Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DIY jeonju walking tour, part two

Hanok Village (see previous post) is actually just a tiny part of Jeonju City. I really wish that I could have explored more, but I only had 26 hours. Inclusive of the six hours that I set aside for my beauty sleep and the five hours I spent stuffing my face, that didn't leave a lot of time for getting to know Jeonju. The city has at least four traditional markets, numerous parks and nature trails, a massive football stadium, and they even hold an international film festival every April. Lots of reasons to go back.

I was very happy with the location of our accommodations, Jeonju Guest House, because the must-sees were easily accessible by walking. A couple of blocks away was Dongmun Culture Street which is the quirky, artsy side of Jeonju. Too bad we only saw it after dinner on 16 July 2012 and at breakfast time the next morning, when most of the shops and cafés were closed. It reminded me a bit of Haji Lane in Singapore (which I blogged about here and here) but bigger, badder and more wonderfully chaotic.

I did notice, however, that the eccentricities of Jeonju were not limited to a single street. Offbeat art was everywhere-- sometimes inexplicable but always fascinating. Who are the people who live and work here? What makes them so unconventionally creative compared to the citizens of Seoul?

It's as if the people of Jeonju can't help themselves and have to put a bohemian stamp on everything. Even the manhole covers!

Koreans seem to drink a lot of coffee. Or hang out in cafés. There was a coffee shop every few meters, and each one was unique and awesome. I just didn't understand why none of them were open at 9AM.

After our hanjeonsik lunch on the first day, we were looking for a place to have coffee but it was too hot and humid. So we ended up having dessert at a kooky little hangout-- don't know the name. The honeydew melon was to die for.

A few steps from our guesthouse, along Gyeonggijeon Street, there was a large air-conditioned store which sold all the handicraft specialties of Jeonju that I had on my shopping list. They had a lovely diorama of "The Little Prince" in the window.

I bought a pair of ceramic mugs, a papier mâché box, and some socks made of paper. Yez, paper. How could I say no to them?

The best resource I found for Jeonju is this website.

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