46 일째 – Wanju (완주) : Wibongsa Temple (위봉사)

Day 2 in Jeonju included a side trip to Wanju, a town near Jeonju.  It was about a 30 minutes drive and it had a quiet temple.

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The road to the temple was a serene one, it also felt really rural, it was great!  The road up also has some newly built hanok houses, although most have already been converted into coffee shops.

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The Uibongsa temple is located within the Wibongsan Castle but all that is left of the latter is the Wibongsanseong fortress walls.

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Still at the temple, it had been snowing before so it really felt like winter.

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As it was a bit cold, there wasn’t a lot of visitors at this place.  Most who came here, came to pray.  It was the first time I had to go down on all knees, arms, and forehead to pray too.  A little bit of a cultural shock but it was interesting.

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There is also a monastery here, so parts of the temple are off limits to the public.

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We think that this must be what old Korean must feel like … mountains far ahead and simple hanok houses with smoke coming from the.. chimney …?

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There is also a large bell and drums here, perhaps it gets rung during important holidays … I am not sure but I do feel like the temple is quite important.

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So many nice picture opportunities here 🙂

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I think this would be great for a temple stay.

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On the way back down to the parking lot, there are also a lot of stack rocks.

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… and that concluded on little side rtrip to Wanju 🙂

January 15, 2017/

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46 일째 – Jeonju 전주 – Hanok Village part 2 – Jeonju food, caricatures and etc …

The last day in Jeonju!  We stayed up quite late last night eating popcorn and watching a free movie LOL.

We were awakened to the sound of a knock on the door … it’s breakfast in bed!

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Nom nom … watching television again 🙂

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… and this was out little place for the night

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There was a Sunday market at the Hanok village.  We tried to take some pictures but were warned we can’t take photos of their products 😦

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Smack in the middle of the Hanok village is also the Gyeonggijeon Shrine (경기전).  It is a historical site where King Taejo (founder of Joseon Dynasty) and his wife’s mortuary tablets are on display.  There is an admission fee of about 3000 won.  We wanted to go here to take hanbok pictures but because it was too cold to wear hanbok, so we even gave up on coming here.  I took a photo just above the fence … it looks like this inside.

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My friend recommended us to go to this store that sells bean sprout soup with rice: 전주왱이콩나물국밥집.  Apparently, it is great for hangovers.  It was quite ironic that someone had also drunk alcohol and ate this soup at the same time …

Anyways, the store was very busy and we had to wait for a bit … We line up and when we see a spot, just sit down.  The waiter will eventually come … eventually …

We didn’t know how to eat it so we observed the tables next to us.  One girl mixed the raw egg (which came in a separate bowl) and then pour it into the soup.  The guy next to us, on the other hand, put items into the bowl with the egg and then drank the raw egg.  Between the two, we choose the to former, because … we think the guy next to us must be suffering from a serious hangover to down a raw egg like that.

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Location:

My travel buddy collects caractures, so we did one here in Jeonju.  It was 15,000 for one person and 30,000 for two people to be in the same picture.  Since we would have a hard time dividing the picture, we just did one each.

My friend was drawn using pastel and I was drawn using water color.  While drawing, they also recommended us to eat at various restaurants in Jeonju.

In any case, our friend and local guide returned and took us to a restaurant to eat bibimbap.  The combo also includes beef bulgogi that looks a little bit like a hamburger.

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Very close to the village is a modern shopping area called Gaeksa (객사).  Here is also where the Jeonju International Film festival is located.  There are three cinemas all located in this area.

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We went to a temple afterwards, but more on this later … When we got back, we found the entrance to the Jeonju Hanok village!

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Our local friend really like alcohol … and so here we are at the Korean Traditional Wine Museum … for 5000 Won we just mash some ingredients together to extract the Makgeolli … the helpers did the rest.

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… there were more water here than anything else …

Inside the museum is a history of Makgeolli making …

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Our bus was at 6:30 PM, so due to the lack of time, we had street food.

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… and then visited a few art museums and souvenir shops.  We also visited the literary museum of Choi Myeong-hee, a famous local writer.

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… and this was our Jeonju city trip! Overall, we got a nice taste of Jeonju.  I really liked the midnight walk … Jeonju is designated as a slow city, so slow does it 🙂

Back to Daegu we go 🙂

We visited the Shinsegae Shopping mall!  At the highest level of the mall is an area for kids… tea cup chairs!

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45 일째 – JEONJU 전주- Omokdae (오목대)

Another place near the Jeonju Hanok village is Omokdae.  This is a place where Yi Seong-gye (later the first king of Joseon, King Taejo) stopped by to celebrate his victory against Japanese invaders.

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There is a path from the hanok village to here.  It does involve plenty of stairs going up …but it has a very nice view up top!  My friend said it is one of the best night view in Jeonju *giggles, must be a nice dating place.

Actually, I was told a lot of older people like to come here to socialize.  Some even sleeps here.

The view of a postcard we bought!

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Location:

45 일째 – Jeonju 전주 – Jaman Mural Village (자만벽화마을)

Day 1 continues … actually not far from the Hanok village is also another attraction known as Jaman mural village.  It is located at the base of Seungamsan Mountain’s Jungbawi Rock.

