I’ve been obsessed with the balance of life to feel the need to apply them on each side of life, including when traveling. I realize this mission with my husband while visiting South Korea, in March. In addition to Seoul, we added Jeonju City is more calm and relaxed, to visit. No one chose, as the capital of Jeollabuk-do is determined by cittaslow International as its slow city South Korea.
The taxi driver who drove us from the bus terminal Jeonju pointing the right direction. He spoke in Korean language we do not understand. My eyes followed the direction of his hand. Without the need to understand the words he spoke, I was immediately blown away. From inside the cab of a moving fairly quickly on the highway, looking ocean hanok houses, a traditional Korean house, spread out pretty far as the eye can see.
That’s where our goal, Jeonju Hanok Village. Areas in the central city of Jeonju, where resides more than 800 hanok are still well preserved. This traditional building coupled nicely with several historic buildings relics of the Joseon Dynasty, the last dynasty that ruled Korea in 1392 – 1897. Can not wait it’s like to spend the night here.
After calling the residence directing our cab driver, we finally arrived in Saekdongjeogori Guesthouse. Actually, the main streets in Jeonju Hanok Village are wide enough to accommodate two cars passed. However, many also inn is located in a narrow alley, like our inn this, so it’s quite challenging to find.
Our specialty shaped small hanok. Inside there are four rooms that are rented to tourists. Touch wood and natural atmosphere combined with traditional design if brought us walked through time. We were like a couple Korea Joseon Dynasty eras with a warm resting at home. Homey!
Even though it was quite cold outside air because it has not fully entered into the spring, the atmosphere inside hamok it was warm. In fact, there is no heating. To be honest, I was worried about the cold at midnight. Moreover, in the room no beds, we slept on the floor paved with futon, like the traditional way Korean people.
Apparently, the warmth created in the hanok is derived from the floor that maintains the traditional system called ondol. This is how the Korean people heat their homes by channeling heat from a fireplace that is usually located at the back of the house. Warmer temperatures were spreading through the rocks on the bottom floor of hanok made of wood. That said, the ondol system has been used in Korea since the Bronze Age or around 1000 BC.
Journey to the Past
After refining the stuff, we decided to walk down the halls of the hanok bounded by a stone wall. For travelers with limited time, walking aimlessly in fact quite time-consuming. But, here the time seemed to slow down. We also walked around Jeonju Hanok Village is not too wide. Excitement we felt, when inadvertently find Gyeonggijeon Temple building, which previously only we look through the photos on the internet and travel brochures. It felt, enough to ‘pay’ for lost time.
Gyeonggijeon temple consists of several parts such as palaces, temples, monuments, and museums. This temple is one of the buildings that are quite popular Joseon Dynasty relics. Several historic buildings in this area is directly related to the family of Yi Seong-gye, the founder and first king of the Joseon Dynasty, who also came from Jeonju. In fact, it is said, in this temple of King Yejong placenta, king of the Joseon Dynasty 8, was buried, so it seems very personal.
This temple also housed the relics of the Joseon era as the official portrait of Yi Seong-gye and kings later, and books neatly arranged in the museum. Joseon Dynasty is known to set down the most influence on Korean culture today. Starting from the norm, ethics, languages and dialects, science, literature, and the economy is growing rapidly in this era.
Enjoy all the relics of the Joseon Dynasty, imperceptibly closer dusk, light golden yellow sun fills every corner of the village. We went back to explore the streets of the village. When arriving at Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School, the sound of stringed musical instrument sounds serene splitting silence. Besides us, there are only two other diners in the place that was once a school and a temple to the adherents of Confucianism in the Joseon era. Intrigued, I tried to find the source of the music.
The sound was coming from a booth in the same area. From the door cracks open, I saw a woman play the gayageum, a traditional Korean stringed instrument, in a small room of the sort of smoky incense. It was washed away. For local communities, gayageum not only for entertainment, but also as a means of meditation.
After satisfying curiosity, we went on a trip up the hill not far from Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School. Located at the highest point in Hanok Village that allows us to enjoy the sunset while permeates the stories behind the historic sites and Imokdae Omokdae shaped like a house on stilts. It’s romantic!
Omokdae a silent witness when Yi Seong-gye celebrated victory over its battle against Japanese troops during his career as a warlord, before founding Joseon. While Imokdae is where the ancestral Yi Seong-gye play war games with his friends.
Stuck in a place rich in history, accompanied by sunlight at dusk, make us delusional, if we both were in the Joseon era, what about our jobs?
Sound excerpts gayageum still sounded faint, the sun creates a golden yellow tinge beautiful chime in on hundreds of hanok. The air grew colder, but we are still reluctant to leave.
“You make a right choice. There are a lot of delicious foods in Jeonju !, “said a receptionist guesthouse where we stayed in Myeongdong, before we Jeonju. His remarks make us more excited to head to town status as Creative City of Gastronomy of UNESCO.
Jeonju indeed save a rich culinary tradition dating back centuries ago. Although the type of food is roughly equal to other areas in South Korea, taste different food. For example, the most famous Jeonju bibimbap throughout Korea. Rice mixed vegetables and meat has a flavor that tasted fresh. Arguably, bibimbap is the best I’ve ever eaten!
Kimchi in Jeonju equally steady. Thick marinade and flavor ingredients sea food is very strong. Kimchi in Korea does have a variety of flavors, depending upon the region. Perilously close to the south coast, the seafood flavor materials stronger and more viscous marinade.
No wonder the taste cuisine in this area feels fresher. Perhaps this comes from foodstuffs agricultural products in the city’s minimal residual industrial pollution. Vegetables, fruit, rice and ginseng from Jeonju judged to have the best quality in Korea.
Places in Jeonju only written in hangul letters, but to recognize a restaurant serving Korean dishes, quite easily. Visitors simply look at the exterior of the building. If there are large jars made of clay, meaning it provides a restaurant bibimbap, kimchi and other traditional Korean food. Because, kimchi which is in the process of fermentation is stored in jars that they put outside the restaurant.
Jeonju never stop spoiling our appetite. In addition to the main meals, snacks for sale are also very diverse. One of our favorite places was PNB bakery. Bakery that has become an icon of this Jeonju sell choco pie is very tasty. To be missed.
Want to make Korea Jeonju as a culinary destination, local government seriously introduce a variety of culinary wealth through a variety of festivals, such as Jeonju Bibimbap Festival and The International Fermented Food Expo held in Jeonju each year. Unfortunately, while there we did not find any festival.