Dine like a Joseon king at Gyeongbokgung

By Lee Woo-young
  • Published : Aug 17, 2016 - 13:42
  • Updated : Aug 17, 2016 - 17:08
Gyeongbokgung, the Joseon era’s main royal palace, will invite visitors to dine at its royal kitchen to experience Joseon kings’ daily meal and walk around the palace at night in September.

The new Starlight Tour will run twice a day at 6:30 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. from Sept. 1-17, inviting up to 60 people per tour.

The tour will start at the royal kitchen of Sojubang where participants will be served a royal box meal, which is based on the Joseon kings’ typical meal with 12 dishes, but presented in a convenient, modern way. 

Samples of Joseon royal cuisine (The Cultural Heritage Administration)

Sojubang is well-known for being a set of the popular period drama “Jewel in the Palace” and opened to the public in 2015 for the first time in 100 years. The restored kitchen building, which was destroyed during the Japanese colonial era, has restaged royal cuisine at several public events at the palace since last year.

After the dinner, visitors will be guided to major office and residence halls in the palace, including the Joseon kings’ main office hall of Geunjeongjeon, the Joseon queens’ residence, the office Gyotaejeon and a beautiful garden located behind the queen’s residence. 

Night view of Gyeongheoru pavilion and the surrounding artificial pond (The Cultural Heritage Administration)

The 130-minute tour will continue at another residence hall where concubines stayed. The inside of the concubine’s hall will be specially open to participants of the Moonlight Tour.

Toward the north, visitors will encounter a beautiful pond and the hexagonal pavilion of Hayngwonjeong, built on a small artificial island in the pond. They will also stop by at another artificial pond and the pavilion of Gyeongheoru, built in the western part of the palace.

Online reservations for the Gyeongbokgung Starlight Tour will open at 2 p.m. on Friday at Tickets cost 50,000 won per person. A person can purchase up to four tickets. For more information, call Auction customer service at 1566-1369 about the reservation, and call (02) 2270-1235/1239 about the tour program.

By Lee Woo-young (