Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Secret Garden

Of the many palaces in Seoul, I was most excited to visit Changdeokgung Palace, as I read it was the most beautiful--it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can only see it through a guided tour. There is a special and infrequent tour you can take in the palace of the Huwon Garden--also known as the Secret Garden--which I was hell bent on doing, even though it didn't work out until the third time I tried to go.

It was really beautiful!

Here is our funny tour guide who told me he used to live in Long Island, but he couldn't remember where.

We tramped around the palace, checking out the buildings and the nature.

Mossy! Moss is soothing.

According to our tour guide, the paint on the ceiling of this gazebo is original to the 15th century. He also told us it was the only hexagonal gazebo in the world.

Many of the buildings in the palace were used as living quarters.

Here is the royal latrine (the servants had to use the woods).

Here's why the grounds were kept up so perfectly.

I liked the way our guide described these native rocks as "grotesque and beautiful".

Everyone on the tour was excited about the weird twin cats.

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