Since the weekend before last was so nice, I made sure to use it to my advantage. I ventured to the Northern Palace, otherwise known as Gyeongbokgung Palace, and also visited the Bukchon Hanok Village. This way, I could spend my day outside, get some sun and do something that didn’t require spending a lot of money. The weather was perfect! It was warm and sunny, which made walking around enjoyable.
I got to the palace at around 1:30 pm. Admission was 3000 won, which was cheap and included admission to the National Palace Museum and National Folk Museum, both located within the Gyeongbokgung itself. There was also another ticket that could be purchased for 10,000 won which included access to all four palaces.
I happened to be just in time to watch the re-enactment of the Guard On Duty Performance at 2 pm outside of the front gate. I was unaware this took place so it was a nice treat. I did some research and learned that this ceremony dates back to 1469, when the royal guard of Joseon Dynasty performed the task of guarding the entrance of the Gyeongbokung Palace. This was where the king ruled the country. Today, it’s re-enactment which takes place three times a day continues to draw in tourists. The guard’s costumes are bright, as they are wearing royal uniforms and they also carry traditional weapons and instruments. Once the ceremony was complete, I made my way into the palace grounds. The palace grounds are quite large and it is easy to get lost. However, there are signs that point you in the direction of each of the museums, as well as other areas. I’m not sure what exactly this area called was but the scenery was beautiful and awesome for pictures! The National Folk Museum displayed historical artifacts that Koreans currently and previously used in their daily lives. I did also visit the National Palace Museum; however, I didn’t take any pictures.
My next stop was the Bukchon Hanok Village located nearby. This village contains traditional hanok style housing with tiled rooftops. Visitors are able to experience Korean style living by staying at the guesthouses in the vicinity. These hanok stays are popular, as tourists can stay overnight in a quiet, traditional setting. I really enjoyed exploring the narrow streets and all of the cute little stores selling trinkets and other souvenirs. On the main strip there was also a TON of restaurants and cafes. Not only do they cater to those who love Korean cuisine, but they also had quite a few Western style restaurants serving pizza, pasta and Japanese food! I also happened to stumble upon a historic site! By the time I finished up at the village, I was exhausted from all of the walking so I made my way home.
This past weekend, I went on a hunt for some Korean street food. I was successful. I ate my heart out in the Ewha Women’s University area, shopped, got a manicure and pedicure and finally returned home late that evening. I’ll leave you with some pictures of all the food that entered my belly!