Three Palaces in Seoul: Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), Deoksugung (덕수궁) & Changdeokgung (창덕궁)

By Farah - Thursday, October 04, 2018

I went to three palaces in Seoul; Gyeongbokgung (경복궁), Deoksugung (덕수궁) & Changdeokgung (창덕궁) on different days. My goal was to visit the major 4 palaces and Jongmyo Shrine (종묘) but I only managed to visit these three.

I can't share much about each palace and its history as I didn't get to join the interpretive tour and I'm not familiar with Korean history. So, you're better off to read Wikipedia if you want to learn more about the palaces.

Gyeongbokgung  (경복궁)

Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)

Tip: Interpretive tours are offered in English, Japanese, and Chinese at selected times. However, spaces are limited. So, come early if you want to join the tour.

According to the Visit Korea website, Gyeongbokgung is arguably the largest and the most beautiful palace that remains today. I can attest the fact that Gyeongbokgung is huge as I didn't get to finish the whole compound even though I spent about 3 hours there.

Tip: Be early if you want to get a best spot for the one of the three ceremonies; Royal Guard Changing Ceremony; Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-On-Duty Performance, and Gatekeeper Military Training ,as it gets crowded pretty fast.


Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, Gyeongbokgung (경복궁)

I honestly didn't remember much about my visit to Gyeonbokgung other than the weather was very hot and humid when I was there and there were so many people! Also, the palace is really hugeeeeee! Rasa nak tercabut kaki berjalan dalam kawasan istana tu.

Oh, and this is where I lost my T-money for the first time. It really turned my day upside down when I realized I lost my T-Money because my transportation cost for the whole trip gone just like that. I made a report at the Lost & Found counter but no avail. I actually backtracked my steps to see if I can find it back but again, to no avail.

I decided to leave Gyeongbokgung even though I have yet to finish exploring the whole compound as I was at the verge of breaking down. It was really one of my worst days in South Korea as I was physically and mentally tired from what happened that day.

Deoksugung (덕수궁)

Deoksugung (덕수궁

Deoksugung is my favourite palace in Seoul. Simply because I love the architecture. Also, because it has two modern western buildings as part of the palace. It's also a lot smaller than other palaces which means less walking. lol :)




I have seen this palace quite a lot and learned about some of the history through Infinity Challenge. In that Infinity Challenge's episode, they went for a tour of Seokjojeon. So, when I was there, I naturally wanted to join the Seokjojeon tour but all spots for the next tour. which happened to be the last tour for that day, were gone. So, no Seokjojeon for me.

Deoksugung (덕수궁

Tip: Spots for Seokjojeon tour are limited. I believe they only have 5 spots for foreign nationals for each tour. Please come early if you want to join the tour as it's on first come first serve basis for foreigners.

As there was nothing that I can do at that point, I decided to explore the rest of the palace area as it is. There were quite a lot of activities were happening at the palace. One of things that I still remember is you can experience the traditional archery activity.

Tip: Deoksugung has the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony as well. This is might be an option if you missed the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony at the Gyeongbokgung. However, do note that it is not as grand as Gyeongbokgung's. But, there's going to be less people which should be a happy news if you're not a big fan of crowded palace. You win some, you lose some, no?

Chandeokgung (창덕궁)


Changdeokgung (창덕궁)

To be honest, I can't recall much about Chandeokgung. It was the last palace that I visited and I guess at that point, everything looked similar to me. Can't help but to feel that way after visiting these three palaces in three days in a row.

One of my goals when I decided to go to Chandeokgung was to visit the Huwon (후원) or known as Secret Garden. I have read so many reviews saying that the Secret Garden is really gorgeous and all so I wanted to see it with my own eyes.

Unfortunately, the tickets for the Huwon Tour were sold out. Apparently they only sell 50 tickets on site for each tour and the on site ticketing starts at 9:00 AM. I was there around noon, so memang dah habislah tiket.

Changdeokgung (창덕궁)

Disappointed by the fact that I didn't get to grab a ticket for the Huwon Tour, I decided to cut my visit to Chandeokgung short. I only explored a lil bit here and there before I left.

