written by gkim
I finally went to GyeongBokGung Palace today. Being the daughter of a Korean nationalist, politician, and writer and the granddaughter of a famous Korean essayist, you would think I would’ve been to the palace ever since it’s been restored. I suppose I have my busy schedule to blame. Of course, I had to choose the hottest, most humid, and wettest day to tour the place! It was scorching. I felt so bad for the English tour guide in her hanbok. She must have been sweating up a storm under those layers and gloves.
She explained just about every detail I was curious about in GyeongBokGung , which is located in the northern part of Seoul in South Korea. The name means “Palace” (Gung) “Greatly Blessed by Heaven” (Gyeongbok). It was initially constructed in 1395 and later burned down. Three centuries later, it was reconstructed by the Joseon Dynasty. Then it was destroyed by Imperial Japan in the 20th century. Building and rebuilding, building and rebuilding…hardly anything in original form….welcome to Korea.
These pictures aren’t so great, but hopefully, the beauty of the scenery will make up for the quality of the photography.
These poor men…they were probably even hotter than the tour guide. They had to perform marches and actually entertain the tourists every few minutes.
Then at the end of the tour, we were free to wander into the National Folk Museum of Korea. Sadly, I was dying of thirst and close to having a heat stroke, so I couldn’t enjoy anything in the museum except for the air conditioning. I’m determined to go back for a museum tour during autumn.
It was a pretty cool experience. But–lesson learned! Don’t ever go on an outdoor tour in Korea during monsoon season.