Just a few generations ago, Korea still had kings. Throughout the country, there are a variety of beautiful palaces that are either ancient or authentically restored. Touring them is like stepping back in time. You can almost feel the vibrations from trumpets and horse hooves. Sometimes you can literally hear banners flapping in the wind or gigantic symbols gonging in tribute to the ancestors.
Perhaps because their architecture is so different from Western styles, perhaps because their color schemes are so striking, perhaps because there is some mysterious truth to the feng shui spacing of buildings and open spaces ... I'm not sure why, but Korean palaces give me a deep sense of awe and peace.
To explore this in two dimensions, check out my friend Andy Phelps's phenomenal photography. Thanks to him for permission to use his pics here. (And if you're so inclined, you can even buy a few prints for yourself. Sarah and I are thinking of doing this for Christmas presents this year. We've given just about everything else Korea-related already.)