Sunday, March 4, 2012

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Thursday was a national holiday so the co-workers invited me to show me around Seoul in a kind of tourist way. Bundang, where we live, is very new and Western so it's almost as if living in any American city. Very easy to get around and convenient amenities. They had decided to show me a palace within the city as well as some more traditional areas. The palace was from the very last royal family in Korea which was the Joseon Dynasty.
 This is the main palace area. You first walk into a huge courtyard and then make your way here.
 Every building was painted in very bright vivid colors. I'm assuming it was redone but I'm not quite sure when or why.
 The king's throne.
 I believe this was inside the queen's and princess' house. Nice living space.
 I really liked the roofs and how everything was decorated. I visited one other palace and it was pretty much identical. Someone told me that once you see one you've kind of seen them all. But they're all still unique in their own ways.
 This passage way door was tiny! I could walk through it just fine but the guys had to duck down quite a bit.
 We weren't quite sure what this building's purpose was but we figured it must have been important since we couldn't even go inside.
 A little pagoda and boat on the same water.
 I love this picture. This is what I imagined when I thought about going to South Korea.
 A shrine in the same complex. The area spanned quite a distance. Mainly consisted of the buildings and lots of garden areas.
 This building was turned into a history museum which we walked around.

The neighborhood around the palace is called Insadong which has been kept to look more traditional than other parts of Seoul. Lots of street vendors, pottery shops, calligraphy stores, lots and lots of cafes. It's a really cute place to walk around.
Starbucks are everywhere here (surprise surprise) but this one is the only one which is written out in the Korean letters so as to stay with the traditional theme.

After walking around we got some food at a Korean BBQ place back in Bundang and it was the cutest little restaurant ever. I wish I could have taken some pictures but I thought it might be a little rude. They have these round tables everywhere with holes to put hot coals inside of. They then place a grate over the coals so you can cook your meat on it. And they have vents coming down from the ceiling to the middle of the table to get rid of most of the smoke. It was so good. I would highly recommend going.

I also tried Soju for the first time which is a Korean rice or corn alcohol. It's about as strong as wine and doesn't have a whole lot of flavor, but it's dirt cheap so a lot of people drink it. I didn't have much though as I'm still on antibiotics.

No comments:

Post a Comment