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10 Reasons To Visit Traditional Jeonju: Korea’s Best-Kept Secret


Ainul Shakirah Shafie •  Aug 31, 2017


Ever heard of Jeonju before? If you’ve been to South Korea you should know of it, or you probably have visited Jeonju. Jeonju is considered the gem of South Korea because of its exquisite historical architecture and rich culture. It almost feels like you’ve been transported into the past the moment you step in Jeonju. If you haven’t visited Jeonju yet, well, these are 10 reasons you need to visit!

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Jeonju might be more popular with the locals, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see or do there. That’s why we need to go! :D

Getting there: From Seoul to Jeonju
Jeonju is about 2.5 hours away by bus and you can purchase tickets at the Express Bus Terminal (Honam line - Central City). The cost for a bus ticket can be 12,800 KRW (USD$11) or 187,000 KRW (USD$ 165) depending on the bus type. The alternative are slow trains (Mugunghwa) which takes about 3.5 hours or express trains (KTX) which can get you there in 2 hours. Mugunghwa ticket costs about 17,600 KRW (USD$15) and KTX ticket costs about 32,900 KRW (USD$29). [inlinewidget id=29629]
1. Travel back in time via Jeonju Hanok Village
Credit: Kevin Sato on flickr

Jeonju Hanok Village is right top on the list of reasons you should visit in Jeonju. There are over 800 traditional Korean Hanok houses that have charming and unique features. The most arresting feature is the slightly raised roof edges that symbolises Korean tradition.

