Last Sunday was my cultural day, I followed the advice of many websites that said Gyeong Bok Gung is the Palace to go to. It did not dissapoint. It was an absolutely beautiful palace. Although I have to say was quite different to what I was expecting. I haven’t seen a lot of palaces really, but of those I have seen (mainly in Europe) where it does get cold, there is very little outdoor areas, there would be maybe one or two plaza type places and the rest was indoors. I found that strange in Spain, where it was so warm for so much of the year.
You can probably see where I am going with this, but the majority of this palace was outside, even what was inside was barely inside. There were no corridors, if you wanted to change rooms, you needed to go outside. If the King wanted to visit his concubines, he had a good 1km walk ahead of him. Although I am not sure how that worked – surely the concubines would go to him? Not sure, the guidebook didn’t really cover that and the Korean, Japanese and Chinese tours weren’t really going to enlighten me.
This beautiful room was set out over a lake, the lake had the biggest koi fish I have ever seen in it but the green water here meant they didnt photograph well. I found a better lake with the same size fish later on.
It was actually really muddy everywhere, due to the snow last weekend. If you missed it, it snowed in Seoul last week and I went on a bit of a hike!
Bet you were excited about the fish picture weren’t you? Well, they were in this pond/lake thing you can see above.
I then wandered from the palace down to Insadong and wandered the streets there, I grabbed some dinner and a delicious deep fried donut thing, I have no idea what this was, but there was some type of sugary caramel syrup inside that made me want to build a big Korean donut and move into it, it was the most delicious sweet I have had ever. ever. I dont even know what it was called. I am heartbroken. I am clearly going to have to go back.
From Insadong, I then wandered down to the man made stream, which you can read all about on Wikipedia but the short version is it was an old stream that used to be here was concreted over in the 70s and they spend 300 million converting it back to a stream which opened in 2005.