Travel, Teach, Live in Korea
Seoul is a city of contrasts where the past and the present co-exist side by side. It is a city where you can feel the beat of a nation as it changes and evolves. The top three tourist destinations in Seoul are Changdeokgung Palace, Insadong and Cheonggyecheon Stream. These destinations can give you a taste of both the old and the new Korea.
Changdeokgung Palace was the main palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the best preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. It was built in 1405 and is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. To see Changdeokgung Palace, you have to take a guided tour. The tour will take you into the heart of the Joseon Dynasty's 600-year history. Injeongjeon was where major royal events were held. Daejojeon was the queen's living quarters. Nakseonjae was where the last surviving members of the Joseon Dynasty lived after the end of the dynasty. The tour ends with a visit to Buyongjeong, the secret garden, located in a secluded area. The garden is especially beautiful with its pond and pavilions. It was closed to the public for years but was reopened in 2005 and sheds light on the mystery of Korea.
Insadong is where to go to experience art and culture in Seoul. It was home to the aristocracy and the public officials who worked for the king. Antique shops opened and sold the possessions of fallen aristocrats and noblemen after the fall of the Joseon Dynasty. Large numbers of galleries exhibiting and selling art opened soon after that time. Insadong is where the locals and tourists come to spend a relaxing afternoon as Insadong is the best place to enjoy Korean tea in a traditional tea house. It is also the best place to buy a souvenir of your trip to Seoul.
Cheonggyecheon Stream is one of the most talked-about tourist destinations in Korea. Cheonggyecheon Stream had been completely covered by concrete as the economic development of Korea in the 1970s went ahead and new roads and bridges were built one after another. But on September 30, 2005, Cheonggyecheon Stream was brought back and the heart of the city was born again. The stream is 5.8 kilometers long and there are twenty-two bridges across the stream. It is where you can see the Koreans of today enjoying a walk and relaxing just a few steps from the heart of Seoul.