One of my favorite places to visit during any season and at any time is the Gyeongbok Palace (경복궁). I go there at least three times a year and I visit the area around the palace more often than I care to admit. It’s the cultural center of Seoul, maybe even Korea. Unsurprisingly, most of the architecture isn’t as old as you might believe. Almost every single building down to the shingles has been rebuilt faithfully from historical record.
One thing I’ve never been able to do is visit the palace at night. Look up the palace on Google and you’re bound to find a few pictures of the palace at night. It looks amazing. The problem is that I’ve never had the chance to see the palace at night. See 99.9% percent of the time, the palace closes at 6 pm sharp. The other 0.1% of the time, the palace opens its gates at night and allows visitors a rare look at the palace under the moonlight.
So after more than three years, my girlfriend and I finally lucked out when she just happened to notice a website with details on a open-night for the palace. We took a forty minutes subway ride over, stood in line for tickets for another 20 minutes before we were finally allowed to fight through the throng of people to get a picture of the grounds at night.
Worth every minute.