Songdo Central Park

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Songdo Central Park is a large seawater park located in the international business district in Songdo international city. Visitors can get into the park through Central Park Station Exit 3 (Incheon Subway Line-1), and the scale of park is 411,324 square meters. The design of this park including the Northwest Asia Trade Tower in Songdo was undertaken by the KPF company who designed the world’s leading landmarks, such as New York Freedom Tower and Shanghai Tower in Shanghai city. This is the first artificial seawater park of Republic of Korea. The huge amount of seawater flows through the park in the 30~100 meter wide channel in the center of Central Park and reaching 90,000 tons of seawater and 1.8 kilometers in length. Canoe and kayak, electric boat, party boat SUP boat is available at the East Boat House that is located in the direction of trade tower on eastern of Central Park. In Songdo Central Park waterway, two 8.5 ton class (12 passengers) and one 17 ton class (38 passengers) water taxi are running about 3 kilometers round trip. It takes about 20 minutes to see the scenery of the park by water taxi. The Songdo Hanok Village which opened in 2015 in this Central Park, has a Hanok Hotel, a Hanok Restaurant, a cultural experience facility, convention and event and souvenir sales facilities etc.

Water Leisure Guides

Water taxis are available at the West Boathouse and Canoe, Kayak, family boat are available at East Boathouse. And these places are at each end of the waterway in respectively.

Water taxi business hours and fees

Business Hours Departure Time
Winter 10:00~18:00 Weekday Every hour
Summer 10:00~21:00 Holiday Every hour and every 30
Boat Number Max Passengers Fees
No.1 Michuhol
No.2 Michuhol
No.3 Michuhol
12 Passengers
12 Passengers
38 Passengers
Adult 4,000 won
Adult Discount 3,000 won
(65 years or older)
Child 2,000 won
(1 to 12 years)

Kayak, Canoe, Family and Party boats, SUP(Stand Up Paddle board)

Type Passengers Time Fees
Crystal Kayak 3 persons
(includes 1 child)
40 minutes 25,000 won
Kayak 3 persons
(includes 1 child)
50 minutes 25,000 won
Canoe 3 persons 50 minutes 25,000 won
Family Electric Boat 5 persons
(includes 1 child)
30 minutes 35,000 won
SUP 1 person 60 minutes 10,000 won
Party Boat 6 persons 30 minutes 40,000 won

Bike Rental

Capacity Time Fees
1 person 60 minutes 10,000 won
2 persons 60 minutes 15,000 won
4 persons 30 minutes 10,000 won
6 persons 30 minutes 15,000 won
Fat Bike 60 minutes 15,000 won

 

Easy way to N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower (남산서울타워)

How to go Namsan Cable Car (Ticket Office).

Anyway, you should come to Myeongdong station by subway and get out through exit-3, and then walk about 10 minutes along with green line on the map.

Cable car fees and time

Available times: 10:00~23:00

Classification Individual Group (more than 30 people)
Adult (Round trip) 8,500 won 7,000 won
Adult (One way) 6,000 won 5,000 won
Child (Round trip) 5,500 won 4,500 won

Namsan Circulation Shuttle Buses

No.02 Circulation Bus

Where get on the bus: “Chungmuro Station(충무로역)” exit-2 or “Dongguk Univ(동대입구역)” exit-6.
Dispatch time: 15 minutes.
Operation Hours: 07:00~23:30
Bus Fee: Cash 1,200 won / T card 1,100 won (Transfer applied).

No.03 Circulation Bus

Where get on the bus: “Seoul Station(서울역)” exit-9 or “Itaewon Station(이태원역)” exit-4 or “Hangangjin Station(한강진역)” exit-2.
Dispatch time: 20 minutes.
Operation Hours: 07:30~23:30
Bus Fee: Cash 1,200 won / T card 1,100 won (Transfer applied).

No.05 Circulation Bus

Where get on the bus: “Myeongdong St'(명동역)” exit-3 or “Chungmuro St'(충무로역)” exit-2.
Dispatch time: 15 minutes.
Operation Hours: 07:30~23:30
Bus Fee: Cash 1,200 won / T card 1,100 won (Transfer applied).