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The walls of the houses are painted with colorful murals, attracting many foreign and local tourists alike.  I am not sure if this is the case, but most villages with murals on the wall are done for urban revival.  I’ve been to Busan as well as a few cities in Taiwan where villages have their walls and road painted to attract visitors, which in turns increase the number of stores and bed and breakfast.  In other times, it also helps prevent the village from being lost to development.

The village is only a street away from the hanok village.

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The place is also a residential area, so there are people still living in the homes.  Here is a cute dog looking at us … I think it wants to be freed,

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The village has steep stairs and many small alleys.

In any case, there is a surprise in every corner.  We actually missed the best mural of the village – Kaonashi (No-Face) from movie Spirited away.  Apparently, it is pretty popular in Korea as students love hanging the toy on their backpack.

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Some houses have been converted to coffee shops and stores.

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I found another one with the dogs!

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Anyways, we didn’t have enough time …so we quickly took some pictures and left … sigh.

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Location:

45 일째 – Jeonju 전주 – Hanok Village (한옥마을)

The weekend finds me and my friend in Jeonju! We actually planned and booked the trip almost 3 weeks prior .. finding a guesthouse and doing *some* research.   However, what we didn’t do was book the bus ticket ahead of time.

We also went to Dong Daegu instead of West Daegu but I am not sure if it makes a difference since the bus leaves from Dong Daegu for West Daegu anyways … In any case, all the bus tickets prior 12:40 PM, were gone.

We tried the KTX but it said we still have to transfer midway AND we had to pay almost 38,000 won per person!  Just when we were about to give up and buy the 12:40 bus, the lady at the counter said we can transfer at Daejeon and we can get there in three hours.  CALL.

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to Daejeon

… and this was how we ended up in Daejeon.  The lady said it was just going to take 2 hours  but it actually took 2 hours and 30 minutes, but luckily for us, the next bus out was 30 minutes later at 1:00 PM.

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Daejeon Bus terminal

Finally, we were on our way to Jeonju! That was 5 hours after the time we were supposed to be on the bus to Jeonju (8:40AM), but it was ok … my travel buddy is so nice!

Anyways, we finally got to the terminal and meet up with our friend and local guide 😛  We got on the bus and headed to the Hanok village, where we dropped off our luggage.  This is the Pungnammun Gate (전주 풍남문).

This is the Pungnammun Gate (전주 풍남문).

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Since it was already mid-afternoon, there were a lot of people on the streets.  Some even braved the cold windy weather and wore a hanbok.  I actually wanted to too but I was warned of the coldness …

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Since we were quite a few hours behind schedule, our friend-guide made it a point to force us to eat all the yummy food Jeonju has to offer.  Jeonju is after all the foodie capital of Korea.

This place sells traditional choco pie … It is called PNB and there are many branches of this store throughout Jeonju.  The choco pies are about 1500 to 2000 each.  It’s a little bit sweet .. I do no suggest eating the whole thing at one go.

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More street food!  We had Takoyaki and fried squid.  It was 5ooo and 3000 won respectively.  A little expensive but it is ok … once and done 😛

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… then we shared a baguette.  This was 4000 won but it was pretty good!  It was like… salad in a bun 😛 At this point, I was at my capacity.  The place here is called Gilgeoriya.

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There isn’t a lot of traditional houses left in Korea, the most famous ones are here in Jeonju and Andong.  There are 800 traditional houses here and while people do live in them most are converted into shops and cafes.

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Only this district is set aside as a traditional village, the rest have been developed as you can see with the buildings in the background.

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Jeonju is designated as a slow city, meaning it sets a slower pace of life compared with other cities and people can come here to relax.  There wasn’t a lot of foreign tourists but I did hear a lot more Cantonese and Mandarin being spoken.

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This is Jeonju’s Confucius academy.

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Jeonju is said to have more than a 1000 years history because it was the capital of the Late Baekje Kingdom as well as the spiritual capital of the Joseon Dynasty (as the Yi royal family was from here).

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The sun sets behind the houses … I wish we were here earlier because I would love to sit back, have a coffe and just people-watch.

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For dinner, we ordered Makgeolli(막걸리).  We literally JUST ordered Makgeolli … Apparently, the more makgeolli you order, the more food you get.  So if you don’t want to be hungry, you order more makgeolli.  Their Makgeolli is quite famous.

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free side dishes.

We only ordered 2 because we were going to go to the Jeonju Nambu Traditional Market (전주 남부시장).  This was where all the locals go at night.  It was indoors and was super crowded … There was no place to eat the food we bought, so we all just hover around a corner or inside an alley to eat.  It was an interesting experience.

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Close by is also youth street (it’s a few blocks away on the second floor) and it has many arts and crafts as well as coffee shops and bars.  It is part of Nampo market.

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The top also has a fairly nice view of the Namcheon Bridge.  During summer, people will go there to order chicken 😛  The picture didn’t turn out too well … so I didn’t include it.

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After the market, we did a night tour of the city.  Here is the gate again at night.

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There are many stores that are still opened but the number of tourists on the streets has lessened.  That’s great for us 🙂  We went to a place that sold hanji – traditional Korean paper.  It is famous here in Jeonju.

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… yeah, we finally get to enjoy the cup of coffee I wanted to drink!

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After coffee, we went for a night stroll.  We probably walked on every street in the Jeonju Hanok village.  It is days like this that I wish I had a camera… kekek

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… and this was the first day at Jeonju Hanok Village 🙂

January 14, 2017.