One of the first places I saw when I first came to Korea was Gyeongbokgung Palace. Now I've been there twice, another time in October when my mom and sister came to visit. Most people prefer to visit that palace because it is the most popular palaces. It is also the largest of the 5 palaces in Seoul from the Joseon Dynasty. So, I decided to finally see a different palace, Changdeokgung. Changdeokgung is east of Gyeongbokgung and walking distance, so you can actually visit both of them on the same day.
Changdeokgung is a 5 minute walk from Anguk station exit 2. It costs 3,000 won just to see the palace without a tour. They have guided tours for the palace and the secret garden. This palace was not very busy. My experiences at Gyeongbokgung led me to believe this palace would also be very busy. But it made it easier to take selfies and photos of the buildings without people photo bombing. It was a very nice day out, minus the wind. You can see a gust of wind in the picture below trowing around the dust. Advice: Always wear sunglasses when you visit the palaces or else you will get sand in your eyes!
No idea what these buildings below are called or their functions. I couldn't find any information about them.
The Nakseonjae complex was built for King Keonjong's concubine. The Queen was not able to bear a child so he brought a concubine and built her a complex in the back corner of the palace.
Huijeondang Hall was a women's quarter, but later turned into a place where the king would rest and work.
The ceiling is so beautiful. It is all hand painted!
I'm not sure what these building are called but I love how they connect together from this angle.
Inside Seonjeongjeon Hall is where the king would meet important officials to discuss political and palace affairs.
Injeongjeon Hall is the main hall at the palace. It was used for conferences and where the king would meet his visitors.
Taking selfies is usually quite easy, except when its so windy out you have to hold your hat or else it'll blow away! It turned out pretty good though.
I think I spent about an hour here. I didn't go to the secret garden because I had to wait for the tour group. The only way to see the secret garden is in a tour. You can purchase tickets at the front entrance. I will definitely go back to see that when it gets warmer.
After walking around the palace I wanted to get something to eat. Zen Hideaway has always been on my radar since it was featured on the visit Korea website. Zen Hideaway is an Asian fusion restaurant with two locations; Hongdae and Apgujeong. I went to the one in Apgujeong because I knew where it was and I really like that area. Apgujeong is still on my list as an area to explore.
Zen Hideaway has a variety of foods from Thai, steaks, pizza all with an Asian twist so there is something for everyone. The menu is very extensive so look through carefully. If you are with friends, it would be best to get a few plates to share so you can taste different dishes.
There were so many things on the menu that looked amazing. I decided to go with shrimp pad see ew because it was only 13,000 won, I also got salmon rolls which were 19,000 won. Yes I know 19,000 won is expensive for 8 pieces of of sushi, which is also what I was wondering when I ordered. But the sushi pieces were actually really big. I also ordered a red wine sangria which is the BEST sangria I've ever had.
The food was delicious! I had pad see ew in Malaysia and it was disgusting, but this was very good! The sushi was also delicious. Next time I think I will get either steak, pizza, or pasta, they also looked really good! I think this might be my new spot. The service was great, the servers were very attentive.
The decor was really simple but very nice. There is a garden in the middle of the restaurant. Some of the seats are big couches with pillows. There is two floors, but I was on the bottom floor so I didn't get a look upstairs.
This a view of the garden on my way out of the restaurant. I wish I was seated right next to it, but next time I go I will ask to be. I have seen pictures at night time it looks beautiful. Make sure to visit here, you will have a great experience!
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