ALL ABOUT JEONJU: How To Go, Things To Do, Where To Stay, Etc.


Travel Dates: April 24-25, 2019

This trip started early this year when I decided to celebrate my blog's 10th anniversary in Korea. As per usual, I wanted to explore another city outside of Seoul.

I remember posting a survey on Instagram, and the cities that were suggested include Gwangju, Jeongno, Pyeongchang, and of course, Jeonju. I searched these name over the internet, and what little information I got when I planned for my Daegu or Jeju trip--let's say around 1/4 lang ang lumabas for these cities!

In short, kung first choice ang Seoul, and 2nd to 3rd choices ang Daegu, Busan, and Jeju, asa pang 5th na halos ang Jeonju. I think this lack of information made me even more ecstatic to plan and push for this new solo travel adventure in Korea! 



To start off this blog post on my first city for this trip, here are some:

JEONJU TRIVIAS

1) Jeonju is the capital of North Jeolla Province.

Try and search for a map of South Korea, you'll see na medyo nasa pa south na sya. My original plan for this trip was to catch cherry blossoms even when it's off season na. I had to suck it in and let go of this when I realized that my destination is southern-most na halos ng Korea, meaning mas mainit na compared to Seoul, Pyeongchang, or Sokcho areas (thus lagas na din ang cherry blossom trees).

2) The word Jeonju's literal meaning is Perfect Region. They got this name for being "blessed" in terms of geographical location-- close proximity to the sea, vast plains.

From readings, I learned that lots of South Korea's produce and crops are from this region.

3) Aside from being a rich land, Jeonju also maintained their Korean traditions and culture. You'll find everything traditional Korean in this city, including hanoks (traditional Korean houses) to hanji (traditional Korean paper), to hansik (traditional Korean cuisine).

4) Jeonju was named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2012! Did you know that the famous Korean dish BIBIMBAP came from Jeonju?!

5) Some famous personalitites from Jeonju: Kim Tae-yeon of Girls Generation, Kim Sung-kyu of Infinite, Ahn Hye-jin formerly from Mamamoo, and actor Yoon Kyun-sang (second lead in Park Shin Hye's Doctors)





HOW TO GO TO JEONJU

We always learn from our mistakes, and although it wasn't major, one of my travel boo boos from past trips is that I still go to the city center before heading for my main destination.

Example! During my Jeju-Busan winter last 2018, I spared 2 nights pa in Seoul. I planned on going back din naman sa Seoul for my flight back to Manila, so might as well just go straight to my main agenda. Ang hirap rin ng marami masyadong transfers!

For this trip, I learned that there's a direct bus from Incheon International Airport going to Jeonju. I decided to just stay for the night in the airport, and then take this bus the next day.

After having breakfast at the airport (and feeling like a boss in my house clothes hahaha), I went back to the airport jjimjilbang to check out and get my stuff.

VIA BUS FROM INCHEON AIRPORT

I went to the airport concierge to inquire about the bus to Jeonju, and the lady at the desk just gave me the exit number. I went there and saw lots of destination signages--it's impossible to get lost if you just READ.

I easily spotted Jeonju in 12B, and went to the pillar and saw more signages and buses. I went to the nearest ticket booth and true enough they sell the bus tickets for Jeonju! Bought my ticket on-the-spot, sobrang dali and convenient!





They'll give you a timed ticket so make sure madali ka makakapunta sa platform mo on time. Do not lose your bus ticket! Check and follow everything: Departure time, Platform, and Seat Number. I paid 33,000 KRW (around Php 1500), and the ride took around four hours long, and included one food and toilet break. Take a picture of your bus plate number during the stopover.




VIA BUS FROM SEOUL

If you're coming from Seoul, there are buses for around 30,000 KRW from Seoul's Express Bus Terminal. Ride is about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

VIA KTX FROM SEOUL

You can also take the express train to Iksan or all the way to Jeonju Train Station. This is the fastest option if you're coming from Seoul, but also a bit more expensive at KRW 42,800 for the first class bus (around Php 1900).


WHERE I STAYED IN JEONJU

Still on a budget trip, I looked for the best location with cheap rates for Jeonju via Agoda. I usually go for hostels that are either 1) Near the shopping and food center mala Myeongdong or 2) Very near a train station.

I ended up in Blueboat Hostel Jeonju.



Will I recommend it, definitely!

1) It is walking distance to the main attractions of Jeonju, including the Jeonju Hanok Village and the Jeondong Catholic Church. Meanwhile, Jeonju's famous choco pie bakery PNB is just across the hostel!

2) I like the privacy of dormitories that look like this:


Your very own box-type cubicle with blinds, essential when you want privacy especially when you sleep. There are two electrical outlets per bed, a personal lamp, and a place to hang your clothes.


