Seoul Itinerary Day 4: Changdeokgung Palace & Huwon Tour


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Changdeokgung Palace is set within a large park in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. If you are planning to include palace visit into your Korea itinerary, Changdeokgung Palace comes second after Gyeongbukgung as it is a smaller palace.
We chose Changdeokgung Palace for our second palace visit because it was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. It is also a 600-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site.
spring blossom

Injeongjeon, Main Hall
These are the position markers so officials knew where to stand in the courtyard.





Behind the palace lies the 78-acre Huwon (secret garden) which was originally constructed for the use of the royal family and palace women. The garden incorporates a lotus pond, pavilions, and landscaped lawns, trees, and flowers. There are over 26,000 specimens of a hundred different species of trees in the garden and some of the trees behind the palace are over 300 years old.



The most beautiful time to see the garden is during the fall when the autumn foliage is at its peak and the leaves have just started to fall. However, we were there on bad timing. Spring flowers have not blossomed as Korea experienced an extended winter last year.
Our Chinese tour guide was humorous and knowledgable. English tour is also available at 1130 am and 230pm daily.
We were there during April 2012 while Buyongjeong pavilion in the garden is undergoing a year long restoration project. By September 2012, the restoration project has been completed.

Guess what? These are steps used by the king to ride on a horse back.
In general, we felt disappointed towards the view we saw in the Secret Garden. I guess it depends very much on the weather and the season. It is best to come here during autumn and winter for the best scenery.

Changdeokgung Palace
Admission Fee:
Regular Tour (Changdeokgung Palace)-Adults 3,000 won/Children 1,500 won
Huwon Tour (Secret Garden area)
-Adults 5,000 won/Children 2,500 won
Interpretation Services-Changdeokgung Palace:
Korean: 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30
English: 10:30, 14:30/Japanese: 12:30/Chinese: 16:00

Interpretation Services-Huwon:
Korean: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 15:30, 16:00, 16:30
English: 11:30, 14:30/Japanese: 10:30, 13:30/Chinese: 12:30

Getting Here:

Anguk Station (Subway Line 3), Exit 3. Go straight for 5min.
Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5), Exit 7. Go straight along Donhwamun-ro Street for 10min.

Next Up: Seoul Itinerary Day 4: Lunch @ Myeongdong Gyoza

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  1. [...] Up: Seoul Itinerary Day 4: Changdeokgung + Huwon Tour Filed Under: Seoul, South Korea, [...]

  2. [...] Previous: Seoul Itinerary Day 4: Changdeokgung Palace & Huwon Tour When in Myeongdong, one should not miss Myeongdong Gyoja (명동교자), a noodle restaurant that has been in business for about 40 years. The restaurant is known for their knife-cut, handmade kalguksu noodles, which is its main menu item. It is served in a deep and flavorful broth with meat and vegetables. When I was here 5 years ago, me and my friends have to queue and wait for 30 minutes before we got seated. Fortunately for us, it was a rainy day when we dined in last year and the restaurant was quite empty. There are only 4 dishes in Myeongdong Gyoza’s menu –  mandu (dumplings), bibim guksu (noodles with vegetables and red hot pepper paste), kalguksu (wheat flour noodles in a hot broth) and kongguksu (noodles in cold soy milk broth). Kong Guksu is served in a chilled sesame and soya bean soup with shredded cucumber. It was an acquired taste as I love to have my soya bean drink with sugar. Mandu its actually dumpling stuffed with pork, mushrooms, stir-fried zucchini, and mungbean sprouts. The dumplings were huge and meaty, filled with sweet and juicy minced pork. The dumpling goes really well with these ginger and scallion dipping sauce. Bibim Guksu is served cold and it is a favourite dish for hot humid summer. The buck wheat noodles were tossed well in a spicy, sweet sour sauce and aromatic sesame oil. It was so delicious and appetizing! Kalguksu tastes something like our Chinese soupy noodles. The thinly sliced noodles were served in a flavourful pork broth along side with some dumplings and shredded vegetables. Myeongdong Gyoza is a no frills restaurant. You sit down, tick your order (there’s only 4 items in the menu anyway), pass it to the wait staff, and dig in when your food arrives. Cutleries can be found at the drawer beneath the table. The wait staff served us some mint candies after meals to help with digestion as well as to help freshen the breath. [...]

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