The first weekend in June, we took the opportunity to visit the city of Jeonju, (aka “the slow city”). Jeonju is a popular destination for foreigners and Koreans alike. The most popular place in Jeonju is Hanok Village. A hanok is a traditional Korean home, and there are over 800 hanoks all in this one area. Some of the hanoks are actual homes for people, but there are many that are different types of shops and restaurants.
When we first arrived, we stopped in the visitor’s center for an English map. Then we walked around looking for a place to have lunch. Jeonju is known for many things, one being their bibimbap, a Korean vegetable dish with rice, egg, bits of meat, and sauces all mixed together in a bowl. We have had bibimbap on many occasions, and although this is some of the best bibimbap we’ve ate in Korea, neither of us are huge fans.
|The restaurant we had lunch at!|
|Many side dishes|
|4 choices of bibimbap|
|It was good, just not amazing. :)|
After lunch we decided it was time to treat ourselves. There are so many fun looking treats in Jeonju that we have not seen anywhere else in Korea. We had an ice cream cone, with cotton candy around it, and topped with some cereal. It tasted really good, although I’m not sure our dentists back home would approve.
While walking around we got to see some really cool shops. One of our favorites was the paper store. Jeonju is known for their handmade paper, which they use to make lots of cool things and nice fans. Some stores even had little fan displays like a mini museum. In some stores people can pay to create their own hand fan. We also came across a catholic cathedral. You could tour the inside, but we just admired it from the outside.
|Not something you see everyday!|
Of course after walking around for so long, we were bound to find another treat we wanted. This time it was ice cream with shaved ice around it! I think we’ve pointed this out many times before, but Koreans seem to have an obsession with President Obama. At the little shop there were posters with several pictures of Obama eating shaved ice. We think it’s because he’s from Hawaii and this was a “Hawaiian” shaved ice place. It was funny to see. It tasted like you’d expect, which was great on a nice hot day.
|How many Obama's can you count?! ;)|
The last thing we did was go on a little hike. There is a trail up a hill on the edge of the hanok village for some nice view. You can see all the traditional Korean rooftops along with the industrialized skyline in the background. It a great little hike we’d recommend if you ever visit Hanok Village, it’s pretty quick.
Then we caught a taxi back to the bus station. Our taxi driver was very nice, even though we couldn’t communicate, he was very happy and gave us some candy. I’m pretty sure he needed to replace his break lights though because every time we slowed down he turned on his emergency lights. Once we got back to the bus station we purchased bus tickets back to Gwangju and relaxed after another successful trip!
Our Video from our daytrip!
We were happy we could check off Jeonju on our list of places to go before we leave Korea! Other places on our list include the beaches of Wando, the green tea fields of Boseong, and possibly Yeosu, a coastal city. Unfortunately, the weather is starting to not cooperate as much anymore as we have transitioned into summer…aka the hot, humid, and very rainy season! But we want to make the best of our last few months here, rain or shine! So hopefully there will be a few more trips to come! :)