As part of the IES Seoul Program, we did an overnight trip to Jeonju, a Hanok village in the Southwestern part of South Korea (a hanok village is a traditional Korean-style building). When we first got to Jeonju, we started off by getting lunch. The speciality food in Jeonju is bibimbap because it’s an agricultural area where a lot of vegetables and rice are grown. The meal was absolutely delicious! Then, we dressed up in hanbok, which is traditional Korean dress. For women, this includes jeogori, the basic upper garment of the hanbok, goreum, the strings that fasten the clothes together, and the chima, or skirt. Hanbok were usually only worn by the Korean nobility during the Joseon dynasty, and include colorful patterns on the skirts. While wearing hanbok, we walked around Jeonju and visited the Gyeonggijeon shrine, where we took so many pictures! Then, we ate bingsu at a local cafe. Bingsu is a milk-based shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings, usually mango or red bean.
After wearing the hanbok, our tour guide took us up to a lookout point and then we had the time to walk around the Ihwa mural village, which had so many cute paintings! That night, we got the opportunity to stay in one of the traditional hanok houses. We actually slept on the floor, which is actually pretty common in traditional Korean households. In fact, the raised bed was actually an adoption from Western culture.
On our second day in Jeonju, we visited the Jeonju Museum of History and the local residence of the governor during the Joseon dynasty. Later, we took the bus out to the Jeonju Hanbyuk Cultural Center, a beautiful area in the countryside, where we learned how to make Korean paper. Finally, we headed back to Seoul. On our way back, we stopped at a rest stop for snacks, which honestly was a sight in and of itself! Rest stops in the US simply cannot compare; while there may be a gas station, 7/11, and McDonald's in the US, the rest stops in Korea have huge food courts, several coffee shops, fast food places, and all kinds of snacks. It’s basically a food paradise.
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My name is Sarah and I'm a student at Rice University. I'm a double major in history and anthropology, and I love to read and write. My favorite hobbies are walking around cities and trying new coffee shops!