Sunday, 3 November 2013

Gyeongbuk Palace At Night: Not Everyone Was Welcome!

Yes, the Gyeongbuk Palace once again opened its gates for visitors at night, but not everyone was welcome. Only about 1,500 people can get in, and worse, for me at least, only 55 foreigners were allowed.

I guess the administration overseeing Gyeongbuk Palace learned their lesson from last year when they opened the Palace for everyone; it turned out to be a circus of sorts. Without setting a limit that time, thousands got in. Some visitors brought in mats and turned the palace into picnic grounds, while some brought in food and drinks to sell, turning the palace into a market. I can only imagine the garbage and the litter all over the palace grounds the next morning. If the king was still around, heads would have rolled.

This time, however, they sold only 1,000 tickets online, and 500 at the ticket counter; and those were for the locals. For foreigners, only the first 55 could get in each night by lining up at the ticket counter as early as 5PM for the 7PM entry. Although the tickets were only KRW3,000, I wouldn't want to waste two hours standing in front of the ticket counter and on the dirt, while counting the queue to make sure I was not the 56th person. 

The night visitors were only allowed to enter at 7PM after ushering out all the day-time visitors from the Palace at 6PM. And those who couldn't get in just spent their time taking pictures outside the Palace.

Oh well. So much for the night visit at Gyeongbuk Palace. I won't let my hopes high the next time it's open for night visit again, unless of course, the king gives me a free ticket in.

 Or if the palace administration increases the number of foreigners allowed on the night visit and provides online reservation for them, er, us, too.

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