Again, like I mentioned before, I can't recall much about Chandeokgung. But there was one thing that I still remember until today. I saw Rapmon or currently known as RM or Kim Najmoon (whichever you call him) of BTS when I was there. I didn't get a picture of him because everything happened in split seconds but wow, what a luck eh?

Changdeokgung (창덕궁)

I was sitting under a tree to catch my breath when I accidentally made an eye contact with him when he was walking by. I wasn't sure if that was him but I guess he noticed that I was mouthing, "Rapmon?" He nodded. smiled and the walked away. Looked like he was rushing to go somewhere else. So yeah, I actually met or saw a Korean idol at a palace. lol :)

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24 comments

  1. The one place which I wanted to go but couldn't last time. sobs

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    1. Ray dulu berapa lama dekat Seoul?

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    2. Tak lama. 5 hari je. x byk tempt boleh pegi. So I need a longer trip next time. Can you like list all the places that are actually worth it to go. haha

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    3. Nanti kita list kan but then, it'll be based solely on my interests la :)

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  2. ehhhh, tempat ni macam tempat yang running man selalu buat penggambaran tu... best nyaaaaa

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    1. Ya ke? Tak sure sebab dah lama tak tengok Running Man. Tapi, rasa macam mustahil je Running Man shoot dekat sini sebab all these palaces sangat busy.

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  3. Kak ana sempat ke Chandeokgung Palace je sebab hari tu ni je yg buka. Lama juga lah tawaf dalam tu. Cantik senibina dia. Aishh rindu pula dekat korea.

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    1. Eh? Interesting sangat sebab setahu saya operation hours untuk semua palaces ni macam sama je ^^

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  4. wow dapat pegi ke 3 palace, saya ni lagi rugi, pegi korea langsung tak masuk mana2 palace xD macam nak kena repeat je ni kan?

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    1. Tapi, Mazni dapat cover banyak tempat lain kan? Akak rasa personally, kalau tak minat sejarah or tak tahu sejarah mungkin boleh skip the palaces kot ^^"

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  5. Chandeokgung and Gyeongbokgung used to appear on Runningman, but I think lama dulu.. Recently memang takde... :D

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    1. Oh, ya ke? Memang tak ingat dah sebab dah lama tak tengok or rewatch Running Man. Saya selalu ingat or alert tempat-tempat yang 2 Days 1 Night selalu pergi je sekarang ni ^^

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  6. dah smpi seoul kira mcm wajib pegi istana2 ni.. yelah sblm ni tgk je kt dlm drama/tv😊

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    1. Betullah tu. Selalu sangat tengok dalam drama, itu yang teringin nak pergi tu. Walhal yang dalam drama tu semua berlakon dekat set je.

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    2. Rasa kalau nak fefeeling lebih lagi, boleh pergi drama set. Lagilah real dengan apa yang ditengok dekat tv. Hahahaha

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  7. at least dpt jejak 3 tempat dh ok farah.. boleh la baca dlm wiki hehehe. smua design lebih kurang

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    1. Kita yang buta architecture memang akan rasa design semua lebih kurang. Tapi kalau orang yang betul-betul tahu, mesti bagi diaorag lain sangat-sangat.

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  8. Nice sharing..good job! :)
    Dan tahniah sebab dapat jumpa Rapmon, mesti terubat hati yang sedih lepas terhilangkan your T-Money...hihi :)

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    1. Thank you. Tapi tak terubat pun hati bila nampak Rapmon tu. For money my T-money was more important :D

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  9. waaaaa.. best kalau dpt g sana :)

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    Replies
    1. Kalau orang yang betul-betul suka architecture dengan sejarah memang akan suka istana-istana ni :D

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  10. Honestly kak Sally tak pernah rasa nak g Deoksugung...entah kenapa...so, that will be the one and only palace kat Seoul yg belum g..hihi

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    1. Kenapa?!!! Deoksugung for me is the best one sebab dia kecil and you can see the contrast between past and present clearly. And, dia ada stonewall yang famous sangat tu *though I have yet to get a chance to stroll along the famous stonewall walkaway*

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