Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hwaseong Haenggung

Much like the splendid Ch√Ęteau Chambord in France's Loire Valley was constructed as a hunting lodge for the king, Hwaseong Haenggung was similarly a resting shelter palace for the king. As you can see here, there are cut-outs of characters from Dae Jang Geum (which I, strangely enough, have not watched despite it being one of the most popular kdramas out there); parts of that historical drama were indeed filmed here.

Below is a shot of the king's throne and a mannequin representing the queen mother on the left.

The walkway up to the throne rooms or any of the buildings are generally paved; some flags stand guard on the right:

As I walked through one of the courtyards of the palace, I noticed some extension cords running through doorways which led to another doorway.  Curious, I followed the cords further and lo and behold,

Tada!!  A film set!  That's right, the palace is pretty frequently used to film historical dramas - wonder if parts of Queen Seon Deok or Iljimae were filmed here =P

As a side note, this palace is also part of the Suwon City tour so if you go with the tour, you'll get about 15 minutes inside (which is a little bit of a rush, although if you've seen Gyeongbokgung or Changdeokgung or any of the other Palaces in Seoul, this palace is a little underwhelming).  If you do decide to do your own visit, you can find out more information from the Korean tourism website, admission fees are pretty low at 1500 won for adults ($1.50 USD) and 700 won for children ($0.70 USD).  If you do visit in summer, I believe they even have a reenactment of the king's procession into and throughout the palace on Saturdays.

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