Hanbok (한복). If you mention the country Korea to anyone, hanbok would be one of the things they can think of. A piece of clothing that represents Korea in all its beauty and glory.
One of the activities written on most tourists’ to-do list, is wearing the hanbok around a traditional Korean palace. In this post, I will share with you my experience of feeling like a Korean princess for a day around the Gyeongbukkung Palace with the help of a hanbok.
Here are some fun facts about the traditional clothing:
- The traditional clothing was once worn daily by generations decades ago. You can see the visualisation of this in Korean dramas.
- Back in the days, one’s social position and status can be distinguished by the colours or material of their hanbok. For example, unmarried women would wear yellow tops and red skirts while married women wear green and red. Children and young girls would wear bright colours.
- The royal family have more choices of colours and patterns of hanbok. For example, the king would wear dragons, mountains or water plants. Meanwhile, the queen would wear phoenixes. On the other hand, princesses would wear butterflies, lotus flowers and cranes. Only royals can wear these patterns.
As the years pass by, the clothing amongst Koreans evolves and becomes modern. Today, Korean only wear the hanbok for special traditional occasions. For example, the first birthday of their child, weddings, and funerals.
I’m excited to try out the hanbok! Where can I rent one?
In this article, I will introduce to you the place that I rented my hanbok once.
The store is a little cute store called Hanboknam Gyeongbokgung store. You will be able to find the place right away if you key in into Naver map or Kakao map.
They offer variety of colours and patterns. It felt like a fairytale in there. Beautiful pastel colours to elegant bold colours. There’s so many to choose from I feel like going back there to try on all the other colours!
I really felt like spending more time in there just to appreciate the beauty of every single design. The best part about choosing your own hanbok is being able to mix and match the top and the skirt.
Also, a little pro tip – as pretty and pure looking the all white hanboks are, they probably won’t stand out as much in photos. Unless you’re using a dslr camera then It could capture the hanbok well.
Two types of hanbok.
- Modern hanboks. They have more variety of patterns, designs and colour schemes. All the photos above are modern hanboks.
- The traditional hanbok. The top and the skirts have plain designs. Traditional hanboks are just as pretty too, but with different colour schemes and designs.
They also provide free hairdos and accessories. There are also add on purses and flower crowns but you would have to pay around 3000-5000won for that.
The rental price differs according to the type of hanbok. You rent them either for 1 hour, 2 hours or 4 hours and so on. There is a time limit. For every 10 minutes, there will be a charge of 1,000 won for normal hanboks and 2,000 won for themed hanboks. Therefore, you have to make well use of the time in the palace and make sure you don’t exceed the rental time.
For first timers, it might be a little complicated for you to put it on, but no worries because they have guides in the changing room and if you’re still having troubles, the worker there will help you.
Photo zones at the Gyeongbokgung palace
Wearing a hanbok earns you free entrance to the palace!
Here are some of the pretty photo spots in Gyeongbokgung palace.
Last but not least, I recommend doing this activity during the winter, spring, or autumn. I figured you would be sweating during summer.