Monday, June 21, 2010

Jeonju Hanok Village: 한옥마을

This weekend a few friends and I headed down to Jeonju for the weekend. Jeonju (전주) is a city about 2 1/2 hours south of Seoul by express bus and is the capital of Jeolabukdo. It's not to be confused with 충주 (Chungju) or 청주 (Cheongju) which sound similar but are very different places. The boyfriend has been talking about going to Jeonju for about a month now. It all started when he found a blog all about drinking makkoli in Jeonju, and what an amazing experience it was. Since then, it's a constant question of when are we going to Jeonju? When are we going to Jeonju? So, finally we decided to go this past weekend as soon as he got out of work on Saturday. We took the bus from Nambu Bus Terminal (Nambu Bus Terminal Station Metro Line #3) which leaves twice and hour. It was only 10,500 for a one way ticket. The ride down is pleasant, and you can really see how agricultural Korea really is once you get outside of Seoul.

We got to Jeonju around 4 o'clock and headed for the town's proudest attraction, the Hanok Village, or Hanongmaul (한옥마을). This is an area where many hanok (traditional Korean style houses) have been preserved and/ or restored.

In this area, you can find many stores that sell (very expensive) hand crafted items. Paper products are famous in the area and there were so many beautiful paper lamps and paper fans to see. It really reminded me of Insadong, but on a more spread out scale, since the "village" goes for several blocks.
There are also many guesthouses in the area where you can stay in a "real" hanok. They seemed a little expencive for probably being extremely basic like the one I stayed in in Gyeongju, but I guess everyone should experience it once.

Also among the hanok, there were some museums and cultural experiences as well.

The boyfriend trying out a Korean game 굴렁쇠(Rolling Iron)

Traditional Korean music performers

A Korean version of horseshoes where you have to toss an iron ring onto a post... none of use could do it...

Pots used for Korean food like kimchi, gojujang (hot pepper paste), dwingchang (bean paste) etc..
These traditional Korean shoes are made from rice stalks.

This cathedral is actual outside of the village, but it's quite close. We wanted to go inside, but there was mass going on....

After this we headed out to have our "makkoli experience", but I'll leave that for the next post. Enjoy for now, and pray for the poor North Korean players who may now be sentenced to prison camp for their embarrassing 7:0 loss to Portugal..