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Dine like a king at Gyeongbokgung starlight tour

Poster of “2022 Starlight Tour at Gyeongbokgung Palace” (CHA)
Poster of “2022 Starlight Tour at Gyeongbokgung Palace” (CHA)
Gyeongbokgung, the Joseon royal palace, will host its spring season starlight tour from May 18 to 29.

Organized by the Cultural Heritage Administration’s Royal Palaces and Tombs Center and the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation, the tour takes visitors through the northern area of Gyeongbokgung, where they can enjoy a dining experience, watch a traditional music performance and go for a stroll under the stars by the moonlit palace.

Tours will be held twice a day starting at 6:40 p.m. and 7:40 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Each tour will run approximately for two hours.

Up to 30 participants are allowed per tour and tickets can be reserved from Friday at 2 p.m. through the Interpark website. Each person is limited to two tickets.

Upon entering the palace, visitors will have a chance to try a modern version of “surasang,” a royal meal of 12 dishes served to kings and queens. A live Korean traditional music performance accompanies the dinner.

A walk through Jibokjae, the king’s library, and Palujeong Pavilion, a reception hall for foreign envoys, will follow, led by a professional guide.

Visitors can also enjoy a short performance by actors at the “jango” area where “jangdok,” traditional earthenware jars, were stored. The play involves a story about people living in the old palace.

At Geoncheonggung Residence, where electric lights came on for the first time in the country in 1887, a sand art video will be shown.

The tour ends at Hyangwonjeong Pavilion from where visitors will be treated to a panoramic nighttime view of the capital.

Regular seat tickets when watching the traditional music performance cost 60,000 won and it is 55,000 won for seats with partially blocked views.

People with disabilities and those 65 and older can book up to two tickets per person by calling 1544-1555.

Tickets for May 20 and 21, days which fall under the 2022 Royal Culture Festival period from May 10-22, will be sold through a lottery system. Those interested can apply on Interpark, from Friday at 4 p.m., and the results will be announced on May 11.

Gyeongbokgung’s fall season starlight tour is expected to open in late September, according to the CHA.

By Kim Hae-yeon (