Premium night-time tours of Gyeongbok Palace began on Sunday, and those who have enjoyed the privilege say they are worth every won.
The tours are only available to 60 visitors per evening and include a guided tour, royal dinner, re-enactments and a visit to Gyeonghoe Pavilion, a venue for royal banquets that normally requires an appointment to visit.
The Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation launched the night tours in 2016.
At W50,000 the tickets are not cheap, but visitors say the tour gives them a different taste of the royal grounds (US$1=W1,123). An actress in a period costume playing the role of a royal courtesan gives visitors a sense that they have traveled back in time, while the sounds of the daegeum or traditional bamboo flute ring out from the floating Gyeonghoe Pavilion.
A fly in the ointment may be that the explanations of the guides are rudimentary and visitors often walk down the dimly lit alleys in silence, though others welcome the quiet.
Tickets for the premium tours are already sold out, but tickets for ordinary night-time tours to Gyeongbok Palace (Sep. 15~29) and Changdeok Palace (Oct. 21~Nov. 3) go on sale at Auction and Interpark on Friday.
Visitors enjoy a night-time tour of Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul.