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Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul

We went to Gyeongbokgung  Palace on our first morning in Seoul.  Gyeongbokgung  Palace was built in 1395 and was the main royal palace for centuries.  Unfortunately it burnt down in the 1590s and then was destroyed again in the 20th century by the Japanese.  Some buildings were spared and the rest have been recently restored.

One of my favorite things about visiting this palace is that many of the visitors dress up in traditional Korean costumes known as hanboks.  It’s appropriate for even non-Koreans to wear the traditional dress to the palace, but I felt like it really wasn’t our place to do so, so we skipped it.  Seeing everyone else dressed up really made it a richer cultural experience though.

Tourists wearing traditional Korean costumes

There aren’t any buildings that you can enter, so we just strolled the grounds for an hour or two.  It really reminded me of the Forbidden City in Beijing and I found it quite cool, although the kids were a bit less impressed.

I love seeing the palace grounds with the modern city in the background

As we were leaving, a group of guards marched passed us so we followed them outside.  Once they were done with their march, people lined up for pictures.  It was a neat way to end our visit.