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For centuries, Jeonju-si has been known as a city of taste and charm because there are so many tasty foods and great places to sight see there. Early summer is the time to visit Jeonju to experience the delight of delicious food and take in the surrounds of fabulous scenery.

Tasty City with Delicious Traditional Food

Tasty food can be had in any of the restaurants in Jeonju, representative of which are: Bibimbap (boiled rice with assorted mixtures), Kongnamulgukbap (bean spot soup with rice), Makgeolli (raw rice wine), Dolsotbap (rice with nutritious ingredient in a hot stone pot), Hanjeongsik (Korean Table d’hote) and Omogaritang (spicy fresh-water fish Stew). The prices of the meals are quite cheap ranging from 5000~7000 won, but there are so many side dishes. However, the most typical Korean dish in town is Korea’s signature Bibimbap. It is made of boiled rice with beef stock and over 30 more ingredients: bean sprouts, mung-bean jelly colored yellow with gardenia seeds, juicy raw beef, gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), sesame oil, egg, sliced radish seasoned with red pepper powder, garlic, salt and etc, chopped cucumbers and carrots, lettuce, Korean leeks, chestnuts, seaweeds, walnuts, stir fried young pumpkins, and gingko nut. It really is a must to eat Bibimbap when you visit Jeonju.
Kongnamulgukbap is one of the Jeonju’s ten tasty foodstuffs’ combining persimmons, a young radish, mung-bean jelly, tobacco, a young pumpkin, a false minnow, a crab, a radish, bean spots, and a dropwort. Bean spots from Jeonju, are crunchy, sweet, and tasty which are a main ingredient of Kongnamulgukbap. There are shrimps, kelp, radishes, bean spots, and squid needed for making this soup. It is the best food for breakfast, especially taken in the morning after a heavy drinking night at one of the restaurants open 24-hours a day.

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                                                                      Jeonju Bibimbap

The Makgeolli pubs in Seosin-dong, Samcheon-dong, and Gyeonwon-dong are also famous and well worth a visit. Various side dishes come with orders of big pots of Makgeolli (2ml/12,000won) such as steamed fish, steamed egg, Ganjanggejang (fresh crab marinated in soy sauce), spicy seafood stew, steamed shellfishes, raw fish salad etc. The taste of the many side dishes is as good as the main meals served in specialty restaurants.

Festivals of Jeonju-JIFF and Jeonju Hanji Culture Festival

The Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) is the biggest annual attraction in the city. Now in its tenth year, this year’s festival was held April 30 to May 8 with a grand budget of 3.4b won. Two hundred movies from 42 countries were screened a total of 292 times, 170 of which were sold out. ‘School Days with a Pig’ (Japan, 2008), ‘Yoshino’s Barber Shop’ (Japan, 2004), and ‘Goodbye Solo’(the USA, 2008) got special attention and the 1700 tickets for each movies were sold out.

The 13th Jeonju Hanji (Korean traditional paper) Culture Festival is also well worth a visit to see experience seminars, craft classes for kids, and exhibitions of master pieces. This year many families visited the festival and had fun together on May 5, Children’s Day in Korea.

Hanok Village is the best tourist attractions in Jeonju. There are about 700 Hanok (Korean traditional house) in Jeonju Hanok Village, the city’s proud folk museum. There are a lot of place to see including the Hanok such as the traditional liquor museum and the exhibition centers for Hanji and crafts.
Gyeonggigeon, a group of houses where the picture of King Taejo is placed, built way back in 1410, is also famous in the village. Nearby is Jeondong Church which makes for unforgettable scenery along with the cute Hanok houses. Visitors can feel as if they’ve taken a time machine to be transported back to Joseon times. Jeonju has a number of important treasures designated by the government, including the irreplaceable picture of King Taejo and Jeonjugaeksa (the residence of the city’s mayors).

So, if you think Seoul and the cities around are all about Korea, how about a visit to experience the welcoming charm of Jeonju...

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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