It’s hard to believe thar this week marks my month anniversary in South Korea. Between starting work, finishing up my EPIK orientation, and trying to settle in to a new life I haven’t blogged at all. It’s about time I catch up and what better way to start than with my first official outing in South Korea – Jeonju Hanok Village .
Located in the now developed city of Jeonju, Hanok Village is a well-preserved testament to traditional Korean culture.
Along with my orientation group, I started off with a walk through the village that included a stop at a traditional paper factory and store. We got to see how the women actually make the paper goods from start to finish. And of course we got to view the finished paper craft products in the near-by store.
After a sampling of traditional Korean wine, we headed off to view many of the historical buildings in the village. Among these were the first Christian church built in the area, a school-house, and numerous religious sites.
The highlight of the day was lunch. It was my first time getting to try bibimbap. The dish is as traditional as Korean food gets and is one of the main reasons people travel to Jeonju. They’re known for making the best bimimbap.
I burned off lunch with a quick walk around the neighborhood. I wondered in and out of more shops, found some intriguing street art, and even more intriguing street food. Worthy mentions were hottek ( a pancake filled with brown sugar and served warm) and it’s even more appetizing counterpart–silk worms.
The day ended with a traditional drumming lesson and a tea ceremony , which for me , was the highlight. A woman dressed in an extravagant Hanbok(a type of Korean dress) schooled us on the origins of Koreans’ love affair with tea, why green tea is so healthy, and how to properly make and serve a cup.
Jeonju Hanok Village offers a lot more than I got to experience. If you’re ever in the area you can try making your own paper crafts, learn to do the dragon dance, and even spend the night in their village’s sleeping accommodations.