This is our third day in South Korea self-drive with a rental car. On the first day, we stayed in Suwon, which is an hour’s drive from Seoul city.
We stayed 2 nights in Jeonju and now let’s find out the top places to visit.
One of the must-visit is Jeonju Hanok Village, you can spend whole day exploring this village. The village offers a glimpse into Korea’s past with its narrow streets, traditional architecture, and cultural activities such as traditional craft workshops, tea houses, and performances.
I was here early in the morning, about 9 am, and not many people yet. The crowds started coming in after 10 am in the morning. Hanok Village is one of the best spots to wear traditional hanbok and walk around, taking photos and videos. There are a lot of Hanbok rental stores in the Hanok Village where you can just walk in and choose your outfit and they also offer hairdos with beautiful decorations.
At around 10 am plus I started to notice many are walking around with their traditional hanbok. These hanboks are really glamorous, from basic Hanbok to King’s and gisaeng’s (traditional women artist) Hanbok, various kinds of hanbok are seen.
Well in Korea, you will notice couples like to wear the same color outfit when they are going out on a date. The distinctive look is a natural outgrowth of current Korean cultural trends. They also choose a similar color theme in their hanbok so it is super cute to watch them walking around in Hanok village.
Nearby attraction is Gyeonggijeon Shrine. This historic shrine is dedicated to King Tae-jo, the founder of the Joseon Dynasty. It houses a portrait of the king and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. The shrine is an important cultural and historical site in Jeonju and offers insights into Korea’s royal history.
There is a fee to enter the shrine. 3000 won ( SGD 3.00).
Jeondong Catholic Church
Jeondong Catholic Church: This is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Korea, known for its beautiful Gothic architecture. It is a popular spot for tourists and photographers, with its stunning stained glass windows and serene atmosphere. It is within the walking distance from Hanok Village.
Hanok village is home to over 800 traditional hanok houses, which are made of wood and feature unique architectural designs. These houses are still inhabited by locals, giving visitors a chance to experience traditional Korean living. Some of the hanok houses have been converted into guesthouses, restaurants, cafes, and shops, offering a taste of traditional Korean hospitality.
Jeonju Hanok Village offers a wide range of cultural experiences, including traditional craft workshops, tea houses, and performances. Visitors can participate in activities such as making traditional crafts like calligraphy, pottery, and paper art.
Jeonju is known for its delicious cuisine, and Jeonju Hanok Village is a great place to sample traditional Korean dishes. The village is famous for its bibimbap, a mixed rice dish with vegetables, meat, and spicy sauce, which is considered a local specialty. There are also many street food stalls and restaurants offering other local delicacies like kongnamul gukbap (bean sprout soup with rice), makgeolli (Korean rice wine), and various types of jeon (Korean pancakes). We tried out the beef pancake in the lunch and it taste like our Fried oysters in Singapore and Malaysia, except it was beef instead.
Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School
Within Jeonju Hanok Village, you can find several historic sites that are worth visiting. These include Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School, a historic school dedicated to Confucian teachings. These sites offer insights into Korea’s history and Confucian culture. A pretty place for photography too!
Nambu Night Market
Nambu night market is where you find local street food, it is open on Friday and Saturday nights. The line is long for most stalls and the crowd is huge. Food isn’t cheap but you got to see the local culture and taste the local taste. Why not?
On the way to Gwangju the next morning, we saw Maisan Mountain on the highway at one of the rest areas.
Maisan Mountain has 2 rock peaks, they said one is Male Peak at 680m high and another one is Female Peak at 686m high (Female is higher!)
Maisan Provincial Park is also well-known as a leisure retreat, best time to visit would be during the cherry blossom period when this cherry blossom tunnel serves as the venue for the annual Jinan Cherry Blossom Festival, with exciting performances and beautiful scenery.
Where to stay?
You can either experience the traditional guest wooden house in Hanok Village or stay in a modern Hotel with good facilities like N Bridge Hotel. We choose the N Bridge Hotel because it offers carpark because were have a rental car with us. It is also conveniently located near Hanok village (5 mins walk) and Nambu Night Market (10 mins walk)
Jeonju is about 2-hour drive from Seoul. You can spend 2 to 3 nights here. I love the vibes in Hanok village, locals families wear traditional Hanbok and took photos in this village. Really beautiful to see the 3 generations, grandparents, parents, and grandchildren all in traditional hanbok walking around this village.
Plan your trip on weekends so that you can explore Nambu Night market too, street food are not cheap but it is a good experience to see how local enjoy your night market here.