Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace is the most well-preserved of the five existing royal Joseon palaces. It was recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site by the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Committee in December, 1997. The palace has a public area, royal family residence building and a garden.

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I just walked from Bukchon Hanok village to the palace, it wasn’t that far. At least, not for me. When I reached the gate, I bought two tickets – one for entrance (3000 won) and one for the Secret Garden tour (5000 won).

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They have schedules set for tours in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese languages. I arrived past 2PM so, I took the 2:30PM English tour. The tour lasted for one hour.

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What I did not expect was the weather. I was thinking that winter was almost over and should be sunny already but the opposite happened. It was a bit of misfortune because my clothes were not as suitable as it should for the winter season. So, I had to wear a thick shirt, a sweater and a jacket, every time.

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The inside of the palace is vast and beautiful. It’s a long walk before reaching the Secret Garden. The structures of the buildings reflect the Korean traditional houses. A Hanok is a traditional Korean house.

The Secret Garden has a small pond, a pavilion and trees believed to be over 300 years old.

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It is the resting place for the royal family and was once called a Forbidden Garden. It was so private that only the members of the royal family can enter.

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They preferred to keep the garden as natural as possible and only touch it when it’s really necessary.

 

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