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    We have returned home and we are going through our many pictures (around 700). We had a wonderful visit to your beautiful country and I must say that working with you and the tour guides made it even more special. When we return to that side of the world, we will be contacting you again. We still need to come to Guilin and see the beautiful sights that you see every day.

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    Jeonju may be known around Korea for its excellent food, and specifically its famous mixed rice dish of bibimbap, but the city also has an illustrious past and has played its part in helping to shape the Korea we know today.
    Once described by a Busan native as “the countryside,”  Jeonju is indeed located in a beautiful area of the country,  with four national parks a short bus ride away.  History abounds here too, and Jeonju’s hanok village is  the place to experience the traditions of old Korea,  learn about Jeonju’s place in history and sip  tea in a traditional teahouse.

    Birthplace of the Joseon Dynasty

    Jeonju Gaeksa, built in the 15th century as an official guesthouseIf not for the defeat of the Hubaekje (“later Baekje”) kingdom in AD 936, uniting the three later kingdoms and unifying Korea under the Goryeo Dynasty, Jeonju might not have had its five minutes of fame. 

    The former capital of Hubaekje was thrust back into the national spotlight when King Taejo of Jeonju's Yi clan succeeded in overthrowing the Goryeo Dynasty to establish the Joseon Dynasty (1392—1910)—a dynasty that was conceived in Jeonju and would lead Korea for over five hundred years.

    Jeonju Hanok Village

    Street in Jeonju Hanok VillageJeonju has some beautiful and interesting places to go, and the peaks that surround the city offer great hiking and views, but all tourists, Korean or international, inevitably find their way to the hanok village. Built during the 1930s, it was a reaction to the expanding Japanese influence in the city and was seen as both a source of national pride and a way to counteract the Japanese architecture that was becoming prevalent, examples of which can still be seen in the village. The village is located in the southeast of the city, and its entrance is signaled by the magnificent Jeondong Cathedral. Made of foot stones from nearby Pungnamun, one of the former gates to the city and a prominent cultural asset in itself, the cathedral was established to uphold the spirit of Catholic martyrs, and it is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Korea.

    A wooden sotdae–a symbol of good fortune–above Jeonju Hanok VillageNext to the cathedral is Gyeonggijeon, the complex that houses Gyeonggi Hall, which in turn houses the portrait of King Taejo, founder of the Joseon Dynasty. The rest of the village is filled with all kinds of wonderful hidden treasures that can be found only by exploring the alleyways and courtyards. You may find a small workshop hand-making hanji paper, or perhaps a tiny tea house. There are also plenty of restaurants, as well as calligraphy and wine museums.
    The village is deceptively large, running from Jeondong Cathedral in the west to the Imokdae Pavilion in the east. There are craft shops on Taejo-ro, the main street running east to west, where you can participate in workshops for making all kinds of things out of hanji and clay. Off in the recesses of the village are more studios offering wood engraving, natural dyeing, embroidery, weaving, fan making and more.

    Munjahyang, the house and studio of the famous Korean calligraphy artist Kim Doo GyeongThe Korean Traditional Life Experience Park is a place where people can go to experience a variety of traditional aspects of Korean life, and it also doubles as a hanok hotel. For a more modern sleep, the Jeonju Core Riviera Hotel, on the eastern fringe of the village, offers a fantastic vista of the tiled rooftops of the village. The beautiful buildings and myriad alleyways that provide places to eat, drink and be entertained during the day transform at night to give off an air of authenticity that is hard to see when cars and tourists are filling the narrow roads. A wander around the village at sunrise or sunset, when the residents of the village emerge and most of the tourists have left, is a must.

    Land of the Bibimbap

    Bibimbap bowls at Gajok HoegwanJeonju is perhaps best known around Korea for its food. The fertile Honam Plain and the clear waters of the region are said to be contributing factors in the city's nationwide food fame. Bibimbap is the city's signature dish, and it can be found everywhere.
    There are, however, a few restaurants that have excelled in its production. Gogung, located near the lily-laden Deokjin Park, specializes in both bibimbap and goldongban, the food of the kings of the Joseon period. There is also a bibimbap museum on the second floor, which traces the history and regional varieties of this deceptively simple and delicious dish.

    City-endorsed famous bibimbap from Gajok HoegwanNearer the hanok village, Gajok Hoegwan is another famous place to eat bibimbap in Jeonju. There are also plenty of traditional teahouses in the city, with most concentrated in or around the hanok village. One of the nicer ones for escaping the busy streets is Punggyeong, a small place located directly opposite the entrance to Gyeonggijeon on the second floor. A window seat offers you the chance to observe the throng of tourists and locals who pass through everyday. The green plum tea here is especially refreshing. If you prefer a glass of wine, then head toward Bom, a converted hanok that sells a selection of drinks and small snacks with an attached gallery that houses small exhibitions.

    [Tourist Attractions in Jeonju]

    Jeonju Hanok Village
    Gyeonggijeon Shrine
    Jeonju Hyanggyo (Confucian School)
    Hanbyeokdang Pavillion
    Pungnammun Gate
    Jeonju Traditional Living Experience Park
    Yangsajae (Guest House)
    Jeondong Cathedral
    Chimyeongjasan Holy Land
    Jeonju History Museum
    Jeonju Korean Traditional Wine Museum
    Jeonju Hanji Museum
    Jeonju Traditional Craftworks Exhibition Hall
    Gangam Calligraphy Museum
    Jeonju Treasure Center
    Jeonju Traditional Culture Center
    Jeonju World Cup Stadium
    Deokjin Park
    [Tourist Attractions on the Outskirts of Jeonju]
    Mt. Naejangsan National Park
    [Festivals in Jeonju]
    Jeonju's most well known food is by far Jeonju bibimbap. It consists of rice topped with such tasty foods as bean sprouts, Chinese bellflowers, spinach, dropwort, mushrooms, and beef. These ingredients are mixed together before they're eaten. This dish is not only delicious, but also full of nutrition. Other famous foods from this region are kongnamul gukbap (a bean sprout soup mixed with rice) and hanjeonsik (plentiful Korean style dinner menu). kongnamul gukbap is prepared by first putting a bean sprout soup in an earthen bowl, then adding the essential seasonings, and lastly boiling the mixture. This dish is usually served with a plethora of side dishes making for a most enjoyable meal. The side dishes may change with each season, being that the freshest ingredients of the season are used. Igang wine is often enjoyed with these foods in Jeonju. This wine is made from rice barley, polished rice, cinnamon, ginger, and pears. This sweet and savory wine is said to reduce fatigue and benefit your mind, body, and soul.  


    Jeonju International Film Festival

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    Dear Lillian, Today we arrived well, the guide has been very helpfull and kind. I want to thank you for all arrangement that you did for us, our trip was a wonderfull experience!
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