25 January 2005

Gyeongbok Palace

Gyeongbok Palace (경복궁, transliterated, Gyeongbok Gung) is one of Seoul's top tourist attractions, if you're into royal palaces and that sorta thing.

I shan't bore you with its history, simply because I know nothing of it. If you're interested, an excellent article on Gyeongbok Palace can be found here. The internet is abundant with info on this Palace as well - just google it.

Tourist related info (opening hours, transportation, tickets, etc.) can be found here. More photos and an excellent overview map of the Palace grounds and how much is NOT opened to the public can be viewed here.

Instead, I'll just share some of the photos I took from my recent trip there, circa November 2004. The gloomy winter overcast isn't particularly camera-friendly, so be forewarned. Beware dial-up users - lots of photos ahead.

(This overview map flicked from www.visitseoul.net)

The guards at the outer gates to the palace (somewhere approximating no. 1 on the map).

The main gate to the outer courtyard (no. 2 on the map). Ticketing booths are to the right - KRW1,000 per adult.

Closer shot of the above. Note the 12 animals of the lunar calendar on the roof. They're on the roof of most of the structures here.

Shot of the gate from the inside, opposite direction.

Gate to the inner courtyard (no. 4 on the map).

The main hall (no. 8 on the map). Note the stone stumps to the left and right of the walkway - I was told that that's suppose to be markers indicating who stands where - they're each inscribed with the names of the respective ministers, generals and other senior government officials.

Also note the slightly elevated path in the centre of the walkway.

Here's a side profile shot. The centre path, of highest elevation, is reserved for the King. You'll see this elevated pathway throughout the grounds of the Palace.

The main hall (no. 8 on the map).

Close-up of the main hall.

The courtyard surrounding the main hall (no. 7 on the map).

The inside of the main hall.

That's the King, looking well after all these years.

A piece of artifact from the good old days - a sundial.

A nice tree.

Small park within the palace grounds (no. 11 on the map). Busloads of tourists from Thailand on this day.

This pagoda like structure (no. 22 on the map) is quite a beauty. It's actually one of the three inter-connected buildings housing the National Folk Museum.

Hope you enjoyed the photos.

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