Seoul’s royal palaces enjoyed an unprecedented rise in popularity this year, the Cultural Heritage Administration said.
A record number of 10.1 million visitors tread past the gates of Seoul’s four major palaces -– Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung and Deoksugung -– as of November, according to CHA, a government agency charged with preserving and promoting Korean cultural heritage.
Nighttime strolls in Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung were popular, the statistics showed. A total of 532,565 visitors sought the two palaces’ moonlight walk programs.
CHA plans to further extend the number of days that the palaces are open at night next year.
CHA attributed the soaring numbers to the greater access to the palaces: they were open a total of 120 evenings, up from last year’s 48. Free entry was allowed to those wearing hanbok, the traditional Korean costume, during both the daytime and nighttime.