Did you know that the Republic of Korea has 10 designated UNESCO World Heritage sites? Did you know that the Korea Tourism Organization gives free passports to collect stamps for these sites? (Do you already see where this is going?)
Jared and I continue to work our way down our inventory of tourist activities, and I am happy to report that we have successfully explored Changdeokgung Palace and marked it off the list. We had first visited Gyeongbokgung Palace; though we were intrigued by our first Korean palace, we were disappointed to learn that much of what we saw was not the original structure. Changdeokgung has suffered a similar destructive history, but we were armed with our prior knowledge, we were better able to accept this.
Though we live in Korea now, we in no way think that we are above being tourists. We plan to treat our time here more as a overlong vacation, not just life as usual. We may have to partake in mundane, everyday life responsibilities, but we are going to make the most of our time here as we can.
We decided to start our tourist exploring with a palace. Disney taught me to believe in the magic of palaces and castles. I want to visit them wherever we travel. The Alhambra and Palacio Real in Spain, St. Georges Castle in Portugal, and even Biltmore estate in North Carolina, all left me in awe of their history and splendor. With stars in my eyes, we set off for Gyeongbokgung Palace in the center of Seoul.