Trip to Changdeokgung


One of the great things about Hanyang business school is the Glitters program. The Glitters program is for international students in the business school, and the group is made up of Korean students and international students, so it is a great way to meet new people. They also organize activities for international students. Recently, Glitters organized a trip to Changdeokgung palace. Students were invited to wear Hanbok (Korean traditional clothing) and take a guided tour of the secret garden and grounds of the palace. This was a really neat trip to learn about Korea’s past.

Kaylin 4-1We started of the day by visiting a hanbok shop, where we were able to rent hanbok for the day (there are many shops like this in Seoul). Even the simplest hanbok was still very pretty. We rented the less extravagant ones; however more extravagant ones were available to rent. It was fun to dress up and walk around the palace it really gives you a sense of how life was back then.  We started out by picking out the top part of the hanbok from a variety of choices, then we were able to choose the color of skirt that we wanted and a head-piece to complete the look. Hanbok is very different from any western historical dresses and it was quite a lot of work to put on. There were so many “parts” of the outfit that we had to put on. The shop owners were very kind to help us out. The lady was very patient and helped us pick out skirt colors and even helped some us (me) put on the pieces of the outfit. With all of us girls there helping each other pick out skirt colors and such it felt like we were all young again and playing dress up. It was very fun time. When we were walking around the tour we got complimented on how cute we looked by some of the older ladies touring the palace, they even took a picture with us, so I guess we all looked pretty decent in them.

Kaylin 4-2            We then made our way to the palace where we started out by taking a guided tour (in English) of the secret garden. The secret garden was the place that Kings and Queens would go to relax and spend time with people in a casual setting. Filled with many ponds and viewing points the garden gave off a very serene feel. It was easy to see why Kings and Queens felt so relaxed there. If we were to go later in the spring, we would be able to see the ponds filled with blooming flowers (so I was told). The palace itself was also very impressive, though we did not get to go inside the open windows provided us a way to peek in and see the throne room, it was like looking directly into the past, the maintainers of the palace and gardens have taken great care to keep everything as original as possible. After the tour we were left to wonder about the grounds by ourselves. We then went to an onsite café and sat outside drinking our coffees in our hanbok, it was like being on the movie set of one of those historical dramas because everyone was drinking coffee and using their cellphones while wearing hanbok. One of the best parts about this trip is that us foreign students got to learn a little bit about Korean history and interact with some of the Korean students. It was fun with them because sometimes they would act like they were in a historical drama and act out scenes. It was very entertaining to watch.  I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and I am thankful to the Glitters organizers for making it possible.

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