The Changdeokgung Palace is a step back in time. From the imperial gate to the secret garden, it has been the movie set for many historical Korean dramas. The picturesque view and the artistic atmosphere draws in tourist after tourist. But for me, it's more than that. Once I arrived, it was like walking in a Korean fairytale. I could see the crown prince running along the game field. I saw the servants walking through the gate quickly with laundry to the great well next to the public garden. And of course, the minute I walked over the Geumcheongyo (stone bridge) I could see the crown princess with her ladies in waiting, and the procession that followed.
This palace also has a forbidden garden, that we were lucky enough to grab tickets for, right before it sold out. (I reccomend geting them as soon as possible- they sell out fast) The great pavillion was a private resort for the royal family and a few selected noblility. The garden itself was a quiet retreat for tea, and it even has it's own area for the rice only eaten by the royal family.
The area was beautiful, and reminded me of many Korean myths and legends.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find books about Korean folklore, but their history begins with a myth, and slowly turns into facts. The Kingdom of the Four Winds begins Korea's tale, and from then on, the history unfolds. But actually walking around the regal and beautiful buildings gives you a taste of what life was like whne men feared Gumihos, women were chosen to be the crown princess, and the great school of Sungkyunkwan was the most promising school in the country.
This area of Korea, preserved in the Joseon period is inspirational and its own work of art.
Some of the Korean Dramas filmed here include The Moon that Embraces the Sun, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Gu Family Book, Goong, Goong S and of course Queen Inhyeon's Man.