Some people probably don't know about this but as what I could fervently recall from my sophomore history class, South Korea is actually nicknamed as "The Land of the Morning Calm". Most likely because of its compelling picturesque landscapes, waterways and tranquility, especially in the morning.
Moving on, the second leg of my transit tour is a 5-hour Seoul City Tour. The highlight of which is the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Jongno-gu district (경복궁-종로구); located at the heart of Seoul (서울) more or less an hour travel from the airport.
Tag along and walk with me inside Korea's national treasures (literally, two structures are Korean National Treasures).
Built in the 14th century during the Joseon dynasty, Gyeongbokgung is the largest-serving royal palace in Korea. At the height of the Korean-Japanese war, the official residence of the royal family was destroyed but was later restored in the 19th century to its present state.
Intricately arranged traditional Korean drums in the outer courtyard are used for royal court music or during the changing of royal guards ceremony.
Geunjeongjeon (근정전) or the Royal Throne Hall. This is where the king formally meets audiences and greets foreign envoys (or in my case, tourists like me). ☺️
The Joseon equivalent of the Iron Throne.
Young ladies wearing traditional hanboks, the customary Korean dress.
Gyeonghoeru (경회루) or the Royal Banquet Hall where important and special state feasts are held.
Tip: Admission fee is waived for local and international visitors renting a traditional hanbok and wearing them inside palace grounds. It could also add uniqueness to your Seoul experience. Here are nearby stores where these are available for rent.
If you're wondering why I wasn't dressed in one, I really really really wanted to. But due to time-constraint and a very tight itinerary, I was advised otherwise.
Gait self-analysis: left heel off, right heel strike 😅
The National Folk Museum of Korea (국립민속박물관) which houses nearly 100,000 artifacts from three different exhibition halls: History of Korean People, Korean Way of Life and Life Cycle of the Koreans.
There really aren't much grasses nor trees at the Inner Court. Wonder why? Sands are placed instead so they would hear footsteps if someone is approaching. After all, this is where the King and Queen's quarters are located (separately, just so you know).
Intentionally chased birds just so they'd fly while taking these shots. How's that sound? #doitforthegram 😅
Photo credits to Momshie Pam Baluyo for the outfit shots.