It’s not hard to find information about Jeonju’s Hanok village, so this is by no means a hidden gem. Visiting on a warm Saturday afternoon (the first time I had to wear sun screen this year!) meant pretty big crowds.
I had read a little about the village online, but I really didn’t have a grasp on how big it would be. This isn’t your run of the mill “here’s a few old houses and a craft shop if you’re lucky” hanok villages, it’s a full on tourist destination with shops, restaurants, cafe’s and guesthouses. Also a couple of VR arcades which is, obviously, an integral part of any traditional Korean experience.
Along the main street you’ll find plenty of food and cute little shops. We bought two “make your own teddy bear” kits from the little shop with the arcade machine because we’re cutesy af apparently. Then went to find the mural village we had heard about.
Next to the village there is a park and past the park there is a blue bridge and across the blue bridge there is a hill and on that hill there are some paintings. (or if my sing song directions don’t get you there search for Jaman mural village online.)
I could see the Spirited Away mural from across the road, so it wasn’t too hard to find. I really enjoyed walking through small painted streets and taking in the atmosphere, but y’know, don’t expect masterpieces. (I read a trip advisor review titled “peurile” which laments their lack of acerbic social commentary so I don’t want to mis-sell this as some transformative artistic experience)
It took about ten minutes of meandering to reach the Dessert Market cafe at the top of the hill which offers some very nice views and some pretty ok sangria. (no idea if it was alcoholic or not)
We ended the day with some friends in the downtown area of Jeonju. I have no idea what the names of the bars we ended up at were. One of them involved the staff juggling fire and giving us free flashing bunny ears. I can tell you that Mad Hungry serves a mean burger!
We were staying in “Avenue hotel” which is on booking.com and can be found in a huge cluster of motels towards the east of Jeonju. If you just turn up in that general area you’ll find somewhere to stay easily. Some of our friends stayed in a place called “Fox motel” which was only a little more expensive but was way more central.