Credit: @chrisdiazn_ on Instagram

At Jeonju Hanok Village you can rent traditional Korean clothing and walk along the streets wearing them. Just imagine yourself walking the streets of Hanok Village in a traditional Hanbok. It really does bring that nostalgic feeling of living in the olden days, doesn’t it? Location: Eunhaeng-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea How to get there: Go to the bus stop in front of the wedding hall adjacent to the station. The following buses will get you there: 12, 60, 79, 109, 119, 142, 508, 513, 536 and 542. Website(in Korean) #HWWT Tip: Trek up higher and you’ll get to enjoy the view of the whole village. You won’t regret it, trust me!
2. Admire the vibrant walls in Jaman Mural Village
Credit: @mamimoo0802 on Instagram Jamal Mural Village is about a 5-minute walk from Jeonju Hanok Village. The village is known for its quaint and funky murals decorating its walls. If you are a fan of anime, you definitely wouldn’t want to miss a visit to Jamal Mural Village.
Credit: @i_yoojin on Instagram Who doesn’t love Totoro, right? Besides that, the village also houses cute and charming cafes. After walking throughout the village, enjoying all the murals, why not get refreshments from one of the charming cafes at Jaman Mural Village. Location: 50-158, Gyo-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea How to get there: Literally walk like 5 minutes from Jeonju Hanok Village, heading south west. Website (in Korean)
3. Stroll leisurely through Omokdae and Imokdae
Credit: @fallibleparadise on Instagram Next on the list is Omokdae and Imokdae, which are these resting places located on a steep hill overlooking Jaman Mural Village. You can enjoy the beautiful architecture of both of them while grabbing those mandatory photos of the whole village. You could even see Jeonju Hanok Village from there.
Credit: @james_schalkwyk on Instagram Both Omokdae and Imokdae have beautiful, ornately decorated that would attract anyone. Though it can be a bit of a hike to get there, so be prepared with comfy walking shoes. The view will be worth your while, I promise you. How to get there: Right across Jaman Mural Village. Take the stair for about 10 minutes and you’ll get there. Location: Gyo-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea Website
4. Be amazed by the beautiful architecture of Gyeonggijeon Shrine
Credit: Kevin Sato on flickr The fourth reason in the list is a visit to see the Gyeonggijeon Shrine which was erected back in 1410. The shrine is a place of rich culture and history, so if you’re a history buff, you wouldn’t want to miss a visit here. Did you also know that several korean dramas set in the Joseon period were filmed here (one of them was the notable “Moonlight Drawn by Clouds”)? You’ll fancy yourself starring in a korean drama walking aroung the shrine before long!
Credit: @salsa.soetjoadi on Instagram    Along the way you’ll encounter signs that describe historical meanings which would only enhance your experience. On top of that, the place is perfect for taking beautiful photos! The entrance fee is about 3,000 KRW (USD$2.70) and there are free tours every hour. They offer the tours in several languages including English, Japanese and Chinese. Location: 26, Gyo-dong 1-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 560-070, South Korea How to get there: From Omokdae and Imokdae, walk for about 100 meters along Taejo-ro street and you’ll see the shrine. Website
5. Meet the Kings at the Royal Portrait Museum
Credit: @ finaldust on Instagram This brings us to the next reason you should come to Jeonju. Gyeonggijeon Shrine also houses The Royal Portrait Museum, where memorial portraits and ancestor tablets of the Yi family are displayed. The museum is considered the treasure of Jeonju as you’ll be able to meet the Kings of the past, including King Taejo, Sejong, Yaejo and many others.
Credit: @planetadunia on Instagram One of the plus points of visiting the museum is being able to try their royal clothing. This is time for you to shine in traditional Korean clothing. The museum also houses almost 80 relics related to ancestral ritual ceremony that are very well preserved. Location: 44, Taejo-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 55042, South Korea How to get there: Located inside the Gyeonggijeon Shrine, you definitely won’t miss it! Website (in Korean)
6. Click a momentous photo at the grand Pungnammun Gate
Credit: @annayychen on Instagram Pungnammun Gate is one of the four grand historical gates of Jeonju, and the only one that is still standing. It is a must-see place if you visit Jeonju. It is a monumental structure that gives Jeonju a very historical feel.
Credit: @mangk_son on Instagram The best time to visit Pungnammun Gate is during night time. It is definitely impressive during the day, but when the gate is illuminated during the night, the view is magical. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to view the project mapping show that is spectacular! Location: Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea How to get there:It’s a 5-minute walk from Gyeonggijeon Shrine Website
7. Savour the sights and sounds of the traditional Nambu Market
Credit: @alexnakudom on Instagram Next, let’s leave historical sites and museums aside and visit the local market! Nambu Market is Jeonju’s traditional market that has opened since 1905. Wow, talk about historical. You’ll definitely spend some time here, so prepare your energy (and not to mention pockets too!)
Credit: @hyeyun_lee on instagram There are about 800 stores here and there’s a mix of stores selling fresh vegetables, fish, fruits and other fresh produce. There’s also stores that sell unique crafts and goods for the younger generation. So there’s something for everyone! Location: 19-3, Pungnammun 1-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 55043, South Korea How to get there: Nambu Market is approximately 115 meters from Pungnammun Gate.
8. Walk under a canopy of colourful flowers at Wansan Park
Credit: @rufusazarya on Instagram What’s a trip to Korea without visiting one of its beautiful parks, right? If red is your colour, you must pay a visit to Wansan Park. The park is surrounded by beautifully-coloured foliage that will make you feel like you’re in a fairy tale.
Credit: @delonihanism on Instagram The park is heaven for taking picturesque photos and you can even see mountain tops from the park. If that’s not a huge sign to visit Wansan Park, I don’t know what is! Location: Seoseohak-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea How to get there: From Jeonju Hanok Village Bus Stop, take bus no. 3-1 and it’ll get you to Wansan District Office Bus Stop.
9. Watch a spectacular performance at the Sori Arts Centre of Jeollabuk-do
Credit:  바보이반 Another reason you have to visit while in Jeonju is to watch a performance at the Sori Arts Centre of Jeollabuk-do. With a state-of-the-art performance centre, this is where all the amazing performances happen. Not only that, it has a gorgeous infrastructure that is complete with all the facilities you would ever need. Huge auditorium, check. Food kiosks, check. Children play center, wow, so cool!
Credit: International Society for Improvised Music on Facebook If you ever get the chance, come here during the annual International Sori Festival which is held in Autumn. Enjoy hours of outdoor music performed on the Nori Madang stage while basking in the cool breeze. Besides great performances, the festival also offers arts and crafts workshop for all ages, something that you wouldn’t want to miss. Location: 31, Sori-ro, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do 54901, South Korea How to get there: From Jeonju Bus Terminal, take bus no. 165 that will take you to Sori Arts Centre of Jeollabuk-do Bus Stop. Website
10. Contemplate in prayer at Jeonju Masjid
Credit:Jeonju Masjid on Facebook The visit to Jeonju is definitely not complete without visiting one of the eight mosques in Korea. Complementing Jeonju as a city rich with tradition and art, the Jeonju Masjid is a beautiful mix between Korean and Islamic architecture.  The masjid was built with traditional Korean roof tiles adorning the Islamic dome, a look that is unique and aesthetically pleasing. How to get there: The Jeonju masjid is about 15-minute walking distance from Sori Arts Centre of Jeollabuk-do. One of the best things about Jeonju is that it’s attractions are merely within walking distance from each other. Put Jeonju in your travel bucket list and you won’t regret it! It is truly a hidden gem in South Korea. There are other amazing places in Jeonju that we might have missed here, but then again, the best thing about traveling is exploring new places, right? Enjoy your trip to Jeonju, my friends! [inlinewidget id=29632]