On Chuseok, M and I went to Gyeongbok Palace. It was really gorgeous and I’m glad we went. One unexpected benefit of going to see this famous palace on a holiday was that we got free admission to the palace, along with free admission to the surrounding museums.
Gyeongbok is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces of the Joseon Dynasty. It was constructed in 1395 and then later burned and abandoned for almost three centuries, and then reconstructed in 1867. To be honest, before visiting Gyeongbok, I didn’t know this much information. This was one of the first, and perhaps the last time I will go see a famous site without at least reading the wikipedia on it beforehand.
Before coming to Korea, I debated and debated with myself about if I should buy one of those thick Lonely Planet travel books or not. I went to the bookstore frequently and lusted over them, caressing the covers and whatnot, but I told myself that it would be a waste of packing space and that I’d never need it. So, I bought one on my Kindle instead. This was actually a big mistake. You see, I love my Kindle but the one big downside of using a Kindle is that it’s really hard to flip through books on an e-reader. You sort of have to start at the beginning and go to the end. You can flip, but for an impatient person, it gets really burdensome and the interface is far from perfect. So, my one piece of travel advice and something that I will be doing from here on forward? Buy the paper version of the travel book. Just do it. The pictures will be in color and you will have something to read on the bus.