Cheong Wa Dae is the executive office and official residence of the president of Korea, built mainly with traditional Korean architectural styles with splashes of modern elements. The blue tiles that cover the buildings are what give this presidential residence its name: Blue House. Located immediately behind the main Royal Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Cheong Wa Dae was originally a royal villa where civil servant examinations and military training took place. It was also used as the Government General Building by the Governor-General of Korea during the Japanese occupation. Cheong Wa Dae became the home of Syngman Rhee, the first President of Korea and has been used as the official residence of South Korea’s President ever since.
Like any head-of-state residence, Cheong Wa Dae is kept immaculately clean with gardens and beautiful architecture. Visitors must be on tours, which are limited to certain areas. Visitors must submit an application through the official website at least 3 weeks to 6 months in advance. Unfortunately, interpretation services are not provided, and individual tour guides are not available. Therefore, it is recommended to read the information about Cheong Wa Dae on the official website before the tour.
Because it is a secure area, there are prohibitions and limitations:
* Photographs may be taken ONLY at designated locations and video recording is strictly prohibited.
* Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following: video cameras, zoom lenses, large bags, pets, alcohol, food and beverages, protest material, political material (including placards and signs), musical instruments, two-way radios and any dangerous or deadly items (knives of any size, firearms, gunpowder and other explosives, or replicas of the above).