Ang kalat ko, haha! I stock my packing cubes inside my cubicle para hindi na din ako mag hahalungkat ng maleta every morning. I got the top bunk so medyo hassle din when I need something and have to go down pa. I have here my valuables (camera, phone, etc), chargers, toiletries, makeup kit, skincare kit, and all my clothes for the next day.



The space in the room is to small to fix or get something from your luggage, so a tip is to go out at the hallway and dun mo na gawin bilang may chairs naman na dun and mas hindi nakaka hiya mag ingay. 

Btw, they also provide you with a small net bag (I used this to bring my clothes when I take a bath), and a rubber slippers. All shoes are left in another shoe locker before entering the hostel.




3) Common areas such as the toilet and bath (separate ang girls sa boys) and the dining and kitchen area are all very clean and well-maintained. 

Toilet and shower cubicles are separate, and enough for us checked-in at that time. Never ko need mag antay for my turn. I also like that they provide everything I needed: Shampoo and body wash, a small towel, toothpaste, and hairdryer. Just make sure to bring your own toothbrush, a towel if naliliitan ka sa face towel size lang, and your skincare stuff.





They are strict with no eating inside the rooms policy, which is okay. The common room where the receptionist is also located is very inviting.




Ang saya na may drinking water narin pala dito: 


4) As for security, everything's de-tap card from the time you enter the main area for the rooms, and then for the door to your room. They also provide lockers big enough for my medium maleta (has separate key attached the the tap card's lanyard).

Sobrang okay lahat, A+ sya for my standards of a guesthouse. Plus points nalang din that I only spent around Php 1500 for two nights, inclusive already of other taxes and charges.


HOW TO GO AROUND JEONJU

Almost like Jeju, main mode of transportation in Jeonju are buses and cabs. I don't think they have local trains around the city, but if you booked in the right location, most prob you just have to prepare yourself for a lot of walks as most attractions are just near each other. The only time I took a taxi was going to my hostel, and when I went to

Except for a day pass in some of the Jeonju Hanok Village museums and attractions, I haven't discovered a Jeonju tour in the likes of Trazy or Klook. 


THINGS TO DO IN JEONJU

I stayed in this city for 1.5 days. Sunsets were late (past 7pm) so I was able to maximize a day till night time. Kalaban ko lang that time was pagod! Tita na talaga ako, hehehe.

DAY 1

After checking in BlueBoat Hostel Jeonju, I just crossed the street to have coffee and try Jeonju's famous PNB choco pies (cream instead of mallows).



 

Made sure to get more on my last day to bring home to my fam:

Energized from the sweets and the coffee, I walked to the area of Jeonju Hanok Village. I decided that Day 1 will be just chill for me since I just came from a long bus ride and have 1 full day pa naman the next day.



Jeondong Cathedral

Built in honor of Roman Catholic martyrs of the Joseon Dynasty on the very same spot the martyrs lost their lives.



Saw my first blooms for this trip in the church's compound:




Continued walking till I reached the Gyeonggijeon Shrine. This is the famous area for most Jeonju travellers, featuring a vast garden, structures and museums, and the portrait of the founder of the Joseon Dynasty King Tae-jo.

Meanwhile, this is also a main location for my first ever Kdrama comeback in 2016 Moonlight Drawn By Clouds! ❤










I also had time to walk around Jeonju Hanok Village before calling it a day.



Costume rentals (hanbok and 1920s style) are in every corner:



Passed by a hanok accommodation:

Some Jeonju Hanok Village tips:

1) Stay in a traditional hanok (didn't try this na coz I am alone).
2) Wear a hanbok or  and take pictures around the old city.
3) Get the pass for Jeonju Hanok Village via Klook (inclusive of museum fees, discounts), and avail these places:

Luielle Hat Culture Center
JeonBuk’ 100 Tourist Souvenirs
Memory Museum
Yeomyung Camera Museum
Jeonju Art Museum
Omokdae (hike) for a bird's eye view of the hanok village

Lastly, made sure my first dinner in the city is BIBIMBAP! I just searched for recommended bibimbap restos in Jeonju, and walked. The first and constantly appears in Google search is named Family House (Jeonju Bibimbap). Just order one out of the 2 items in their menu, and receive a full tray of banchan (side dishes) along with your rice meal.




DAY 2

I woke up early for my only full day in Jeonju. I was the first one in the bath area, when the guest house keeper entered and we had a little small talk on my plans for the day (while I was doing my makeup, and she just finished brushing her teeth hehehe).

I showed her the notes on my phone, and then she suggested another park that she says is not known to many tourists, and the trees are currently "in full bloom". It's about 20 minutes away from our guesthouse by foot. Since I've done a lot on my to-do list the day before, I went for this instead. Name of the place is Wansan Park, and searchable via Google Maps.

