K-BFFs in Seoul – Day 3: Who is Mac Park? (Highlight: Gyeongbokgung)

Sorry for the long hiatus. I was terribly busy and tired to embed photos. All my drafts are finished, though. Here’s the new entry on our South Korea trip. 🙂

WARNING: Image-heavy

***

It was a sunny Saturday morning. This was when me and my friend from elementary school, Doty, planned to meet up. She’s staying in Korea for almost three years already because of her graduate studies, and now, for work. We were not able to meet last year so we made it sure that this time, it’s really gonna happen. 🙂

Anyway, before our said reunion, Yan and I decided to do some morning chores in the guesthouse. It was very home-y so we really treated it as our own. The kids who were our floormates were gone to fly back to Manila :(, so we vacuumed the place, cooked breakfast, AND did the laundry! We are the domesticated duo after all. What was the most challenging is this part…

I read but I don't know what most of these items mean. >.<

The commands in the washing machine are in Korean. So even if I can read them, since my vocabulary isn’t very admirable, we needed to search the net on how it works. Yan even acquired a tutorial video. After some trial and error, we manage to make the washing machine work and ♫ it’s automatic… – Wash & dry!

Nifty laundrying! 😀

We got ready afterwards. It was palace day today and we plan going to two. We’re supposed to meet Doty at lunch time but  she messaged me on Facebook that she missed the bus and we might be meeting later. The problem is, my phone’s roaming was stuck! It doesn’t have signal – only choosing the time of the day when it will work. 😦 I feel worried because I did not rent a phone and it’s our only means of communication. I was still hoping my phone’s signal would be back in the afternoon. :-/

And off to Gyeongbokgung we go!

Got off Gyeongbokgung station - subway Line 3

We decided to prioritize this palace because it’s the biggest. Aside from that, it’s the main one that shows the changing of guards. Here’s a short clip that I have captured.

And some photos

Yan and I with a guard

The Gyeongbokgung (or Gyeongbok Palace) is said to be the grandest among the royal palaces situated in the city. It was destroyed by a fire during the Japanese occupation in the 1500s and was restored in the 1800s by King Gojong (cr: Visit Korea)

I haven’t seen the other palaces yet but judging by the size, exteriors, and interiors, this could really be the most extravagant of them all. It was a sight to see!

We also saw kids in hanbok (Korean traditional costume). They were so squishy!!!

We were too shy to ask for photos so we just took a shot from afar (Yes, this seems far...)
Lots of cute kids!
Cute grandfather and kid
From another view

Aside from foreigners (represent!), there were also lots of locals visiting the palace. Maybe because it’s a weekend. The place was totally jampacked!

***

It was an enjoyable afternoon BUT my phone’s signal was still deaaaaaaaad… T_T I worry that Doty might be around and is trying to message/call me already. Yan and I decided to part ways. She went to taking photos while I go to the Information Center (I’m a fan of these places because it really comes to your rescue; even if it could lead you to walk “120 meters” to 63 Building) to ask where the nearest phone booth is. Glad there’s one inside!

Finally, I was able to contact Doty who was already waiting outside (I feel bad she needed to wait) and I spotted her and Yan both waiting at the entrance, backs at each other. 😛

***

Since Doty has been here for quite some time, she volunteered to be our tour guide for the day :-> We went back to the Gyeongbokgung subway station because she said we needed to pass through this –

Doty said that there’s a certain belief that when you pass through here, you will never grow old. We thought there’s no harm in doing it so.

Guess where we’re heading to next. 🙂

How to go to Gyeongbokgung

Take Subway line 3, exit 5 of the Gyeongbokgung station (This is how we got here.)

or

Take Subway line 5, exit 2 of the Ganghwamun station

There are free guides (usually volunteers) who are waiting at the subway exit. They are available depending on the volume of palace visitors.

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