Day 1.1: Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁) , Cheonggyecheon Stream (청계천) and Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁) Travel Guide
I woke up early and its freezing , its almost end of fall and the temperature is dropping really fast we tried our best to wake up early. For day 1 we decided to visit Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁), Cheonggyecheon Stream and lastly Gyeongbokgung Palace. These tourist attractions are close to each other so you can walk (a lot) or just take a short cab ride and subway.
Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁)
Located at the corner of Seoul’s busiest downtown intersection, Deoksugung Palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road. It is also the only palace that sits alongside a series of western style buildings that add to the uniqueness of the surrounding scenery. Deoksugung Palace originally belonged to Wolsandaegun (1454~1488), the older brother of King Seongjong (1469~1494) of the Joseon Dynasty. It became a proper palace when Gwanghaegun (1575~1641) ascended the throne and gave the palace the name Gyeongungung in 1611. Afterwards, the name was then changed back to its orginal title of Deoksugung.(source www.visitkorea.or.kr)
If you watch historical K-dramas you’ll love this place its well preserved even though it is surrounded with modern buildings one of the main attraction of the site is the Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony which takes occurs 3 time a day, 11:00, 14:00, 15:30 (Closed on Mondays). Outside the gate there are stalls where you can rent hanboks/traditional Korean attire. What we enjoyed the most is playing and taking photographs of the colorful leaves that fell from the trees, we don’t experience this in the Philippines because we only have 2 seasons. The leaves are colorful and vibrant and soon they will fall and snow will cover its branches.
|City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 2.|
Cheonggyecheon Stream (청계천)
Until it was restored in 2005, Cheonggyecheon Stream existed only as a neglected watercourse hidden by an overpass. Today, it has been transformed into a haven of natural beauty amidst the bustle of city life.
Cheonggyecheon Stream passes close to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, the Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace, allowing visitors to easily visit major tourist sites after a leisurely stroll along the stream. (source www.visitkorea.or.kr).
Here’s the a lot of walk part, the stream stretches for about 3 km, take your time walking and enjoy it. I remembered the documentary I watched on how they build or rebuild this place, this was full of concrete and it was a major highway but they were able to revive this body of water, there are also ancient bridges that they have discovered and restored. I support GREEN development :). The light during the evening also makes this place look extra special.
Line 1: City Hall, Jonggak, Jongno 3-ga, Jongno 5-ga, Dongdaemun, Sinseol-dong
Line 2: City Hall, Euljiro 1-ga, Euljiro 3-ga, Euljiro 4-ga, Sindang, Sangwangsimni
Line 3: Jongno 3-ga
Line 4: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park
Line 5: Gwanghwamun
Gyeongbokgung Palace (경복궁)
Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace is also commonly referred to as the “Northern Palace” because it is the furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeongheegung (Western Palace). Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the most beautiful and remains the grandest of all five palaces. (source www.visitkorea.or.kr)
This palace is really amazing the compound is huge and well preserved. You can just imagine how the royals lived.It was getting late but we still have time so we decided to check Seoul Tower.
|Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5.OR,
Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2.
After visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace we took the subway to N Seoul Tower (N 서울타워) (Myeong-dong Station ).