Changgyeonggung Palace, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is part of the vast set of five royal palaces in Seoul, which will take the best part of a day to see. As much of the appeal is in the grounds, I went in winter, I decided to visit only two palaces. The joint ticket for the five palaces is about 7 euros, and individually about two. The palace was built in 1104 by King Sejong for his father, Taejong, and in 1483 was expanded and remodeled by King Seongjong. Like the other royal palaces, Changgyeonggung received vast amounts of damage during the Japanese occupation, and they built a zoo and botanical garden, and a museum. The zoo and botanical garden were closed in 1983, while retaining a beautiful tropical flower greenhouse near the main lake. Stunning scenery that is well worth a visit.
North of Gyeongbokgung one will find the royal palace in Seoul. We found this beautiful little octagonal palace. It is located in the center of a small pond full of lotus and in the heart of an island. On the sides of the pond there are some trees that can protect us from the intense heat of August. The little island Hyangwonjeong communicates with the rest of the gardens of the royal palace by a bridge just south of the pond. This is not the original bridge that was situated on the north side, which was destroyed during the Korean War.
Yeonggeumjeong Sunrise Pavilion is one of the most spectacular views from Sokcho city. So named because the sound of the waves in it, sound like the stringing of an instrument from South Korea: The Geomungo. This pavilion offers a unique view of the East Sea or Japan and the nearby island of Jodo. It is also an excellent location to enjoy the sunrise and the daily work of the fishermen of Sokcho.