonghoeru, a large raised pavilion resting on 48 stone pillars and overlooking an artificial lake with two small islands, which is almost as grand a scene. State banquets were held inside.
after the picture-taking in Gyeonghoeru we immediately search were’s Hyangwonjeong Pavilion it is stated that it is located at the North side of the palace. Finally we found it… 😛 this hexagonal pavilion was constructed by the order of King Gojong. This place is King’s favorite place for resting and leisure.
Our next stop will be Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower.
Getting to the top of Namsan can be done in two ways: you can ride the cable car or just walk, since we already tried going to Namsan last April 2014 by cable car so we decided to go by walking. YES! you read it right! from myeongdong up to Namsan N Seoul Tower by walking!
NAMSAN is known for its beautiful walking trails, so, we began walking and following the trail in an effort to find the Seoul Tower. Yes! i should say it is indeed easier to say than done. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s not a terribly steep or hard hike, and that hiking is certainly a good way of staying active. While walking I’m still contemplating if I will really do this up to reaching the top or just decide to take the cable car, but since my friends Young and Jo are still so energetic to do the walking so I don’t have any choice but to continue. On the road you can notice that there are different hikers you will encounter … old, young, there are people wearing suits, couples with babies, people wearing hiking clothes, and really to my surprise there are some doing the trail wearing heels????!! can you imagine that???? it’s an almost 2 hours walk for Gods sake… waaaaahhhh…. DAEBAK!
the picture below will show you how far it is.
imagine how far did we walk!
Me wearing rubber / hiking shoes and I’m thinking of giving up, in which we are still not reaching the half!?? So, with that, it helps gained me a little strength to continue 😛 though my friends help a lot :)… There were stops along the way anyways, so I can just stop and rest. There are rest areas, bathrooms and so on. A few lookout points were you can have a glimpse of Seoul at day time.
Yes finally, we reached at N Seoul !
N Tower at night
we took a little rest and then decided to buy tickets to go to the Observatory Deck located at the top of the tower. Before that! we bought ice cream, I thought I cannot finish the whole scoop since it was really cold if I’m not mistaken it was like 3 deg that time>>>??? yes it was too cold, but I ate it all 😀 After we search the way to the elevator, we gave our tickets and lined up for the elevator ride. I was not really sure how high the floor was, but I’d guess it’s about 15-20 floors up. The observation floor has 48 windows, most with a major world city and a 360 degree view of Seoul. So, we took a picture in the window in which there is UAE on it (since it’s the place where we are working :-)).
You can see how incredibly large the city is up there, and it’s a wonderful sight. There are binoculars installed which you need to pay 500 won. We decided to stay a little long and wait ’till the sunsets and so we can witness Seoul at night. while waiting we are saying that hopefully it will snow haha… so Young check the weather if it will snow but unfortunately it won’t. We discovered that the day before around 3 am it was snowing, sad to say we are asleep that time 😦 Anyways, we stayed there for almost 2 hours….
taken from the top
This is Seoul during day time!
it looks like it will rain….
This is the busy city of Seoul at nearly Night!
Seoul at night!
So that ends our Namsan Park and N Seoul tower tour, but I was still thinking and honestly don’t know how did I survive but indeed I survived hahaha
Anyhow, seeing the panoramic view of Seoul was all worth it.
In going home, we decided to take the bus ‘coz for sure I will not walk back to the subway station… but my friend Young was still energetic to do the walking hehehe but for sure he will not let us walk again 😛 Young drop us in our hotel and we bid our goodbyes..