Wednesday, 9 May 2012

BackPack to Korea! Part 3 - Gyeongbukgung & Korea Folk Museum

Posted by Carrie Ang
Gyeongbukgung / also known as Gyeongbuk Palace [English translate as "Palace of Shinning Happiness"]
It's located in the Northern part of Seoul & is one of the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty.

How to get to Gyeongbukgung?

1. From Exit No. 5 of Gyeongbokgung Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No.3), walk 5 minutes.
2. From Exit No. 2 of Ganghwamun Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No.5), walk 5 minutes.

Operating Hours:
March ~ October 09:00-18:00
November ~ February 09:00-17:00
English Guided Tour: 11:00, 13:30, 15:30
Closed every Tuesday

Admission fee: 3,000 won (Adult)
Inside it's link to the National Palace Museum & also the National Folk Museum.

You can get an integrated tickets for all 4 palaces (Changdeokgung Palaces (including Huwon, Secret Garden), Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine too if you feel like visiting all at once. Integrated ticket cost 10,000 won

Source: KTO
Official Website: http://www.royalpalace.go.kr/html/eng/main/main.jsp

Before entering the palace, we did some amateur photo-shooting of ourselves in the front of the palace! =)

King Sejong
When we reach at the palace gates, we were stunned & amazed by the palace guards. Their costumes was so colourful! Imagine how it would feel like a few decades ago right~hehe.. We even got to see the changing of the palace guards ceremony. How sweet! This ceremony is a reenactment of the actual “Changing of the Royal Guards” ceremony ages ago.
Look at how silly I look beside them =P Guess whom I'm afraid of most....yup it's the one with the light blue clothing..his eyes gaze are so intimidating. I'm standing so far away~~ haha...
After entering the gates, I feel like I were in another time space as if I'm transported right then back to the ancient time! =) The building structure were amazing, scenery was splendid as well. Well, as an avid fan of the popular Korean variety show "2 days 1 night", I can't help myself but to find for the strange & funny things that was introduced thru the show. Bet, most viewers & visitors are not aware of it as well. Lets me show it to you.
Secrets behind Gyeongbukgung: 

1. There's a few dragon like creatures protecting the palace, but only 1 of it is having it's tongue sticking out as if it were teasing you. - The sculptures then thought it would be funny having these elements in the palace without provoking the royal family.
2. There's the 12-sign zodiac animals surrounding the palace. - Follow the cycle of the zodiac animals and find yours. I found mine that's for sure.. *wink*

3. Notice the tiles/bricks on the ground. It's not simply added in, but a meticulous calculation were done so that no rain water will be stuck on the palace ground during raining season. - It will flow out to the gates.

4. Notice the middle path? Yup that's only for royalties to walk upon. Sides are for peasants. - But nowadays if you wish to become one of the royals, try walking only on the middle. =)
5. See those tiles like pieces on the ground? That's the position of the generals would be standing according to their ranking. - My lucky # 7, that's why I took a pic of it. Normally ppl would be chasing after the One right?? hehe..
Pics credits to Stephen Bay

Ever notice that there are no chimney on any of the buildings within the palace grounds?? That's because it was beautifully captured as part of their decorative buildings.
6. On your right would be the chimney to their main halls. 
7. The empress would have it differently , top right is seen Jagyeongjeon Chimney with ten longevity symbols. Bottom right: The Jagyeongjeon wall is decorated with floral designs. (Because she a lady that's why..^^)

Top: Gyeonghoeru Pavilion overlooks a large pond at Gyeongbok Palace
Bottom: The grounds of Gyeongbukgung where the royals have their stroll
I was so happy to have the chance to see the emperor walking thru that time. Not that it was the actual one, but still~~hehe...
Half a day was definitely not enough for you to enjoy the scenery there, not to mention cover the whole Gyeongbukgung. Overall it was fun learning about their history & culture background.
After the stroll at the park, it landed us at the Korean National Folk Museum within the palace ground. Again, I can't help it but to take a pic with it when I saw my "rabbit-general" =P
Inside the museum, you would have learnt alot from 3 main halls featuring the major collections thru their artifacts: History of Korean People features materials of everyday life in Korea from prehistoric times to the end of the Joseon Dynasty in 1910; Korean Way of Life, which illustrates Korean villagers in ancient times; and Life Cycle of the Koreans, which depicts the deep roots of Confucianism in Korean culture and how this ideology gave rise to most of the culture's customs.

That's what those little Koreans kids would be wearing. Aren't the socks cute >.<!
All these shows the actual rituals during their wedding, your parents 60th Birthday, & their pharmacist drying herbs.
PIC 3 
Process of making KIMCHI! =)
From harvesting of cabbage to persevering it, it's all so fascinating. Look at all the Kimchi they have here.. 

PIC 4, 5, 6
Miscellaneous artefacts from their currency, literature, home appliances & everyday wardrobe like shoes and hats. 

Before I sign out, here's a passage that captures my heart during my tour at the museum =)


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