Step back in time at the four hundred years old Jeonju Hanok Village two hours south of Seoul by KTX express train and you will be totally immersed in Korean culture and history. Jeonju Hanok Village is a traditional living village not a tourist folk village. You can stay in a Korean traditional house (hanok) at the Jeonju Living Experience Centre and enjoy the many museums and activities the village offers its visitors.
While the rest of Jeonju city has been industrialised and changed, the Hanok Village remains with its more than eight hundred beautiful traditional Korean houses. These houses are particularly known for their beautiful architecture with their roof edges upturned to the sky.
At the Jeonju Hanok Living Experience Centre visitors can stay in a traditional guesthouse within the village. The Centre was originally a royal house that was constructed during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) It offers traditional lodging and cultural experiences like chopping your own firewood to warm the traditional houses that have their own unique under-floor heating system called ondol, which is unique to Korea.
Visitors can hire bicycles from the Centre to enjoy riding around the village, few cars are within this area so it is a great place for cycling and walking. Within the village walls there are many museums including calligraphy museum, wine museum, kimchi museum and of course many great restaurants to enjoy traditional Korean food. Jeonju has been known throughout history as one of the best regional food centres in Korea and also as the home of traditional Korean Bibimbap – the mixed rice and vegetable dish which is so popular all over the country.
Jeonju is so famous for its Bibimbap that it hosts an annual Bibimbap Festival which will be held from 18-21 October this year. At this festival you can learn how to make bibimbap, enjoy as many varieties of Bibimbap as you like and join in all the festive and cultural events that are part of the festival.
The Jeonju International Sori (Music) Festival is an international music festival running for the past ten years which will be held this year from 13-17 September. At this festival you can enjoy all the various forms of Korean traditional music including pansori (Korean opera) as well as diverse world music acts invited for the Festival.
Jeonju Sori Museum is located inside the Jeonju Hanok Village and hosts traditional Pansori (Korean opera) performances every Saturday evening at 8pm from 26 May to 27 October, 2012. The performance features a 70 minute-long Korean traditional opera and performers will include Korea's most renowned Pansori singers at certain times throughout the period. Admission to the performances is 20,000 won (approx. A$19 ) for adults and children 10,000 won (approx. A$9.50)
If you can't get a bed at the Jeonju Hanok Living Experience Centre then try Yangsajae, a beautiful traditional guest house located within the village. Yangsajae was once part of the Jeonju Confucian Academy where students prepared for national exams to enter public office. Students who passed their exams had the honour of having their names displayed at Yangsajae, the building was highly revered as a place of higher learning. From 1951 to 1955 the famous Korean poet Garam Yi lived in the house. The house was remodelled in 1980 but builders took great care in preserving the house's historical integrity and much of the building remains in its original form.
Jeonju Hanok Village has some exceptional handmade gifts and souvenirs and you can visit many traditional arts and craft studios including the traditional mulberry paper crafts, lacquerware and natural dyeing techniques and many other beautiful gifts that you can take back home for your friends and family.
It is also a great place for the children, they can learn and play all the Korean traditional games as well as have fun with the local children. The whole family can have a real Korean experience in an ancient village atmosphere.
For a free travel guidebook to Korea as well as a guide/map to Jeonju email your request to Korea Tourism Organization Sydney office at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (02) 9251-1717
If you are planning to visit Jeonju Hanok Village more information can be found through the following websites:
Jeonju Hanok Village – http://tour-eng.jeonju.go.kr
International Sori Festival – www.sorifestival.com
Jeonju Hanok Living Experience Centre – www.jjhanok.com
Yangsajae traditional guest house - www.jeonjutour.co.kr