Thursday, May 7, 2009

071117 - Jongno Tower, Bosingak Belfry & Deoksugung Palace

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Due to my work nature, I have to work on most weekends (either Saturday or Sunday). During the weekdays, I planned my travel itinerary carefully so that I can cover most of the tourist attractions in Seoul. This time, I will be covering West/Northwest of Seoul by foot since the weather is cool.

I left the hotel at 8am after my heavy breakfast. I passed by this 33-storey office building called Jongno Tower. My Korean colleague, KS Choi said at the top floor, a restaurant served good buffet with nice panoramic view of Seoul.

The rear view of Jongno Tower

A night vew version of Jongno Tower

Opposite of this building is the famous meeting point for Koreans; it’s called Bosingak Belfry. This bell will ring 33 times on the New Year’s Eve and thousands of Koreans and visitors will gather here for the countdown. I was there during the New Year Eve celebration with my wife :-). On every weekend or even weekdays, there will be Royal Guard parading here starting from 9am onwards

I’m heading south a bit and saw Sungnyemun, also known as Namdaemun or South Gate. Nam means South. It’s a historic gate which is nation no. 1 National Treasure. Unfortunately in Feb 2008 (a month after I left Seoul), an old man set fire and severely damaged the wooden structure of the Namdaemun. Reason being he was not fully paid for the land he sold to the developer, but why he wants to burn down the National Treasure. Such an idiot!!!

Deoksugung Palace is located at the corner of Seoul’s busiest downtown intersection, opposite City Hall. The admission fee is 1000won. Everyday except for Monday, there will be Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony which is held in front of the Daehanmun Gate (similar ceremony to our Malaysian soldier at Buckingham Palace). It has three 30-minutes sessions a day, 10.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm.

After passing the Daehanmun Gate, I came across the wide bridge of Guemcheon.

Statue of the King Sejong

The Beopjeon Building Junghwajeon

The Seogeodang Building

Ceiling of the hall

Jeukjodang (left) used for coronation ceremony. A corridor connects to the next building, Junmyeongdang (right) used to receive high ranking officers and foreign envoys.

Jeonggwanheon was the first western style building built in the palace in 1900 and it is the only palace that sits together with some western style building.

Seokjojeon is western-style building

Gwangmyeongmun building is used to display the Heungcheonsa Bell (middle) and Borugak Jagyeongju water clock (right).

Singgijeon carrier launcher is on the left of Gwangmyeongmun building

As I exited the Deoksugung Palace, I took a right turn in a walkway with lots of art galleries.

Then I saw this nice flower painting on the stone wall. As you walked further down, the painting is going in a descending shape till the end of the road.

Next, I’m headed to Seodaemun Prison History Hall.

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