We left Changdeokgung and went to our next destination, Jongmyo Ancestral shrine. It was supposedly ‘near’ Changdeokgung because all our research and maps told us that it was right in front of Changdeokgung. So we walked… and walked… and I think we walked towards the wrong side of the palace. We were walking AROUND it. I was thinking the whole time that when we cross the street, we could easily enter the palace. But I think (please correct me if I’m wrong) there is only one entrance available. Boo.
The entrance fee comes with a free tour. But you have to check the schedule first. It’s better to go inside with a guide to learn about the place, than going on your own. Unfortunately we missed the last available tour for the day (by 10-15 minutes). Boo.
Lesson: take into consideration the scale of the map. OR: get a taxi, spare the walk, you’ll get plenty of that inside the palaces.
Or you can walk, and take photos of the neighboring houses around Jongmyo. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the walk. I love the walls of the palace! But I was too preoccupied looking for the entrance I didn’t get to enjoy it that much. Too few photos..
We saw a lot of ajusshi there playing chess, smoking or just sitting down, looking around. It’s a bit scary though because they look like a mob at first glance. Haha!
Jongmyo is a 5-minute walk away from Exit 11 of Jongno 3-ga station subway line 1 or Exit 8 of Jongno 3-ga station subway line 3.
Since we don’t have anything else to there (anymore), we headed to Deoksugung Palace.
We were walking towards the entrance when we saw this man carving wood at the side walk. His work looks absolutely beautiful.
We arrived at Deoksugung the exact moment of changing of the guards. It takes place three times a day (11 AM, 2 PM, 3:30 PM for about 20 minutes) in front of Daehanmun or the main gate. There were a lot of people watching outside as well. The Royal Guards Changing Ceremony is one of the things tourists look forward to in this side of the city. This experience feels like you traveled back in time and you’re seeing the actual changing of guards several decades ago.
Had to sit down (after that looooong walk) and re-think about our next destination.
Like a scene from a K-drama, waiting for oppa:
I saw this old couple walking around the area, holding hands. And I remembered my parents (not that they’re this old now). Love love ❤
If you visit the palace during fall, you can see spring cherry blossoms and yellow ginko leaves. Great place for couples to have a romantic and historical walk.
And of course:
Deoksugung is closed on Mondays. You can reach it through Exit 2 of City Hall Station on Line 1 or Exit 12 of Jongno 3-ga Station on Line 2. The Palace is a good 5 minutes walk from both exits.