Designed as a half day morning outing in downtown Seoul, this small group tour starts out discovering and exploring a famous Korean palace and museum, followed by a visit to a temple set in a grove of 500 year old trees. At Jogyesa temple, adherents pray to Buddha in the main hall, which is a sight to behold.' In route between the two stops you will pass the Korean Blue House, the equivalent to the US White House.' Access is limited, but we will stop outside the grounds for photos and questions. Classic Korean architecture may set your heart to pound after experiencing the Asian history of the Yi Dynasty at'Gyeongbok Palace. The area is also home to the National Folk Museum of Korea where you can witness examples of Korea history and culture from ancient times until today.
Your English speaking guide will meet you in your hotel lobby. Transportation to Gyeongbokgung Palace will be by minivan.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the five royal palace in Seoul. Built in 1395 as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) by the dynasty's founder King Taejo. Gyeongbokgung is the most comprehensive and grandest of the five palaces of the period. It is also home to the National folk museum of Korea and the National Palace Museum of Korea. Depending on how long guests wish to spend in the museum, this stop should run 90 minutes+.
Next is Cheongwadae(The Blue House). This is the executive office and official residence of the President of the Republic of Korea. Named so for the blue-tiled roofs, Cheongwadae is a complex of traditional-style buildings. While we do not have access to the residence we will stop on the grounds for photos and questions.
Jogyesa Temple has become a unique temple. Most Buddhist temples in Korea that are nestled in the mountains. Jogyesa is located in the city center. Perhaps the city came to it.' Once a year, on Buddhas birthday, the 8th day of the 4th lunar month, a grand lotus lantern parade is held along Jong-ro Street, from Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station to Jogyesa Temple. The visit will include time to tour the temple itself and walk the grounds.
After visiting the palace and temple, time remaining will be spent at a local shopping center. Guide/translator will drop you off at the City Hall station.