Dear Korea. Please don’t change a thing about this phenomenal place.
Gyeongbokgung is officially my favourite spot in all of Korea. A description of a place where I wept on sight would seem inadequate – absolute whole-hearted recognition of a palace room atop an island with vibrant green lily pads littering the water’s surface. Perhaps it was the striking beauty that transcended the realms of my mind – simultaneously awed with a feeling of I have been here before…
To put this into perspective, last Saturday, I visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. Situated near Gwanghwamun, which boasts the amazing statue of King Sejong (who created Hangul, Korea’s alphabet) and The Story of King Sejong Exhibition Hall.
This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Seoul, as it is in the locale of one of the biggest temples in the city area, Jogysea Temple, where the Lotus Lantern Festival was held, intersects with Insadong, the centre of tourist shopping, as well as other Palaces.
Gyeongbokgung Palace itself rests at the foot of Bugaksan Mountain and hosts a central hall, numerous quarters, as well as many rooms and gardens interweaving throughout the Palace grounds.
Within the Palace a Pavilion has been built on an island in the middle of a lotus pond. I read that its construction was based on cosmic principles espoused by the Book of Changes, The I Ching, which has deep roots within the practise of Taoism. The very sight that held such amazement to me.
It literally left me breathless, my heart thundered in my chest and with a feeling of utter “coming home” enveloped me. Tears welled which I forced down in embarrassment. God only knows why I have this feeling. I have yet to explore the reason behind it – nothing I could explain in words. I had the similar feeling visiting the traditional Korean homes, Hanoks, but this was far beyond anything I had experienced before. I hope to visit the rest of the Palaces in the next few weeks – should I uncover any revelations, I will be sure to post.