Passed by yeppo bridges, schools, and walkways during my walk to Wansan Park:




It was a long way up, but I don't mind with all the street art:





Wansan Park is really beautiful, I have no words! I was overwhelmed by the never ending floral pathways. Couples were dressed to the nines, ready to take the perfect spring photos. I saw families and friends, solo travellers, ahjussi and ahjumma working out. Everyone's in a good mood and nakaka hawa sya! This is definitely a highlight of my Jeonju trip.









Back in Jeonju Hanok Village, the Jaman Mural Village is just walking distance malayo lang talaga yung tawiran! By that time, it was already raining nonstop. Thankful nadin ako that it only started to pour after my 2 hours in the park.

Jaman Mural Village has the same concept as Busan's Gamcheon Culture Village. It's a former slum area, revive by art. Now it is a Jeonju tourist attraction where people go to take pictures with the wall art. I love that most of the paintings are Studio Ghibli characters! They also have shops and cafes in the area, pero parang sarado when I went there.










It was already a downpour by the time I spotted Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School. I got lost here and there, had a short coffee detour in a random cafe because I needed to pee (hehe), before I had the courage to go around again even with the heavy rain.

Buti nalang weird ako that I actually liked the mood that the rain lent to these beautiful backdrops. The Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School is a national education center during the Joseon period, and Ra-on's house in Love in the Moonlight!





Green tea break in Jeonmang Cafe when the rain got so bad, I was drenching by this time. I had a nice hot drink with an instant view of the hanok village! ❤



The only time I had to take a cab was for my final stop for this trip, which is in Deokjin Park. I went here for the lotus flowers blooming in its natural pond, which dates back to the Goryeo Dynasty! Sadly, I didn't realize that lotus flowers also has a blooming season like cherry blossom! 😓 Spent a cab going to an empty park and dry pond! 😄





Another meal I had in Jeonju, aside from Bibimbap, is their Jeonju-style Bean Sprout and Rice Soup, or the kongnamulkukbap. The hot soup mixed with rice was just perfect for the weather! ❤ Name of the place is Jeonju Kongnamul Gukbap Restaurant.

I liked the bibimbap from the other day, but this one is my favorite for this trip! I love that the side dish variety may be limited--but all the musts were there: an egg, nori strips, and some kimchi. Sarap!



SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR 2D1N IN JEONJU

DAY 1:

Arrive in the afternoon
Coffee and Choco Pie in PNB Bakery
Jeondong Cathedral
Gyeonggijeon Shrine
Jeonju Hanok Village (Wear a Hanbok)
Dinner in Family House (Jeonju Bibimbap)

DAY 2:
Wansan Park
Jaman Mural Village
Jeonjuhyanggyo Confucian School
Jeonmang Cafe
Deokjin Park
Dinner in Jeonju Kongnamul Gukbap Restaurant

ITINERARY FOR A DAY TRIP IN JEONJU:

Arrival via KTX
Coffee and Choco Pie in PNB Bakery
Jeondong Cathedral
Gyeonggijeon Shrine
Lunch - Family House (Jeonju Bibimbap) or Jeonju Kongnamul Gukbap Restaurant
Jeonju Hanok Village (Wear a Hanbok)
Jaman Mural Village
Go back to KTX


FINAL INSIGHTS

Jeonju, like any other cities outside of Seoul, is a breath of fresh air. Less tourists, and more of the real experience.

I like that everything is almost in close proximity, you can just spend the whole day walking around the hanok village, and enjoy legit Korean culture at its best. No need for anyone's tips, actually, unless it's from your guesthouse keeper! Wherever your heart and feet tell you to go, it will definitely be an experience, a memory you can call your own. An unknown coffee shop with a barista with the nicest smile, or beautiful roads and detours you have to pass through to get to a far destination.

If I were to go back, maybe I'll follow what the internet recommended. A stay in a hanok and renting a hanbok will add to the whole "old Korea" experience. But overall, I already love the varied mix that Jeonju lent me on that quick trip: from history and culture, Kdrama locations, a touch of spring, modern art, and good home cooked meals. I left the city satisfied.


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Comments

  1. I read as if I'm travelling. I love it na kht english sya ewan ko parang habang binabasa ko narinirinig ko ung boses ng writer.ang cute nung wall art of Spirited away and Howls moving castle, kakapanood ko lng ng movie kahapon at nung isang araw. Dream ko magpapicture Jan. ��

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    1. Albe!! Thank you so much for reading and leaving a comment! Pinag hirapan ko to hehe! :)

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    2. Thank you unnie for all your efforts sa pag Blog, lahat sa edit, bsta alam ko effort ka talaga para sa readers mo (iniisip ko plang ang planning stage naku )kaya ayaw ko man mag promise balang araw sana matulungan kita sa passion mo sa travel blogs mo at para marami kapang ma inspire. God bless.

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