Friday, December 03, 2010

무적지 - 전주 (全州)

If you ask me previously what I knew about Jeonju, I would say "Jeonju bibimbap". After all, Jeonju bibimbap and Jinju bibimbap are the 'twin jewels' (쌍벽, 雙璧) of bibimbaps. But after visiting Jeonju, this is how I would describe it; it is a combination of 'Bukchon' (북촌, 北村) and 'Insadong' (인사동, 仁寺洞). 'Bukchon' is known for its 'Hanok' (한옥, 韓屋) or Korean traditional house whilst 'Insadong' for its Korean traditional handicrafts. These are what you will actually see in Jeonju - a much bigger 'Bukchon' and a much less commercialised "Insadong'.

Jeonju bibimbap is so famous that they even have a festival for it.

'Hanok Village' in Jeonju 

Welcome to Jeonju Hanok Village. It's a real village not a mock-up.

Bags of medicinal herbs outside an actual traditional Korean medical hall. 

A gallery for Jeonju traditional handicrafts

The pride of Korean cultural heritage - 'Hanji' (Korean paper). You can actually use them to made handicrafts in one of these 'hanji' shops in Jeonju Hanok Village

This is how I got to Jeonju. Upon coming out from the Express Bus Terminal subway station, look for the 'Honam line' (호남선, 湖南線, Honam region includes Jeollabuk-do, Jeollanam-do and Gwangju) located inside Central City. Buy a bus ticket to Jeonju at 17,900won. Remember to pronounce 'Jeonju' accurately or you may be on your way to 'Cheongju' instead. The Jeonju-bound express bus should be waiting at Platform 6. The bus ride to Jeonju express bus terminal (전주고속터미널) takes about 2.5 hours with a 15 minutes stop-over at Jeong-an service area. At the terminal, find the taxi stand and direct the driver to go to 'Pungnammun' (풍남문, 豊南門). The taxi ride to 'Pungnammun' takes about 20 minutes and cost around 4,000won. The area east of Pungnammun is where most of the Jeonju's places of interest are located.

One thing I like about Jeonju is that there is free wireless service even along the street. If it had not rained in the afternoon that day, I would have stayed longer to explore the Hanok Village. Jeonju is one place I would like to revisit. By the way, I have yet to try Jeonju bibimbap. 

The number one gate of 'Honam' - Pungnammun. The gate is under renovation. This is the only remaining gate of the fortress which previously surrounded Jeonju. 

The front of 'Pungnammun. It sits in the centre of a roundabout. 'Pungnam' means the south of 'Pungpae' (풍패, 豊沛) which was the birthplace of the founder of Han dynasty of China. Jeonju, on the other hand, was the birthplace of the founder of Joseon dynasty and hence, the comparison. 

The roundabout where 'Pungnammun' is located

Jeonju at autumn. If you have a smartphone, you can surf the web while enjoying the autumn foilage along the street.

Most places of interest in Jeonju are to the east of 'Pungnammun'.


  1. Hi I would to ask if a day-trip to Jeonju is possible? Thanks. Great blog by the way!

  2. Possible, if you just walk along the main streets and narrow your visit to a few places of attraction