So last, last weekend (not the one I just wrote about) we went to Changdeok Palace and its Biwon (Korean for secret) Garden. The thing that is different about this palace is that you can only enter it with a tour and they have tours in Korean, Japanese and English. We went with Eddie and Gisela and it was another beautiful day and we had a great time (as we always do with those guys). To see all the pictures you should venture here.
There were a few things that I learned on the tour- The reason there are 5 colors used to paint the palaces is because they represent the 5 directions (north, south, east, west and center). For more practical reasons, they are painted to help preserve the wood. Also the number of statues on the top of a building depends on how much protection it is deemed to need. So the king's building has more of these guardian statues than common buildings. Also, the queen's buildings do not have any dragons on them since it's believed that more than one dragon cannot live in one place and the king is her dragon. It's possible that I misunderstood/didn't remember those details correctly, but that was the gist.
Anyway, here are a few of my favorite pictures.
After the tour we decided to wander around Insadong for awhile. It was brutally hot outside and we really wanted a delicious ice cream treat. That's when an ice cream free miracle happened.
Ice cream free!?! This is the greatest idea ever! There was some sort of festival going on and they were giving away all sorts of free stuff. I still feel giddy thinking about it. And it wasn't just ice cream free- oh no! There also were popcorn free, coffee free and balloon free (for the kiddies).
You could also enter for a draw to win starch spray for ironing free. Unfortunately we couldn't fill out the entry forms since they were in Korean and we didn't want to stick around for the draw. Plus, that's kind of a crappy prize in comparison to ice cream free.
We passed more of that "Free Hugs" stuff but this time it was a hug relay and there was a cute little girl participating briefly.
Some other notable things: Who chose this year's Insa Art Festival Theme? Simplicity & Complexity!?! No stone left unturned, I suppose. Don't want to limit yourself too much on your first year I guess.
We have some wine for you and a frightening employee wearing a bear suit who's willing to pour it on your head too!