I thought this was one of the palaces I visited before, but I was lucky enough to visit one that I have never visited with my family; the beautiful Gyeongbokgung Palace is a place of history, beauty, and one of the palaces in the vibrant city of Seoul.
In a way, this is an ode to my childhood of growing up in Korea and visiting historical sites. They never blend together as one or become a dull and boring trip, because every time it's a new experience. It's a new experience because each place, whether it's a shrine or palace, holds a story, has a voice, and has lived through the lives of Kings, Queens, Princes, secrets, deceits, victories, losses, and admirals who have protected Korea. Admiring the grounds is not the only thing one should do but learning about the history is important.
It was the perfect day to spend wandering through the grounds - not too hot and a little overcast. The castle was an instant attraction, an imbalance of chemicals of love and wonder in my system, and there was a lot to see, and sadly we didn't get to see as much as we wanted because of time and the schedule that included many other attractions to enjoy. You can't help but be immediately mesmerized by all the intense and brilliant colors painted in intricate designs on the buildings.
If you decide to put Gyeongbokgung Palace on your "To Do In Seoul" list (which I highly advise), get ready to do a lot of walking - stairs, bumpy stones and all. Please leave the cute Monolo's at home, because they will not look the same after you are done sightseeing. Thankfully I just purchased a pair of new purple Nike shoes the day before and my feet were happy to walk the distances and I was able to see Geunjeongjeon Hall, Sajeongjeon Hall, Gangnyeongjeon Hall, and Gyeonghoeru Pavilion.
These sights and sounds are always more friendly and alive with the throng of tourists hustling and bustling around. The majority of the tourists visiting were from China, and they were an absolute delight to have around, especially because I was able to admire their outfits. I'm sure some of them caught me staring at their outfits because it was so unique and more daring compared to what I am used to seeing - here in Korea the fashion can be a little more conservative and hair is not often dyed different colors like hot pink or turquoise - of course, this is changing, especially in the bigger cities. Take note; I saw a lovely young lady rocking fish nets and a cute lace dress - it worked. There is a reason why many countries in Asia are at the front of fashion - they are not afraid.