The last palace – Changdeokgung Palace

I was close to done with palaces but the final one was worth the visit.

Changdeokgung Palace secreted one surprise after another. As I turned corners, artistic building crystalized. Even the walls surrounding palace structures were impressive. Unlike Deoksugung Palace, I accompanied a guide.

Detail from a Changdeokgung Palace building, Seoul
Detail from a Changdeokgung Palace building, Seoul

We were led down a forested walkway to the Secret Garden, as it was called. Lilly pads blanketed the pond while opposite stood a pagoda. This was the height of luxury for only the emperor’s pleasure.

Lily pond, Changdeokgung Palace
Lily pond in the Secret Garden, Changdeokgung Palace

I wanted to dangle my feet in the pond and ruminate on Seoul the way a past emperor may have. With a guide, this wasn’t possible. He was eager to hurry his small party through the labyrinth of buildings and gardens back to the start, and our end.

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