In our goal to visit as much of Korea as possible (because we want to say we’ve seen it all after a year!), we decided to revisit a traditional hanok village in Jeonju. We say revisit for a specific reason. If you remember, during our orientation week, our group actually travelled to Jeonju and we spent the day making traditional food and crafts. But wow, were we ever glad to make the trip back – our group missed out on so much!
Even with the exceptional bus service in Korea, we still had to bus into the main city in order to book a ticket to Jeonju. After a short 1h30 bus ride, we made it to our destination. The local bus dropped us off right on the edge of the hanok village and we set Jeondong Cathedral as our main landmark. We didn’t spend any time in the religious building but it was definitely nice to see from the roadside.
Making our way down the cobblestone streets, we could see tons of locals dressed in traditional hanbok outfits. You can actually rent these outfits for a number of hours in order to take pictures and walk the streets. Unfortunately the heat wouldn’t let us join in the fun – we didn’t want to walk around town covered in sweat…
Consulting our guide map, we visited a traditional tea house; a top rated lunch joint called Veteran that serves all the Korean staple dumplings, soup and noodles; a little dessert pit stop called Aedam, serving strawberry chapssal-tteok; and a traditional wine museum.
What wasn’t quite successful for us was locating and visiting the Jeonju Hanji Museum. Hanji is a type of traditional Korean paper used for a multitude of things such as home repairs and for recording scriptures in ancient times and for art and craft forms in much more recent times. For some reason we just couldn’t seem to find the museum…
In our stroll through the streets which decided to climb up a few walkways in order to reach the Omokdae Observatory and let us tell you, the trip to this quaint Korean town is worth it just for this view. It lets you gaze upon the entirety of the hanok village and in the distance we even spotted a brand new guesthouse that actually built a traditional hanok home on the roof of the building!
All in all, Jeonju provides a respectable experience of what traditional Korea was and is all about. The dress, the food, and the buildings all come together to give you a glimpse into the country’s past. And despite all the focus on traditional Korea, we even managed to try a virtual reality roller coaster right before we left!
Pro Tip: Don’t try the virtual reality right after you eat…your screen won’t show the projectiles but I’m sure everyone else will notice.
Have you been to Jeonju?
What did you think of your visit?
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