Sara and I decided on a lazy Sunday after climbing to go check out one of the many palaces found around Seoul. Changdeokgung Palace was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1997. The palace was built in 1405, set fire to and destroyed in 1592 during a Japanese invasion and then rebuilt once again in 1611. We did not get to check out the garden where the royal family is buried but the palace grounds were awesome. The entrance fee was 3000KRW (less than 3$ Canadian).
The palace is huge! We had no idea what to expect so coming up to the front gates was a surprise. I always find it quite odd being in the middle of the huge city Seoul and stepping back into time by just taking a different subway exit and a short walk. A lot of the infrastructure has been beautifully restored and some areas are still under restoration.
The architecture is unique, and everything is overbuilt. The palaces are decorated from floor to ceiling and hand painted. Granite was the exclusive tiling everywhere throughout the palace. This palace is fit for a king or queen, everything is over the top and extravagant.
As we walked through every nook of the palace that we could get to we heard some music… Time for a mini adventure, turns out that once a year they open up the hospital wing of the palace for tourists and offer free traditional Korean medicine. Why not we said and waited for our diagnosis.
We got a diagnosis for the neck and wrist pain from sitting around the computer at work all day. Sara really wanted acupuncture but our doctor turned to me and stared poking me with the acupuncture needles. I did a few sets of face wiggles, and fist clenches and she told me to leave them in for 5-10 minutes. So I did, and my face felt a warm numbing feeling after they were removed. Quite relaxing!
We finished off the day without checking out the garden but plan on heading back to see it. We also checked out another temple nearby which we happened to see while walking back through the city.