August 21st, 2017

The imperial side of Seoul


By Medicine Hat News on July 1, 2017.

Daniel Schnee

One of the great pleasures of trans-Pacific travel is the opportunity to visit South Korea during a layover at Incheon International Airport. Situated an hour outside of Seoul, Incheon International is an ultra modern, well designed airport with easy, inexpensive bus and subway access to Seoul. And with so much to see and do, it is worth the trip into the capital, especially in the morning as the sun rises over the Yellow Sea.

One particularly great trip to add to your itinerary is a visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace, also known as Gyeongbok (“Greatly Blessed by Heaven”). Originally built in 1395, and abandoned after a fire in 1592, the palace was deserted for almost 300 years until reconstruction began in 1867, work which continues to this day. As Gyeongbokgung is nestled near local mountains, it is a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours without leaving the city; casually wandering Imperial halls and gardens rife with opportunities for great travel photos around every corner, especially Geunjeongjeon, the king’s throne hall. And, as the gift shop contains an excellent assortment of books on Korean culture, visiting Gyeonbokgung is also a great opportunity to expand your library as well.

To get there I recommend taking a (blue) City Bus ($12 CDN) to the intersection of Saemunan-ro and Sejong-daero Street, and walking north up the boulevard toward Gwanghwamun Gate, with a stop at a local coffee shop or gallery along the way.


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