Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Jeonju


If you're looking for good food, hustle and bustle and some traditional Korea, Jeonju is the place to find it. Tucked into the city is a traditional Hanok village that seems to be the tourist hot spot of Korea. It has a wide river running along one side with traditional Korean  bridges dotted across the water.  With no cars being allowed in during certain times, it really gives you the feeling you're in old town Korea.


The area is famous for its bibimbap and is also well known for makgeoli huts that serve a ridiculous amount of banchan with every kettle of makgeoli bought. These are usually more than a normal meal and I'd suggest going there with an appetite and a thirst! Kayley had been to Jeonju with her friend Lara last year over Children's Day, when I had to work. She raved about the village and has been desperate to visit again. She loved the tradition, mixed with modern interest. Old traditional style roofed houses, with new little coffee shops scattered around, as well as the interest of young couples wanting to dress up in hanbok and wander around the streets taking selfies. She had me more than a little intrigued by her stories of endless side dishes and large kettles of rice wine.

Our visit to Jeonju happened to be over a long weekend so the village was extra busy. We'd left a bit later than usual so got there at about 2pm. Getting close to the hanok village was tough as the roads were busy and lots of areas had been blocked off but we eventually found a place to park our little car about a kilometer away. 

We hadn't booked any accommodation as everything online with any English website was full. So our first aim was to find a place to stay, not just any place though, we really wanted to stay in a traditional hanok. After walking a round for while gawking at all the people dressed up in hanboks and train conductor/school girl outfits (not quite sure of the story behind this) we happened on a quieter little side road with a few hanoks for rent. We called one of them as there was no one to be found on the property and after some back and forth we had a place to stay! The owners husband even walked back to our car with us and drove it into the village through his 'secret entrance ' and parked right in front of their property. 

The place we stayed in was wonderful, a tiny little room with mud walls and a grass roof. Traditional sleeping pads, down duvets and heated floors made for one of the most coziest places we've slept in Korea ,we were so warm and comfy listening to the rain outside that we were loathe to get up the next morning. This also could also have been due to the kettles of makgeolli from the previous night. 
After securing our place to stay we headed out to find some bibimbap. We soon settled on a place and weren't disappointed. It was great. We also tried another local drink, Moju, with our meal. It is a very sweet, cinnamon and raisin rice wine. 

Later that evening we went looking for a makgeolli hut. The makgeolli place that Kayley and Lara went to (Gain Makgeolli) had unfortunately closed down! A bit more walking didn't produce anything so we got a taxi to the downtown area of Jeonju, outside of the hanok village, to a place called ,Yeachon Makgeolli. Here we had two kettles of "clear" makgeolli which was recommended to us by the waiter. He said it would give us no headache the next morning... he wasn't completely wrong. We proceeded to work our way through two kettles of makgeolli, each accompanied by 4 side dishes which we just couldn't finish as it was too much food!

The next morning we had a traditional breakfast of coffee and ice cream and set it to find a hanbok for Kayley to take photos in. Something she has wanted to do since she stepped foot in Korea. There are loads of places to rent them all over the village. We soon found one and caught up in the moment I decided to dress up as well. It was actually quite fun walking around and we got many stares and waaaahhhhs and wows! We took some very nice photos along with the hundreds of other couples doing the same thing. 



If you're looking for good food, good times and some Korean culture definitely put Jeonju on your list. You won't be disappointed.

16 comments:

  1. JEONJU! This is definitely one of our favorite places in Korea for so many reasons. Those makgeolli huts with all the side dishes are amazing. We went through four of those large kettles with Scott and Megan last year and definitely were feeling pretty rough the next day. You two look amazing in your hanbok. So funny how everyone goes on and on when they see you in the outfit, huh? It made Ryan pretty uncomfortable haha!

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    1. The makgeolli huts are a huge drawing factor! Yeah we couldn't believe the responses we got, even though there were hundreds of others wearing them too!

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  2. I love a good Hanbok in a Hanok story. You guys looks gorgeous in them too. I haven't been to Jeonju, but clearly need to go. I already know I love the food from that region so better get on it. Looks wonderful.

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  3. Lol...I love your "traditional" breakfast of coffee and ice cream. Sounds like a keeper. ;) I have unfortunate memories of being forced to wear a hanbok as a child, so have never felt the urge to dress up in one and take pics, but you guys look amazing, and Jeonju must be the absolute perfect place to do it! :)

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    1. haha! There's an ice cream shop that sells beautiful ice creams - i had a Guiness one and Mark had a double thick chocolate one. Great way to start the day!

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  4. Beautiful matching hanboks! And yeah, that traditional breakfast made me smile. I've always wanted to go around in Hanbok and I have read so many posts about the Jeonju Hanbok Village.Always positive ones. And yours have affirmed it all the more.

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  5. I love the matching hanboks! I find it sweet to walk around the traditional village with your partner. Your pictures are amazing. The hanok stay is also included in my bucket list. Thanks for sharing this. <3

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  6. You guys look super cute in your hanboks! I'm headed to Jeonju this Christmas, actually. Really looking forward to feasting on makgeolli and bibimbap. I would love to wear a hanbok but it might be too cold- I dunno, what do you think?

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    1. Oh, that'll be beautiful - I hope they have some Christmassy lights going on there! I'm sure you'll be able to wear a hanbok, even though its cold - keep your layers on underneath (that's what I did!). Hope you have a great time!

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  7. Your photos are absolutely stunning and I love the hanboks! I also loved your comment about breakfast since I feel like my breakfast meals in Seoul always were whatever I could put together from 711 or GS 25. Jeonju looks like it would be perfect in the spring! I wish I had more time to travel around Korea and Jeonju would have been on my list. :)

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  8. I recently visited Jeonju and surrounding cities a couple weekends ago and it was great! I missed exploring Jeonju though (due to work constraints) but when I first arrived to Korea for my teaching orientation, they took us there and it was awesome!

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  9. Could you two be any cuter in your hanbok?! I just went to Jeonju as well, and stayed in that very same Hanok. What are the odds! We didn't try any Mojo, though. Guess that's just yet another excuse to go back!

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    1. No way! That's so funny! The owners were were really great!

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  10. Aww! This is definitely on my to do list too, either to convince my husband to get dressed up with me or to photograph another lovely couple there. I wonder if you had a hard time finding Hanbok long enough, as they tend to run short. Also, your flip flops look so funny with hanbok...could you rent traditional shoes as well?

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    1. Haha! Unfortunately those were the only shoes I had with me. Also I'm pretty tall (177cm) so I'm used to most things being too short for my long legs haha! To be honest I just chose the prettiest looking colours on the cheapest hanbok rail, but if you're shorter than me I think you have no problem finding on that is long enough. Shoes- I can't remember, but most of the girls I saw walking around in them actually had their sneakers on!

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  11. What a lovely weekend getaway!! I need to get to Jeonju asap, based on your ravings of it, anyway! You guys look so happy and traditional with the hanbok pictures!

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