5 days in Seoul, Korea-5/17-5/22/2023

Day 1
Arrival/Korean BBQ
Day 2
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Hoa's Birthday at Mr. Ahn's Craf Magkeolli
Day 3
Changdeokgung Palace
Secret garden
Jongmyo Shrine
Dinner at Kyoyan Siksa
Day 4
Meyeong-Dong Cathedral
Hop on Hop off bus
Gwanjang Market
Cheonggyecheon Stream
Dinner at Yakitori Mook
Day 5
War Memorial Museum
Lotus Lantern Festival
Bukchon Village
Hongdae street
Dinner at Dono & Cocktails

Day 3: Changdeokgung Palace

Huwon Secret garden

 Huwon, the secret garden is located at the back of the palace and occupies about 60% of Changdeokgung (the whole property is about 110 acres). The garden is an excellent example of Korean garden design where it flows naturally with nature.   The secret garden was used as a place of leisure by members of the royal family and was a site for official events like government exams. It was landscaped with a series of trees, flowers, a lotus pool, and numerous pavilions set against a wooded background. Today, there are more than 56,000 varieties of plants in the garden, including walnut, white oak, zelkova, plum, maple, chestnut, hornbeam, yew, gingko, and pine tree.


The entrance of the secret garden.  You have to buy a ticket to get in.


Meeting our tour guide for the secret garden.


The secret garden is a guided tour only. You cannot enter on your own and roam around.


Following the group to the first stop. The layout of the whole garden is hidden in a series of valley, so the entire layout cannot be seen at once.  You have to walk down into each valley to the pond and its pavilion in order to truly appreciate the beauty of this place.


The first stop is Buyongji pond


Buyongji is a large rectangular lotus pond and on top of the hill is Juhamnu Pavilion.


Beautiful area.


Very serene to look at the pond against the trees in the background.




Panoramic view of the pond and the surrounding.


The pond view at a different angle.




 Juhamnu Pavilion.  The 1st floor known as Gujanggak used to be the royal library but it was also a political research institute for the King as he worked on his reform ideas.

The 2nd floor was used as a reading room.


The small gate leading to Juhamnu pavilion is known as Eosumun Gate. The name Eosumun refers to the fact that a fish cannot live outside of water. This was a reminder to King Jeongjo that he as a ruler must consider and respect the people he rules.


The second stop is Aeryeonji pond.


This pond has a lot more water lilies.


Aeryeonjeong Pavilion is a small square pavilion located on Aeryeonji Pond. It was first constructed in 1692 during the reign of King Sukjong. The pavilion was originally located on a small island in the middle of the pond. After the island was removed, the building was relocated to its current location on the side of the pond.



More views of the pavilion


Bulromun Gate is a single rock stone.


Anyone who passed under is said to be blessed with long live and good health.


Entrance to Yeongyeongdang hall.


Another peaceful pond with lots of water lilies.


A lot of people are sitting around the pond.


It is so peaceful that people are meditation around the pound.


We are now at Yeongyeongdang hall.  It was built in 1828 by Crown Prince Hyomyeong for Jinjakrye, which was a special ceremony for his father King Sunjong. During this ceremony court officials would present food and wine to the King and Queen as a sign of strong royal authority.


Devoid of the traditional vibrant colors and patterns of other palace structures, was used as a reading area.


Yeongyeongdang was also the men’s quarters. It was here where the master of the house resided. Inside is a main room where the master would meet with guests and where he stayed during the day. A separate room with a raised floor was used as a bedroom in the summer.


 Yeongyeongdang is built with stone pillars on top of a stone platform. The roof is single-eaved and features roof extensions at each of the corners. Windows surround all four sides of the building which were designed to be lifted during the warmer summer months.



NEXT...Secret garden continuation




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