Last week, I called up Korea Tourism Organization's #1330 hotline to ask about the night tours of Changdeokgung Palace. The female operator handling the English hotline told me that tickets were made available days before and they were sold out.
Something in me didn't believe her. Why? All my professional life I was trained not to believe unless I see evidence. And unless she told me her source and verified it myself, I didn't believe a word she said. Ha-ha-ha!
(Photographers and onlookers standing on the rooftop of the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History)
And I was right not to believe her.
Yesterday, I logged on into Interpark's website and, viola! I was able to buy a ticket! For a night tour of Changdeok Palace! They weren't sold out after all!
(Gyeongbuk Palace lighted at night)
I wanted to call back #1330 and tell that female operator to stop informing her callers that tickets were sold out. Because if she did, those tourists and visitors to Korea who wanted to experience walking around the Changdeok Palace at night would just forego the experience of discovering the Palace's nocturnal character.
The temperatures in Seoul are getting warmer these days, and it should be comfortable walking around the palatial grounds even at night.
And maybe when it's really quiet and calm at the Palace, perhaps, it won't only be the tour guide's voice that the visitors would be able to hear. We should also be able to hear the voices of the past residents and the stories they wanted to tell the visitors.
(The main gate of Gyeongbuk Palace
Details of the night tour: