I knew that I wanted to move to this part of the world as I hadn’t really explored it all that much before, and when I say ‘all that much’ - I mean NEVER! So I used Google to see what the different countries and cultures looked like, and if there was anything that would make me want to upsticks and move there immediately. I would spend hours and hours Google imaging just about everything. Cities, streets, beaches, food, people...some might say i'm a visual learner, who knows. It was only when I had been googling for a about a week or two that I stumbled across the wonderful country of, South Korea. And this was the first picture I saw that made me seriously consider moving here, an option...
This is a picture of the beautiful Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, and it can be found within the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. As this is approximately 40 minutes away from where I live now, I was super excited to finally get the chance to go and visit it. The Palace was originally the main home for the Royals in the Joseon dynasty. It was built in 1395 and is the largest of all five palaces built at this time in the area. It served as a place of residence for the many Kings and also the government, but unfortunately over the years it has been severely compromised by various fires and at one point, by Imperial Japan.
Since then however, it has gradually been restored to its former glory and is now one of the most visited places in Seoul. So as you can imagine I couldn't wait to see not only the palace itself, but also the place that I had been dreaming of ever since I decided to move here; Hyangwonjeong Pavilion. So off we went on the subway to Gyeongbokgung Station, which is on Line 3. As soon as you alight from the station you’re literally right in the middle of it all, so there is no need to worry about finding it - its simply just too big to miss! The tickets were 3,000 won each which is about...wait for it...£1.50! Wow! Tourism in Korea is extremely cheap, compared to London anyway.
Gyeonghoeru (Royal Banquet Hall)
Outside wall...main entrance!
Another attraction that is worth a visit whilst in the area, are the two massive statues on the main road leading up to the palace itself. One of them is of Admiral Yi Sun-sin who was a Korean Navel Commander noted for his many battles including the ones against the invading Japanese. He is still seen as a hero by many Koreans today. The other is that of the great King Sejong, who was instrumental in the creation of 'Hangul' - the Korean alphabet.
Admiral Yi Sun-sin
Both of these statues are pretty impressive and definitely worth checking out. So, if you’re ever in Seoul (why wouldn't you be) then pop along to see some of these amazing sites. I’m telling you now, you wont regret it.