We observed a changing of the royal guard ceremony at Deoksugung Palace, which is held three times a day since 1996, after thorough research by leading historians. The ceremony, complete with traditional musical instruments, swords, password-exchange, drum-beating and order-bellowing is held at the Daehanmun Gate and lasts about 30 minutes. We really enjoyed and agreed with the show:
Of course, we also wanted a picture with one of those stern-looking guards and Yasu and Jungwon even changed into some of those Korean traditional outfits. Apparently, they looked authentic enough to confuse other tourists and suddenly I wasn’t the only one interested in taking pictures of and with them anymore.
The ceremony reminded me of the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace, only more colorful and noisy with the loud voice-over explaining what was going on in 4 different languages. Everything looked impressive, but I don’t think it was real, I think it was just to amaze us tourists. I say this because afterwards they devoted ample time to us tourists and our cameras, and they had those Korean traditional costumes to try on for free. Which is why I’d recommend it to all tourists.