Korean City Guides: Jeonju
Things to see and do in Jeonju
Jeonju's main attraction is the hanok district of traditional housing in the Gyodong area of the city. Over 800 traditional Korean hanok houses have been preserved here, with gracefully curving tiled roofs and ondol underfloor heating.
The area is similar in atmosphere to the capital's Insa-dong district. From Jeonju Station take any of buses #142, #211, #221, #231,# 241, #251 or #291 to Jeongdong Cathedral.
The Jeongdong Cathedral is one of the first cathedrals to have been built in Korea in 1914, and has a lovely interior. Nearby is the brick Priests' Quarters - accommodation built for the missionary priests in 1927.
Pungnammun is the historic western gate of the city, dating from 1768. It was here that the severed heads were displayed after anti-Christian purges in 1801. Opposite the cathedral is Gyeonggijeon Shrine. The shrine is set in a beautiful tree-lined park and holds a portrait of King Taejo from the 15th century. Jeonju Hyanggyo is a Confucian academy that dates from 1603 with a couple of the original buildings still surviving.
Jeonju is known for its arts and crafts which you can see at the Traditional Crafts Exhibition Hall (closed Monday). The Korean Paper Institute displays examples of hanji -- traditional paper made from the bark of the mulberry tree.
The Cultural Center for Oriental Medicine offers treatments using traditional Korean medicine. Jeonju is home to Korean folk opera (pansori) and the Jeonju Traditional Cultural Center (Tel: 063 280 7000) offers performances as well as demonstrations of the tea ceremony, Korean cooking, fan-making and Taekgyeon (a martial art).
The Gangam Calligraphy Museum (Tel: 063 281 2768) has displays of ink calligraphy by Korean masters. The Traditional Liquor Museum (Tel: 063 287 6350) explains the Korean wine-making process and has bi-monthly wine-tasting events. All these museums and cultural centers are in the hanok district.
Visitors can buy handmade paper (hanji) and fans at the Namwon Market.
Jeonju also plays hosts to the annual Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) with screenings at the many cinemas on Cinema Street.
Nightlife & Eating Out
Bibimbap is a speciality. Try the city center restaurants or Namwon Tourist Complex. Bibimbap is a delicious mix of vegetables served on a bed of rice plus a fried egg and meat but in Jeonju they go the extra mile by adding a variety of exotic ingredients.
Getting to Jeonju
Jeonju World Cup Stadium
Tel: (0652) 281 2477 more Jeonju stadium info
The 42,477 capacity Jeonju World Cup Stadium is one of Korea's best. Take a bus from the station.
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