Jeonju, South Korea: going back in time wandering a traditional village

img_20161204_110104By the time I arrived at the bus station in Jeonju, it was dark. I knew I needed to get a bus to the general area of the hostel. Unluckily for me, I took the bus in the wrong direction, which I noticed after about 5 minutes and so I hopped off the bus. I found a bus stop in the opposite direction where I waited for a bit before the bus came around the corner. I thought I was being smart because I knew the name of where I was going, so 1. I took the bus heading in the direction I was going to and 2. I had the name in Korean so compared it with the bus route names. However, it was the wrong direction.

The bus that finally took me in the right direction had been diverted so I wasn’t sure where to get off. I asked the driver, pointing at a map and the address of my hostel. He called out and an older man gave me the route and where to get off. I have found that Koreans are extremely helpful if you ask them; they won’t necessarily approach you if you look lost.img_20161204_105926

I walked about 15 minutes to get to my hostel. Yes! Sorted! I checked in where they gave me a key to the room. In the room, the 6 bed dorm was perfectly laid out with no one else in the room. It was pretty late so I was sure no one else would me joining me. Sweet, a room to myself.

I was just going to chill in the room before going to bed but I decided to venture out. I walked around the area with popular chain shops, restaurants and cafes. Lights were flashing all around and music blaring from different building. I was feeling a little peckish so I bought some tako yaki (Japanese octopus balls).

As I entered the hostel, ‘The holiday’ was playing on the big screen so I decided to curl up in bed and watch this on my laptop whilst falling asleep.

The next day, I had a lie in and the leisurely rose from my bed. I took a shower and ate breakfast before heading out for the day. I walked about 10 minutes to the Hanok Village. As I approached the entrance, the red-brick, high Jeondong Cathedral stood nearby with incredible architecture that looked like it could have been designed by Gaudi as it was kind of similar to some buildings in Barcelona .DCIM119GOPRO

I then wandered the cobbled streets of the village with hundreds of shops selling souvenirs, traditional clothes and food. The area was so pretty with unique style houses with grey slate, pointy roofs. Outside some buidings were gardens which had wooden cogs and wheelbarrows. It was just so picturesque. I’ve never seen anything like this. It was definitely worth a visit. The streets were full of Asian tourist and Koreans dressed in traditional clothing of winter, puffy dresses; reminded in of little bo peep.img_20161204_102954

I stopped for a coffee at a café watching the people as they walked passed. After, I visited Gyeonggijeon Hall and Pungnammum Gate to take some photos. I wandered around Nambu Market, which was mostly closed but had a few stall open selling fish, fruit and vegetable. I’m not sure whaether I was there too early or if it was closed on that day. I did find a little food place, where I ate a creamy soup served in a roll. It was tasty and warmed me up as I was feeling cold.img_20161204_121742

I took a stroll along the river to Seohakdong Art Village which was full of galleries but again, unfortunately they were closed. I walked back through the Hanok village to the centre of town where I did some window shopping before collecting my bag from the hostel.

img_20161204_133850I waited at the bus stop nearly an hour for my bus. Eventually when it came, it took me to the main bus station so I could get a bus to Seoul. The buses have a good system, where on the screen, it tell you how many passengers there are and what seats they should be occupying. Then when I entered the bus I scanned my ticket and the colour of my seat changed on the screen. It means the driver would know when everyone had boarded the bus. The 2 hour journey was uneventful.

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