Seoul City Tour Bus

Seoul city tour bus guide

Classification City Circulation Route Yellow) Palaces Circulation Route Night View Circulation Route
Operation Hours 09:00~21:00 09:00~17:00 Start: 19:50, 20:00
Interval Start: Every 30 minutes Start: Every 30 minutes Operate twice a day
Required Time About one hour About one hour About two hours

Seoul City Tour Bus Homepage

Place of departure: In front of Gwanghwamun Donghwa Duty Free Shop (Gwanghwamun Station exit-6)
Contact: Gwanghwamun Tourist Information Center (T: 02-777-6090)

All about Gyeongbokgung Palace

Travel to Gyeongbokgung today

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Opening hours and rate

Closed on every Tuesday

Time

  • January~February:  09:00~17:00 (Entrance deadline: 16:00)
  • March~May:  09:00~18:00 (Entrance deadline: 17:00)
  • June~August:  09:00~18:30 (Entrance deadline: 17:30)
  • September~October:  09:00~18:00 (Entrance deadline: 17:00)
  • November~December:  09:00~17:00 (Entrance deadline: 16:00)

It may be reduced of time and adjustment depending on circumstance.

Admission fee

Individual (Native) Adults (24~64 years old 3,000 won
Group (Native) Adults (10 persons or more)
* Except for free admission
2,400 won
Foreiner Adults (19~64 years old) 3,000 won
(10 persons or more: 2,400 won)
Child/Teen (7~18 years old) 1,500 won
(10 persons more: 1,200 won)
Free * Under 6 years
* Age 65+
* Visitor wearing Hanbok
(Korean traditional cloths).
* Last Wednesday of every month (Culture Day).
Free
(Native)
* Under 6 years, Teen 7~24 years old, 65+.
* Teachers in charge of students,Tour guides for group travelers.
* Visitor wearing Hanbok (Korean traditional cloths).

Events

When you want to participate event, we would help for reservation instead of guests who have booked guesthouse.


Korean traditional clothes experience

Visitors can try wear Korean traditional clothes (Hanbok) in Joseon Dynasty and walk around the Unhyeongung (운현궁/雲峴宮) palace and take pictures. And learn how to wear a Hanbok as well.

  • Duration: Summer (April to October) / Winter (November to March).
  • Opening hours: Summer (10:00~18:00) / Winter (10:00~17:00) / Lunch time (12:00~13:00)
  • Rental place: Exhibition room (기획전시실) in Unhyeongung (운현궁).
  • Rental fee: 3,300 won (20 minutes after rental).

Note:

  • Wear traditional clothes, and walk freely though Unhyeongung palace, and take pictures.
  • Ticket can be purchased at the ticket office and submitted to the rental place.
  • Don’t have storage for bags and belongings.

Traditional tea manners experience

(It’s free except Gyeongbokgung entrance fee)

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  1. Venue: Jagyeongjeon in Gyeongbokgung.
  2. Operation: Total 68 times (Satueday and Sunday during business period)
  3. Duration: May~July, September~October 2017 (Saturday and Sunday) Total 34 days (68 times).
    First half (32 times): May 13(Sat)~July 2(Sun), 2017 / Every Saturday and Sunday / 13:00(for 20 people internet bookers), 14:30(10 people reservations and 10 people on-site reception) twice a day.
    Second half (36 times): September 2(Sat)~October 29(Sun) /  Every Saturday and Sunday / 13:00(for 20 people internet bookers), 14:30(10 people reservations and 10 people on-site reception) twice a day.
  4. Contact: Korea Culture Heritage Foundation, promotion team (T. 02-3210-1645)

