Jeonju - Hanoks & Kalguksu: 12-13 June 2010

By now, I have become very accustomed to travelling to and fro cities from Central City bus terminal! But I just realised something, despite the fact that I have purchased so many bus tickets since March. On the top left hand side, it actually shows the distance travelled! Amazed. On the topic of buses, there are two main types: Express and Normal. The Express one has lesser seats but more legroom. Vice versa for the Normal buses. You save about 5,000 - 10,000 KRW if you choose the cheaper option, depending on where you're going.

This time, we were off to Jeonju! Jeonju is a relatively small city and is the capital of Jeollabukdo or the North Jeolla Province. The name Jeonju is most synonymous with Bibimbap, a colourful mixed rice dish, which we regretfully didn't get to try. We were at Jeonju because we were supposed to attend the Star Concert with guests like BEAST, 2AM, SHINee, Super Junior and 4minute. Unfortunately, on our way there, the organisers texted everyone to say the concert was cancelled because of weather conditions. This was the second time a concert was cancelled on me. PS and I decided to stay on while the rest of our friends made their way back to Seoul.

Our room cost us 50,000 KRW in total for one night because it was a weekend.

We checked into our room at Ttoma House (, a boutique hotel located about a 5-minute taxi ride from the bus terminal and walking distance from Jeonju World Cup Stadium. We had checked out the stadium after we got off the bus to make sure the event was really cancelled and found out that they would still open the stadium and screen the first World Cup match Korea was slated to be in. And we got ourselves free Reds shirts there! So we hurried back to the hotel to change.

Happier with our free shirts!

Trying to experience eating Ramyun from street side stalls near the stadium.

The match was an awesome one. Even though the both of us didn't know anyone, I felt united when we cheered on for Korea and when the match ended with Korea winning, the feeling was amazing. Everyone in the streets went crazy with joy. You can see more photos from the match viewing from another entry HERE. When the match ended, we were famished. The Ramyun didn't really fill our tummies, so we walked around Jeonju University street (which reminded us a lot of Nokdu) and found a nice little Gogi/Barbequed Meat shop. 

Rice served in metal lunch box. You cover the lid and shake it violently to mix the roe, seaweed, kimchi and egg! 

We retired back to Ttoma House soon after and PS tried to study for her finals while I caught Time Traveller's Wife using the free DVD library in the room and surfed the net. We woke up early next morning to....

Jeondong Catholic Church!

There was a wedding that day. I love how there's a mix of traditional (Hanboks) and modernity (western suits).

Jeondong Catholic Church is located towards the end of Jeonju Hanok Village. Once we found the church, we both felt hungry so we went in search of this famous Kalguksu shop we had read about online. I have since lost the link, but it is somewhere on the same side as the church, just that it is in an alley. We must have spent about 15 minutes searching. I was reluctant to just settle for the many Jeonju Bibimbap shops around. (On hindsight, maybe we should have ate it. It's a Jeonju specialty after all.)

Veteran Kalguksu. (It is romanised as Beterang here.) And the 만두/Mandu dish. 4,000 KRW for a plate. Too much for us. Plus I like juicy dumplings. These were kinda dry?

The highlight...

Kalguksu when translated is literally knife cut noodles, named because the noodles aren't spun (as we often see in a lot of restaurants) but it is cut using a knife. One bowl costs 4,000 KRW and we ordered a bowl each. The broth is really thick and tasty. Loved how they added the egg to the soup. The noodles felt like...udon? But they were really smooth and easy to chew on. We couldn't finish our food though. We were so full, so we decided to explore the rest of the Jeonju Hanok Village. 

The skies were so pretty that day.

We also saw on our map that there was a certain film street we could go to. But we somehow got lost. So we gave up and just started walking around aimlessly. 

A photo to commemorate us getting lost. And though you can't really see, but both of us were carrying our heavy backpacks. Plus it was really hot.

We eventually cabbed back to the bus terminal and got ourselves back to Seoul that evening. My only regret was that we didn't go into one of the Hanoks and have tea inside. Would have been quite an experience. But I guess I can always go back! (And have more awesome Kalguksu!) 

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