Jeonju Funjoo


Last week, my friend Judy invited me on a day trip out of Seoul to Jeonju, which is about 3 hours out of Seoul by bus. So, on Wednesday, I packed up my camera and jumped on a free bus there with Judy, her mom and her mom's friend.

I didn't know what to expect since I've never really heard of Jeonju. The only thing I knew about Jeonju was that there's a type of bibimbap named Jeonju Bibimbap, which is rice and veggies mixed in a large metal bowl. And while I've only had it once and it was good, I prefer the bibimbap that comes in the hot stone bowls (dolsot bibimbap), where everything is sizzling and kinda burning while you're eating it.

We left Seoul around 8 a.m. and made it to Jeonju by 11. The weather has significantly warmed in the last few weeks, so by late morning, it was already pretty hot. We met up with Judy's mom's other friend, who is originally from Jeonju, for lunch. She took us to this great restaurant that only served Jeonju Bibimbap and this time, it was very delicious! Rather than being piping hot, everything was cool, which was perfectly refreshing. And the side dishes were delicious! ^^

[My partner in crime, Judy Kim.]

[Pan chan--side dishes--galore!]

[Jeonju Bibimbap]

After lunch, we walked around, going in and out of various shops and monuments. Jeonju's not very big at all, but it's filled with a lot of culture. The city is famous for its traditional paper, or hanji, which is made from the inner bark of a certain Korean tree called Paper Mulberry. So all throughout the shops, there were paper fans, pretty stationary and large colorful sheets of this special paper to was very tempting!

[Random entryway with a very traditional-looking man!]


[Making hanji]



[The end product...colorful paper]



Since Jeonju is a lot more traditional-looking than Seoul, there were tons of great photo opportunities. I think I took about 200 photos that day! And I brought 2 different cameras too (one of them is film, which I haven't developed yet, so those photos will come later). I was snapping photos left and right--as we climbed a mountain, went down a mountain, sat at a cafe, watched people making hanji, went to the bathroom...just kidding. I didn't go that far.




[Trying to figure out what this game is...getting the sticks in the tiny pot is hard!]

[My halfhearted attempt]

[Love the vibrancy of these ceilings!]

[Such a tourist haha]



And here are some iPhone pictures...




[A gorgeous light made with hanji]

But anyway, around 3:30, we headed towards this tea house, where Judy's mom's friend signed us up for a tea ceremony (how nice of her, huh?). We learned all about different types of Korean teas; how you're supposed to look a person in the eye when you say "hello" and then bow, rather than doing it at the same time, which is what we all do now; how to properly serve tea to your guests; etc. My dad has been wanting me to do a tea ceremony for awhile because it's a wonderful cultural lesson on traditional Korean values that aren't as apparent in today's society as they should be.

[In front of the tea house]




[Mimicking the teacher's every move...]

[Trying to sit straight like a lady]


[This photo kills me...look at the teacher's face. She's so bummed out haha]

It requires a very graceful person to master the act of serving tea in this Korean way. And I think it goes without saying I'm not exactly the most graceful person here. So, you can put the two together. By the end of my turn at pouring and serving tea, the little table was filled with droplets of spilled tea. Sigh.

[More tea in the cup or out?]

After that, with about an hour to spare before it was time to get back on the bus, Judy and I went to the cultural center, where we made mirrors with hanji paper. It took me back to my elementary school days, when paper-mache projects were the best thing that ever happened to me. This, however, was a little more traditional: the glue was made out of smashed rice and water. So, friends and family, if you're ever in a bind and you need glue immediately, just smash some white rice, add water and voila, you've got yourself some glue!


Once we finished, we all got on the bus and passed out before you could even say, "Jeonju." In fact, everyone on that bus was, by far, the quietest drive I've ever been on.

When we arrived in Seoul, Judy and I squeezed out the last ounce of energy we had by walking around Gwanghwamun Square. It was quite the evening to do so too--corners were filled with various protests and tons of people were out and about. Unfortunately, our night was cut short by a sudden thunderstorm. But it was an adventure-filled day and we were exhausted, so we took it as our cue to go home :)


[New versus Old]

[Protest regarding education, we think.]

[Cheonggyecheon Stream]


This was my first day trip out of Seoul since being here and I really loved it. It's nice to get out of Seoul every once in awhile...this city can exhaust you :) And tourism organizations make it so easy and cheap (or, in this case, free!) to travel around Korea, there's really no excuse not to go!

Like I mentioned before, I took TONS of photos, so if you'd like to see the rest, go to my Flickr page here.

Until next time, bisous xoxo!


Susan said...

Terrific day trip. I never got to do the tea ceremony. The hanji looks like fabric material. Fascinating. Great pics.

Judy Kim said...

Love it!!! Ive read the others but I guess I missed this!! Yay ima put up pics too :) and blog woo!! Love you!

Judy Kim said...

And great shots, love the colors and the angles