Seoul Day 7: Secret Garden Tour

Ben and I joined a guided tour to the Secret Garden of Changdeokgung. The entrance to Changdeokgung plus the Secret Garden guided tour came to KRW16,000 (about CAD16) per person.

Start of Secret Garden Tour
Start of Secret Garden Tour

The Secret Garden is the recreational area and retreat of the royal family.


This is the heart of the Secret Garden.  The rectangular pond is known as Buyongji. Juhamnu Pavilion which stands on the high ground commands a fine view of the pond.

Lotus shape pavillion
Lotus shape pavillion

Buyongjeong Pavilion in the shape of a lotus flower is designated as a treasure in 2012 (Treasure no. 1763). (more…)

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Seoul Day 7: Changdeokgung Palace

Our itinerary for day 7 is to visit Changdeokgung Palace. Changdeokgung was built as a secondary palace of the Joseon Dynasty. It was left in ruins after the Japanese invasion during 1592-1598. It was rebuilt in 1610 and served as the main palace for 270 years.

Cinnamon Sugar Pancake

On the way to the palace, we grabbed some street snacks. The above was Cinnamon Sugar Pancake.

Traditional Cake

A traditional cake that was sold in stalls in the subway station.


The Main Gate of Changdeokgung, Donhwamun. The raised stone terrace gives the gate an imposing dignity. (more…)

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Seoul Day 6: The Palace Garden

A beautiful garden is located at the rear of Gyeongbokgung Palace.


It was very refreshing walking in the garden after the rain.


A Japanese style pagoda.


In the rear garden of the concubines’ quarters is a square pond named Hyangwonji. In the center of the pond lies an islet. A pavilion Named Hwangwongjeong stands on this islet. (more…)

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Seoul Day 6: National Palace Museum of Korea

The National Palace Museum has a splendid historical artifacts of Joseon dynasty. There are about 900 relics and artifacts in this museum. Here are a few of the displays.


The throne chair; does not look comfortable.


Royal robe for the king which is decorated with dragons.


Royal robe for the queen which is decorated with phoenixes.


Pendants hung on a coat or a skirt. (more…)

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Seoul Day 5: Panmunjeom Tour

After lunch, we continued our journey to Panmunjeon. Panmunjeon lies 50km north of Seoul along the Tongilro. It is the place where the Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27th, 1953.

Foreigners who possess passports and those who are over 10 years old may enter. For natives, only group tours (30-43 people) are permitted to those who are authorized after personal identification clearance.

We switched bus to a blue UN bus at the Camp Bonifas which is the base camp for the UN Command Security Force. A guard travel with us to the JSA. We were not allowed to bring anything except the camera in hand (no case allowed). All personal belongings must be in your pocket; no bag allowed.

We were advised to walk in twos in a row and no finger pointing at the North Korea direction. This is a serious tour.


Panmumjeon is the common name but the official name of the negotiating site is the Joint Security Area (JSA).


The JSA is the only portion of the DMZ where North and South Korean forces stand face-to-face. (more…)

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