Royal kitchen(Suragan)’s food taste experience

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  1. September, experience royal court food enjoying with the night view in Gyengbokgung.
    1). Event period:  From September 17(Sun)~September 30(Sat), 2017.
    2). Opening hours: (Part 1) 19:00~19:50 / (Part 2) 20:00~20:50.
    3). Venue: Gyeongbokgung Outside kitchen.
    4). Opening the sale: September 7(Thu), 14:00.
    5). Price: 23,000 won (includes 3,000 won entrance fee to Gyeongbokgung palace)
    6). Reservation: Auction Tickets (100% reservation system).
    ⇒ Go to website…
  2. October, Experience royal court luncheon with autumn leaves in Gyeongbokgung.
    1). Event period: From October 1(Sun)~Octover 27(Fri), 2017.
    2). Opening hours: (Part 1) 12:00~12:50 / (Part 2) 13:00~12:50.
    3). Venue: Gyeongbokgung Outside kitchen.
    4). Opening the sale: September 7(Thu), 14:00.
    5). Price: 20,000 won (Gyeongbokgung entrance fee not included)
    5). Reservation: Auction Tickets (100% reservation system).
    ⇒ Go to website…
  3. Contact: Korea Culture Heritage Foundation, promotion team (T. 02-2270-1243)

Day and night traditional performances

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  1. Venue: Gyeongbokgung Sujeongjeon(night performance) and Jagyeongjeon(dat performance).
  2. Day performance
    • Duration: March 20~June 30 / September 1~October 30.
    • Time: 15:30~16:10.
  3. Night performance
    • Duration: April 16~27 / July 16~29 / August 20~September 2 / 17 / 18.
    • Time: 20:00~20:50.
  4. Contact: Korea Culture Heritage Foundation, promotion team (T. 070-4278-9608)

Royal Guard(Sumunjang) shift ceremony

The Sumunjang in Joseon Dynasty was the “Royal Guard” keeping gates of the castle and palaces such as Gwanghwamun whch was front gate, the gate of Heunginjimun and Sungnyemun.

  • Royal Guard shift ceremony: 10:00, 14:00 / twice a day / time required 20 minutes.
  • Gwanghwamun guard ceremony: 11:00, 13:00 / twice a day / time required 10 minutes.
  • Open training for royal guards (out side 협생문/協生門): 09:35 (15 minutes) / 13:35 (15 minutes)
  • Contact: Korea Culture Heritage Foundation, promotion team (T. 02-3210-1645)

⇒ Go to Korea Culture Heritage Foundation website


History

Gyeongbokgung was the palace of Joseon Dynasty where is location in Sejongno, Seoul Korea. It was founded in 1395 (4th year of King Taejo). Gyeonbok (景福) means that hoping king, his descendants and all the people to be enjoy the great blessings of peaceful reign. As this place is surrounded by beautiful mountains in the back and left and right, the old Feng Shui scholars at the time have said that it has the condition of lucky place.  Taejo, who founded Joseon Dynasty in 1392, decided to move government to Hanyang (current Seoul) in the third year of its reign, and newly established a temporary apparatus so called “신도궁궐조성도감(新都宮闕造成都監)” that was responsible for the construction of palace in 1394. Gyeongbokgung stared to building in August of the 4th year of king Taejo (1395) with the recruitment of 9,500 workers in Gyenggido and 5,500 workers in Chungcheondo province, and was completed on September 29 of the same year and the king Taejo moved into the palace in October of the lunar calendar. At this time, the names of major buildings such as Gangnyeongjeon(康寧殿), Yeonsaengjeon(延生殿), Gyeongseongjeon(慶成殿), Sajeongjeon(思政殿), Geunjeonjeon(勤政殿), Geunjeongmun(勤政門) and Haenggak(行閣) were built. However, only the central part of the palace was built in this period, and the other attached government offices seem to have been completed a few years later. He built the wall of 20 cubits high and 4 doors of Gwanghwamun(光化門) which is the main gate on the south, Sinmumun(神武門) gate on the north, Geonchunmun(建春門) gate on east and Yongchumun(迎秋門) gate on the west. Gyeongbokgung by went through king Taejong and Sejong, continually palaces were constructed, and complemented palace’s symbolism and feng shui place by drew lucky water to the Geumcheon(禁川) in front of the Heungnyemun(興禮門) in the 11th year of king Taejong’s reign (1411). While built a Gyeonghoeru pavilion and there been used as a venue for foreign envoys and government officials.

