Thursday, October 20, 2016

Back to Seoul

Day 23.  Oct 3

As we left Busan very early for Seoul this morning, we skipped breakfast at the hotel and had a snack on the road.  

It was a four hour drive with no rain to speak of ; this was lucky because there were heavy rains in Seoul which had abated by the time we arrived.  First we went to the Bukchon Hanok area.   This is a residential neighborhood with the typical hanok houses (traditional tile roofed houses); some very lovely and set in a hilly region with a view of the mountains.  However, it was mobbed with Chinese tourists (It was said that there were going to be 250,000 Chinese tourists in Seoul in October).

 We then went to visit the National Palace Museum followed by the main palace of the Joseon dynasty, Gyeongbokgung.  It was built in the Joseon dynasty which reigned until the modern period for 500 years.

We saw the changing of the guard; a fifteen minute ceremony with Joseon period marching guards and band.  

Afterwards, going to the palace, it was very crowded but full of interesting buildings such as the throne building, the council building, the king’s residence,  the queen’s residence and the concubine’s residence outside the walls.    

We also visited the National Folk Museum with historical and cultural artifacts.

We said goodbye to Chris, our guide, checked back into our excellent hotel, and ate at a pretty good "healthy food" restaurant nearby.

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