Changdeokgung Palace

So for our first day of Chuseok, Thursday, Me, Jenny and Shauna decided a day of proper Korean culture was in order and we headed to Chandeokgung Palace in Seoul, one of 5 major palaces from the Joseon dynasty that still survive. Changdeokgung is most famous for its beautiful gardens. It is also the only Palace in which you have no option to join a guided tour. unless that is you visit on a Thursday! We spent nearly 3 hours wandering around the grounds amazed by the tranquility, serenity and peacefulness (and over using this fabulous adjectives far to often) of the area…. outside the palace the main road was gridlocked but inside it was almost silence, the dense modern infrastructure had given way to lush green spaces, specked with incredibly beautiful buildings…. We were ‘lucky’ to also catch some traditional music and dance… and although it was possibly to appreciate the traditional singing it was somewhat painful to listen to… it could be described as some kind of ‘beautiful whailing’ thus was rather stinging to ones ears… the dance was more comfortable to watch, traditional Korean sword dancing performed by 4 women who looked like porcelain dolls… We also got to try on the traditional Korean headress’ (pics coming soon)……It also proved the point that if you listen to the random guides who sprung up at every major junction to guide us and fill us in on an indepth history in broken english then you get a better experience. We were allowed to step over the ‘do not cross’ sign and to experience a pool of sacred water!! It was a brilliant few hours and a great ‘first palace’ experience!

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