Asia: Palace Wonders

Fancy learning about the lives of some of Asia’s royal families? A visit to some of Asia’s grand palaces, some ancient and a few restored, is like traveling through time. Explore the vast grounds and be fascinated by the intricacy of its architectural designs and the rich culture and history that lies behind these royal walls.

Deoksugung Palace (Seoul, South Korea)

Built on flat terrain, unlike other palaces from the Joseon Dynasty, the Deoksugung Palace boasts of a fusion of the classic Korean and Western architectural design. Apart from its interesting features, another major draw for this palace is the traditional guard-changing ceremony, a tradition similar to Buckingham Palace which takes place thrice a day at the Daehanmun Gate since 1996.

Forbidden City/Summer Palace (Beijing, China)

What once was an official residence of 24 emperors during the Ming and Qing dynasties is now a showcase of cultural and historical Chinese artifacts. Recognized as the best-preserved imperial palace in China and one among the five significant global palace structures, the Forbidden City was nominated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

Grand Palace (Bangkok, Thailand)

There’s more to the Grand Palace than its fascinating architecture and design. Built in 1782, Thailand’s old dame and one of the country’s major attractions served as home to the King of Thailand, the Royal Court as well as the administrative seat of government. Within the gates of the spectacular complex are more structures that boast of intricately impressive Thai craftsmanship.

Imperial Palace (Tokyo, Japan)

The Imperial Palace is located at the site of the Tokugawa shogunate’s original castle known as the Edo-jo in the heart of Tokyo. What once was recognized as one of the world’s biggest strongholds and served as a residence for samurai warriors back in the 1700-1900s, is now the primary seat of Japan’s imperial family. Among the tourist attractions within the compound is the Kyuden, the present palace rebuilt after the WWII; the iron Niju-bashi and stone Megane-bashi bridges; the central park or the Imperial Palace East Garden.

Istana Negara or National Palace (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Originally built in 1928 as the residence of a Chinese millionaire. Eventually, after the Japanese occupancy, the palace which has been closely guarded by cavalry guard served as home to the Queen and King of Malaysia until a new palace was built in 2013. Currently, the old palace within the spanning grounds 97.65-hectares is known as the royal museum, showcasing the life of the royals through full-guided tours.

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