Korea Day 5

Jeonju at night

Jeonju has a well-deserved reputation as a food mecca. We started out the day walking over to Nambu Market, where we ate some crispy Asian pear. A little ways down, we tried little duk balls (rice cakes) with honey inside. Yum! Further down, we bought Korean pancakes (one sweet and one with cheese) to share. For lunch, we had stuffed baguettes and smoothies at Gilgeoriya.

When we first met her, our Airbnb hostess warned us that Nambu is a maze of alleys. Then she leaned over and said, as though imparting life wisdom, “Go into the alley.”

A reluctant expression passed through our kids’ faces when I suggested we have our family photo taken in hanbok, or traditional Korean dress. But they eventually warmed to the idea. Wesley’s friend from his mission, Brother Jeong, who is a professional photographer, took our photos in street clothes first, taking us around Hanok Village. 

Hanok Village is a picturesque city, with buildings (hanok) modeled after those from the Joseon Dynasty, 14thcentury. Soon, the kids were enjoying themselves during the photo session. We stopped for the Gilgeoriya baguette, hollowed out with tuna, onion, and other veggies, with an occasional jalapeño kick. Then it was time to get changed into the hanbok. Sierra picked a goldenrod skirt, Sabrina pink and I chose purple.

The girls and I lined up for the dressing rooms, where attendants helped us get into hoop undergarments, billowing skirts with shoulder straps, and then long-sleeved boleros. Next, we had our hair done. These ladies deftly braided and embellished our hair with clips and flowers. In a bustle of excitement, we joined my handsome husband and son in the portrait studio.

After portraits (can’t wait to see them all), we headed back to the Airbnb. I think everyone was worn out still from yesterday’s hike and so we went to the nearby bridge pavilion and chilled / napped / journaled. I still can’t get over the fact that people are expected to take their shoes off to walk into this pavilion.

Wesley and Drew caught the attention of a group of middle-school kids playing Truth or Dare (talk to the American in English) and soon, they drew an audience.

After this down time, we were raring to go again into Nambu in search of what Jeonju is famous for, bibimbap (a fried rice with all the fixings). We went into a nice restaurant (whose name escapes me; it’s in Korean) where we had to take our shoes off and sit at low tables. I am digging all this taking-shoes-off bit. The ribs were to die for while the bibimbap was delish but super spicy. Whew.