A few times a year, Changdeokgung Palace, my favorite of Seoul’s five palaces, is open for moonlight tours. I made sure to buy tickets as soon as they were available, and was delighted to see these beautiful buildings lit up at night!
Holidays are a little funny over here. We will have the day off for American holidays like President’s Day, Memorial Day, or Independence Day, but the Koreans will still be bustling around with every day life. This makes it a perfect time to visit tourists sites in the country, because there are far fewer people present.
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.