Fire in 1553

On one day in September in the 8th year of king Myeongjong (1553), a big fire broke out in Gangnyeongjeon(康寧殿), and the buildings including Royal palace in some districts were destroyed and the precious treasures and books that have been descending ever since, king and queen’s garments, horse and vehicles burned down. It began construction in the spring of 1554, it was completed in September of that year. At the time, it was said that the mobilized manpower was compulsory 2,200 labors, and was 1,500 wage workers.

Japanese Invasion (Imjin War)

When the peace of Joseon was continued, it was a war that Japan invaded Joseon in 1592. Toyotomi Hideyoshi(豊臣秀吉) who unified Japan, invaded Joseon with his ambition to invade the continent. Japanese military were formed as the first group, the second group and the third group and began with capturing of Busan castle and headed north to Hanyang(current Seoul). General Sinlib(申砬) fought violently, but returned to failure, and the king Seonjo got on the way of refuge. In 1592, refugees arose when the king Seonjo(宣祖王) were evacuated, and it is told that refugees have burned the palaces of Gyeonhbokgung, Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung in order to eliminate the tracks of slave documents and plunder. However, this is not accurate according to subsequent records. Although with the success of Admiral Yi Sun-shin, the Joseon army won the war, Joseon had to suffered aftermath of the war. During of the Japanese invasion, Gyeongbokgung palace had destroyed due to repeated battle between Japanese military and Zhou and Ming allied force.

Reconstruction

Since then, it has not been rebuilt for 273 years. On April 26, 1865 (2nd year of king Gojong), started reconstruction by the Sinjeong Queen’s order who served as regency by the queen mother and was completed at the end of June, 1868. And the royal family moved to Gyeongbokgung on July 2 of the same year and commenced political affairs. Many reconstructed buildings were repeatedly destroyed and restored several times. In 1895, during Euimi Incident(乙未事變: the 32nd year of king Gojong), Myeongseong Queen was assassinated by the Japanese army at the Geoncheonggung(乾淸宮). In February of the following year, as king Gojong evacuated to the Russian embassy, The fate of Gyeongbokgung as the royal palace was over.

Note. Euilmi Incident(乙未事變): In 1895 (Gojong 32), it was a political coup that Japanese diplomat Miura Goro(三浦梧樓) became a main actor, assassinated Myeongseong Queen and making a plan to strengthen Japan’s power.

Japanese colonial era

In 1910, following the forced consolidation of Korea and Japan, Gyeongbokgung palace was damaged and lost its original shape. In the process of demolishing various buildings in Gyeongbokgung palace since then 1910 and selling them to the private sector, the Japanese empire as they held the so called National Product Exhibition(朝鮮物産共進會) for the 5th anniversary of municipality from September 11 to October 31, 1915 in Gyengbokgung, 18 merchandise display hall were constructed in the area of 17,190 square meters in place where 4,000 compartments were demolished. As soon as end of the exhibition, the Japanese imperialists moved and arranged various stone pagodas, bell-shaped stupa, stone statues, Buddhist statues etc., from all over the country irrelevant to the palace facilities in Gyengbokgung and established a music hall, and the Joseon Governor General building began to build from 1916, completed in 1926.

Restoration Project after liberation

In 1990, the restoration project of Gyengbokgung was started with the aim of completion in 2030. Include reinforced concrete building that used as the Joseon Governor General office and other buildings that erected in Japanese colonial era was demolished, and many of the buildings have been restored and still the restoration project is underway to recovering origin shapes.

Nearby Home Plus

Near the Home Plus shopping mall

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Home Plus is a large shopping mall that is located in nearest place from Better Guest House. They sell almost everything from electrical goods to various apparel, shoes and groceries. Home Plus is a tax-free affiliate. If you are a foreigner, when you purchase more than 30,000 won from Home Plus, you can get instant tax refund at the ‘customer service desk’ in the first floor. After purchasing the goods and completing payment at the checkout counter, you able to visit to ‘customer service desk and ask instant tax refund to the staff by present your receipt and passport together. Normally the refundable tax (VAT) will be less than 10 percent of the amount of the goods.

Tip : The products labeled “1+1” is meaning that two are sold as one value. However, sometimes cashiers deliberately miss the “1+1” promotional discount price at the checkout counter, by pretending to be a mistake. So you should pay attention to the price whether “1+1” was applied when you get a receipt at the counter.