So, it was Lunar New Year and I couldn’t just spend it alone at home watching Netflix. Why not spend it alone at one of the largest ancient palaces in Seoul? Empty subway cars are one of my favorite things about staying in Seoul during a holiday. I was able to sit down! Of course the palace itself was packed since many other foreigners (and Koreans) had the same idea as me.
It wasn’t terribly cold and the coronavirus scare was not huge yet so people were out in droves. There were some people wearing the traditional hanbok and honestly I thought about it but it feels even sadder to go alone and wear a hanbok alone haha. I promised myself I’d go again in the spring or fall and wear the hanbok. But also because the museums within the palace were closed when I went. The palace itself was free entry because of the holiday.
So I came to the palace without a plan, without a map, and really without any knowledge of Korean history except for the tidbits in some Korean shows that I’ve watched (most notably Kingdom on Netflix) but these shows don’t count probably. I came to walk around, take pictures, and gain enough courage to use my newly bought selfie stick.
I managed to catch the end of some type of performance by the “palace guards” who were super cute wearing their fake mustaches and beards. Also loved watching them trying to keep straight faces when people were posing with them. And yes, I was totally making eye contact and giving my best smile and most of them would look away or try to look straight ahead.
There are a few more palaces in Seoul but I heard that once you visit one, you already know what the rest will look like. I think I’ll still make my way to the others eventually.