During the dinner, Rome’s dad asked where have we been for the pass few days. We answered him by shopping, shopping and shopping. He suggested that we should visit some historical sites to get a glimpse of the past and present of Korea. So the next morning, we obediently went for a tour at Changdeokgung.
Hup Lim posing with his old school car
Changdeokgung, the Palace of Illustrious Virtue, is best known for its rear garden called Biwon (the Secret Garden). King Taejong, the third ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, built it originally as a secondary palace in 1405. Since the 15th King Gwanghaegun moved the seat of government from Gyeongbokgung (Palace) to Changdeokgung in 1615, kings ruled the country here for about 300 years. Registered on ‘UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage List’ in December, 1997, Changdeokgung contains a treasure of invaluable cultural properties from the Joseon Dynasty.
Changdeokgung is the only palace in Seoul which requires a guided tour. A Mandarin tour guide was assigned to us. The tour around the palace is not that boring afterall, the tourguide is good at cracking jokes and all the facts that he told about the royal family are interesting.
Ajasshi, Rome and Ajuma. Rome’s dad told us that blue tiles were used only for the palace in the older days, which gives an explanation for the blue tiles of the Presidential Residence of Korea (Blue House).
The korean solar clock – Angbuilgu. It means “upward looking kettle that catches the shadow of the sun”. It was first made in 1434.
Behind the palace lies the Huwon garden, exclusively for the royal family. Rome’s dad calls this ‘The Secret Garden”. He kept raving about this place over the dinner. The garden is formed in the shape of the Korean alphabet ‘?’ with a pond in the center. There is a lotus pond, pavilions, and landscaped lawns, different species of trees and flowers. The tour guide told us that there is this cherry tree that is 300 years old.
I rememberd someone told me that being half of a loving couple makes one feels amazing. They must be really blissful to have each other.
A wonderful capture of the glorious chinese maple. Its spring time now, but we feel autumn underneath the tree. The tourguide told us that two years ago there was an incident that this man fell to the lake because he was too captivated by the beauty of these chinese maple trees.
We just have to take a picture of such solemnly beatiful view.
Gosh look at the queue! We had arrived to the Korea President’s favourite lunch place that serves samgyetang. Surprisingly, lead by Rome’s dad, we can just walk in, leaving the queues behind us.
This place serve nothing but samgyetang, they gained local popularity through their special secret recipe for the dish.
The place has a typical village like atmosphere. We are actually dining at a living hall of a traditional korean house in the olden days.
My “LOVED”, the pungent savoury spicy KimChi “again”.
The dish is usually accompanied by a small complementary bottle of ginseng wine. I could not resist tasting the strong ginseng liquor.
Samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup), is basically a whole young chicken stuffed with glutinous rice
and boiled with Korean ginseng, red dates, garlic and ginger.
Koreans have an eating habit that we Malaysians could not understand. They take NaengMyeong (iced noodles) during winter and Samgyetang is served in the hottest summer. It is believed that the nutrients of the soup help to replenish our body. Talk about ‘fight fire with fire’ theory.
Coincidently, that day also marks the 57th anniversary of the Korean War that ravaged the nation. So off we go to the War Memorial Hall. There are 40000 names on the monument include the names of war dead and missing soldiers from 16 countries (Americans, British, Australians, New Zealanders, French, Canadians, South Africans, Turkish, Thais, Greeks, Dutch, Columbians, Ethiopians, Filipino, Belgians, and Luxemburgians).
Theres an outdoor exhibition area comprises of numerous military equipment like fighter jets, submarine, helicopter, long ranger bombers, etc.
My favourite picture 😛
is such a great poser. He never take those typical standing pose with a CHEESE smile or PEACE sign. In his latest post, he said something like he hopes that all the Koreans will forgive him for the sins that he committed to their statutes. May god bless you.