Changgyeonggung's Grand Greenhouse under the stars
With spring just around the corner, the Grand Greenhouse inside Changgyeonggung invites visitors to taken an enchanting stroll through the palace garden.
Located in Jongno-gu, Seoul, the Joseon-period palace offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the bustling city, having recently reopened its nighttime viewings in March,
As you walk through the gates and into the palace court, the night lights cast a dreamy glow on the surroundings, casting a completely different atmosphere upon the historical site as it sits under the stars.
Take your time to explore the palace from Myeongjeongjeon, the throne hall, which has stood the test of time since 1616, to the tranquil Chundangji pond adorned with traditional lanterns.
After a short walk around the pond, you will come across a sight that seems almost out of place -- a Western-style greenhouse glowing brightly in the dark.
The greenhouse is Korea’s first modern conservatory. It was built, along with a zoo, by the Japanese in 1909 during the reign of Sunjong, right before Japan formally annexed Joseon in 1910. It was the biggest conservatory in Asia at the time.
Step inside the greenhouse, and you will be greeted by the fresh scent of damp soil and luscious greenery. Currently, the conservatory houses some 70 species of the nation’s plants, wildflowers and native plants, including those from Ullengdo and Dokdo.
The palace is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (last admission 8:00 p.m.) for an admission fee of 1,000 won for adults. Visitors dressed in hanbok can enjoy free admission. The palace also offers guided-tours in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.
Changgyeonggung Palace is closed on Mondays.
Pengsoo pop-up store in Busan
A Pengsoo-themed pop-up store has opened at the southern port city of Busan’s key landmark, Shinsegae Centum City.
Pengsoo is South Korea’s beloved costumed penguin character from the educational television network EBS.
The store, which opened March 1, is selling Pengsoo merchandise and limited-edition items that are only available at the Busan pop-up store, ranging from tumblers and mugs to phone grips, posters and postcards.
Celebrating the costumed penguin’s collaboration with the homegrown coffee brand Tom N Toms, the pop-up store also sells coffee and cakes at a separate dessert cafe.
Special events including a lucky draw and an Instagram photo event are being held at the pop-up store. Items available in the lucky draw include various Pengsoo-themed merchandise, spa tickets and tickets to a driving range. By uploading photos of the pop-up store on social media, visitors can also receive a selection of Pengsoo stickers.
The store is open every day from 10:30 a.m., closing at 8 p.m. on weekdays and at 8:30 p.m. on weekends. The pop-up store offers free admission to visitors of all ages until March 31.
Paradise for print designers, the Paper Lab
At the Paper Lab, where more than 5,000 kinds of paper can be used to print everything from wedding invitations to paper package samples and even paper seals for a juice bottle, anyone can enjoy printing their work on special paper and create mockups for packages.
Operated by the local paper importer Samwon Paper, the Paper Lab offers support and professional consulting by "paper geniuses" and "print geniuses" at eight different zones including a design reference zone, a paper library and a photo studio.
The gallery inside the Paper Lab is currently holding an exhibition on typography, showcasing award-winning typography works by the Type Directors Club. The exhibition runs until April 11.
The Paper Lab, located in Gunja, Gwangjin-gu, in Seoul, opens every day except for Sundays. Find out more at The Paper Lab's Instagram, thepaperlab_seoul.