Hi, it’s me Marimonda!
Today, I’d like to introduce Jeonju, where is known for a gourmet city. Jeonju has several touristic spots, but the most famous and popular area would be Hanok village. Here, you may feel like as if you were in the past because many people are wearing Hanbok and wandering around the street. Also, it’s full of restaurants and street food.
HOW TO GET THERE
Jeonju is located in Jeonlabuk-do. It’s southern area from Seoul and it takes about 2 and half hours by car.
As a tourist, taking a bus might be the easiest option. You can take a bus from Central City Terminal in Banpo, and it’s just next to the express bus terminal in Seoul. (I briefly mentioned about this place in my previous review on Marriott Seoul. If you’re interested in, click here.) The bus costs 13,800 won (ilban bus bus – economy seat), 20,100 won (udeung bus – comfort seat) and 26,100 won (premium bus – premium seat). When you take off the bus, you can take a cab to the village. It will cost you about 5,000 won.
You can also visit Jeonju by train. From Seoul station to Jeonju, it takes little bit less than 2 hours. Though, the ticket is very expensive compared to bus (34,600 won). Also the taxi from the train station to the village is a bit expensive (around 6,000 won). So, choose the best option that works for you.
THINGS TO DO
I’ve been to Jeonju many times. There is a zoo, deockjin park where you can ride a pedalling boat. I stayed for a night in a hanok-styled accommodation before. This time, however, I only visited for an afternoon about 3-4 hours to meet a friend and to visit Hanok village.
Explore the folk village
The whole town is full of antique houses and people in hanbok. Seeing people in a traditional outfit, you would feel as if you were in the past. Actually, so many people are wearing hanbok here, and it looks amazing with background. It seems to be a good opportunity to experience hanbok since you would get gorgeous pics with it.
The town is quite small. Probably, two and three hours will be enough to look around. The town looks like Bukchon village in Seoul, but bigger and more authentic.
Gyeonggijeon is a place where the portrait of the first king of Joseon Dynasty is stored. The portraits of the King Taejo ( Seonggye Lee) were stored in three different places : Jeonju, Gyeongju, and Pyeongyang. in order to protect them in any case of emergency such as fire or war. The entrance ticket costs 3,000 won (adult). It opens between 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., but in winter season(1st Nov. to 28,9 Feb.) it closes at 6 p.m.
Jeondong Catholic Cathedral
Located at the entrance of Hanok village, Jeongong Catholic Cathedral is another must-see place whether you’re a Catholic or not. The church has a long history more than 100 years. The architect has a romanesque style combining eastern and western style.
THINGS TO EAT
Well, try different food as much as you can. The city is known for its Bibimbap, Ddeokgalbi, Kongnamul soup and Chocopie. Street food like octopus stick, baked cheese, baguette sandwich from Gilgeoria are also popular. It’s easy to see people walking in the street with food in their hand.
Bibimbap is one of the typical Korean food. If you’re travelling to Korea first time, you may have an opportunity to try it in the flight. Usually, it’s served as one of the meal in most flights from and to Korea. The food is quite simple. The meal is served in a bowl or hot stone bowl with rice, vegetables, meat and egg. You add gochujang, a traditional Korean spicy sauce with sesame oil. Then, just mix all of the ingredients and try it. You can try Bibimbap in other cities, but Jeonju is the place where Bibimbap started with gochujang. The price varies, but in the hanok village, set your budget for 15,000 won.
Ddeokgalbi is another must try food in Jeonju. It’s very similar to Galbi (you can refer it from name) without bone. It’s also pre-cooked, so you don’t have to worry of cooking it. Ddeockgalbi used to be served in the palace and rich family in the past since it’s a time consuming cooking. It’s more pricey than Bibimbap, you may set your budget to 20,000 won.
Kongnamul soup is a daily food. It’s popular amongst local people. Soybean sprouts(kongnamul in Korean) are one of the most important ingredients in Korea. Usually, the soup is served as soon as you order it. Restaurants are boiling the soup all day long. So, if you’re in rush or want to save time, this is the food you should try. The price range is between 5,000 won +@, so it’s very reasonable.
Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, don’t miss out Choco pie. It’s like a moonpie. Since it’s so famous and popular, there are many copycats. But the original one is PNB. Though, the taste of choco pie in different stores is very similar to each other. One choco pie costs less than 2,000 won. You can try some before buying it. Usually there is a mini basket with small pieces of pie or different snack to try in the store.
WHERE TO STAY
There are so many rooms available in Hanok village. You can stay in the downtown of the city or you can chill out more in Hanok village. Look for accommodation and reserve the place you would like to stay on the website below.
But, most of accommodations in the folk village don’t have bed. Even if a thick blanket is served, it’s much less comfortable than a bed. To be honest, if you’re not used to sleep on the floor it might not be a good idea to stay inside the hanok village. It can be an unique experience for sure, but I had difficulties in sleeping on the floor.
Plus, the price on the weekend can go upto double than during the week. Therefore, if you’re travelling here, plan well to save your money.
Hopefully, this review helps your visit to Jeonju.
Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂
address : 99 Girin-daero, Pungnamdong 3(sam)-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Jeonju city website