For several times in a year, Korean Palaces will open at night so visitor can enjoy the beauty of the palace under the starry night sky. Last year, I went to Changgyeonggung. And last week I had a chance to join Moonlight Tour in Changdeokgung. On my first 2 visits to Changdeokgung, I visited it on a daytime. So, I was curious when I heard about this Moonlight Tour.
For this year, Monlight Tour will be held from August to October.
Aug 27 (8-10pm)
Sep 25, 26 (7-9pm)
Oct 28 (7-9pm)
This tour only opens for foreigner and limited to 100 persons for each event.
I was there on the first event, August 27. It started at 8pm. The visitors are divided into 5 groups based on the guide language (English 2, Japanese 1, Chinese 2). I joined the first group! Every visitor was equipped with wireless headset so we can clearly listen to the guide. As the first group, we were also the first one to enter the palace. Our guide that night was the same guide I met on my previous visit. I was happy because I know she’s an awesome guide. Hehe.
Upon entering the gate, a traditional lantern was given to us. Because there was only limited number of the lantern, each 4 persons got 1 lantern. Night view of the palace gave different vibe from the day view. The quietness made me thinking more. What did the King do at this hour? Was there any royal guard standing in my place right now? Such thinking just came to my mind.
This is Injeongjeon, the royal main hall, view at night.
This is photos from around Nakseonjae, the study room and sarangchae (living quarters of the head of a household) of King Heonjong (24th king of Joseon, 1827-1849).
This time, I had a chance to visit Sangryangjeon. I’ve never visited this area before because it was closed. I’m not sure, but I didn’t see anyone enter this area during my previous visits. Well, I learn something new every time I visit Changdeokgung. This area is higher than other area, so I can see the view of its surrounding from above. Our guide ask us to have a moment of silence while looking at the moon and have our wish there.
After that, we enter the Secret Garden area. A performance of Gayageum in Yeonghwadang was already prepared for us. It was great! Just imagine this: in a quiet full moon night, a young woman wearing hanbok playing gayageum in an ancient pavilion with a lotus pond nearby…
After the performance, we moved to Yeongyeongdang Hall. Passing Bullomun gate which is believed to give you a long life. When entering the Yeongyeongdang area, we’re given snacks and drinks. There were grain tea and grape tea. I tried the grape tea and it’s refreshing.
We watched traditional music performances in this hall. With more performers and variety of instruments. It was such a great experience. Thank you KTO for giving me a chance to join this awesome tour!
If you’ll be in Seoul during the next Moonlight Tour, give it a try! You can book it through Interpark. The fee is 30000 KRW. And you’ll get amazing view of the palace at night, great guide, traditional performances, and have a taste on Korean traditional drink and snack! This will be a memory you can not forget. 😀