A Dose of Traditional Culture

My friend David won a day trip through the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) to the city of Jeonju which is about 2.5 hours south of Seoul. We got to explore the city made famous by creating one of Korea’s favourite dish – bibimpap. This dish consists of rice and heaps of vegetables, sometimes meat and egg. It’s normally served in a hot dish with a raw egg so the egg cooks as you eat it. It’s definetly delicious and one of my faves!

a really big bowl of bibimpap!

We also had the day to explore the Hanok Village in Jeonju which displays life in the old times, very similar to pioneer villages in North America. It was interesting to see paper made the old way, especially because Korean paper is very beautiful and made into lanterns, fans, and other similar things. We were also given a quick drumming lesson with the Korean drum that was amusing and very fun to learn. Afterwards we were able to dress in Korean traditional outfits. It was wierd seeing foreigners in hanboks but so much fun. Hanboks are only worn on special occasions now, but in the old days it was used for everyday wear. They are usually very bright colors with pretty patterns, and makes you feel like a princess.

Jeonju was the capital during the Baekja dynasty so it still holds temples and cultural sights from this period. The most important is a shrine called Gyeongijeon which house paintings of important kings from the many dynasties which ruled Korea, as well as the placenta of royal children. It is located in a park which has a bamboo grove and is a nice sight to walk through.

wearing a hanbok, feeling like a princess

It was a great dash of Korean culture but I also feel like if you’ve seen one hanok village, you’ve seen them all! Korean history is the same throughout all the cities and towns so it does get boring since these villages are really tourist traps. But you have to go once to know what it’s all about.

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