During my long long trip to Korea in April, I left Seoul and visited my friend’s hometown in Jeonju. If you have no idea where this place is, then you are missing out the most eminent aspect of Jeonju: Jeonju Bibimbap. Bibimbap originates from Jeonju.
My friend and I booked our bus ticket for departure at 8.10am in the morning. This timing is too inhumane. We decided to meet at around 7am at the Express Bus Terminal subway station to have our breakfast together before embarking on our trip. This is clearly an excuse. We settled at this meeting time because we were afraid we’d both wake up late and miss the bus.
At 7am that day, I messaged my friend to tell her I’ve reached! She told me to look for her at a certain exit number and boy, I walked. Have you ever groaned at the thought of the long walk, when changing from purple line to red line at Plaza Singapura MRT station in Singapore? This walk at the Express Bus Terminal subway station is at least 4 times of that distance. I put down my phone and concentrated on walking, for fear I would miss the correct exit. 10min later, my friend sent me a message to ask why I have yet to appear in front of her. The Express Bus Terminal Subway Station is Huge! Gigantic! Humongous! You get the gist? I wasn’t lost, it just took me a long time to walk.
After a 2.5 hours direct bus ride, we arrived at Jeonju! Don’t ask me about the view along the way. I basically concussed 5min after the bus left the berth. I was woken up by my friend telling me we’ve reached, in time to see our bus pass going through the Jeonju entrance gate. Her mother picked us up with a car and off we went to have our Bibimbap! We went to a restaurant named “Gogung” for lunch.
I trusted that my friend brought me to the best store in Jeonju for bibimbap and I was right. I only took a photo of the Bibimbap dish because my friend’s mother was dining together. Having to take pictures of all the food would mean she had to wait for me, and that would be rude. The side dishes and other additional dishes we ordered tasted good. The best is of course the main dish.
Next, my friend brought me to their local supermarket for some fresh strawberries and cherry tomatoes. They were so fresh and sweet, nothing like those we have here in Singapore. Interestingly, the packaging of the strawberries and cherry tomatoes had stickers on it, indicating the names of farmers who grew that particular pack!
After a filling lunch and fruits, we headed to a cafe for some energy replenishment in the afternoon. We went to the Cham in Coffee (참인커피) located in the Jeonju Hanok Village. This cafe is owned by Kim Woobin! He studied in Jeonju when he was younger and his parents are still living in Jeonju. Hence he opened a cafe there.
Kim Woobin at his own cafe.
And I was sitting at the exact same table as him.
Below is a drawing on the wall.
The poster of movie “Friends 2” with Kim Woobin in the middle.
Some decorations and painting in the cafe.
My friend and I chilled over a cup of coffee, overlooking the Jeonju Hanok Village from the second floor. The peaceful afternoon passed by quickly and it was time for me to tour the village myself.
A description of the Jeonju Hanok Village.
Look at how pretty the traditional Korean houses are! There are approximately 700 of these houses located here. To get this awesome full view of the hanok village, climb up the Ohmokdae hill, the highest place in town. It is next to the Jeonju Arts & Craft Exhibition Centre, and it took me around 10 minutes to reach the top.
I took this photo to tell my personal fitness trainer that I was also exercising despite my vacation. Haha!
I have no idea why, but we were tired once again. Perhaps it was the climb up and down the hill, or it was the heat. We once again retreated to a cafe, a different one this time, called Cafe Fermata (카페 페르마타). My friend highly recommended the honey bread and it was splendid. I think I could never eat honey bread from other stores again. Cafe Fermata honey bread has a thin layer of crust on the outside but practically melts in your mouth, as it is soft on the inside. My stomach is growling at this hour looking at this photo again.
We walked around the shopping district and had dinner before going to the bus terminal. My Korean friend is so pretty. Beside her, I pale in comparison.
It was finally back to Seoul for me. This time, on my own. I had a 1 day trip and find myself wishing I had stay longer. If you ever decided to go Jeonju, I would suggest planning at least a 2D1N trip.
Deokjin-gu, Deokjin-dong 2ga, 168-9 (Jeonju Main shop)
Tel: +82 63-251-3211
Cham in Coffee (참인커피)
Jeonju-si Wansan-gu Gyo-dong 274-2 (In front of Gyeonggijeon Main Gate)
Tel: +82 63-232-3003
Cafe Fermata (카페 페르마타)
Jeonju-si Wansan-gu Jeonju Gaeksa4gil 24-29