After Class Activities
Main sights: Get to Know Seoul
A must see is Deoksugung Palace opposite City Hall. The palace complex is filled with commanding structures such as Daehanmun, the main gate, Chunghwajon, the throne room or audience hall and Sokchojon, the first Renaissance-style building in Korea, which now houses a cultural institute offering monthly public audio-visual programs. The palace and grounds are open all year round.
The 40 acre Gyeongbokgung Palace was built in 1394 in the third year of the Choson Dynasty and is a most impressive building with a throne room and audience hall. Kyonghoeru, is a spacious two storey pavilion which overlooks a picturesque man-made pond north-west of the throne hall, while Hyangwonjong is a secluded pavilion nestled in the middle of a pond at the northern end of the palace complex where the royal family once enjoyed special private occasions.
The Gyeongbokgung Palace grounds contain the National Folk Museum and a ten storey stone pagoda, which is one of the most beautiful stone structures in Korea. Close by, near the Kwanghwamun Gate, which was the original entrance to the palace, is the National Museum of Korea which houses five storeys of artifacts covering 5,000 years of Korean history and culture. Ch angdokkung Palace, just east of Gyeongbokgung Palace, is also a popular destination with visitors. It is known for its Secret Garden or Piwon, which consists of 78 acres beautifully landscaped with pavilions, ponds and wooded areas.
Excursions: Explore More of The Region
Outside of Seoul are attractive rural districts and the two large cities of Inch on and Suwon in Kyonggido province. In Kwach on, the Korean Folk Village re-creates the lifestyle of several centuries ago in a living museum. Near the port area of Inch on it is possible to feast on seafood and catch excursion boats to some of the beautiful outlying islands.