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Saturday, April 8, 2017

South Korea: Day 15 - Jeonju - South Korea's Food Capital

In the morning, we left the Good Morning Residence Hue with our bags and walked to the nearby City Hall Subway Station. It was just a few stops to get to the Oryong Station. From there, we walked to the Seodaejeon Station. It seemed comfortable, but we actually needed - due to waiting times at elevators, signals and for the subway - an hour from the hotel to the station. We had seen online, that the quickest way by train to get to Jeonju from Daejeon is this station and not the main Daejeon Station.

When we wanted to buy a train ticket inside the station, there were only "standing tickets" left. The next train with available seats would only depart in the afternoon, we were told. It was less than perfect, but the ride took just a bit more than an hour, so it was decided that we'll take it. From the Jeonju Train Station, we took a cab to our hotel, the Jeonju Lime Hotel. The ride itself was quick, but we had to queue for some time, to get into a taxi. The hotel is actually a former motel and is located in a kind of red light district. But it´s still South Korea. So it is not a scary red light district, just one with many motels and some signs pointing to table dance or stuff. We got an early check-in, which was great and our room was excellent, modern and spacious.


If you take one of the fast trains, you can even come to Jeonju as a day trip from Seoul. For us, however, it was an ideal stop for one night on our way to Yeosu at the coast. Jeonju is a famous city and a UNESCO city of gastronomy. Its most prominent draw, however, is the Jeonju Hanok Village. In this area, the most attractions are found. It was quite a bit to walk, but still in walking distance to our hotel. So, we wasted no time and started our sightseeing day in Jeonju!

We entered the Hanok Village just north of the Hotel Lewin. After taking a look at the busy first street and the Hanok Living Experience Center, we walked to the nearby Jeonju Korean Traditional Wine Museum, where we drank something with apple and listened to live music.  


We strolled through the Hanok Village, where many tourists appeared in traditional clothing. The Hanok Village contains about 800 traditional houses and is one of South Korea's favorite tourist destination. Although it was bit crowded, we adored the village and came to the Gyeonggijeon Shrine. Due to the cherry blossoms season, it was an unusually beautiful scenery for photo ops for all the couples, dressed in traditional clothing. It is a vast, park-like area, that also houses the Royal Portrait Museum, which we visited too. 


Next up was the beautiful Jeondong Catholic Cathedral, which was completed in 1914, a time during which Korea was under Japanese rule. The cathedral was built in honor of the roman catholic martyrs during the Joseon Dynasty. The construction of the church did not begin until 1908.



From the church, it was just a short walk to the Pungnammun Gate, which is even 200 years older than the church. South of the Pungnammun Gate the Jeonju Nambu Traditional Market starts. We walked through it, had a delicious snack, and soon found ourselves at the river. 


The river area is rather scenic too, with beautiful bridges and there are more attractions along the river, like the Gangam Calligraphy Museum, which we skipped. Instead, we walked past the Jaman Mural Village to Omokdae, a pavilion on a hill.


From the hill, we walked back to the Hotel Lewin, where we had started. We wanted to take a taxi back to the hotel, but soon gave up, when we couldn´t get one. It was quite a walk - again - but eventually, we were back at our motel/hotel and later got dinner from one of the small GS 25 Mini-Markets around the corner, as we were too exhausted to look for a restaurant. The next day, we would already continue our journey to Yeosu. 



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