We were greeted by vast spaces as we went through several gates and structures before finally arriving at the entrance to the Biwon Garden 비원 (or Secret Garden). We were late for our guided tour by 10 minutes, and the group had departed, but we were allowed in after we handed our tickets over to the guard. Once inside, we were all at once calmed and awed by the serenity of the garden and the shades of autumn on display.
The palace grounds were built in harmony with the natural terrains. Towards the end of our walk (we never located our group!), we stumbled onto a forest trail and it led us down a hillside and back to the beautiful Buyongji (lotus pond).