Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Changdeokgung in Seoul, South Korea

From Changgyeonggung, I walked to the adjacent palace, Changdeokgung. After paying the KRW2,000 admission fee, I inquired about the Huwon (Secret Garden) tour. Before coming to South Korea, I had read about Huwon inside Changdeokgung, which can only be entered through the palace's organized tour. I was curious about it and since it's only KRW5,000, I went for it.

I was in Changdeokgung at 10am and the Huwon tour wasn't starting until 10:30am so I went around the palace grounds first.

Well... actually, I bought postcards at the souvenir shops first before going around, lol.

I found that Changdeokgung didn't gather my interest very much because I had been to Changgyeonggung already. In the end, all palaces would look the same to me since I do not know much about them. At 10:30am, I proceeded to the Huwon entrance, which is located near the gate adjoining Changgyeonggung and Changdeokgung (also the gate from where I entered).

As the tour guide introduced himself and gave a briefing, I overheard a lady telling her friend, "I can't remember the last time I went on an organized tour". What she said got me thinking about when was the last time I went on an organized tour too haha. It's probably in 2009, when my family went to Macau for a day trip from Hong Kong.

I did enjoy this organized tour. It was informative although it would seem a bit rushed (as all organized tours are) if you want to take a lot of photos. 

Some people, however, preferred to be left behind to take photos. That's quite alright except I wanted to listen to the tour guide. Also, I didn't want to get lost haha. It's a really big place and the only people inside are the ones doing the tour!

It was also tiring because Huwon is very big and there are a lot of slopes (typical Seoul)! The tour guide even said that he has lost a lot of weight after he took the job lol.

The tour lasted 1.5 hours and while I could have explored Changdeokgung more, I was really hungry and besides, I have had my fill of palaces already. I took the other exit (Donhwamun), turned right and walked straight until I reached Anguk Station. Outside the station, I found a small restaurant where I had a bibimbap for KRW5,000. Great way to finish a tiring morning!

Seriously, I cannot emphasize how much I love Korean food. I love balanced meals (one with meat, vegetables, and starch) and Korean food is exactly that. I love kimchi. I love spicy food. Darn it, now I'm hungry.

1 comment: