Explore South Korea’s history and culinary heritage on this 2-day Jeonju tour from Seoul. Sample delicious traditional dishes such as bibimbap and kongnamul, and gain insight into the various ingredients used. Discover top local attractions including the Hanok Village, the 14th-century Pungnammun Gate, Jeondong Catholic Church, Gyeonggi Palace and the Traditional Wine Museum. Visit the Jeonju Hanji Museum to learn how paper is made the old-fashioned way, and gain insight into life in Korea in days gone by during your stay at the Jeonju Hanok Living Experience Center.
Jeonju gives you a window onto the Korean past with its hanok villlage and its history as homebase of the influential Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). A visit to Jeonju also gives you a chance to try some of the best food in Korea!
Day 1: Seoul – Jeonju (L, D)
After pickup at your Seoul hotel, travel two hours in a comfortable coach to Jeonju. Upon your arrival, head to a renowned restaurant for a lunch of bibimbap, the rice dish that is a favorite in Korea. The Jeonju version is cooked with locally grown kongnamul (bean sprouts) then topped with an eye-catching display of 30 different sliced vegetables, along with ginkgo, fried egg, pine nuts, chestnuts, walnuts and other ingredients.
After savoring your first meal in Jeonju, your guide will show you around the Hanok Village, an area tucked away within the modern city with over 800 traditional houses – hanok – preserved within its limits. Then learn about how wine and other liquors have been made in Korea at the Traditional Wine Museum, and visit the Jeonju Hanji Museum where you get a look at the traditional process for making paper. You can also enjoy other museums, artisan boutiques, restaurants and tea shops that you find in the winding streets.
For dinner you’ll go to a local restaurant for another specialty called kongnamul gukbap, rice served in a soup of anchovy broth with bean sprouts. This dish is known as a delicious easy meal that is also good for a hangover.
You'll stay at the Jeonju Hanok Living Experience Center. You'll learn about the architectural features of the hanok, including the curved tile roof, in-floor heating called ondol, and the maru – wooden floors which keep cool in hot weather and are warmed by the ondol in winter. Have the option to try on a hanbok, the brightly-colored Korean formal dress that is now mostly reserved for festivals or celebrations, and play the board game yut nori, which requires the use of strategy like chess.
Overnight: Jeonju Hanok Living Experience Center
Day 2: Jeonju – Seoul (B)
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll see more of Jeonju’s sights. Check out the majestic Pungnammun Gate – a large fortified structure built in the late 14th century that is the only surviving city gate of the original four; Jeondong Catholic Church – thought to be one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in Korea; and Gyeonggi Palace where the royal portrait of King Taejo is preserved.
You’ll head back to Seoul in the afternoon, with a stop at the the National Ginseng Center or the Oriental Herb Center on the way. Your guide will return you to your hotel in Seoul at the end of your tour.