Jeonju is a city in South Korea and the capital of North Jeolla Province. It's about a 3-hour ride to get to Jeonju from Seoul. The name of the city, Jeonju, literally means "Perfect region" which kind of makes sense in that the city offers you some seriously good traditional Korean food, historic sites / buildings, lots of activities and festivals. Especially food wise, Jeonju is the No.1 city throughout South Korea for the traditional home cooking handed down over thousands of years and still improving.
Jeonju is in the relatively rural side of Korea, yet has so many historic places to visit and fun activities to do.
How to get to Jeonju :
- From Seoul Station : 1 hr and 36 mins of train ride by KTX train, ticket price 34,600 KRW.
- From Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Central City Terminal) : 2 hrs and 40 mins of bus ride, ticket price 12,800 KRW.
- From Seoul Outer City Bus Terminal (Seoul Nambu Terminal) : 2 hrs and 40 mins of bus ride, ticket price 12,700 KRW
* Travel time / price may vary depending on the road conditions, seasons, etc.
Jeonju Hanok Village is what the city is best well known for and has a number of Hanoks (Korean traditional houses) as well as restaurants, souvenir shops and activity opportunities. The village was designated as an International Slow City in 2010 in recognition of its relaxed pace of life where traditional culture and nature blend harmoniously. There are 995 households, 2,202 residents in the village with roughly 800 Hanok buildings.
The village was especially famous for having such a traditional and relaxing vibe to it, however the popularity of the village has increased sharply since the early 2000's, so it can be crowded at holiday times these days. So bear that in mind when you're scheduling your trip to Jeonju Hanok Village and avoid the holiday season or the weekends if you prefer to experience the calm and quiet atmosphere of the village.
Address : Gyo-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do
Opening Hours : 00:00 ~ 24:00 all year around
Admission Fees : Free
Inquiries : +82-63-282-1330
Many people in the village get to enjoy a nice stroll fully dressed in Hanbok, Korean traditional costume. There are plenty of shops where you can rent Hanbok and the price is also pretty reasonable so definitely give it a go and don't forget to take billions of photos. The shops will also help you do your hair for the complete look in Hanbok. How awesome?
The price may vary shop by shop, but it's ususally around 20,000 KRW for a whole day, with extra charges for the accessories, shoes, handbags and hats that go well with the Hanbok look.
As mentioned earlier in the post, Jeonju is one of the cities that best represents the tradition of Korean food. You will be attracted to so many stalls that sell various and creative Korean street food as you make your way in the village, but there are also a number of gourmet restaurants that specialize in the real traditional style Korean food.
You might already know what Bibimbap is and even have tried it before but did you know that Jeonju is called "the hometown of Bibimbap"? Since Bibimbap is kind of the off-the-record symbol of the city, there are so many good Bibimbap places around the village.
Jeonju's Bibimbaps usually contain raw beef (raw sounds intense but the taste is heavenly), and various ingredients in all different colors, which makes the dish even more mouth-watering to see. Bibimbaps with raw beef inside are called 'Yukebibimbap'.
Traditional Hanjeongsik in Jelloa province style. Source from bnb blog.
The whole Jeolla province has always been well recognized throughout Korea for its generosity when they serve food to guests, and the tradition is still there, alive and well.
Hanjeongsik refers to a full-course Korean meal with an array of savory side dishes. You can find Hanjeongsik place basically everywhere in Korea, but the generosity (to be more straightforward, the amount and the quality of the food) you get in Jeolla, especially in Jeonju, is hardly a common thing.
Street food stalls you can find in the village each show off their really unique and creative menus. Even just having a browse on the menus each stall has is so much fun and might take a while. What you see from the picture above is octopus / whelk (sea snail) skewers. Don't judge a book by its cover, they are not the most beautiful looking food in the world but you will be surprised at how unexpectedly yummy they are.
Now finish off your meal by having a nice Korean traditional tea and desserts. There are lots of Korean fusion dessert cafes as well, offering you almost too many good options to choose from. One of the most popular desserts in Jeonju Hanok Village is Injeolmi Icecream, made of dried bean powder that is often used as the main ingredient of rice cakes.
Take advantage of it while you're in Jeonju cause the food is on another level from what you've had before in other cities of Korea. There IS a reason the city is called "the food capital of Korea"!
The cathedral inside Jeonju Hanok village called Jeondong Cathedral (also known as the Old Cathedral of Jeondong) holds a significant meaning in the history of Roman Catholic in Jeolla province since it's the oldest and the first cathedral ever built in Romanesque style in the province.
Several Korean martyrs had been hanged to death due to their religious propagation in the 18th century on the site where the cathedral was built on later in 19th century when the government finally permitted people to have a catholic religion.
The cathedral is highly regarded as one of the most beautiful Catholic architectures in Korea. People come to the cathedral with various reasons and purposes ; religious beliefs, interest in architecture / history, photography, etc. The cathedral is worth a visit regardless.
Address : 200-1, Jeon-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do
Inquiries : +82-63-284-3222
Tourists prohibited from entering.
Go on to Jeonju-si official website and get more detailed tour guides of Jeonju Hanok Village!