Monday, December 25, 2006

Jeonju Christmas

I went down to Jeonju this weekend. Jeonju (often spelled Chonju) is the capital of Jeollabukdo (or Chollabukdo, or North Cholla Province) and is a modest tourist attraction due to having popular food, some well-preserved architecture and being the capital of a province with several well-known parks.

SATURDAY

Saturday evening, after taking the bus down from Seoul and getting a room in the first cheap hotel I laid eyes upon, I wandered about the city.
The writing on that monument says something like "1,000-Year Jeonju Entering an Even Greater Future". I saw the same slogan in several places around the city.
Jeondong Catholic Church is a handy reference point when you're in the older part of the city.
According to Lonely Planet, it was built on the site of the martyrdom of Korean Catholics in 1781 and again in 1801.
Jeonju City Hall.
This is the hotel I stayed in. That's right, above the 7-11. It doesn't look like much, but it's as cheap as any place I've ever stayed at in this country - 20,000 won/night - and the room was pretty decent and clean.

SUNDAY

Can anyone guess what this gigantic, magnificent building is? It's a wedding hall. It's a place you pay to get married in.
Pungnammun, the last surviving bit of Jeonju's city wall.
Jeonju's main historical distinction is that it was the home base of the Joseon Dynasty, which ruled Korea for more than 500 years. Gyeonggijeon is a family shrine, and contains pictures of dynastic founder King Taejo and 6 later kings, and is also a very nice place to walk around. Like a free city park with lots of trees and benches.
The view from a hill.
You see cartoon mascots everywhere in Korea - even the War Memorial in Seoul has its cute cartoon characters that adorn the brochures. These two guys can be seen everywhere in the touristy area in Jeonju.
Hanbyeokdang Pavilion. It dates from 1404 and was a peaceful refuge for poets.
The view from the pavilion. Lonely Planet admits that with the bridge it's not as peaceful as it once was.
There are small restaurants along the river. Most of them have little or no seating inside; they provide large meals to be shared outside during summer months. They were open but they didn't seem very busy.
Tied up near the river (and he wasn't the only one - there was another, much bigger dog chained nearby). They both seemed well-fed and not neglected.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

"Pungammun" or whatever sounds kinda...dirty. Like a bad word in English should sound!